It was Bally on the tracks this season: Models posed in elegant Alpine train cars designed by Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda, while guests swilled tea and cocktails and made their way down the imagined corridors to have a look inside.
These cars, with their bright blue velvet seats and fabulous luggage on the racks — plus shearling backpacks and pouches, high-performance hiking boots with vintage laces, and logo sweaters — could certainly challenge the Orient Express. Kinmonth and Monfreda even filled their windows with videos of snowy mountains whipping past, on the way to ski heaven.
“We own the mountains and wanted to go back to our roots, show the uniqueness of Switzerland and the craftsmanship of the brand,” said Frédéric de Narp, Bally’s chief executive officer. He added that the company is gearing to open its first China flagship, in Beijing, in April, while in July, it will cut the ribbon on its Milan flagship on the corner of Via Montenapoleone and Via Manzoni. The three-floor space will span 6,000 square feet.
That’s a lot of room to fill, but Bally’s got it covered, what with its luxe-injected lineup of winter basics, such as buttery leather ski jackets and capes, some with laser-cut lace edges, folksy hand-embroidered sweaters and other fuzzy knits with little nylon skirts at the bottom meant for keeping out the cold.
There were bits of Switzerland everywhere, from the heart motifs on leather bags to old mountain expedition maps embossed onto leather portfolios or printed onto cape-style jackets. It was a handsome collection, enhanced by a color palette that was more Heidi-in-the-springtime than New Year’s-in-Gstaad, what with violet for puffer jackets, capes and check sweaters, cornflower blue zip-front knits and full-fat cream for embroidered sweaters.