Valextra: Modernism is in the Bag
Purity has always been the benchmark of Valextra. Dangling bits and bobs is anathema to this brand, where functionality is concealed inside or at the edge of a smooth surface.
The work of Japanese architect Tadao Ando was the inspiration for the minimalist surfaces and ‘decoration’ appearing only as subtle light and shadow.
I was alarmed to learn that leather moulded like concrete or steel was at the heart of this new collection. But, whatever the engineering behind creating the bags, they did not weigh in the hand.
Structuring a bag so that it responds to modern needs — especially for women — is not an easy task. But Valextra is a master at marrying high-tech and fine fashion.
Bally: Colour-up the Swiss Mountains!
Milanese accessory designers make a big effort to present their wares throughout the fashion season, but some get drowned out by the fashion shows.
So Bally made sure that it would make a mighty splash by using colours so hot that the company’s connection with Switzerland and snow was blown away.
A vivid pink handbag, a purple jacket (and bag to match), shoes green, red and yellow — sometimes all at once — ensured that all eyes were on this once ladylike brand.
The films of Wes Anderson, especially The Royal Tenenbaums, were the inspiration for designer Pablo Coppola, who was captivated by re-interpreting the 1960s. A-line skirts were given a lift with slingback straps and medium heels or with three-tone flats, while exotic skins for jackets and bags gave a lush glamour.
And Pablo did not forget the Op Art culture of the period either, creating an optical illusion with a white pochette attached to the front of a larger black bag. It was a big change at Bally writ large in black and white.