Today in Milan, the heritage luxury brand Ballantyne released its first women's collection under the new creative direction of Yossi Cohen. Mr.Cohen made his debut with the brand for this past men's fall/winter 2011-12 collection. The women's collection was a big occasion for the brand as it is the first showcase of Cohen's interpretation of the classic Ballantyne woman. Cohen excels in mainting the legacy behind the Ballantyne name while bringing it into a new generation. No stranger to the industry, the Israeli designer cut his fashion teeth at New York's prestigious Parsons School of Design, his past collaborations include brands such as Fendi.
Back to Scotland
Cohen's inspiration for this collection stems from Ballantyne's beginnings in Scotland where it was founded in 1921. Here, he brings us a collection inspired by the Scottish countryside fused with the metropolitan scene. The collection is faithful to the classic Ballantyne tradition of cashmere sweaters in solid and argyle prints, but with a variation of cuts, that sometimes use horizontal lines and take new liberties with colour. Some of the collection's sweaters and cardigans are more fitted, shorter and tapered. My favourite pieces were a tailored grey cashmere blazer and a cut-off grey cashmere sweater with yellow, fuschia and red argyle print. The piece can easily be layered with a t-shirt and trousers for a clean and classic ready to wear look. I also liked the homewear part of the collection which included soft sweatshirts and leggings in cashwool – always a comfortable wardrobe staple.
Covering Up and Dressing Up
Ballantyne's coats are warm, trendy and detailed this season, perfect for cooler temperatures and to pair with both daytime and nightime outfits. The collection included a cute yellow Montgomery coat and a sophisticated jersey cashmere coat cardigan. Some coats had rich fur collars and tails, others boasted lovely Mohair accents. Wrists in mink and cashmere definitely gave an elegant touch to the outwear. The collection also included several leather pieces done with soft as can be cashmere collars and lining to caress the neck on a cold winter's day.
When it came to evening wear, Mr.Cohen kept it classic, with a tinge of seduction in the form of V-neckdresses and plunging backs. The accessories included scarves and hats that pair perfectly with the collection's garments and one or two-ply cashmere collars and mink sleeves to top off any outfit.