Archive meets urban at Ballantyne as resident Creative Director Yossi Cohen (Isreali born and raised, studied fashion design at New York's presitigious Parsons) presents his second women's collection for the historic Scottish-born label. Cohen took us around the brand's spacious Milan showroom, showing us the new line and a special edition capsule collection he created based on Japanese inspirations.
The new capsule collection is dynamic for the brand because Cohen has taken 1920s silhouettes such as drop-waisted dresses and V-neck cardigans and married them with Ballantyne's trademark argyle diamonds, using a special dye technique for the season - so we have three different time periods at work here from the roaring twenties to late 19th century Scotland and tie-dye like trends of the sixties. The argyle sweaters long associated with the brand are done in a lightweight wool blend that takes the summer heat into consideration.
The classic knitwear which the brand is well known for is back again this season in clean and contemporary fashions. Cohen's new 'Boyfriend Sweater Dress' matches up chunky knitwear sweaters with matching colourblocked dresses for a perfect weekend ensemble to wear on a yachting excursion or a day in the countryside.
Two trendy items we fancied in the showroom were lightweight tailored windbreakers with adjustable details to transform the jacket into a different style (two-in-one is always a wise investment). The other was a surefire conversation piece, the retro shoe styles thought up by Cohen were by far the scene stealers. Chunky high wooden heels whose edges end just before the top of the shoe had models looking as though they defied gravity. Cohen says he got the inspiration from Japanese style shoes, but that there are other creative nuances at play. He likes the idea that while many will love the style of the shoes, he remains the only one that knows the whole story behind what went into thinking them up into a reality.
Milan Fashion week SS2012 Coverage
Ballantyne Fall/Winter 2011-12
Ballantyne Boutique Locations