Fashion: That's a bit Bally racy

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The Independent Online

What do you get when you cross a 156-year-old Swiss accessories company with a sexy New York shoe designer? A roaring commercial and artistic success, that's what – or at least if Bally's new collection under creative director Brian Atwood is anything to go by.

The brand has long been synonymous with quality and craftsmanship, but it's not unfair to say that Bally used to make the kind of shoes worn by the more conservative elements of the ladies-who-lunch brigade. Goodness knows what they will make of this season's racy range, which is all about vertiginous heels and bold wedges in snakeskin and patent.

It's a huge shot of the kind of glamour we've come to expect from Atwood, whose fashion credentials include a stint as a male model and several years as accessories designer at Versace. His degree in architecture is also very much in evidence in his signature skyscraper heels.

Atwood's "brazenly sexy" (his words) designs have already won him a cult following in the US, including a healthy quota of celebrities such as Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, and his work at Bally will no doubt attract more devotees.

In addition to the footwear line, which thankfully includes the odd pair of flats, Atwood has also had a hand in Bally's summer-clothing capsule collection that channels an LA boho vibe; Sienna Miller was recently seen in a pair of its trousers.

Those on more modest budgets than Ms Miller will be pleased to hear the Bally collaboration also represents a chance to get your hands on, or perhaps your feet in, some of Atwood's designs at prices much more affordable than his main line.