Rhuigi Villaseñor infused his Bally debut last September with effortless sexiness and West Coast swagger to spectacular effect; Sophisticated double-breasted pinstripe suits come out bowing. Last night in Los Angeles for his own label’s fall collection, he adopted a more familiar formula, playing with archetypes from his youth, notably fashion iconoclasts Pharrell and Gwen Stefani in early music, hip-hop and vintage shopping. style.
“It’s kind of like an exclamation point on all the code I’ve been building,” he said backstage before the show. “I would hang out at the gas station with my friends, dreaming of driving a nice car, building a brand, and living a life of luxury. I think my life moves so fast, it’s important to keep my feet on the ground and get back to basics, to my roots
This idea manifested itself in a number of literal ways, including a Rhude-branded Lamborghini that greeted guests, and a facsimile of the film’s gas station that served as a set (the Lamborghini partnership was also showcased on the runway represented by collaborative works). But it’s also in the way Villaseñor has updated some of his brand’s touchstones — baggy basketball short silhouettes, racing and varsity jackets, piping pajama shirts, tracksuits, and his now-signature herringbone prints. These weren’t just elements of a nostalgia trip, though; they had a sharper, crisper feel, from slim, slightly cropped jacket cuts to the elegant lines of baggy cargo trousers and denim work pants. If Villaseñor wants to play with the Y2K ideas of his childhood, now captivating Gen Z — he says he relies on his younger brother to help him understand what young consumers are interested in — he uses a deft hand and manages not to be too literal or sentimental , which is a wise move.
Some standout pieces are a handsome cadet style jacket with gold detailing on the sleeves, a sleek snakeskin coat layered over a half-pleated pajama shirt and a slim fit dark with matching boots Jeans, baggy knee-high distressed jeans, vintage red plaid puffer vests, knotty wool intarsia-knit zip-up hoodies reminiscent of Abercrombie & Fitch’s golden age, and ankle-length cargo pants paired with varsity jacket skirts. In recent seasons, Villaseñor has made his silhouettes more voluminous and uninhibited, but this collection took a more inclusive approach that was both elegant and uninhibited. Perhaps a little of the European dynamism of Bally’s studio is here, adding some sophistication to the California ease. “I’ve kept this regal stuff, my guy in a T-shirt and loafers,” he said. “He is a modern gentleman.”