Dear Shaded Viewers,
Recently, Diane and I attended the show of 91-year-old Roman couturier Renato Balestra during the summer edition of AltaRoma. When we arrived at Maestro Balestra’s villa, Sabrina Baldi, the designer’s publicist, ushered us through a lush, verdant trellis-ed passageway, through the exceedingly muggy courtyard where rows of seated signoras who lunch frantically fanned themselves, and into the elegant demi-air-conditioned salon.
There we perched, languidly fanning ourselves with the obligatory Balestra Blue fans, discretely scrutinizing the suspiciously outsized maybe-diamond that adorned the finger of a young Middle-Eastern woman seated opposite us. A flame-haired Italian princess, HRH Marina Pignatelli, was seated to our left, resplendent in crisp, blinding white.
We waited in anticipation for what we expected to be a reiteration of the collection we saw at Santo Spirito in Sassia last year—an audacious outburst of ‘80s glamour with a dollop of Studio 54 chutzpah. While I enjoyed that collection, what Balestra showed this year was leaps and bounds beyond that, because it possessed an understated elegance; gorgeous, voluminous fabrics cut and draped with precision.
These are clothes that will travel effortlessly from dinner at Pierluigi to the roulette tables of Dubai—with a Negroni pitstop at Harry’s on the way to your private jet.
I positively palpitated in the presence of these plentifully pleated platinum palazzo pants. Perfecto!
Thanks for reading.