Renato Balestra Spring Summer Haute Couture at AltaRoma Janaury 2016. Text & photos by Glenn Belverio



Dear Shaded Viewers,

While one half of Roman society was attending the world premiere of Zoolander 2, a middlebrow goof fest designed to elicit guffaws from unfashionable Middle Americans, the other half was looking at gorgeous clothes.

This season, Maestro Renato Balestra was inspired by Athena, “mythical and beautiful goddess of the arts and wisdom” and the Greek sun. And while the Greek goddess gown is a bit of a cliché in couture design, Balestra breathed new life into Olympian garb with breathtaking swirls of orange hues and show-stopping gold embroidery. If I ever get my wish and the original Clash of the Titans is produced as a musical, Balestra is a shoe-in as the show’s costume designer. But for now, we can enjoy these heavenly creations as they float by on the decks of our yachts and across our palatial gardens—or peaking out beneath the hem of an abaya as the wearer dashes off to a private women’s ball.









Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio is a writer and New Yorker. He has been reporting for ASVOF since 2005 and currently works at The Museum of Modern Art as the Content Manager for MoMA Design Store.