RENATO BALESTRA the real patriarch of Italian fashion was showing his latest collection Spring-Summer 2017 as all the other designers participating in Altamoda Roma ( Roman Fashion week) in a gloomy looking recently modernized former military barracks. But what a difference his show made compared to the other ones! The high society of Rome flooded the huge room making it look irresistibly glamorous and expensive. Beautiful ladies of various ages all looking young fresh from under the esthetic surgeons’ knives were wearing immense diamonds and fur coats of unusual colours. Many of them were wearing Renato Balestra dresses and were accompanied by elegantly dressed noble gentlemen whose looks made every woman’s heart beat quicker thinking of the unpredictable possibilities that might expect her in this eternal city.
Yes, the audience differed dramatically from that of other shows, even the journalism brotherhood looked different, more solid and composed. The hall was fully packed and the grade of anticipation was rising when a sudden turmoil attracted everybody’s attention. Accompanied by a number of assistants and photographers a young lady was trying to get through the crowd. It was difficult to immediately identify the personality as everybody got agitated and tried to see and understand what was happening. “ Who could that be? Anne Wintour in Rome? Julia Roberts or maybe Sofia Loren herself?” – the crowd was whispering. The amount of the press around this ‘mystery woman’ was indeed impressive. No glamour celebrity, the arriving lady was no other than the mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi who was seated right in front of me, but in the first row, just next to Carla Fendi. In a few minutes the lights went down and everybody’s attention was on the runway.
The very first model that appeared on the podium made the whole audience give out a deep sigh of excitement. It was the Spring itself! Young slender model was wearing a cascade of pleated chiffon dress displaying full spectrum of colours in the collection: a Botticelli Venus with coloured petals in her hair.
The flow of flowers is filling in the runway. Every new creation looks like a wonderful fairytale-like outfit, tiny plisse and taffeta embellish lightweight jackets, cocktail dresses and evening gowns. All of the garments look fresh and absolutely new in their various pastel colours. Every dress is being met with loud applause from the public who keep their breath and cannot wait for the next model to appear. Main colours of the collection are definitely pastel and emerald green which is absolutely everywhere in this truly beautiful show. Violet also rules and the amazing embroidery on the sleeves of one of the dresses makes the chic audience break in an applause.
The romantic, sophisticated and sensuous parade of culminates in a tulle dress its bodice being decorated with embroidery of roses in numerous multiple shades. As the lights come down the bride comes on the runway. She looks like a fairytale princess in immaculate mikado and chantilly lace her hair adorned with a numerous white flowers. That is how a bride should be – a real princess in the eternal Balestra.
By the end of the fashion show appears the Man himself – Renato Balestra, looking slim and extremely youthful in his elegant blue suit and walking next to his model. An authentic living legend in fashion business, Renato Balestra is actually 92 years old which makes his achievements in fashion business extremely impressive.
The fashion crowd stands up to applaud to the fashion legend Balestra, and the Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi grants him with a special achievement in fashion business award on behalf of Altamoda Roma and his city – Rome. He doesn’t waste time complimenting Rome on having such a young and beautiful Mayor. With his amazing new collection Renato Balestra proves once more that creative work and achievements are possible at any age and that 92 is just a number.