ROME–The Trieste-born couturier to Asian first ladies and Saudi Arabian princesses, is a historic reference on Altaroma’s lineup. His spring summer 2015 collection conjured the spirit of “Venus on the Half Shell” with its pale evening gowns crafted with diaphanous swathes of tulle and silky cascades of embroidery and mermaid motif cocktail dresses. Sea foam frills and octopus-like tentacles swinging off of waistlines and shoulders called to mind the pelagic ocean floor. Skirted ensembles fashioned in shades of gold, celestial blue and beige, enforced the mermaid motif. Balestra’s unbridled affinity for over-the-top glamour didn’t disappoint.
— Bonnie Dain and Sofia Celeste