Balestra Renato (1924). Italian designer. He made his début in the 1950s. His very feminine fashion is characterized by the large use of silk. In his recent collections he has also used very modern fabrics marked by bright interwoven threads and combined with chiffon. A native of Trieste and a man of central European culture, he joined the world of fashion after studying engineering. A bet between friends convinced him to sketch a design, and it was thought so highly of that, without his knowing, it was sent to Milan and he was invited to collaborate on a collection for the fashion show in Florence.
Inspired by Jole Veneziani, the Fontana sisters and Schuberth, he opened his first atelier in Rome in 1960, on via Gregoriana, winning great success in America, in the Middle East, and the Far East. Among his most famous clients were Farah Diba and the Queen of Thailand. Today the house of Balestra is located on via Sistina and is particularly active. It has about thirty lines, from prêt-à-porter to men’s wear.
From 2000 to 2015
Balestra presented his Fall-Winter 2002-2003 collection in the Royal Palace of Caserta.
Then after being appointed honorary professor at the Academy of Fashion in Beijing, he published his book Alla ricerca dello stile perduto (Rusconi editore). He also designed the uniforms for the pilots of Philippine Airlines and for the Alitalia flight attendants. He hosted the TV program Rosa Chic (RAI Uno) and was a regular guest on the evening TV show Chiambretti c’è, with great success.
On August 1, 2008, there was the premiere of a great musical produced by Broadway and Asia Production entitled Cinderella, for which Renato Balestra designed 320 costumes. The show had a triumphal outcome for the designer who was invited to collaborate on other productions.
Then in 2009 the designer designed costumes for various theatrical performances. Moreover he collaborated with the Teatro Verdi in Trieste for the opening of the opera season. The costumes created by Renato Balestra for Strauss’ Knight of the Rose. His creations received a huge consensus from critics and audiences.
Renato Balestra is one of the first Italians to have drawn for Broadway.
In 2019 at the Certosa Museo San Martino in Naples the Celebluetion exhibition is staged. As the title of the exhibition mentions, in the historic meanders of the ancient building the blue Balestra is celebrated, a shade that has contributed to making the famous designer from Trieste famous throughout the world. It is a collection made up of 250 sketches and dresses that have the task of recounting the countless successes achieved by the designer since the 1950s. The traveling exhibition also makes a stop at the Fortino di Forte dei Marmi and in 2020, in Florence.
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