Swimwear designer keeps it simple
Hamilton designer expresses her feminine side in her swimwear line, but her personal style is minimalist, inspired by menswear.
Growing up in a big family can have its advantages — bigger teams on family game night, lots of opportunities for family bonding, that sort of thing.
But when three of your four siblings (including a twin) are women who wear the same size and have similar taste in clothing, it can be like hitting the wardrobe lottery. Add your mom to that mix and your winnings increase exponentially.
Such is the case for Natasha Gatto, 28, a local swimwear designer whose Gattina line has been featured in publications including Elle, Flare, and of course, The Spec.
With five women in the family, clothing purges and swaps are joyous events that have lavished upon her at least 50 per cent of her wardrobe.
But her taste leans toward minimalist and classic, she says, so she tends to pounce on T-shirts, jackets and jeans before anything else.
“I feel like I have a very androgynous style ... kind of inspired by menswear,” says Gatto, who started creating swimwear and women’s lingerie in high school at St. Thomas More before studying fashion design at George Brown College.
“I love button-ups. Just oversized button-ups: collared shirts. My friends make fun of me because I have so many in my closet. I’m always buying them for some reason, because they just look good with running shoes and jeans.”
I tend to splurge on beauty products, on makeup. I like more natural things. NATASHA GATTO
But even though many of Gatto’s swimsuit designs feature the clean lines and solid colours she favours in her wardrobe, she says Gattina is where she really expresses her feminine side. Ruffles, florals, brighter colours can all be found in her line, especially this spring/summer season, when flirty fashions seem to dominate the stores.
“I have a few pieces with some frills, off the shoulder, lace-up,” says Gatto, who sells ready-to-wear and custom suits at shops across the country, including at White Elephant locally, on Etsy and her website or by appointment at her studio in Hess Village. “There was a lot of lace-up in fashion last year, so I have a lot of swimsuits that are the lace-up, corset kind of style. So whatever is trendy in fashion comes into swimwear ...”
The Eve Gravel dress she bought at White Elephant and wears here is a bit of a girlie departure, she says, and something she might wear on a night out with friends, her new husband, or to one of the many bridal showers she’ll be attending this coming wedding season.
Sticking with the menswear theme, she grounds her look with black booties from Zara. And always a sucker for a great jacket, Gatto tops her outfit with an oversized blush pink sweater coat from Cos.
Most eye-catching piece: This dress (from White Elephant) is one of my most eye-catching pieces. Because I don’t wear anything that’s crazy … I love neutrals; blush pink is my favourite colour on me.
Quirkiest wardrobe item: I recently bought a brown suede fringe jacket from a
thrift store in Hamilton — Déjà Vu. It’s like a light brown suede bomber. It’s just short, to the waist, but along the whole back and then down the arms is this suede fringe. It’s really cute and it fits me perfectly. And I think it was a man’s jacket.
Wardrobe must-have: Button-ups. Collared button-ups. I love whites and blues.
Best purchase: I bought a white power suit from BCBG and I love it. I haven’t worn it too many times because you can’t wear that everywhere, but I think it’s a really clutch thing to have.
Regrets buying: Anything I buy on impulse. Because I like to think about what I need, I usually go to the mall knowing what I want to go get. I don’t like to go there and just browse, because then you end up overspending.
Loves to shop at: I like shopping local if I can — White Elephant, I love all the thrift stores in downtown Hamilton like Déjà Vu … I also love simple, classic styles; I love Club Monaco.
Ridding her closet of: Cheap items that I don’t wear. And if I haven’t worn it in five years, I’m getting rid of it … that includes a lot of hand-me-downs. There are a lot of good ones, but then there are some I just hate and never wear them so I’m kind of getting rid of them.
Splurges on: I tend to splurge on beauty products, on makeup. I like more natural things. Lush is one of my favourite brands — I buy a lot of creams from there. Mac makeup and then all-natural (products) like deodorant. It can be a bit more pricey, but it’s always worth it for me. Beauty product she can’t live without: Coconut oil. I use it for everything. I use it for moisturizer, shaving, makeup remover, if my skin’s irritated … I use it on a daily basis.
“I like simple,” says swimwear designer Natasha Gatto. “I’m not really drawn to anything crazy, loud.” The Eve Gravel dress she wears here and bought from White Elephant is something she’d wear on a night on the town or to a bridal shower, she says.
Swimwear designer Natasha Gatto says she loves classic, simple styles and neutrals in her own wardrobe. Blush pink, like the shade featured in this Eve Gravel dress from White Elephant, is one of her favourite colours.
Gatto, 28, says she uses coconut oil every day, as a moisturizer, makeup remover, even in her hair.
Sticking with the menswear theme, Gatto grounds her look with black booties from Zara.