Swimwear de­signer keeps it sim­ple

Hamil­ton de­signer ex­presses her fem­i­nine side in her swimwear line, but her per­sonal style is min­i­mal­ist, in­spired by menswear.

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - SH­ERYL NADLER

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.

PHO­TOS BY SH­ERYL NADLER, SPE­CIAL TO THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

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.

SH­ERYL NADLER, SPE­CIAL TO THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Stick­ing with the menswear theme, Gatto grounds her look with black booties from Zara.

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