Designer Interview: Caterina Gatta

2.5 min read

Caterina Gatta has an infectious enthusiasm when it comes to all things creative. Starting out in 2008 using vintage fabrics from the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Versace and Valentino to create modern day delights, the Italian designer has since expanded to produce her own unique prints in arresting silhouettes. With influences that range from the Rococo extravagance of Marie Antoinette to the world of film, Gatta is firmly on the radar. 

By Natalie Trevis

Caterina Gatta spring/summer 2015.

Caterina Gatta spring/summer 2015.

Caterina Gatta spring/summer 2015.

Caterina Gatta spring/summer 2015.

We love the clashing patterns in the SS15 collection, tell us about the inspiration behind the collection.

Thank you! The inspiration for SS15 was Marie Antoinette. Since I was really young I’ve been always attracted to her story, she is an old heroine but in some ways really modern. I start studying an archive of original fabrics from the 1700s: my goal was to create something completely modern but with a vintage appeal.

How do these historical references inform your design?

I think the attention to the quality of the fabrics that I use is part of my blood now. I always start with the fabrics, then comes the rest. Working with those fabrics for years provides me with a cultural background.

What do you look for in a print or pattern and what is the process for creating one?

I start searching for the fabrics that I love most, then I start to think about a story and then comes the print or pattern. Only at the end do I think about the shape. 

Caterina Gatta spring/summer 2015.

Caterina Gatta spring/summer 2015.

A few your silhouettes are very exaggerated and structured – why does that appeal to you as a designer?

I really love when extra minimal designs are mixed with extravagance, when serious, funny and ironic all meet. Like us in life…we have serious, professional and funny sides.   

Who has been the biggest influence on your design aesthetic?

I don’t have just one big influence, it depends on the moment. One of my icons is Franca Sozzani. I love her timeless inner elegance. Then I love all the rock stars, so that’s why in all my collections you always see a bit of rock touch. I’m learning to play guitar and drums. Seriously I wanna be a rock star! [laughs]

I think also California is another constant inspiration, I love Los Angeles, I would love to do a fashion short film there super soon.

Did you always know that you would go into fashion or was there a defining moment?

I didn’t know. Since I was four years old I dreamed of being an actress. I grew up on set during high school, dreaming about making movies in Hollywood. I always had super big dreams…dreams don’t cost anything so why not make them bigger then ever?! This was my mantra!

From L to R: The designer Caterina Gatta and looks from the Caterina Gatta SS15 collection. All images courtesy of Caterina Gatta.

Who is the woman that wears Caterina Gatta?

She’s an independent woman, she chooses for herself, she plays with fashion but she’s not a fashion victim. She likes good quality and timeless pieces.

If you could choose a muse to represent your collection, who would it be?

I would choose Xavier Dolan [the French-Canadian filmmaker], I know he is male but he is my favorite artist now. Ok, it would be easier choosing to ‘dress his movies’ as his costume designer. Wait! There is a woman! Milena Canonero [the Italian costume designer who has won four Academy Awards, most recently for Grand Budapest Hotel]. She is a genius. A great woman. I’d love to collaborate with her one day.

Where in the world you are most inspired?

Los Angeles and New York, as well as Paris and London. I would love to go to Tokyo soon.

Caterina Gatta spring/summer 2015.

Caterina Gatta spring/summer 2015.

What do you think of fashion in the Middle East?

I think a lot of things are going on there. They pay a lot of attention to fashion now – think about how many Vogue Italia initiatives are growing there.

What’s next for Caterina Gatta?

Who knows? Things change every day, that’s the most exciting thing about my job!

For more Caterina Gatta, here’s a sneak peek at AW15…

Caterina Gatta AW15. All images courtesy of Caterina Gatta.