Rome — Fernanda Gattinoni, a designer who contributed to building the image of Italian fashion, died Tuesday morning at the Umberto I hospital here after suffering heart failure. She was 96.
Gattinoni designed under her own label since the Forties, and was active in her namesake business until her death. In fact, she was adding the finishing touches to the wedding dress of Elisabeth De Balkany, the daughter of Maria Gabriella di Savoia, just before she died. Her business was mainly devoted to private clients, and Guillermo Mariotto will stay on as creative director.
Weddings and high-profile events were Gattinoni’s forte, but if the slightest detail were out of place, she instinctively made amends.
The guests that crowded St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican for the wedding between Princess Maria José of Belgium and Umberto di Savoia, the future King of Italy, were impressed when 10 minutes before the ceremony, Gattinoni tore the sleeves off the bride’s dress because they didn’t fit right.
Gattinoni believed in the "no guts, no glory" motto, which she proved by turning down Coco Chanel’s offer to join her Paris atelier in the Twenties, and went on to form her own house.
In the late 1940s, she moved into a 10,800-square-foot atelier here, where 120 seamstresses meticulously crafted elegant clothes. In the Fifties and Sixties, she designed film costumes, including Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe for "War and Peace," which earned her an Oscar nod for best Costume Designer.
In her heyday, the designer dressed celebrities the caliber of Kim Novak, Ava Gardner, Ingrid Bergman and Anna Magnani.
Gattinoni has no survivors. Her son, Raniero Gattinoni, also a designer, joined her in the mid-Eighties when the house expanded to include ready-to-wear clothes in its collections. He died in 1993. A funeral is slated for today at the S. Maria del Popolo church in Rome.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)