Fernanda Gattinoni was born in Lombardy region in northern Italy.
It was in 1924 that she was in London from a well known family to learn English. She used to play the organ and piano at the St. Peter’s Italian church. By the time she had also begun her career as a stylist in Molineaux Atelier, first of its kind in Europe. It is from here that she learned the art of dress making. She was so fond of that that she decided to make her career in the same favorite flair of hers.
By the year 1930, she left London and came back to Italy. She soon got engaged as an art director together with well known Madame Anna, by Ventura.
In 1934 a branch of Ventura was opened in Roma and Fernanda was handed over the charge, again, along with Madame Anna to look after it. Her fame grew and grew. Everyone began to recognize the flair within her.
When in Italy, she moved on into collaboration with Ventura Tailors located in Milan. She quickly moved up to become the creative director there. Gattinoni was by then sequentially transferred to a new location in Rome. It is here that she met Isa Miranda. The meeting brought about a lucky turn around where the actress wanted Fernanda to design the dresses for her entire cast in her film in 1939. The film was ‘Hotel Imperial.’ It was an instant hit and everybody approved of the costumes. This brought her her next success when she also designed the clothing for ‘Adventure Diamonds,’ in the subsequent year.
By 1945 she wanted to open an atelier of her own. Since art was much related to cinema and theatre alike, many personalities from various fields came to her. They include personalities like Visconti Guttuso, Zeffirelli and many others. Fernanda’s first model actress Clara Calami was signed for green velvet that instantly became the star of the show. Marche soon became a familiar and sought after name to reckon with.
Rome had become synonymous with cinema. There were about 25 full time embroiders for making wedding dresses in the Gattinoni fashion house. The Persian Shah Sisters had their wedding dresses designed by the creative hands of the atelier. By 1960, Fernanda Gattinoni had created an Empire style collection that redefined her name in the entire world.
It is well about this time that Evita Peron arrived from Argentina and the famous actor Ingrid Bergman carried a kit for every one in her films. The film ‘War and peace’ saw Audrey Hepburn dressed up by Fernanda. After this many personalities like Belinda Lee, Kim Novak, Angie Dickinson and Ivonne Sansone visit Gattinoni's atelier soon. Gattinoni is welcome in all embassies by ambassadress Zellerbach, Clare Booth Luce, Bancher, Jackie Kennedy and Lee Reinhard.
At the age of 95, the world saw the sad demise of the Italian fashion designer. She was most talked about for creating stunning and elegant dresses that were really adored by Ingrid Bergman and Audrey Hepburn. Until her death Gattinoni was involved actively in the ventures of her house of fashion. She was one among the first to be considered as the costume designer in the Italian film industry during the fifties and sixties. She won acclaim for her costumes that adorned Audrey Hepburn in the film ‘War and peace.’ And by then her dresses were the most sought after by the actresses of the day.
This legacy of high fashion dressing still continues to adorn the fashion-conscious folk of the world.
Deborah Caprioglio, Olivia Magnani, Guillermo Mariotto, Ela Weber, Lady Diana Spencer, Marina Ripa di Meana, Milly Carlucci, Monica Vitti, Paola Cortellesi, Sabrina Rerilli, Charlotte Rampling, Joan Collins, Anna Marchesini, Valeria Marini, Letizia Casta, Alessandra Martines, Sabrina Ferilli, Irene Pivetti, Creta Scacchi, Anna Magnani, Lucia Bos, Rossella Falk, Alida Valli, Franca Faldini, Silvana Pampanini, Luciana Paluzzi, Giulietta Masina, Rina Morelli and Gina Lollobrigida