A mysterious woman with oriental charm, her style and movements accompanied by a train of thought. She is waiting for a man. In the background, a luxurious hotel with bygone allure and the mild Los Angeles spring. This is not the latest film by a Hollywood director but a short film with a strong fashion flavour. And it is, in fact, how the young Roman designer Caterina Gatta has decided to present her collection. Because the idea of not presenting creations in runway shows, but through methods and features that take their cues from other worlds, like the cinema, in this case, is increasingly common among new fashion talent.
We asked Caterina to tell us something about her style and her passion for fashion. A passion that has grown over the years, nurtured by great determination and an unusual creative flair.
Caterina, where did you get the idea of a short film? Do you think the runway show is a thing of the past?
For us young designers, choices are dictated above all by our budget. Not everyone has the funds necessary to guarantee runway shows every season …They are so expensive! A short film or a flash mob not only cost less, but instantly engage with a much larger public. I think the best thing is, with time, being able to do both.
When did you decide that fashion could be your career?
I have always had a love of fashion, since I was a child, and I used to leaf through my mother’s old magazines. But until I was 20, cinema was more important.
My love for fashion grew with experience, knowledge of the sector and above all during my studies at university (Ed. Caterina graduated in Costume Design and Fashion).
I decided it should be my job when I saw it was how I could really express myself, something I could not do, for example, in acting courses, from which I would flee in tears because I never felt comfortable.
If you had to define your style and creativity, how would you describe it? Where did you get the idea to re-use vintage printed cloth for your creations?
It is a timeless, tongue-in-cheek and precious style. My creative side is rather neurotic. There is never one single nuance in the collection; there is always a mix of opposites, like romantic and dark. I got the idea in 2009 when I found a piece of cloth with Irene Galitzine branded on the selvage. I later decided to look for others, and I soon collected over 30 prints by over 15 famous designers. The idea began just out of curiosity and passion, and became something serious only after "Vogue Talents Corner" in Palazzo Morando in 2011. Before I also worked on other projects.
You have travelled a lot, you have had experiences abroad, yet you returned to Italy, why? Do you think that compared to other countries and other situations, Italy is still the place where you can express your talent?
I came back to Italy only for practical and financial reasons. While I was looking for fabrics around Italy, I was working in Rome and I built my collection in my own free time with the seamstresses in the city. It would have been impossible to do that abroad ... It is the same thing now with Castor as my manufacturer. I need to travel to Mantua very often to meet suppliers, and then I have appointments in Milan almost every week. It would be so much more complicated from abroad, especially for me with my fear of flying! In Italy, in reality, I have always felt restricted ... But I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled almost all over the world. I began when I was small, by spending holidays in Costa Rica, the Philippines, New Caledonia, Australia and New Zealand, which gave me a very open mind and enabled me to feel at home almost everywhere.
The best advice you have been given in your career and that you feel like sharing?
"Do whatever you please!”