Nestled in the historic Empire Times building on King William is Natasha Gatto’s studio, a quaint and cozy space where she creates one piece swimsuits, bikinis, and cover ups made-to-order under her year old brand, Gattina. The 26 year old Ancaster native studied fashion design at George Brown College. She sells her custom beachwear online on Etsy and has distributed to customers as far as Singapore.
“There are different summers in different countries so I’m definitely busy year-round,” she tells me as we chat in her brightly lit, ultra-feminine workspace — surrounded by the comforts of magazines, candles, and Starbucks.
Her fashion fan base is obvious: the sound of beeping Etsy notifications, mentions of her sisters and friends claiming their styles, and her love of rush orders for last minute vacations has Natasha busy and learning to work quickly.
Natasha has always loved fashion but thought she could work designing clothes without actually sewing them. Her mom bought her first sewing machine after she began altering high school uniforms by hand and her dad convinced her she needed to understand sewing fundamentals before designing. With the support of her family, Natasha starting sewing her own bikinis to wear in her pool and started making them for friends, too.
“The first one I ever made for myself was navy fabic with a gold chain instead of a strap. I still to this day love navy and gold. It was a bikini top and bottoms and nothing was sewn properly. It wasn’t even elastic but I still wore it,” she says.
Natasha has worked with Mikhael Kale and Hamilton-based Niko Apparel. Her swimsuits range from $100-$200 and she sources most of her fabrics from Hamilton.
From retro, coloured bikinis to sexy, black one pieces, Gattina’s designs are varied and can be completely customized. Her Spring/Summer 2015 collection includes a comfy, high-waisted, vintage-inspired bikini in nude, mint green, and pale pink, perfect for playing sports; a bold floral-on-black strapless bikini; and a mesh one piece with cut out sides.
This season, a higher cut leg is in — “the 80s will be back before you know it,” she predicts — and one pieces are making a comeback.
Natasha is falling in love with hot pinks and red hues right now, as well as floral and tribal prints. Solid colours and timeless shapes are always a favourite.
For her own beach days, Natasha likes swimsuits she can be active in.
“I like bikinis that you can go swimming and play volleyball in. And I always give people a removable strap. Ideally, I’d love to be on a beach by the ocean but I like going to Port Dover or Turkey Point with my friends. You can drive up – and the drive is always half the fun. We’d definitely be sneaking some booze on the beach. We go for the day or rent a little cottage for the night, that’s always my favourite.”
No need to dread bikini shopping again. Next time you’re off to the beach, look stylin’ in one of Gattina’s custom wares.
Locals are welcome to book a consultation or stop by the studio to shop off the rack. Or, contact Natasha here.