How Princess Diana's wedding dress, considered a model of modesty and chic, was created
How Princess Diana's wedding dress, considered a model of modesty and chic, was created

Diana Spencer, whom the whole world remembers as Princess Diana, married in a romantic dress reminiscent of the outfits of other times - modesty and romanticism, puffy sleeves, flowing neckline … It was invented by Gina Fratini, who seemed to have sewed dresses for fairy princesses all her life …

Romantic looks by Gina Fratini

Georgina Fratini was born in Japan in 1931. She spent her entire childhood in India and the Middle East - her father, Somerset Butler, 7th Earl of Carrick, was a titled colonial officer. Gina was educated at a private boarding school in Gloucestershire, and then studied at the Royal College of Art in London. In her last student year, she met the iconic African American dancer Katherine Dunham and toured half the world as her costume designer on a grand tour. She was only twenty-three years old when she married musician James Goldberg and prepared to lead the life of a respectable housewife, fully caring for her husband. She quit her job as a costume designer, but continued to customize beautiful dresses for her best friends. The marriage lasted seven years, but the couple quickly grew cold to each other. In 1961, Gina met the Italian illustrator Renato Fratini - under his name she was destined to become famous. Together with him, she fell into the whirlpool of London bohemia - night parties, dinners, meetings …

Outfits by Gina Fratini

Fratini started her own business in 1964. She had neither significant funds nor personnel - only a dream and perseverance. She bought scattered pieces of fabric, remnants of lace and braid. She did not have any clear concept - the main thing is that she liked these fabrics. Unusual prints, strange shades … So Gina began to sew beautiful cotton dresses, somewhat in the spirit of bygone centuries.

Models in dresses by Gina Fratini

She unmistakably guessed the birth of the trend for romanticism - and in many ways anticipated it. While pop art and futurism, nylon and polyester, mini and straight silhouettes reigned on the catwalks, several British women designers were creating a fairy tale with their own hands, including Gina Fratini. She strove to make things voluminous, long, free, and therefore sewed them from several canvases and cut them along the side. After just six years, she became one of the top designers in the UK (and divorced again).

Loose silhouettes of Fratini dresses became a sensation

Fratini loved cotton and silk - she began her creative career with these fabrics and did not plan to part with them. It was natural materials, especially soft and fluid, that reminded her of her childhood spent in the East. In addition, she used the most delicate tulle, weightless chiffon and lace. The most recognizable feature of her dresses was the lace trim on the sleeves, giving the dresses an old-fashioned charm. After a while, Gina's passion for vintage fabrics played into her hands - Fratini's things were almost impossible to fake.

Suit made of dress and trousers in oriental style

“I think you can dress up even if you go to the kitchen!” - said Gina Fratini. She defended the right of women to look the way they want - conservative or frivolous, "too dressy" or strange. There are not many reasons not to wear a dress with lantern sleeves and rows of lace if your soul asks for it!

Left - a modern model in a vintage dress by Gina Fratini

Along with Laura Ashley and Zandra Rhodes, Gina Fratini is one of the galaxy of key designers of the 70s and 80s who formed a special modern type of femininity with their outfits - freedom, romanticism, boundless imagination …

Fratini romantic evening and wedding dresses

Wonderful outfits from Gina Fratini were worn by many famous women - those whom the public simply idolized. A big fan of her work was the cult actress Elizabeth Taylor. Princess Diana often wore Fratini dresses - but that very modest and delicate wedding dress went down in history. Perhaps this dress was the best experience in her marriage to Prince Charles … Princesses Anne and Margaret also appreciated the Fratini dresses with their flowing, flattering silhouettes, and this brought Gina a new category of clients - middle-aged women who previously believed that all these “hippie "And" bohemian "tiered dresses are not for them.

Princess Diana's wedding dress

In 1989, the Fratini brand ceased to exist. A brand, but not a designer - Gina Fratini continued to work with private clients with whom she had a long friendship and creative collaboration, including with the British royal family. She worked on creating images for European films, worked with several well-known brands. Fratini was a wise mentor to young designers who, over the years, remembered with great gratitude her advice and guidance.

Fratini preferred the models to move, laugh and dance during filming

After three unsuccessful marriages (in the 1970s, Gina was married to Scottish comedian Jimmy Logan), in the early 90s, she finally connected life with what she called the main love of her life - the actor and composer Anthony Newley (he wrote "Goldfinger" and "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone, soundtrack to "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"). She had known him since the 50s, having fallen in love first with his on-screen image, and then, upon meeting, with himself. At first they were separated by circumstances, then numerous marriages became an obstacle - now his, then hers … However, they found each other - to be together for such a short time and at the same time as if for an eternity. After several years of cloudless happiness, Anthony's life ended, and everything Gina said about the first and last love story in her life was “it was perfect, but it ended too early.” After all, those were beautiful days in the Florida sun, full of tenderness and happiness - and Gina Fratini spoke with gratitude about that time. After his death and for the rest of her life, Gina was supported by an assistant, whom everyone knew as Marie - she maintained her everyday life, solved business issues, traveled with Fratini … They were often mistaken for sisters.

Left - a modern model in a vintage dress by Gina Fratini

Gina Fratini died on May 25, 1917 during her visit to Britain and was buried with her lover in Florida. Dresses created by Gina Fratini are not only featured on the pages of vintage fashion magazines, but are also kept in the collections of the largest costume museums.

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