Dress designer who specialised in flattering, flowing garments that attracted princesses among her clientele
Textiles were not what fashion was about in the first half of the 1960s, when an adequately outrageous outfit could be extracted from a short, narrow length of Acrilan, Dicel or Bri-Nylon. That was not the style of Gina Fratini, who has died aged 85; her interest was in the stuffs themselves, preferably natural fibres, in quantity. She became a professional designer in 1964 and was ready with bolts of cotton and silk as skimpiness in synthetics peaked and lost novelty around 1967. Fratini then became an important player in a London-based, fabric-intensive, fantasy style over the next few years when it was unremarkable to go about daily business dressed as an illustration by Kate Greenaway, in an ample lawn smock with apron over matching pantalettes. Or a voile and lace teagown. Even after daywear returned to relative reality in the 1970s, Fratini kept an evening-wear clientele who felt safer after dark in her body-flattering drapery.