She was born in Kobe, Japan, the daughter of the Hon. Somerset Butler, son of the 7th Earl of Carrick, and his wife Barbara, and spent most of her childhood in India. Her godfather was Sir Victor Sassoon. On her return to the UK, she studied at the Royal College of Arts. She set up her own business in 1964 and became one of the top British designers of the early 1970s, winning the Dress of the Year Award in 1975; some of her garments from the period are held in the Victoria & Albert Museum's costume collection. Among the top personalities who wore Fratini designs was Elizabeth Taylor, who wore a Fratini wedding dress for her second wedding to Richard Burton. Diana, Princess of Wales, also wore Fratini designs to public events.
Gina's first marriage was in 1954, to David Goldberg. They were divorced in 1961, and Gina married the Italian illustrator Renato Fratini, but they divorced in 1968. Finally, in 1969, she married James Alan Short, whom she divorced in 2001 although she was romantically involved with the actor Anthony Newley from 1993 onwards. The couple had known one another in the 1950s. Following Newley's death, Fratini was quoted as saying: "We came back together at the perfect time, I suppose ... But it ended too soon."
- Family tree
- Toledo Blade, 26 September 1973. Accessed 30 December 2012
- V&A: Collections
- Jan Leeming website, 18 February 2012. Accessed 30 December 2012
- Tom Tierney, Diana Princess of Wales Paper Doll: The Charity Auction Dresses, Dover Publications. ISBN 0486400158
- Film on Paper: Interview with Sim Branaghan, 10 February 2012. Accessed 30 December 2012
- BBC News: "Anthony Newley dies aged 67", 15 April 1999. Accessed 30 December 2012
- People archives: "The Curtain Falls on British Entertainer Anthony Newley, Who Conquered a Bleak Childhood, Broadway and Joan Collins's Heart", 3 May 1999. Accessed 30 December 2012