In Her Latest Collection, Catherine Gee Has Fun With Summer ’24 Designs While Maintaining Core Style
Designs from Catherine Gee’s eponymous brand have always signaled a blend of California coastal cool with elevated design sensibilities and a dedication to luxurious fabrications and manufacturing. The Santa Barbara, Calif., designer’s Summer 2024 collection retains the luxury for which Gee has become known, but the designer stepped away from her comfort zone with bright, unexpected prints—such as ladybugs and butterflies—and silhouettes, such as the loose, long-sleeve Aussie Long Dress maxi that provides fresh looks for her brand.
“It feels good. It’s important in design, life and work to take risks—calculated risks. I am not coming out with 30 new silhouettes, but they are a little more thoughtful,” explained Gee.
These new prints and colorways illustrate how Gee’s evolution as a designer has afforded a look at her playful side. The colors and patterns Gee uses for prints and color inspiration are often generated from unique sources, such as a picture of her own Peruvian quartz necklace that has been magnified to show the stone’s formerly microscopic features. Other unique prints include a horse-halter image applied to Gee’s core shirting design, the Daria, now in a shirtdress, and a sherbet swirl that appears on a shortened kimono, button-up shirt and long-sleeve Aussie Short Dress with scarf detail.
“I always like to have a motif that goes from collection to collection. The equestrians are art deco, and geometric prints like the one that morphed into the sherbet is very 1960s. The summer collection is a bit more retro, and I wanted that to come through on some of the dress silhouettes with a scarf,” said Gee. “The blues from Spring and Summer really speak to each other but are vastly different. Blue is my favorite color, so there is that groundedness of what I wanted to do.”
Within Gee’s summer silhouettes there is also a nod to the whimsical with styles such as the Olivia Plunge Dress, a sleeveless, empire-waist silhouette with details in ruffle and lace. Gee also updated her cargo-pant design in a sky blue, pairing the designer’s penchant for smart dressing with utility and fun.
Every Catherine Gee collection offers a glimpse at another facet of the designer’s personality, allowing her clients to know more every season. These glimpses are part of who she is and also her design evolution.
“As a private person, outside of my brand, it is inevitable that my personality comes through season after season,” explained Gee. “There is a feminine side and masculine side to all I create. My prints and colors illustrate the dualities of light and dark, stillness and movement. Every now and then, I insert a slightly twisted sense of humor!”