Queen Gee. The Australian designer with the right royal touch
Having dressed Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Australian designer Karen Gee has earned the right to compare herself with luxury labels such as Stella McCartney and Gabriela Hearst. Instead, Gee turns to fast food for inspiration.
"I've always related to something like Coca-Cola or Kentucky Fried Chicken," Gee says proudly, as she prepares to launch her first ready-to-wear collection. "There are key ingredients to my dresses that people can copy, but they don't know all the elements involved."
Before 2018, few people knew about Gee, or her recipe for streamlined dresses offering sophistication without stuffiness. The former Mrs Australia Globe pageant winner had started her label four years earlier, with the assistance of one pattern maker and modern technology making up for no formal fashion training. "You can do a lot with Google," she says.
Then along came Meghan, wearing Gee's deceptively simple-looking white shift Blessed dress, on a visit to Australia immediately following the announcement of her first pregnancy.
Despite the Meghan-effect, which pushed international sales of Strathberry handbags and Outland jeans during her brief stint as a working royal, it has taken Gee six years to capitalise on the more affordable ready-to-wear collection launching on her website this weekend.
Meghan Markle's decision to wear Australian designer's dress sparks website meltdown
Australian designer Karen Gee's website briefly crashed on Tuesday morning after the Duchess of Sussex stepped out in one of her dresses.
The "Blessed" dress, worth $1,800, was worn by the Duchess on the first day of the Royal visit to Sydney.
The website described the dress as "a simple, structured fit designed to contour the body for a sleek silhouette".
Interest in the design spiked around 9:00am according to Google Trends data with not just Australians but American and Canadians showing an interest in the Royal's choice of wear.
People that attempted to purchase the dress got error messages, as the website was inundated with people logging on.
Shelley Craft wears KG
LVMH-Owned DFS Group Debuts Resort Galleria Concept In New Zealand
DFS Group—which is privately held and majority owned by French luxury conglomerate, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), alongside DFS co founder and shareholder Robert Miller—says that additional brands and concepts will be added to the store leading up to a grand opening event in March.
The opening weekend activity included local artist, Jessica Winchcombe, creating custom abstract artwork live in-store that customers were able to bid on with all proceeds going to the not-for-profit Sustainable Queenstown.
DFS Group also announced a partnership with designer Karen Gee, best known for her made to-measure garments. Customers visiting the store are able to book a session with the Australian designer to create their own bespoke pieces.
First established in Hong Kong in 1960, DFS Group has since developed a network of 55 duty free stores in 13 global airports, the latest in Chongqing, China, plus its 24 Galleria locations. T Gallerias are presence in the United States, across Asia, Europe, Oceania and the South Pacific.
Inside Jodie Haydon’s $10,000 makeover as Australia’s ‘First Lady’
Now that she’s the unofficial First Lady of Australia, Jodie Haydon has seen a wardrobe upgrade that includes designer pieces and custom-made dresses.
The Labor Party has confirmed that Ms Haydon’s wardrobe is a privately funded affair and neither unions, the ALP or taxpayers are picking up the tab. But it’s a political tightrope act amid a cost of living crisis, a lesson Mrs Obama found out the hard way when she was busted wearing a pair of $540 Lanvin sneakers to a food bank.
Ms Haydon’s new wardrobe includes a range of Australian designed Carla Zampatti suits and Karen Gee dresses that retail for $2100 for a custom made item.
As the designer Karen Gee’s Instagram account now confirms, it was a custom dress that Jodie Haydon wore to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London.
“Thank you again for giving me the privilege of wearing an Australian made and designed piece like this for such an important occasion. I felt so proud to be wearing it,’’ Ms Haydon wrote in reply.
"Global girl is a powerful compilation that showcases the journeys of brilliant individuals who are inspiring the world. I loved Annick Donat's journey from trauma to self-realisation and the way she shines the light on the power of returning to a place of 'I AM enough' to guide her way.
Congratulations on your words they're truly beautiful!"
- Bronwen Sciortino, International Author & Speaker
"Karen is an incredible powerhouse and a true supporter of women. She inspires us to be brave, believe in ourselves and go for our dreams. By being who she truly is, Karen paves the way for us to be who we truly are. And what a gift that is !"
- Sally Obermeder, CEO, SWIISH.com