David Jones may have ended its association with the Australian Turf Club last year, but that didn’t stop the fillies coming out in force for the department store’s autumn racing ladies’ lunch.
Three generations of Packer women – Roslyn, Gretel and Francesca – hosted Friday’s joint venture with Crown Resorts to launch the department store’s autumn racing collection in Sydney on Friday.
Colour defines fields fashion, and the colour was purple at David Jones’ Elizabeth Street store in the form of mood lighting and sprigs of lavender hanging from the ceiling.
Guests included actress and domestic violence victim Rachael Taylor, who represented the White Ribbon Foundation, the domestic violence prevention organisation to which all funds were donated.
Also attending were model Sarah Murdoch, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s daughters Bridget and Frances, and AFL star and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes.
As they munched on a four-course meal, prepared in an open kitchen by Neil Perry and Guillaume Brahami, the models got to work.
Jessica Gomes, who replaced Miranda Kerr as David Jones’ fashion ambassador last July, arrived in a white Celine dress but promptly changed into a hot pink Victoria Beckham number and catwalked between the tables.
The tight high-wasted pencil skirt and matching top was oddly at ease with the accompanying tangerine fascinator.
Gomes, Montana Cox and other models showcased the latest range, which includes both international and Australian designers.
Colour played a mainly supporting role to black and neutral shades in the form of accessories.
Hugo Boss stayed sleek with wide-brimmed hats and a touch of floral, while Dolce and Gabbana added coin prints to a flowing black dress topped with a gold headpiece.
Armani came in aqua, Lanvin in patent leather, and Valentino via a leopard print dress paired with giant gold chain.
Stella McCartney was more vivacious, with a red and white floral dress, before Gomes took it home with a black pant suit by Saint Laurent Paris.
The 28-year-old model said she loved how Australian women had access to international brands.
“It’s the time of year everyone gets to dress up, put a frock on and wear a fascinator,” Gomes told AAP.
“It’s all about the ladies and feeling fabulous.”
Representing the men in style were 22-year-old identical twin models Zac and Jordan Stenmark.
“Double-breasted is definitely making a comeback – not that it ever left,” said Jordan, who wore a grey double-breasted Hugo Boss suit.
“And pocket squares. The detail in the pocket squares is the next thing.”
Zac said men’s fashion was all about dressing to reflect individual personality.
“The great thing about a suit is you can have so many of your own little styles,” he said.
“You can have more fun with it. Or you can be a bit more proper because that’s you.”
At the end of the lunch, 2004 Australian Idol runner-up Anthony Callea performed the song Feeling Good, backed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.