Credit: Instagram @jenhawkins_

She’s well known for showcasing designer dresses on the red carpet and her own swimsuit designs on social media, but the fashion trend Jennifer Hawkins intends to wear most when summer ends is far less dramatic, but most certainly on trend.

“What I’m loving most [for Autumn] is soft-washed light denim with frayed or distressed edges,” the long-time face of department store Myer told GRAZIA. “I even love double denim. I’m like: what’s happening to me?” she added with a laugh before rehearsals for the department store’s much-anticipated Autumn/Winter 2017 fashion launch, an exclusive black tie dinner held tonight for 128 VIP celebrity and media guests in a grandiose underground car park detailed with ornate stonework at the University of Melbourne. 

And it seems that Hawkins isn’t the person in her household who prefers her in laid-back jeans over sexy eveningwear. “I live up the Northern Beaches [of Sydney] where you can get away with denim if you’re going out for dinner. Jake [Hawkins’ husband of several years] is always skewing me with, ‘Oh, wear your jeans!’ He loves me in jeans, so I’m dressing in them a lot now.”

Despite her love for off-duty denim, tonight guests at the Myer event will see Hawkins dazzle in two spectacular gowns by Australian designers any women would dream of owning. She will open the dramatic show wearing a ’70s-inspired gothic look dress by Alex Perry and close in a Toni Maticevski gown made of fabric resembling silver foil.

Between her two runway walks, 30 models will showcase more than 100 other looks by 16 Australian and international designers, in an intimate space lit by 170 candles and the headlights of a half dozen very chic black Tesla cars (Myer has just announced it will sell the electric vehicles in two of its key stores).

“The architecture in this very old university car park space is mind-blowing,” says Hawkins. “I had never heard of [this location] before, but walking in I thought to myself: I bet many more people do events here after this.This venue is incredible, so the contrast of making the show a pared down dinner is an interesting contrast.”

Trends that will also be showcased in tonight’s show include romantic Victorian, military utility, eighties glamour and darker-based florals for women, and coordinated separates and suiting for men.

Guests will include Myer ambassadors Jodi Anasta and Lauren Phillips, designers Toni Maticevski, Alex Perry, Johnny Schembri, Yeojin Bae and renowned jeweller Christie Nicolaides, and celebrities Lindy Klim, Andy Lee, Elyse Knowles, Amanda Shadforth, Eleanor Pendleton, Brooke Testoni and Nadia Bartel.

GRAZIA travelled to Melbourne for the show as a guest of Myer.