Everyone knows about Myer’s long association with racing, especially the Fashions on the Field competition at Flemington racecourse.
But this summer, the department store also wants to be the one-stop shop for party dressing.
For this reason, Myer is splitting its season launch into two parts next week: a lunchtime soiree featuring international and premium brands, followed by a beach bash with the best of street, swim and party.
Jennifer Hawkins in Asilio for Myer’s 2017 summer campaign.
Myer has been investing heavily in the youth market for several years, recently signing Forever New and sponsoring Katy Perry’s 2018 Australian tour.
And while its investment in the failed Topshop franchise has left a dent in its balance sheet, the fashion team is focused on what’s coming up for summer.
Karen Brewster, executive general manager of merchandise, said after a difficult few months, the store had a renewed focus on delivering “amazing fashion and accessible fashion”.
“Most people who come into our stores to buy fashion are shopping for an event,” she says. “We have the largest range of dresses in Australia. Spring racing is a key anchor point, but post spring racing there’s a huge party and night scene.”
Here’s a sneak preview of what will be revealed at next week’s launch:
Jennifer Hawkins in sass & bide for the Myer summer 2017 campaign.
Denim: 1990s and 1970s
Brewster says denim is stronger than ever at Myer, with new brands including Rollas and an “elevation” of Melbourne-based Nobody denim.
“We want to own that space. It’s about pairing great jeans with great tops. There is quite a large denim trend going on,” she says.
As well as younger brands, Webster says there is a resurgence of heritage brands such as Levi’s, including the iconic 501.
Micro trends in denim include ankle-grazer jeans that are fringed or flared, embroidery, and the return of the denim jacket as a wardrobe statement piece.
Tip: If you have a denim jacket that’s more staple than statement, consider having a custom design embroidered on it.
Swim: going troppo
Florals, fruit and fauna – these are the three F’s that will define swimwear this summer, according to Brewster.
“Last year we had an incredible resurgence of the one-piece. Think the same again but reworked, with a bit of Pamela Anderson-inspired high cut,” Brewster says. “And red is a huge colour.”
So expect lots of photos of Jennifer Hawkins in next Friday’s papers in the suit of the season, either by her own brand, Cosi, or Seafolly.
Myer is also launching Roxy swimwear for “the younger consumer who wants a bit of fun, who might buy two to four swimsuits a year”.
Look for micro-trends including ruffles, lace, embroidery and the dark floral print – one of the dominant patterns for the season.
Channel your inner Pamela Anderson for summer in red, or a high-cut swimsuit. Photo: PA
Party: bold shoulder
Collarbones will be out in force at the racetrack and during the party season as the one-shoulder dress and jumpsuit are set to dominate.
Think 1980s silhouettes, bold colours and a splash of halter action.
Brewster says for daytime parties, there’s a return to “honest shapes and fabrics”.
“[Designers are] using cotton, broderies, white and blue and shirt-style dressing. [For] natural fibres, think about brands like Skin and Threads, Anna Quan and Morrison,” she says.
Also look out for Vilshenko, a Russian brand stocked by the likes of Net-a-Porter that is joining Myer this summer and exemplifies the “luxury folk” trend.
Brewster says brands including Jonathan Simkhai, Acler and Maticevski will set the tone for summer.
“Not everyone can afford a Jonathan Simkhai dress but it gives inspiration of what’s to come,” she says.
Dark florals are the dominant print of the summer. Just ask actor America Ferrera. Photo: EPA
Get the look
Misha Collection, $380. Photo: Adam Flipp
We Are Kindred, $349.
Heidi Klum Swim, $179.
Christie Nicolaides, $289.
Skin and Threads x Zoe Foster Blake, $89.
Skin and Threads x Zoe Foster Blake, $198.