All eyes will be on Megharn Markle during her Australian tour. Picture:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
All eyes will be on Megharn Markle during her Australian tour. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

How Meghan will change Aussie fashion

PEOPLE will stare and the one thing that you can be sure of ahead of Harry and Meghan's royal tour of Australia - the Duchess of Sussex will make it worth their while.

All eyes will be on Markle's wardrobe during her visit Down Under and style experts are tipping Zimmermann, Camilla and Marc, and Ralph & Russo to feature prominently.

Markle once wore $32,000 worth of clothes and accessories in a matter of hours, during a day of back-to-back royal engagements.

From Miu Miu to Givenchy, and J. Crew to Goat - whatever the Duchess of Sussex wears sells out almost immediately, with her influence dubbed the "Meghan effect".

The Duchess is expected to have at least two to three outfit changes per day during her packed itinerary as she travels the country with her new husband, Prince Harry.

Meghan’s Hugo Boss green leather pencil skirt was a hit when she visited Chichester in her  namesake  county of Sussex. Picture:  Heathcliff O'MalleyGetty Images
Meghan’s Hugo Boss green leather pencil skirt was a hit when she visited Chichester in her namesake county of Sussex. Picture: Heathcliff O'MalleyGetty Images

The trip is of particular significance because it is the Suits actor-turned-royal's first trip Down Under since marrying Prince Harry in May.

And style experts predict the newly-minted Duchess to wear "sculptured pieces" and "demure cuts" that "play to her figure".

Zimmermann, Camilla and Marc, Scanlan & Theodore, Dion Lee and Alex Perry are among the local designers tipped to be worn Meghan during her first official trip to the country as a member of the British royal family.

The Duchess opted for a coat from Macakge over a white Victoria Beckham top and green skirt designed by Toronto brand Greta Constantine  during  a surprise visit  to Belfast.  Picture:  Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The Duchess opted for a coat from Macakge over a white Victoria Beckham top and green skirt designed by Toronto brand Greta Constantine during a surprise visit to Belfast. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Known for teaming designer pieces with occasional high-street labels, the Duchess may also be drawn to Bec & Bridge and Viktoria + Woods, according to a top stylist.

The Duchess is expected to wear at least two to three outfits per day - which is a lot of ensembles.

Meghan  showed her thrifty side with a J. Crew coat teamed with skinny black Aleaxander Wang trousers on a visit to Birmingham. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Meghan showed her thrifty side with a J. Crew coat teamed with skinny black Aleaxander Wang trousers on a visit to Birmingham. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

On a royal tour of Dublin, Meghan wore outfits totalling $32,000 … in just three hours.

Her cashed-up wardrobe included a Roland Mouret dress, Fendi bag and Givenchy belt, as she returned to her glamorous Hollywood style.

She started the day wearing a grey dress, which featured a boat-style neckline, and cost $2689 by Roland Mouret.

Bucking usual royal tradition of teaming outfits with tiny clutches, she accessorised the look

with an expensive Fendi bag ($5181, dubbed the Peekaboo Essential bag).

The Duchess of Sussex turned heads in  a Roland Mouret dress as she met Ireland’s President during her trip to Dublin.
The Duchess of Sussex turned heads in a Roland Mouret dress as she met Ireland’s President during her trip to Dublin.

She added a set of $16,000 diamond earrings by Birks.

The glamorous former actor has already shown support for Australian designers - support which will continue once she touches down in Sydney next week.

The style queen showed her impeccable taste during her trip to Ireland. Picture:  Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images
The style queen showed her impeccable taste during her trip to Ireland. Picture: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images

In April, Meghan wore a blazer by Sydney-based duo camilla and marc (the "Marguerite" blazer, priced at $699), thrown over her shoulders as if it was a cape, on top of a belted off-white dress.

Meghan Markle’s style has been described as  sophisticated and classic. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle’s style has been described as sophisticated and classic. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

She teamed the structured black jacket with an Oroton cross-body bag (it sold-out), to attend the Commonwealth Youth Forum reception in London.

Designer Camilla Freeman-Topper, of Camilla and Marc, described Meghan's style as "classic".

"It was beautiful to see Meghan in our tailoring," Freeman-Topper said in a statement to News Corp Australia.

"Her style is sophisticated and classic and she epitomises the Camilla and Marc woman."

Meghan Markle was backing Aussie designers with her Camilla and Marc blazer teamed with an Oroton bag at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Meghan Markle was backing Aussie designers with her Camilla and Marc blazer teamed with an Oroton bag at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

No matter what labels the Duchess of Sussex wears, her clothing choices while in Australia will receive global attention, having a huge impact on trends and sales of the garments.

So what would Meghan's sartorial approval mean to an Australian designer?

Elizabeth Abegg, co-founder of Byron Bay-based label Spell, said dressing Meghan would be a huge coup for any local designer.

"It would be incredible if something like that happened," Abegg said.

"The sort of reach you could get from that kind of celebrity would be priceless."

Meghan wore an Alexander McQuen suit for her first red carpet appearance with Prince Harry at the Endeavour Fund Awards Ceremony at Goldsmiths Hall in February. Picture:  Ben Stansall/Getty Images
Meghan wore an Alexander McQuen suit for her first red carpet appearance with Prince Harry at the Endeavour Fund Awards Ceremony at Goldsmiths Hall in February. Picture: Ben Stansall/Getty Images

Celebrity stylist Elliot Garnaut agreed, saying there is "no denying the Meghan effect".

"It comes with adoration in its simplest form - we want to look like the people we aspire to.

"She has really set a precedent for being a stylish woman in the public eye," he said.

Garnaut predicted Meghan would be occasion-appropriate during her trip to Australia, adhering to the strict royal dress code.

"Since marrying Harry, Meghan has become a lot more refined in her dress sense," Garnaut said.

"She is having to play it a bit more demure. And I think she'll look to (Australian) designers that are reflective of her and of that dress code."

Regardless of who she wears, Meghan’s personal style will be hugely influential to Australian women. Picture: Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Regardless of who she wears, Meghan’s personal style will be hugely influential to Australian women. Picture: Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Part of that dress code means being royal-appropriate in the amount of skin she shows.

"Wearing figure-hugging garments is a way that Meghan has still shown us her sexiness without having to be too overtly sexy," Garnaut said.

"It translates to a woman's wardrobe - you don't necessarily need to be all out there, showing it all off to be sexy. And I think that will really sell as well."

With her arrival now only days away, what with Meghan wear when she is out and about on our shores?

The Duchess's team may turn to Dion Lee for fitted midi skirts and dresses, Garnaut said.

"Dion is Australia's answer to a designer like Roland Mourant, with sculptured pieces and contemporary fabrics," Garnaut said. "I think Dion could be a frontrunner."

The Duchess of Sussex is know for elegance grounded in practicality, Melbourne designer  Helen O’Connor says. Picture: Samir Hussein/WireImage
The Duchess of Sussex is know for elegance grounded in practicality, Melbourne designer Helen O’Connor says. Picture: Samir Hussein/WireImage

He said Meghan's team may be drawn to Scanlan & Theordore's signature crepe knits, which are a "suitable fabric for a royal tour - dressy enough to be respectable … but contemporary enough to be seen as quite trendy".

Add to that Viktoria + Woods (for "respectable hemlines" and "relaxed suiting") and Bec & Bridge's shift dresses, Garnaut said.

"I think we'll see her in linen-type fabrics and relaxed fits, just to play to the season they're arriving to in Australia - it's spring," he added.

Regardless of who she wears, Meghan's personal style will be hugely influential to Australian women, especially in the lead up to the spring racing and party season.

Helen O'Connor, designer of Melbourne-based brand Thurley, said the Duchess was "influencing women to rethink the way they dress", moving away from relaxed dressing to more put-together looks.

"Australian women are dressing casually … opting for comfort over formality," O'Connor said.

"I feel the tide is turning and we have Meghan Markle to thank for that. She has set the perfect example of how to dress in a way that is relevant to the way we live our lives, but with elegance that is grounded in practicality," O'Connor said.

"The way she plays by, but also plays with, the royal dress code appeals to the Australian women's sensibility - in that we love our fashion but don't take ourselves too seriously."



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