Bridget and Frances Abbott on show. Photo: Belinda Rolland
Unlike their father - in some circles - Frances and Bridget Abbott are still very much in fashion.
While Bassike's Birkenstocks and socks combo was a highlight on the runway at David Jones' Autumn/Winter 2014 preview this week, Australia's first daughters were the most sought-after pair on the red carpet. Even veteran red carpet coverer, Nine's Richard Wilkins, could barely contain his excitement and took to photobombing an interview being conducted by his Today colleague, and host of the parade's official livestream broadcast, Emma Freedman.
The ladies, who were Abbott's best accessories in his election campaign last year, appear to now be taking the advice of their father's former adversary, Julia Gillard, and are moving forward to carve out a path of their own.
"I'm actually graduating from the Whitehouse in two weeks so I'm really excited about what's next," 22-year-old Frances told PS.
No, she isn't being groomed for a future in politics in that building in Washington: the creative spirit is soon to be a graduate of Sydney's Whitehouse Institute of Design and is hoping to break into the fashion industry.
The usually unflappable Frances, who's charmed the likes of Prince Harry since the move to Kirribilli, was excited to spot her mentor and lecturer, designer Camilla Freeman-Topper, in the front row.
Wearing a new season navy Camilla & Marc sleeveless jumpsuit, she said, "I'm so excited to see Camilla here. She's one of my favourites at school."
Meanwhile, younger sister Bridget, decked out in a croc-leather-looking Gary Bigeni skirt and navy blouse, is busy planning "The Festival of Bridget" as she prepares to celebrate her 21st birthday in the coming days.
"I'm hoping to stretch it out to be two weeks of celebrations, with lots and lots of dinners with friends and family here in Sydney," Bridget said.
The youngest Abbott's coming of age will also be the dawn of a new era for the close-knit family as Tony and Margie prepare to join the empty-nesters club.
Frances, who is planning to migrate south after graduating, said, "I'm not too sure what avenue I'm going to take with my career so I'm going to try something new, move to Melbourne and do what people my age do and discover myself."
After catching the travel bug during a recent family holiday to France's snowfields and Paris, Bridget plans to head offshore for the majority of 2014.
"I'm going to travel, figure things out, get some direction. I'm not too sure where I'll go and for how long. I guess I'll just see what happens," she said.
This ''carpe diem'' attitude was as prolific as the baby bumps and spray tans also spotted at DJ's first glitzy event of the year.
Face of the retailer, Jessica Gomes, is looking forward to "working hard and living the dream" after having an enjoyable start to the year.
"It's the year of the horse in Chinese New Year, so it's a good one, so just run wild," Gomes said.
While the Abbott daughters, The Great Gatsby breakout star Elizabeth Debicki, designer Kym Ellery and star of Nine's new series Love Child Jessica Marias were a welcome addition to the DJs f-row, there were some noticeable notables missing from the front line.
As hues of midnight blue came down the catwalk on Level 7 on Elizabeth Street, power publicist, author and Celebrity Apprentice favourite Roxy Jacenko was too busy burning the midnight oil at her PR firm's headquarters to attend.
Devout fashion lover, chief supporter of local labels and possible newlywed, Lara Bingle, was also missing in action. According to her Instagram account she missed the parade as she was sunning herself in the Maldives. However, as the Bollinger was being poured at the after party, she posted a new photo showing she was back on home turf, being fitted for a Dion Lee gown ahead of her red carpet debut with beau Sam Worthington at Thursday night's AACTA awards.
Andrew Hornery is on leave. Jenna Clarke is editor of TheVine.com.au.