Fashion, Fashion shows

Wynn Hamlyn Spring Summer 2017 at Gus Fisher Gallery

Wynn Hamlyn presentation of Spring Summer 2017 at Gus Fisher Gallery Thursday 17th March.


‘Wynn Hamlyn has arrived!’ trumpeted an influential fashion Instagram last Friday, the morning after the designer’s Spring/Summer ’17 show at the Gus Fisher Gallery.

Young Designer Wynn Hamlyn Crawshaw studied at Otago Polytech and AUT before launching his own label three seasons ago. He’s now selling via his own webstore as well as being carried by Fabric and Eugenie in Auckland and Caughley in Wellington.

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Crawshaw’s designs featured in the Choose Wool collection show at NZFW 2015 with Fashion Editor Dan Ahwa naming ‘everything by Wynn Hamlyn’ as highlights of the show. No surprise then, that the designer’s inaugural solo show was well attended – and he didn’t disappoint the loyal nor the curious.

A striking silk burnout print opened and featured through the small but rich show in two colours. It was alternately mixed and interspersed with a fine rib knit which stood out in a body-con polo dress. “I’ve been doing a lot of development in machine knitting with Remar Knitwear on the North Shore and I just draw crazy pictures and they know how to knit that kind of thing,” says the designer.

An intricate web-like lace was shown as a top and long tunic – with nothing underneath, as befits the young, beautiful and leading edge. In fact there was more non-knit than expected, and of that Crawshaw says, “Obviously I am learning a lot in the first couple of years doing this, and one of the biggest things is: knitwear’s not great for summer. That’s why the collection has so much cut and sew. I do still love knitwear, but I’m doing the cut and sew and loving it.”

Tailored pieces included a waisted long white shirt, short suit both sharp and feminine, and a plain version of the liquid silk skirt styled as a dress. That’s a lot of variety within one small show but it was redeemed by thoughtful styling. “Where there was a sportswear reference, it was tied to the more elegant looks through the print – a ‘modern connection,” as Crawshaw puts it.
The combination of languid silk shapes and updated classic knits generated a vintage Ralph Lauren vibe. Crawshaw tells he has an unusual challenge for a young designer: “There is an older sensibility in my design. It appeals to older clients and i have to work a little bit harder to be youthful.”

The show left me heartened that there is more fresh talent making its way through the ranks in the local scene (and imagining wearing one of those striking, sensuous silks).

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Julie Roulston

Photos Anupam Singh
17th March 2016


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