After taking us to the underground in Sydney’s abandoned tunnels last year, New Zealand brand Wynn Hamlin had set a high bar and his latest show for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week didn’t disappoint – the top level of a carpark in the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park, which had recently been converted to a Hyper Kart race track.
It was a fitting space (so kudos to his team at The Known Agency for the ace location scouting) for the high octane, full throttle collection of clothing that came down the racetrack. Was that me shouting “SEND IT” in the background? Perhaps.
This collection is for everyone,” founder Wynn Crawshaw told ICON before the show. “It’s a fun collection, with lots of colour. Kind of like the theme of the collection, the pieces are a reminder not to be too serious. It caters to our audience of people who appreciate the work and thought that goes into each piece.”
If the hints provided by the location wasn’t obvious, the collection drew inspiration from the silhouettes and cuts of the protective gear and detailing used in motorsport.
Biker leathers in metal greys and dusty pink. Hamlyn’s signature Macramé was gone this season, instead plaited leather detailing that stitched through the middle of a blazer, or created textual seams along the sides of a mini dress. His familiar warp treatment of knitwear appeared in two forms – arms were a feature to fasten in one blue sweater and elsewhere, loose threads hanging from flame detailing.
Tailored pieces were sleek – wrap waisted blazers that cinched above flared, loose trousers; or with added leather detail a la the aforementioned. Shirting and trousers kept a relaxed fit, while chevron colour detail kept the motorsport theme subtly on track.
This blending of ideas is where Crawshaw is proving himself to be one of the most interesting designers today. It’s a skill to create clothes that actually look fun, are still wearable, and fit the brief of being elegant yet irreverent.
“I think most notably our work has become more clear and consistent in the statement we are trying to make,” adds Crawshaw. “Now the collection without fail, always has the same elements of craft and innovation, no matter the season. It has also become more polished, which helps to contrast the beautiful imperfections that also define us.”
This year, the GRAZIA Australia team travelled between AAFW shows in the refined style of Toyota’s new RAV4 GXL. With its modern and spacious interior, privacy glass, and fast charging portals for our phones, it was the perfect mode of travel for zipping across Sydney. To find out more, visit toyota.com.au