Perfect Pairs: Fisher & Paykel & Wynn Hamlyn's Collaborative Synergy

We talk to the designer behind local favourite Wynn Hamlyn about the nostalgia of knitwear and his unique union with Fisher & Paykel

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Supporting local is more important than ever, with Fisher & Paykel’s latest collaboration celebrating Kiwi designers and their craft — and how fashion and laundry must work in harmony. In the first of Viva’s Perfect Pair series, we talk to the designer behind local favourite Wynn Hamlyn about the nostalgia of knitwear.

READ: Designers In Lockdown: Catching Up With Wynn Crawshaw

“Enduring fashion is about making quality in every piece that you produce. It’s about making fashion that you invest in and keep for a very long time, because you love it.” It’s an ethos that has seen local label Wynn Hamlyn become an insiders’ go-to for smart, playful and special pieces made to be treasured for years to come.

Launched in 2014 by Auckland-based designer Wynn Crawshaw, the womenswear brand is known for its subversive take on tailoring, knitwear and statement dresses - think of a tie-dye gown for true contemporary glamour, or fresh updates on suiting in shades of mint green or baby blue. For the latest collection, Wynn and his team were inspired by the ocean, drawing on elements of fishing and sailing gear and updating them with a contemporary lens.

Wynn Crawshaw, the designer behind Wynn Hamlyn. Photo / Supplied

The nautical theme translates through clever details like brass buckles, made in collaboration with local jeweller Hera Saabi, that look like boat fittings, and knitwear using the classic fisherman’s rib stitch or emulating the classic fisherman’s long johns.

Statement knitwear is a Wynn Hamlyn signature, with the very first collection focusing on locally knitted merino. While the brand has evolved a lot since, expanding into fully-fledged collections, knitwear is still key to each season. “Knitwear is nostalgic,” explains Wynn of this passion for the textile.

“That fits into the Wynn Hamlyn design aesthetic - I’m always trying to warp and subvert classical things, in a way that makes you smile.” He remembers first seeing a knitting machine while at fashion school and being mesmerised by it; drawn to the technicality of knitwear as well as the creative process.

“I like it because it’s very challenging and specialised. It’s also really efficient, and unlike cut and sew garments when half of the fabric will be on the f loor of the cutting room, you can use every inch of yarn that you’ve got.” Its ongoing appeal also lies in its history and longevity - many of us will have memories of knitwear, from beloved woollens that have been in our wardrobes for years or pieces that have been handed down to us from family members. Wynn recalls photos of himself as a baby wrapped up in layers of hand knits, “looking like a little sausage roll”.

Photo / Supplied

“Knitwear can last for a long time - but it’s about not washing it too often, and when you do, being extra gentle,” he says. The specialist wool cycle of the Fisher & Paykel 12kg ActiveIntelligence™ Front Load Washer has been approved by The Woolmark Company and is extra gentle to help woollen items stay beautiful for longer. Meanwhile Fisher & Paykel’s 9kg Heat Pump Dryer, designed to match the washing machine, also includes a specialised wool function.

“The Heat Pump Dryer extracts the water at a very low heat or you can use the handy drying rack to emulate laying flat to dry, which is what we recommend on knitwear,” says Wynn. Making sure you can love your precious fashion for longer is all about caring for the specific fabric of the garment - and not washing or drying too often. “We make clothes, and it’s really important to us that they have longevity,” says Wynn.

Fisher & Paykel’s ActiveIntelligence™ and auto-dosing technology in the washer can detect load size and soil level, so it uses the optimal amount of water and detergent for each wash; while the low-temperature drying of Heat Pump dryers uses less energy and is better for fabric, too. “Often when clothes are delicate, they get labelled as dry clean only. These new appliances give the owner an opportunity to launder them at home when they may otherwise have not been able to.”

Fisher & Paykel offers the ultimate package for a beautiful laundry. The new 12kg ActiveIntelligence™ Front Load Washer ($3449) and 9kg Heat Pump Dryer ($3299) are designed to match, with outstanding aesthetics and complimentary wash and dry cycles - the perfect pair to deliver complete fabric care. For more about Fisher & Paykel’s innovative laundry products, visit fisherpaykel.com.

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