Come backstage with Sonzai Studios @ Wynn Hamlyn 's debut Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) Resort ’23 Collection. We chat with the designer, Wynn Crawshaw, about the brands sustainability initiatives and his simple ethos for responsible production.
Acclaimed New Zealand-based designer – Wynn Crawshaw – presented his highly anticipated show on Tuesday 10th May, 2022. Staged offsite in an underground tunnel beneath Central Station, Sydney, the collection solidified the brands stake as a cult favourite for the cool.
Impressively calm, we met with Wynn backstage for a sneak-peak to the new collection, and to celebrate the young brands fresh and inspiring sustainability initatives pre-show.
“The new collection is all about the looks you encounter in a departure lounge. I love the idea of people wearing the holiday shirts they purchased from the hotel gift shop, alongside their business pants or paired with the puffer they couldn’t quite manage to squeeze into their suitcase. People wearing their treasured holiday looks as a badge to signify where they’ve been, or where they’re going. I like the idea of this rebellious juxtaposition - it’s so wrong, that it’s right!”, says Wynn.
Celeste: Hey I'm Celeste from Sonzai Studios, and we are here backstage with Wynn. Wynn would you like to introduce yourself?
Wynn: Yeh thanks. Hi I’m Wynn, from Wynn Hamlyn. And we are here talking about our Resort ‘23 runway collection.
Celeste: So we are here to chat about your sustainability initiatives, because you do such cool things in that space. What's one thing from your show you would love to chat about in that area?
Wynn: One thing in particular is our puffer jackets this season…they're full of New Zealand wool and the wool is fully traceable. And they are made through a farming initiative, Wisewool, in New Zealand that helps increase the sustainability…
Celeste: So you’re actually helping at a farming level…
Wynn: Totally, yeh. So that’s something we are really excited about.
Celeste: Amazing. And then sustainability in general…because everyone thinks about it in a different way right, there’s environment, ethics, economics… if you could give a spiel about what it means to you what would you say?
Wynn: I mean apart from the obvious answers, to me it means making clothes that you would be proud to present to anyone and show them where you made them, and who you made them with.
Celeste: And any last things you would like to tell people about your Resort show?
Wynn: I'm really proud of it. I think it's going to be amazing and I'm looking forward to seeing the show. It's my first time at this venue today so I’m really happy.
The brand champions natural fabrications in places most opt for plastic, elevating the quality but not compromising the cool. Recycled-cotton denim, traceable knitted yarns, Aloe Vera fibres, hand-turned glass beads and wool-padded puffers are presented in a palette that gets the dopamine rushing.
The most impressive sustainability initiative comes through a year-long collaboration with Wisewool, an innovative New Zealand-company dedicated to restoring value to the craft of wool, optimising local and 100% traceable yarn. The collaboration was celebrated through a covetable take on the unisex puffer jacket. The jackets are padded with engineered ‘wool buds’ – small, ‘bouncy clouds’ of intertwined, durable wool fibres that have high natural resilience and strength. A fantastic alternative to synthetic filling that is breathable, hypoallergenic, and supports the brands local industry.
All in all this exciting brand represents a new wave of labels with sustainability at their core. Initatives that aren't a gimmick, or fad - but part of the labels DNA and done in a way that isn't screamed about. A brand that knows responsible production is a given, and you can still make on-trend, sexy clothing with that ethos. I can't wait to see where he takes us to next.
Read next: Is vegan leather sustainable?
Collage art by Serina King
Imagery via Lucas Dawson and Jamie Heath
Special thanks to The Known Agency