Close this search box.

Sign in/Register

New Kiwi knitwear label Phàrlain brings stylish twist to summer layering

By Megan Bedford

Pharlain knitwear Summer 23 / 24
Summer marks the second season for Phàrlain, a new Auckland-based, knitwear-focused fashion brand.

Created by long-time friends Aimee McFarlane (well-known in the fashion scene having designed for Lonely Hearts, Huffer and AS Colour) and Brooke Nelson, the pair’s goal was to create beautifully crafted knitwear that “makes you feel loved and unique.”

With inventive knit techniques and fresh shapes and colours not seen elsewhere, its collection of 100% merino wool, keep-forever styles in the brand’s first season for winter 2023, was an quiet step into the local fashion landscape. 

McFarlane says she had an idea for a knitwear brand ‘simmering away’ in the back of her mind for a few years.

“I wasn’t getting very far with turning the idea into reality until Brooke offered her help and expertise which are totally different to mine and very complimentary,” she says.

Knitwear offered the pair the opportunity to do something slightly different from McFarlane’s other work and bring something creative and new to the fashion landscape. 

Pharlain knitwear summer 23 / 24

McFarlane’s design and technical experience has paid off in developing a number of unique interesting knit stitches.

“I’ll draw and re-draw pieces imaging how the stitch might work within the garment and the colour combos,” she explains.  

Now, Phàrlain is expanding into playful new territory for spring and summer with a range of fine cotton separates crafted by hand using classic techniques, with a high-luxe, forward-thinking finish. Crochet in particular gets a covetable new life with boxy-shaped shirts, pullover cover-ups and slouchy dresses perfect for a long season in the sun.

“We wanted the summer range to strike a balance between the super wearable, ‘throw on top of your togs to head to the beach’ vibe, with the memorable, elevated, ‘wear it out in the evening with your fave pants’, kind of thing,” shares McFarlane.“

Colour has remained a source of inspiration through each season, something that will be further explored for Winter 24. 

Pharlain knitwear Summer 23 24

She says initially it was tricky evolving what can be heavy and warm knit ideas for winter into a year-round business with a summer offering.

“Once we discovered possibility of the hand-crochet, the [summer] capsule came together nicely,” she says. “Crochet has been having a bit of a moment, and I really love the craft of it. My mum is very skilled with a crochet hook and has made some beautiful crochet blankets in her time.”

Phàrlain has swapped the merino wool from winter for 100% cottons as well as adding tencel and silk yarns in a fine, ribbed tank top. 

“The knitted pieces consist of open ‘eyelet’ style weaves so plenty of opportunity to let a little summer breeze pass through,” McFarlane says.

Imagining a relaxed summer in the new pieces, she’s a big fan of the crochet shirt’s vintage vibes but looks forward to styling it up in a modern way, in line with fashion’s current obsession with throwback nods. 

“The Crochet Top I plan on wearing with a pair of loose jeans and a relaxed blazer for a going out look. The Resort dress I’ll thrown on over togs for the beach and the Crochet shirt is going to offer up a raft of styling opportunities that I can’t wait for. Open over a bikini top or cami, buttoned up with some worn-in jeans.”


Print Recipe


Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.