Fashfest 2016 Designer Profile – Cadia Belante

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Cadia Belante is a Melbourne based designer and eponymous fashion label with a focus on sustainable clothing production who showed at Fashfest for the very first time this year.

As a label Cadia Belante proposes to develop ways to re-circulate those consumable items that can be re-worked into textiles and garments, and as a result reduce waste. A quick trip through Belante’s website and social media showcase an array of boldly colured and patterned fashions in unisex designs, which blur the lines between art and fashion and ask us to question what makes a garment?

This year’s Fashfest collection was an interesting mix of pieces with a very sporty feel to them. As a big fan of quilting generally, I was delighted to see the ways in which Belante applied this technique to her garments. It moved between being functional and decorative seamlessly while never seeming over-used. Using contrasting stitching for some of the quilted garments was a very nice touch too.

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One thing I had considered since interviewing Cadia was how garments constructed from re-purposed sleeping bags would wear.

Recycling and up-cycling is all very well and good, but in my humble opinion if the garment sits poorly, is unflattering or uncomfortable, then the designer has failed.

I was skeptical about how Belante pulled it off, but I have to say that for the most part the garments wore exceptionally well. There was no bunching or pulling in weird places, the garments looked beautifully finished and there was a fun variety of colours, patterns and textures.

My concerns about whether the garments might be a little too warm were mostly allayed when the guys from Mondecreen performed three numbers dressed in Cadia’s designs, but I did also see one model stripping off his jacket very quickly post-show as well, so the jury is still out on this element.

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However, at the end of the day Cadia Belante showed us an engaging collection of pieces which we know to be made from a durable, lightweight, and warm material which is readily available in a range of colours and designs. Best of all, the material is recycled and keeping waste out of landfill. The designs are on-trend, functional and most of all wearable. The models and Mondecreen looked fantastic in these pieces, which is always the true test of how wearable a collection is.

Cadia Belante is a designer and label seeking to challenge the boundaries within the business of fashion design. There’s a sense of fun and a sense of duty with these pieces. Cadia has described her label as similar to the Planeteers, and I get that reference now. Only instead of teenaged Planeteers I grew up watching after school, I’m envisioning  late-20’s kick-starter Planeteers who are trying to find innovative ways to fuse art and fashion into innovative streetwear pieces. And I have to commend her for that.

You can get your hands on your own Cadia Belante pieces by heading to the website, or by making an inquiry. Don’t forget to check out and follow the Instagram account for updates on upcoming shows and for future collections as well.

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