Fashfest 2016 Designer Profile – Cadia Belante

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With the increase in size and scope of Fashfest as a celebration of fashion, design and creativity – it makes sense that it’s audience grows as well. Audience doesn’t refer to just those who attend Fashfest, but also to those who take part. With each year that passes we see the number of interstate (and international) designers, models and musicians increase.

One such interstate designer who is showing at Fashfest for the very first time in 2016 is Cadia Belante, a Melbourne based designer and eponymous fashion label with a focus on sustainable clothing production.

Belante created her label in response to her concerns with the increasing volume of materials that we create and the rate at which these materials become landfill.

As a label Cadia Belante proposes to develop ways to re-circulate these consumable items, and as a result reduce waste. The original catalyst of this undertaking was the discovery of large quantities of surplus sleeping bags in second hand stores, leading Belante to explore the possibilities of re-purposing within fashion design. Cadia began to collect interesting but obsolete items to experiment with, and she now uses items that would remain unused or otherwise be tossed away to create her signature garments.

Belante’s website and social media showcase an array of boldly colured and patterned fashions in mens, womens and unisex designs, which blur the lines between art and fashion. The label is inspired by Belante’s  vision of the future possibilities of challenging boundaries within fashion design.

This is the first year that Cadia Belante will show at Fashfest, and I wanted to get an inside scoop on the label and the future-cool styling before the big night. Of course I have also sought a little bit of a sneak peek as to what we can expect from her 2016 collection.

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As a child of the mid-80s and early 90s, my memories of sleeping bags paint them as sweaty death-traps of synthetic material. What is necessary to turn these into wearable works of art?
HAHA, well when considering the properties of the sleeping bag, they are awesome! – Being durable, lightweight, compactable, warm, not to mention the super rad prints and designs of the 80’s-90’s if you’re into that kind thing! Of course there has been an advancement in the technologies of the sleeping bags from the 80’s to now, perhaps that is why the older sleeping bags are better suited for apparel now days ☺

A few things must need to be considered when turning sleeping bags into wearable works of art most obvious is the laundering of the sleeping bags- hygiene is number one.

Next is the process; I use two methods when working with sleeping bags.

One is the de- construction and re- engineering of the sleeping bag. This consists of completely deconstructing the sleeping bag and then re engineering them into new garment forms using all of the layers of the sleeping bags.

The second process is using the sleeping bag as a whole textile and cutting into the sleeping bag in order to make new garment forms.

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Is it possible to produce on-trend fashion from recycled materials, or do you think that we need to re-think our adherence on what is on-trend?

I would say it is a bit of both of course it is possible I believe with good design, innovation and conscious vision anything is possible.

However I do believe as designers we need to start questioning our role and taking more responsibility for the way we design to ensure that we are establishing a sustainable industry for not only future generation to come but also for ourselves

Tell us a bit more about what your vision is for your label. Where do you see your work taking you, and what sort of challenges do you want to overcome through your sustainable focus?

I tend not to think about where it will take me as I have always been the type of person that is appreciative of where I am at. My only desire is to create a platform through my work that demonstrates the importance of sustainability within the fashion industry: I enjoy opening up conversation surrounding the future of fashion though my work. BRING ON THE FASHION REVOLOUTION!!

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Who is your ideal Cadia Belante customer?
My consumer is quite broad; I have customers who are strong supporters of sustainability, hipsters, artists and fashion forward thinkers.

Finally, and obviously without giving too much away, what can you tell us about the inspiration behind your collection for Fashfest this year?
Cadia Belante is inspired by challenging the boundaries within fashion design. Think Captain Planet’s Planeteers! – Blurring the lines between art and fashion, innovative streetwear with a playful infusion of bold color and print. Utilizing recycled sleeping bags, exploring the possibilities of re-purposing within fashion.

 

You can see Cadia Belante during ‘Spectra‘, closing night, Saturday 1 October, 6.30 pm.

Fashfest 2016 will run from 29 September to 1 October at the award winning National Convention Centre. Tickets are on sale now.

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