Cadia Belante: challenging the boundaries of fashion

This year FASHFEST 2016 welcomes designers not only locally but also from across the nation and abroad, including Cadia Belante.

The Melbourne-based fashion label focuses on sustainable clothing production and follows the simple, yet powerful, philosophy of ‘Saving planet Earth one bag at a time’.

“The label was created in response to the increasing volume of already produced materials and the rate at which these materials are becoming landfill,” designer Cadia Belante explains.

Cadia proposes to develop ways to re-circulate these consumable items, and at the same time reduce waste.

The discovery of large quantities of surplus sleeping bags in second hand stores was an initial catalyst for her exploration into the possibility of re-purposing within fashion design. She then began to collect interesting, obsolete items to experiment with, and has since discovered potential for items that would otherwise remain unused, or be thrown away.

Cadia says she is inspired by challenging the boundaries within fashion design.

“Think Captain Planet's Planeteers!” she laughs.

“Blurring the lines between art and fashion and innovative street pop culture with a playful infusion of bold color and print.”

On the runway later this month, Canberrans can expect to see The Sleeping Bag Dress – a key piece in the Cadia Belante FASHFEST 2016 collection.

“The sleeping bag dress is defiantly a stand out piece, having the ability to be worn as a dress, vest or completely zipped up as a sleeping bag,” she says.

“This was an idea that developed from my Morph Jakpak series, drawing inspiration from thinking about the urban environment.

“With more individuals living and moving into the city, the effects this is going to have, not only on design, but the way I design, thinking about what our clothing will need to instill if we were in survival mode and only had one item of clothing; hence the jacket having the ability to be zipped up for warmth, completely unzipped for body circulation and compacted into a backpack for storage.

With the three-day fashion-filled event looming upon us, Cadia says she can’t wait to be able to see her vision come to life, but most importantly showcasing how important sustainability is within the fashion industry.

“I enjoy opening up conversation surrounding the future of fashion though my work,” she says.

“Canberra is the centre of Australia where the most important decisions are made and laws are passed for the wellbeing of the people within this country. I’m so thrilled to be part of this support from Canberra for Australian designers because it’s so important to assist change and help shape the Australian fashion industry.”


National Convention Centre
29 September – 1 October