Fashion Forecasting and Upcycled Creativity: A Collaborative Endeavor at Curtin University

Fashion Forecasting and Upcycled Creativity: A Collaborative Endeavor at Curtin University

Curtin University's Fashion Style Hunting unit, headed by Fashion Lecturer/Stylist Emma Bergmeier-Varian, goes beyond conventional fashion education. They incorporate real-world challenges into the curriculum, where students are challenged not only to predict upcoming fashion trends based on consumer behavior but also to translate these predictions into tangible garments using preloved materials with upcycled elements. The focus on forecasting fashion trends and translating them into upcycled garments nurtures creativity and instills a sense of sustainability in the students at the same time. 


This semester's students were tasked with upcycling workwear from the Fibre Economy [a social enterprise working towards a world without textile waste], emphasising the importance of sustainability and responsible fashion practices. In addition, they were provided with on-trend, plant-based acetate sunglass frames from Sito Shades to complement their final creations. The diversity of trend predictions, ranging from Apocalyptic Ninja Turtle Core to Hyper Femininity and Oversized Cross Body Bags, showcased the students' ability to interpret and adapt to various fashion influences. 

As a collaborator, Sito Shades Product and Brand Manager Sally Kerr and Marketing Manager Joanne Tate were invited to share with the students' their experiences in the fashion industry to assist with their understanding of trend predictions, styling, and marketing. The insights provided by the Sito Shades team added an additional layer to the students' learning experience.  


The final creations were brought to life through a photoshoot at the renowned Hood Studios in Perth, skillfully executed by Shot By Thom. The collaboration between the photographer and the Curtin Fashion students resulted in captivating images that truly captured the essence of the upcycled garments. The students' creative expressions were on full display, showcasing their transformations of preloved materials into unique contemporary fashion statements. 

One of selected projects was created by fashion student Adam Shanfield who styled his upcycled bags with Sito Shades' Electro Vision in Black White. The choice of eyewear as a final outfit style emphasized the importance of accessories in completing a look. It also showcased Adam's attention to detail and ability to integrate accessories into upcycled creations. 

We caught up with Adam to ask him a little bit about his love for fashion, and how he came up with his ideas for this challenge…

Could you share a bit about yourself and your interest in fashion design? What sparked your passion in joining the Curtin Fashion course?

I am a second-year fashion student at Curtin University. Since age 16, I have been deeply fascinated by fashion and how influential wearable art can make people feel. I decided to join the Curtin fashion course as I was interested in manipulating materials and pattern cutting. 

Can you share your favorite element of the styling project that involved our sunglasses? 

My favourite aspect of the styling project was picking between the stylistic features of the glasses that most suited the upcycled bags. Each pair of glasses has specific silhouettes and hues that complemented each bag I had created. This was an exciting challenge as I could physically picture which glasses went with which bag and how this also fit each model.

What inspired your choice of styling in terms of fashion elements, color schemes, and overall aesthetics when incorporating our sunglasses into the project? 

My inspiration for this project was the overall history of bags and their development and shape-altering throughout time. This resulted in my prediction of the emergence of modern large crossbody shoulder bags. These modern bags all contain features from historic bags, such as satchels and sling bags. The particular Sito Shades I chose for my editorial had elements that matched the layout of my editorial. The Mustard coloured lens fits with the bright orange satirical theme, and the glasses' bold, minimalistic black frames provide well with the minimalism of the editorial. 

Looking ahead, is there a particular area of the fashion industry you are most excited about?

The particular area of the fashion industry I am most excited about is finding and manipulating new sustainable materials. Brands are starting to experiment more with upcycling and using recycling cellulose materials. This will lead to ethical manufacturing practices and procedures, moving the fashion industry in an eco-friendly direction.

Curtin University's Fashion Style Hunting unit continues to push the boundaries of traditional fashion education by integrating sustainability, creativity, and real-world collaborations.  

Sito Shades was honoured to be involved in Curtin Fashions Style Hunting project, assisting with the students' learning experience. As the fashion industry continues to evolve, initiatives like these play a role in preparing the next generation of designers to navigate the dynamic landscape of fashion. 

Images of Curtin University Fashion Student, Adam Shanfields, Upcycle Project Photoshoot featuring Sito Shades, shot at Hood Studios.