29 Mar 2022

Year 12 CAS – Elysian

CAS stands for Creativity, Action, and Service, and it is one of three essential elements that every student must complete to receive the IB Diploma. While not formally assessed, CAS provides opportunities for students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through hands-on learning. 


One of the components of CAS is a ‘CAS Project’, a collaborative series of student-initiated CAS experiences over several months engaging students in one or more CAS strands (creativity, activity, and service). Following the five CAS stages of Investigation, Preparation, Demonstration, Action, and Reflection, students can explore their passions whilst challenging themselves to initiate purposeful action around defined goals. The following months will bring a series of interviews where the STC Media Team interviews different students around school to highlight their CAS projects and initiatives. 


This week, the Elysian team speaks to the STC Media Team about their CAS project, which consists of Anneke Yu, Bertina Sum, Cherish Sum, Gaily Mok, Hannah Foxall, Mikei Linger, Suri Lau and Victoria Biffen. They believe fashion is significant in society as it is one of the many ways that a person can express themselves and craft an identity. 


Can you introduce Elysian? 

Elysian is Shatin College’s annual student-run charity fashion event. It provides an opportunity for youth designers to showcase their creativity by creating garments relating to a chosen theme. 


Previous teams held Elysian as an annual fashion show involving extravagant pieces, sponsors and models. However, limitations caused by the pandemic and our dedication to sustainability meant Elysian is now an exhibition featuring photographs and video montages to display clothing designs from student designers. 


What is the purpose of your CAS project? 

As a group, we are concerned about the issue of the consumption of fast fashion rapidly increasing due to the immense demand for seasonal, trendy clothing. This causes many companies to take advantage of garment workers and the environment to satisfy the needs of consumers. Additionally, production practices result in mass clothing production at meager costs, raising ethical concerns about labour, fabric waste, and environmental pollution. Therefore, the Elysian team wants to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of fast fashion by employing the theme of sustainability in our exhibition. Designers will use recycled materials and donate finished pieces to fashion waste charities to avoid wasting their garments after the fashion exhibition.


What impact/outcome do you hope your project will have on the community? 

Through our project, we hope to inspire more people within the Shatin College community to express themselves through fashion and understand the impact of fast fashion on the environment and people in developing countries. 


Are there any events/initiatives planned to take place? 

The Elysian team has planned an exhibition showcasing various works of student designers. The exhibit will take place in 2022, depending on pandemic restrictions. Photoshoots and video shoots will happen throughout the year to document students’ creative process. 


What do you think are the biggest challenges of designing sustainable fashion? How do you suggest students overcome those challenges in the design process?

Designing sustainably is a considerable challenge for designers as they cannot use specific materials and processes; this, in turn, may restrict their idea on our theme ‘Haute Couture,’ which typically includes fancy, high-end pieces. 


We suggest that aspiring designers dream big and step out of the box with innovative ideas to merge the two spheres of haute couture and sustainability. Though haute couture often connotes extravagance, students can use daily life materials like newspapers and natural dyes to display a sense of elegance. We also allow students to buy pieces from thrift stores to aid in creating their designed garments.


How would you describe the role of fashion in society?

We define fashion as a form of self-expression through clothing that enables someone to craft a unique identity around an aesthetic. We also see fashion in society as one of the many ways a person can express their ideas and opinions amidst fast-changing societal trends.


Edited by: Kadence Wong