Sixteen-year-old Cosima Augustin, a home-schooled student living between Clonakilty and Rosscarbery, is among 80 young designers to have reached the South Regional Final of the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture 2017 competition, taking place at University Concert Hall Limerick on March 10.
A student of West Cork art teacher Rita Morrissey, Cosima is hoping that the local community and schools will get behind her in support, as she is the only finalist from the Clonakilty-Rosscarbery area this year.
With the help of Rita, who has been teaching art and crafts for over 20 years, Cosima spent four months creating her costume ‘Adonis Blue’, using a number of recycled items such as an old camping chair (bodice and boots), pumpkin seeds, paper, can pull rings, old zips and rope. Her design is inspired by the ‘Adonis Blue butterfly and flower patterns.
Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture is an all-island competition, which encourages young designers in second level education to create striking couture designs and impressive works of wearable art from everyday junk that would normally find its way into the bin.
Although the online voting system for the Regional Final is now closed, if Cosima makes it through to the Grand Final, you’ll be able to view her costume and cast your vote through www.facebook.com/boistudents.
Describing herself as “American by birth, German through heritage and Irish by choice,” Cosima is a force of nature, full of energy and always ready for a challenge. “We rent an apartment on a farm that has 800 chickens,” she says smiling. Whether it’s hunting chickens into their coops, practicing piano or creating an innovative piece of art, Cosima gives 100 per cent to whatever she sets her mind. Without a television at home to distract from her Junk Kouture project, the art student put a huge amount of thought and time into her project, spending hours on it ever day for four months. She created the skirt of the outfit using hundreds of old Lidl brochures, painstakingly torn and rolled up, painted and glued together and mounted on an old umbrella to achieve the correct shape. “Her fingers were raw by the time she had finished rolling all the paper,” says her mum Liane. Cosima fashioned the headpiece out of rope and the gloves are made out of old zips. “This is so exciting for me,” says Cosima, who hopes to go on to study fashion.
“Cosima is a pleasure to teach, an open-minded and creative student,” says Rita. “Her work is amazing and she really deserves a place in the final.”
For more information on Junk Kouture go to www.facebook.com/boistudents. To keep in touch with how Cosima is doing in the competition go to www.facebook.com/ritasclayhouse.