By Juliann Freedman ’18
In the midst of college application chaos, certain seniors find the best way to cope with the immense pressure is through their art. Senior Clara Collins chooses to represent inner torment over mainstream beauty when designing and creating her unique fashion pieces.
Recently the spotlight has been on Collins and her artistic designs. She has been named a 2017 National YoungArts Foundation Merit winner in Design Arts. Collins represents the top 8.67 percent of applicants in the largest application pool to date. This award means that Collins’ work was evaluated and recognized by a panel of master artists, and the award guarantees her an invitation to one of the YoungArts regional programs.
Art teacher Michelle Lee encouraged Collins to enter the competition even though she only started delving into her interest in fashion design less than a year ago. While in London last summer, Collins took classes at Central St. Martins College of Art & Design. For the competition, she submitted three pieces she created at that program and one she made outside the art program.
Her work challenges the basic human form as she chose more unconventional materials to create her figures. They often required gluing rather than stitching. Although unconventional, true cartoon fans can see the obvious nod to Lumpy Space Princess, a character from Cartoon Network’s animated television show Adventure Time, who embodies confidence and sass, in a purple gown with glitter.
While making her own clothes is something she has only seriously invested in recently, Collins has demonstrated throughout her high school career that she is a fashion queen. Her free dress outfits never fail to disappoint!
So what is next for Clara Collins? When asked, she excitedly explained about a collection of “plushies” she is constructing for her art school portfolio, each embodying one of the seven deadly sins. It is this paradox of childlike softness and the grotesque that Collins hopes will challenge the viewer. As an admirer but also a friend, I can assure you that you have not seen the last of Clara Collins.