NERA ETVA is a custom-made dress designed to encourage the preservation of the environment before its quality is compromised. Inspired by the beauty of the Neretva River, designer Armin Ćosić uses plastic waste (PET plastic bottles) intending to create an artificial image of nature that could disappear due to human negligence and pollution, and asks the question: Will the Neretva become a plastic river? Using the sequin technique system in fashion design, Ćosić collected from the environment and recycled over 180 plastic PET bottles in the period from April to September 2019, manually cut them into small plastic capsules that resemble drops of water and then applied them to turquoise tulle, imitating principle of sequin pattern. This project shows how existing plastic bottles (plastic waste) from the environment can be used in the creation of small plastic sequin discs instead of producing new plastic masses for the production of discs, thereby further endangering the ecosystem of planet Earth. From the aspect of design form, this uniquely shaped dress shows how the sequin technique can be used in shaping the effect of an artificial image of water, i.e. imitating images and patterns from nature. Edvin Kalić’s in-situ photos realized on the banks of the Neretva River, show an urgent appeal to raise public awareness of water pollution with plastic waste and the need to preserve water and rivers on planet Earth, especially today when the latest studies show the presence of microplastics even in human blood.
Armin Ćosić (Eisenach, Germany, 1997) is a multidisciplinary artist and designer who approaches fashion from the aspect of observing clothing as a concept, object or subject of a work of art or a unit medium for sending a message. Graduated in 2019 and got his master’s degree in 2020 in the field of unique design in fashion design at the Department of Product Design at the Sarajevo Academy of Fine Arts. He is active in the field of costume design and scenography for film, theatre, TV commercials, music videos and advertising campaigns. In his work, he recycles plastic and textile waste intending to artificialize the image of nature in relation to the body and the environment. His fashion projects and creations were presented at the DESIGN.S Biennale (Brno, Czech Republic – 2020), published in SPINNING SHADES Magazine (Berlin, Germany – 2019), he exhibited at the Goethe-Institut Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – 2022), and nominated for the Distributed Design Awards (Barcelona, Spain – 2021). Ćosić uses the bricolage technique in the design of products – clothing and objects – by recycling small pieces of waste materials (textiles, plastic, paper). In his work, he investigates the relationship between the body and clothing (object) with the environment in the process of artificializing forms from nature.