Poppy Things

Thesis Collection | Poppy House

Poppy House is inspired by a place where time seems to always stand still. A place where I would lay in the tall grass and day dream for hours. Where trees frame the clouds, and flowers would flourish in the garden. Poppy House is a place of creative escape, beautiful in its abandonment.

Where I’m from there is no shortage of farms, including the one I live on. Down the road from my parents house is this enchanting white farm house that sits on a hill, overlooking south Lake Leelanau. It has been vacant for as long as I can remember. The last time it was lived in was the late seventies.

I began riding my bike there when I was twelve, and I noticed that no one was there to check on intruders. I’d walk around to the old horse barn, collect old beer bottles, and sit in the back yard to sketch. Something about this house has always made me feel as if I was suddenly transported back in time. My worries would fade, and my dreams would appear.

The first time I had ever seen a poppy was that summer I started riding there. One day as I drove down the long two track, I saw bursts of red and orange petals against the weathered wood siding. All I could think was, “wow.” I picked one and studied it for a long time--taking in the pleats, the gathers, the overlapping tissue thin petals, the silhouette. The poppies grow every year, despite being abandoned. It’s been twelve years since that moment, and I wanted to share that feeling of wonder and awe through a collection.

I wanted to bring a sense of nostalgia through the use of 60s inspired silhouettes. I wanted to achieve timeless garments that could be worn then, now, and in the future. Creating a print for this collection was something very important to me. I commissioned Kristin Sturdy to illustrate the poppies. I then took the artwork and turned it into a repeating print.

I decided to use fabrics that are very flowing and feminine to reference the dreamlike state I was in, as well as the actual texture and feel of the poppies themselves.