Eternal Sleep Collection, The Inspirations - Part 2. Opium Haze

O P I U M . H A Z E .... The Poppy 

In our second of 'Inspirations' series, we explore the infamous Poppy plant, statement floral of our O P I U M . H A Z E print. "Papaver Somniferum" in Latin means "sleep-bringing", referring to the strong sedative properties.  Naturally occurring alkaloids known as opiates form within the latex from the seed pods are the active compounds within the sedative drugs we know better as morphine,  codeine and opium or heroin. For this reason the coat of arms of the Royal College of Anaesthetists incorporates coca leaves to symbolise local anaesthesia, and opium poppy heads to symbolise sleep (symbolic of the Greek God Hypnos) and anyone who has ever experienced a general anaesthetic will testify to thier potency!  

Use of the opium poppy predates written history with images of opium poppies being found in ancient Sumerian artifacts (circa 4000 BC) and we've all heard of Queen Victoria's fondness of Laudanum, a tincture of Opium as a pain reliever and sedative. In fact many notable Victorians were recreational users including Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy Shelley! 

behind the print opium haze .jpg


We fell in love with the over-scale paper fine, rippled petals and dark, intense centres of the Oriental varieties with our take on the Poppy featuring over scaled poppy heads in delicate tones of blush pink  and dove grey, offset with crisp,  ebony centres and leaves.  With ebony silk satin detailing throughout the collection in the form of contrast piping, bindings and belts, the delicate petals of the Poppy are given a tougher, masculine edge. 

Helen PollingtonComment