“Poppies’ voice tells the joy in every living thing. It is about the divine in all creatures, the male and female and the joy in all life and regeneration.” ~ Laurie Blum
What is the Inspiration behind this Poppies! Collection?
My mother, Laurie Blum, was a world-famous painter with exhibitions at the United Nations and galleries and museums around the world. She was my best friend and my creative soundboard. We had the same creative sight. It was our mutual joy to imagine her art fused with my art and so I began the journey to manifest her work in the form of fashion. I see so many expressions of how this can be realized and for this collection I wanted it to be expressed through hand-embroidery. Her painting Poppies! was always one of my favorites and I was excited to see it flourish through the embroidery. The process was quite difficult though and it took me nearly four years to find the master hands that could bring the work to life and do justice to my mother’s breathtaking brushstrokes.
What is your earliest memory of the Poppies! painting and how did it impact you when you first saw it?
My favorite color is magenta and hence it is the brand color for Blumera. Magenta abounds fragrantly in Poppies! and the other colors boldly dance in harmony with the magenta popping from every flower. I can feel the intoxicating joy that my mother described in the atmosphere she was recreating: “I am painting the atmosphere that the Poppies imbibe here!”
What were the most important factors that you considered while creating the Poppies! collection?
My mother was always very particular that the artisans not reinterpret her art. For example on a previous project I worked on she remarked after an embroiderer had tried to recreate her rose: “That is a rose, but it is not my rose.” After this encounter I worked diligently to figure out how to respect her lines and brushstrokes, colors, and shading. Painstaking hours were spent on how to do this. Each artisan I worked with I sat next to for the entire creation to guide the thread, color, shading, and direction of the needle so that this enormous feat could be met successfully.
I would be remiss if I did not add my enormous heartfelt gratitude to Jean Francois Lesage who’s friendship was paramount in the ability to manifest this collection into embroidered form.
Can you tell us about the materials you used for this collection and a bit of about the creation process?
Every thread on the embroidered Poppies! is hand-done. The collection is handcrafted using brushoff and smooth box calfskin leather. I chose this leather to act as a shiny canvas to showcase the brilliant embroidery. Regal 18 karat gold dipped custom Blumera chains and medallions handcrafted in Italy crown the collection. Over 250 hours are dedicated to the meticulous creation of each bag. The collection is bespoke and Limited Edition.
Why have you launched the Poppies! Collection now specifically?
I have actually been working on this collection for several years, and it is only now ready! I believe this collection is timeless. In general, I do not design according to trends, I design what I believe to be eternal beauty. These bags can be joyously worn in Spring and Summer, and even more so in Winter and Autumn when we need extra cheering. There is something so beautiful about wearing color when all is dark and gloomy around us. I feel it really does enliven the spirit and the atmosphere.
Have there been any surprises while creating the collection?
I had dreamt about crafting special hardware for this collection and that vision became a reality after a summer visit to Tuscany. The collection gets more and more beautiful each day.
Which piece from the collection is your favorite and why?
My favorite changes constantly. At the moment, I am partial to the mini satchel in yellow and poppy pink. But if you asked me not too long ago I would have told you I am in love with the beige with elegant pastel highlights. Next week it will probably be the large satchel. Each piece is special and has a unique story. Even the wallet is a stand-alone piece and can be used as a small beautiful clutch.
I love your quote about the Laurie Collection: "This collection is for all mothers and daughters and for all great souls who dance in love in the garden of paradise." What would you say about this collection?
The same is true about this collection! Especially because of the deep significance, it holds for me and the inner and outer connection to my Mom. And so, it is a collection for all mothers and daughters and for all great souls who dance in love in the garden of paradise!
But I would also add this message: At a moment in time where there is such divisiveness and doom and gloom in the world, we must dig deep to find our joy, optimism, love, kindness, and beauty. Poppies! invites us to look within to find our true beauty and divinity. This collection is dedicated to the One within us all: the One that embodies Truth, Love, Beauty, and Purity. And so let us rejoice in Poppies' voice of Joy.