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Memorial Day and the Humble Poppy

I've always loved Poppies. As a little girl, my maternal Grandfather, my Poppy, had a garden with rows and rows of flowers. He was a farmer by trade and when retired, he still had a passion for growing, but preferred the frivolity of ornamentals. In my child's mind, the beautiful deep orange red flower was named after my Poppy; not the other way around. As I grew, I loved going to the grocery store and asking my parents for some money so I could get a flower from the nice older gentlemen who stood at the entrance raising money for the War Veterans. I remember attaching them to my fingers as rings or wearing them in my pigtails.

From the 2014 Art Installation at the London Tower of 888,246 ceramic poppies Each poppy represented a British military fatality during the first World War.

I later learned the poem that inspired the use of the simple poppy as a symbol of fallen solders.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place, and in the sky,

The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!

To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high!

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

~In Flanders Field by John McCrae (1872 -1918)

I will always love the Poppy. It's understated elegance, it's symbolism and it's brilliant orange red, but like my Grandfather, I understand the need for frivolity and ornament to lessen the blow of the harsh world in which we all live.

On this day of remembrance, I'd like to share a few things of beauty and how the unassuming Poppy has influenced fashion.

I will will credit what I can, but I can't always find the source.

Yulia Yanina Couture (above)

Marchesa Couture (above)

Felted Bag (unknown)

Fashion & Flowers. Painting by Nicole Gelinas & Carolina Herrera, S/S 2015. Collage by Liliya Hudyakova

Fashion & Flowers. Thom Browne F/W 2013/14 & Painting by Helen Cottle. Collage by Liliya Hudyakova

Fashion & Flowers. D&G S/S 2015 • & • Kate Larsson Watercolors. Collage by Liliya Hudyakova

Fashion & Flowers. Oscar de la Renta S/S 2011 & "Quartet of Poppies" by Karla Nolan. Collage by Liliya Hudyakova

Felted Scarf (Unknown)

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