Poppy Pure: rē•spinning Your Staycation Wardrobe
with hand-embroidered, self-care staples.
Los Angeles-born model Emily Labowe is the quintessential California Cool-girl. Known for her messy-pretty mane, glossed to perfection by celebrity colorist Chad Kenyon. But there is more to Labowe than her perfect “French-girl” fringe: her indie vibe hints at her creative depths to which she connects through practices like hand embroidery.
Labowe’s artistic inclinations were displayed with the December 2020 launch of her intimates line, Poppy Undies. In a world inundated with fast fashion, Poppy features classically vintage styles with hand-embroidered, original designs; the antidote to all that is basic. Crafted locally in small batches and delivered in rē-cyclable packaging, her collection is a testament to the value of rē-connecting within.
“Poppy [Undies] functions as a broad-scope canvas of work to create pieces that are personally meaningful,” Labowe says. Embodying her values of authenticity, minimalism, and mindfulness, the sentimentality inherent in the line yields pieces that genuinely evoke the feeling of intimacy. This Fall, Poppy Undies is launching its first full collection, Poppy Pure, consisting of undies, a bralette, a tank, and a hand-knit blanket. Say hello to the ideal starter-kit for your next self-care staycation below.
Hand-Embroidery: Connecting Through Creativity
From the original sketch to the final garment, creativity is at the core of the brand and the mindful practice that inspires it. “My mom taught me how to embroider on a matzah cover over Passover a few years back,” she explains. “It was instantly a very relaxing, cathartic activity for me.” She fell in love with the process — drawing designs, selecting colorful threads, and carefully sewing each individual stitch.
Poppy Undies’ back story teems with the familial sentimentality and their bonding over creative pastimes. “I grew up constantly surrounded by art and creativity,” Labowe says. “My mom is extremely imaginative and talented. She is always working on a new project, whether it be knitting, cooking, or even embossing.” While this is her own line, there is still a sense of them doing it together — and her mother’s upcoming line of hand-knit pieces, Lena Lou, exemplifies this. “We have always spent a lot of time together, or side-by-side, on [creative] projects. She calls it parallel play.”
A Consciously rē•born Business
The business model and branding also express Labowe’s strong connection to self. “Something I have learned through the pandemic, and as I have gotten older, is the importance of surrounding myself with people and work that reciprocally provides grounding, self-acceptance, and love,” she says. “It has become a life practice to try and remind myself of this whenever I feel uneasy or overly stressed. Poppy is an extension of this.”
A hallmark of the brand is its minimalist aesthetic; Labowe strives for the pieces to allow space for “effortless individuality, femininity, and confidence.” “The function of minimalism and the act of paring down in all aspects of life is something that both inspires and motivates me,” says Labowe. “The focus of Pure is calling attention to the simplest things that make the most impact,” she explains of the Fall launch. “These are pieces that provide ease and utility, stripped down to their most basic form.”
She describes herself as being visual and loving to create visual decks and mood boards, noting that “making and creating” helps her unwind. Labowe often incorporates self-care into her life through activities like painting with her partner, artist Adam Tullie, and mindful movement like pilates and taking walks to feel “centered in her body and emotions.” She loves gardening — potting and planting herbs, vegetables, and flowers — in a testament to the grounding effects of nature.
“The physical labor, getting my hands in dirt, is a really satisfying task,” she says. “I also read somewhere that scientists discovered that the mycobacterium in soil actually increases serotonin in the brain, so you literally do get happier while planting.”
Labowe’s Perfect Staycation
Poppy Undies’ Fall launch provides the ideal uniform for a slow-paced day devoted to lounging — something Labowe revels in. “My ideal [staycation] would be spending the day outside at my house [in] my daily uniform at home, which is either Poppy Boxers or my favorite pair of Champion black sweats, with a swimsuit top or bralette, socks, and slides,” she says.
Keeping cozy is key, which is where a multicolored, knit blanket comes in, which was handmade by her mother. “Each square is a different color and stitch,” she says. “Whenever I am under it, it’s like an instant, calming, motherly hug.” To pass the time on her dream staycation, she would paint with her mom or partner, or play with her family’s Goldendoodle, Odys. She would have “Le soleil dans le monde” by Domenique Dumont playing in the background to complete the ambiance.
Noting that snacks are an absolute necessity, Labowe’s perfect day at home calls for GT Dave’s Strawberry kombucha and a platter of her favorite snack foods at her fingertips. “I am a big snacker and ultimate fan of dips,” she proclaims. “A massive tray of snack selections would include a variety of dips from Trader Joe’s, Persian cucumbers, bell peppers, cut-up summer fruits like figs, nectarines, peaches, and cherries.” Just in case a sweet tooth strikes, she adds that mini peanut butter cups are what hit the spot.
Poppy Undies: Intimates That Evoke Intimacy
Labowe is not the first of fashion’s It-girls to show that the minimalist aesthetic and indie vibe are “cool,” and she will not be the last. But minimalism feels soothing in a world with many uncertainties, mercurial trends, and lives bustling with ever-expanding to-do lists. Poppy Undies is Labowe’s genuine expression of artistic authenticity, embracing a conscious alternative to the profits-driven status-quo, and putting her penchant for curating a mindful lifestyle on display. By fusing the brand’s fuss-free aesthetic with the sentimentality of its origins and her genuine love for the craft, Poppy Undies does something truly unique, offering intimates that evoke the notion of intimacy through intentional rē-connection within.