This is the second shirt I’ve made to commission in ‘Poppyseed Dreams’, a print that Liberty say was inspired by Indian textile art and that hints at Sixties’ psychedelia.
Back in the Sixties, I wasn’t old enough to enjoy psychedelia; but one thing I did like was an Opal Fruit.
Yes, I know they have renamed and reflavoured the chewy cuboid sweets (Starburst! I ask you!) but to me they will always be Opal Fruits. And when I look at the zingy citrus colours in this shirt, I can almost feel the back of my palate shrinking away from the citrus pinch that oozed from the green ones as you bit into them. I always left the green ones till last. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them – I just needed to work up to them.
Maybe it was those green opal fruits that inspired the lime snaps on this shirt:
Incidentally, the Opal Fruits jingle must have been the most insidious ever. I remember it to this day; in fact I used to sing it to entertain my kids on long car journeys, simultaneously stuffing their faces with Starburst. It went like this:
“Opal fruits! Made to make your mouth water!
Fresh with the tang of citrus!
Four refreshing fruit flavours!
Orange! Stawberry! Lemon! Lime!
Opal fruits! Made to make your mouth water!”
I know I put a lot of exclamation marks in there, but that’s the way it was sung – with a chirpy sense of urgency.
The oldest version of the ad I can find online dates from the Seventies, by which time, sadly, only the first line of the song was in use. But I remember the whole lyric. Like I said: insidious.