Everything about OPIATE

On my birthday, 23 november, I released a project I had been working on for months. I’m so proud of it, and the reactions have been amazing! In this blog post: a look behind the scenes, information about the project, and how I got to this result.

The beginning

I did a lot of brainstorming with the amazing Nils Missorten of Milopunk and model My Fragility. Together we came up with basic designs for each look. Looking back, I think it’s hilarious to see the sketches line up with their finished counterpart!


My Fragility was supposed to have a “Gate” of hair where she could crawl out. I did try that idea but ditched it after realising the model had quite a small head, and she would be completely swallowed by the design. That’s why I went for the assymetrical cotton ball shape.


With Farida, I pretty much stuck to the original design. I added a cage in front of her face to give more of a ninja-esque look. It was a very heavy and difficult design to work with, so Farida was a real trooper for sticking it out so long in this torture device. At the shoot itself I decided to give her a very subtle top knot, to have that Asian reference in there.


Marina‘s look was a follower’s favorite! I am so proud of how this came together. The original idea was to have a tree growing out of her head, with hair growing out of the branches, so everything would be connected. I think I succeeded in that, but the piece was VERY heavy, so I tied a chiffon scarf around it which gives it a very bonnet-like feeling. I loved how it turned out!


Kenzo came in the team a bit later, but Nils had really pushed me to go for a male model to complete the diversity in models we already had. I had no idea which model I wanted, so that’s why the sketch says “Dudebro”, haha!
I knew I wanted to do something with bold colors and very stiff, glued down hair. As I prepped the hair, I thought to myself: “that’s boring. Let’s make a hundred little triangles and make a space mohawk!” And that’s what I did. Loved the final look!


Ophidia was the only one I couldn’t prepare anything for. While all the other models had wigs or extensions, Ophidia was the one I had to start from scratch on, because I could only use her real hair. I wanted to do a huge snail house on top of her head, and have the rest really huge and poofy. Of course, on the shoot itself, you try out different things and I found the style I came up with much more interesting! She got 2 snail houses instead of one big one.


Milinda’s look was a design by Nils. He had made paintings inspired on these patterns and wanted to have that in the shoot as well. I love a challenge, so I got to work. I love how the patterns turned out! Alas, they were very fragile, so we only have a few shots with them.
As for her real hair, I slicked that back and let it crawl over her shoulders.

The shoot itself

I had planned every little detail, so nothing would go wrong. Everyone was perfectly on time, did exactly what they had to do, and we were done one hour before the estimated finishing time! It was a true dream to shoot. Even though it was very hard work, and I was dead tired afterwards, it was such a rewarding experience.
Seriously, this was a dream team. I hand picked every single person to work with, and I am so glad I made all the right decisions.

Hidden meaning? 

I included a little hidden meaning behind the titles of the sets, and if you use google well, I’m sure you can figure it out yourself. But in case you don’t feel like that, here’s the explanation…

As the name suggests, OPIATE is showing different kinds of drugs.

Raptus is the party drug, like XTC or MDMA.

Zauberpilze is German for hallucogenic mushrooms. This is more for the trippy, nature-inspired drugs.

MAOI is for antidepressants. The hair is like a maze, which is what depression is – a maze you can’t get out of.

Anodyne is the painkiller. All the metal through her face suggests pain like needles through skin and headaches.

Indica is a type of marihuana plant. I loved the fuzzy texture of the hair, like she has her head in the clouds. Marihuana gives that fuzzy, calm feeling so I thought it fit very well.

Directly from google, because they can explain it better: “Shabu, a slang term for the drug methamphetamine used in Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.”
It’s  a drug used in wars for example, to give the soldiers more adrenaline and more inclined to kill. I loved the Asian atmosphere we had in the initial sketch, so I wanted to work with that. It’s a very flowy, almost demonic hairstyle.



Thank you all for reading! I hope this was as interesting to read as it was for me to write and think about. Let me know your favorite character of the OPIATE project!

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