“When two men share an umbrella, both of them get wet”- Michael Isenberg
Which is why, all things considered (and the cute homoeroticiscm of the image aside), it’s really best that everyone have their own bumbershoot. Which is a perfectly sensible excuse to go shopping.
Umbrellas are a mystery to me. First off, I’m pretty sure that “umbrella” should be one of those words where the plural and the singular are the same. One umbrella, a bevy of umbrella. Perhaps even a herd of wild umbrella, blooming on the plains.
Secondly, in some parts of the world, you need an umbrella almost daily, either for rain or sun. They are huge, easily the most noticeable thing about you- visible from blocks away, and possibly from the surface of the moon. And yet, the same girl who’ll spend a couple of grand on one of those awful crayon-colored purses you could carry a Chocolate Lab in will think nothing at all of using a $5 pop-up from the corner drugstore.
Ladies, there is NO NEED. There are umbrella(s) out there. Cute ones. Gothy ones, steampunky ones, vintage and designer contraptions meant to provide you with both temporary shelter and a fabulous accessory.
New York’s Rain or Shine, for example, offers a host of parasols and umbrellas in a variety not only of colors and fabrics, but silhouettes. Personally, I lean towards the Edwardian pagoda style Edward Gorey look, but they have more conventional styles as well as bubbles and asymmetrical hemlines. They also offer some great pin-up looking umbrella styles for the retro girls. Most of these are the work of designer Chantal Thomas.
For those of you in the UK, you can find her work at Brollies Galore. (For those of us NOT in the UK, ‘brollie’ means umbrella).
Brollies Galore also turned me on to the incredibly froufrou confection of Guy de Jean’s Cac Can umbrella. I want to carry this this wearing a taffeta bustle worn over tight leather pants, in a London drizzle, two weeks after the Apocalypse. 110 EU.
Speaking of overseas umbershoots, I have long been lusting after one of Gallery Serpentine’s “Empress” parasols. The Australian corset manufacturer has been making these for quite a while now, but I notice that they have added a few other parasol design recently. I still like this one best. 70 AU.
For a similar look with more options in colors and handles, try Bella Umbrellas. $90.
There are also a ton of sites with cute lace parasols for sale. I like the aptly named Lace-Parasols.com, which has quite a few styles available in black, most for around $40.
For value, though, you simply cannot beat paper parasols. There are lots available online that beat the crap out of those little ones from your local Asian import junk store.