simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Parasol
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Tuesday, 5 June 2007


In order to make this photo and story work, I wanted to make a case for the resurgence of the parasol. Perhaps a little spin on the facts. Certainly the use of parasols makes the utmost sense since avoidance of the sun is now of paramount importance with ozone depletion, skin cancer, sunburn, freckling. Plus, hats don't shield enough and can lead to the dreaded hat hair. And then there is the sun-shunning goth crowd. So in a way, I'm surprised that parasols aren't HUGE, since they can also be a fashion statement. I did uncover an article in 2005 from the Village Voice that proclaimed the parasol's emergence from the 1920s, citing two shops in the city that are a seeing a renewed interest: Rain or Shine and Brella Bar. The collapsible umbrella/parasol is of Chinese origin, dating back nearly 2000 years. They are still produced in large numbers with a variety of colors, patterns and materials, so Asian product stores like Pearl River are great places to go for selection and pricing. I do occasionally see more women with parasols on sunny, hot or hazy days. (BTW, the dog in the photo is a Wheaten Terrier). In 2001 there was a photo that rocked the world - personal assistant Fonzworth Bentley holding an umbrella over P. Diddy's head in Saint Tropez. Perhaps the male parasol is not too far away ...


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