AnOther's Lovers | Hand Painted Umbrella by Greer Pester...
— June 29, 2012 —
We unveil our favourite post on AnOther Loves, and interview its contributor
Hand painted umbrella by Greer Pester This month has been one of the wettest Junes on record, rendering umbrella-carrying essential. It therefore comes as little surprise that the AnOther team’s Most Loved product of the week is this beautiful hand painted umbrella by multi-disciplinary artist Greer Pester, chosen by AnOther fashion coordinator Mhairi Graham.
The word "umbrella" derives from the Latin "umbra", meaning shade or shadow. Very early forms of umbrella can be found in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China, although these were initially used as protection against the sun. The Chinese were the first to waterproof their paper parasols, with wax and lacquer, for use in the rain. The umbrella arrived in Europe in the 16th century but it was not until the latter half of the 18th century that it found widespread popularity in Britain. Nowadays, umbrellas are a rudimentary consumer product with a large global market, and are customarily mass-produced in factories, but a number of small, specialist umbrella shops continue to exist, such as London’s James Smith & Sons, which first opened in 1830.
In fashion, many of the key design houses have turned their hand to umbrella design; typically sticking to plainer, classic designs (think Prada or Louis Vuitton) but occasionally opting for more colourful alternatives – notably those from Marc by Marc Jacobs with their eye-catching prints, including Batik and animal. Meanwhile, Burberry’s A/W12 campaign, entitled Midnight Rain, explored the Romantic connotations of rainfall, and featured a slick umbrella with a duck head handle. In film, there are also a number of iconic umbrella references, from Catherine Deneuve’s royal blue umbrella in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which stood in perfect contrast to her bright yellow raincoat; to Gene Kelly’s umbrella-wielding dance in Singing in the Rain; and Mary Poppins’ famous parrot-headed umbrella which allowed her to soar the skies.
Here we talk to Graham about why she chose to Love Greer Pester's hand painted umbrella, her ultimate wet-weather outfit and her favourite rainy day activities...
Why did you choose to Love this hand painted umbrella by Greer Pester?
I love this umbrella. It is part of a project called the Umbrella Objective, where 20 umbrellas were delivered to 20 artists. They filmed and documented their work, which was presented on the 17th June in Glasgow as part of Artfusion.
Do you own an umbrella? If so, can you describe it?
I have owned many umbrellas, the majority of which have been lost on busses, in bars, at parties… I think I provide a charitable service to London. Currently I'm rocking a slick pop-up number with a wooden handle. Coming to a floor near you soon.
What is your ultimate wet weather outfit?
Mary Quant set the bar for defying rain in style. For me, an APC Mac with an Alexander McQueen skull-handle umbrella. Mulberry S/S12 also had some popping coloured rainwear this season.
What’s your favourite thing to do when it’s raining?
Curl up indoors with a book, or good company.
From Four Weddings and a Funeral to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there are many iconic rain scenes in cinema. Do you have a favourite?
Spiderman, upside down, kissing Mary Jane in the rain.
What is your favourite season and why?
Winter: Christmas, Halloween, fireworks, my birthday and the excuse to wear multiple knits.
What is the last thing you bought?
A vintage hat on Portobello road. Not as effective as an umbrella.
What is your favourite online shop?
Text by Daisy Woodward