Umbrella: A Mannequin In A Dress

Or, is this a Valentino frock in miniature?

It’s the rainy season and you need an umbrella decked out in couture. This Pylones brolly is so marvelously dressed (or arranged, your pick) in full-fashion glory that it looks like something Pierpaolo Piccioli might have designed for Valentino. You know, the silk tulle swirls that seem to be constructed to stand up to gravity. The ruffles that cocoon, but not to protect; rather, to let the body retreat into its own supple and yielding armour. The sumptuousness that avers what Oscar Wilde said: “Nothing succeeds like excess!”

The French brand Pylones has, of course, a knack for personifying everyday objects—particularly kitchen aids—with a fashionable eye. This time it’s the humble umbrella. The end tip, usually a screw cap, is given a round woman’s head, which recalls the old Lanvin mannequins during the reign of Alber Elbaz, and the handle is in the shape of a pair of boots, possibly wellies! Placed standing when folded, and with the canopy strap secured, the canopy can be arranged or ruffled to create a dress shape of couture proportions. Of course, you could do this with any compact umbrella, but no matter how skillful your arrangement, a dress is not quite so without a head, even when not supported by a neck!

The Rain Parade umbrella, SGD44, is available in five colours (white, black, purple, red, and cyan) at Pylones. Photo: Chin Boh Kay

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