Ever since I first caught sight Robert Capa’s photograph of Picasso holding a beach umbrella over Francoise Gilot as she walked along the beach at Golfe-Juan, I’ve connected parasols with romance. Or, to be more precise, sun protection and romance; a pairing that, sadly, you don’t come across terribly often (SPF rarely causing the heart to flutter) and one that as an exceedingly pale person I heartily applaud.
Of course, love affairs – even those with accessories – are never simple. It’s one thing to say “I want to spend the summer strolling along under the lazy shadow of a parasol”. It’s a completely different thing to actually find one.
The bamboo and paper variety are easy to track down; a trip to your local oriental market should offer a decent selection. But, for those of us who lust after the architectural, structured, beauty of a Victorian fabric parasol, or Picasso’s mid-century version, things gets slightly more complicated. The modern store simply does not cater for the anti-sun worshipper. They have a vast selection of sunglasses, a smaller collection of hats, but nothing in a sunshade.
Your only option is eBay, online stores catering to historical recreationists, and a certain amount of perseverance. Try www.parasolpassion.com.
Love, as they say, is never easy.