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Umbrellas have made an interesting journey since they were invented over 4,000 years ago, with artifacts in Egypt, Assyria, Greece and even in China. The first model of its kind was designed to provide shade from the sun, and was commonly made of natural fibers. In time, artists took to handmade designs with intricate designs, some with wooden heads of vultures and others in the ivory-shaped flowers. It became an accessory for both men and women of the gentry and a symbol of social status.

Then came Gene Kelly, who taught us to sing and dance in the rain. For the sake of the experience, we probably also ruined some of our favourite clothing along the way. Today, umbrellas are making a comeback, from artisans reviving the handmade craft to innovative designs launched by young brands. Here are some designs that will have you waiting for the rain.

The Classic
Hermes – What started as a passion for saddle making evolved, almost naturally, to horseback riding clothing and accessories in the 1920s. While some of their handbags require a waiting a list, stocking up on a classic handkerchief and an umbrella are indeed a classic start. Paris is one of those cities where, even under incessant rain, head-to-toe chic is never underestimated. Meticulously crafted with beech wood handles and in the signature orange shade, this is a piece made to last.

Rain’n’Roll
McQueen does it again, letting you rock in the rain with this edgy and fun design. This one is a definite conversation piece. The famous skull handle – available in gold or silver tone – stands out against the surprisingly simple yet practical design, made of waterproof fabric and swift mechanical movement.

Elegance
Il Marchesato – the best in craftsmanship of this umbrella is in its 24K gilded handles, pure silk and almost 200 crystals to keep you shining. If you appreciate 100% made in Italy, this is it. As elegant as it looks, it’s also durable in design and made of the double-resin coating fabrics renowned for strength and resistance, so you can weather any storm.

Crystal Clear
The Italian-designer Ernesta Pasotti began producing handmade umbrellas in the 1950s and sold them while riding her scooter. Fifty years later, Pasotti umbrellas are still making their mark, most notably for the use of Swarovski crystals that are applied by hand. Today, the company is engaged in limited edition products so customers get the best of personal design using exceptional fabrics, decoration and handles.

Everyday Chic
Guy de Jean – creative, feminine and French chic go a long way in these flirty designs that will take your mood from grey to great, right from your doorstep. Made in France and using innovative techniques, each umbrella is a true original, incorporating a wide range of durable fabrics and user-friendly handles designed for a lady’s hand.

The Bubble
S
ometimes you just want to feel like a girl again and this umbrella is a great excuse to dance in the rain, alone or in good company. The transparent vinyl material will keep you dry but you still get to enjoy the view. The musical notes and ‘singing in the rain’ script will have you, quite literally, singing in the rain. Made of eco-friendly POE.

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