The British summer is no excuse to get caught out by unexpected rain, so the common wisdom goes. So ingrained is the notion of terrible English weather that once the umbrella was an ubiquitous part of any lady or gentleman’s daily accessories. Think of the cliché of the ‘bowler, brolly and briefcase brigade’ of Whitehall civil servants that once formed the outside world’s common impression of London.
Blame it on climate change, hoodies or skinheads. Whatever the reason, the umbrella has become an almost begrudged afterthought for a generation that Mrs Thatcher taught to feel entitled to better things, including the weather, no doubt.
Jamie Milestone, however, plans to change all that. With his brand London Undercover, he plans to put his stylish and environmental umbrellas back where they belong; right at the centre of British sartorial flair.
Given the increasing awareness that we now have about the sun and it’s dermatological impact, there’s probably one or two of London Undercover’s models that could double as useful parasols in addition to keeping one dry during a shower.
In a range of thoughtful designs that revive the umbrella with a nod to quintessentially English culture, London Undercover’s designs vary from the fairly traditional with a subtle twist to flamboyantly humourous proclamations of British culture. The latter includes models such a slim walker with a bright red gingham exterior whilst beneath the shelter of the fabric, the lucky owner can feast on a full English breakfast. The former range from models that are elegantly classic to dapper little numbers such as The Commuter that combines a pinstripe exterior with a nod to London Transport’s contributions to design on the interior fabric.
London Undercover umbrellas are currently available from some of the world’s top department and specialist stores or through the brand’s website.