Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Lipstick Umbrella For Rainy Day in LA

It’s been dripping for days in LA. I used to spend so much time looking for my umbrella, the rain would end before I even made it outside. So began my umbrella collection. Of course, then I could never bring myself to use any of the vintage ones I collected because they would get ruined in the rain. So I started buying a bunch of cheap ones, of which this lipstick umbrella, picked up at the 99¢ store about 10 years ago, was one of my favorites. But it’s soooooo cheap that the first time it rained after I bought it I never got it to fold up again to fit back into the cheap white plastic tube. Soooooo cheap that even just lying in my purse the tube got poked full of holes from my pens. So I tossed my crippled lipstick umbrella out and headed back to the 99¢ store where I bought the last one on the shelf and committed to never opening it so I could preserve its lipstick loveliness. This became a persistent problem every time it rained as I struggled whether I should get my one-time-only use out of the umbrella or preserve it for my kitsch collection as I was also always the type to leave my umbrella at whatever destination I happened to be in should the weather have cleared before I left to come home.

Everything changed when I started buying golf umbrellas. This started when I was spending so much time in New York for my musical, The Color Purple, and had to schlep around computers, keyboards, books and whatever else it took to emulate my studio and work habits back in LA. What a revelation the golf umbrella was! All of a sudden, I didn’t need to decide whether the back half or front half of me was going to get wet or whether my body would stay dry but I’d sacrifice my purse or backpack to the elements. As long as you had a hand to carry it or a way of balancing it against some body part, a golf umbrella was like having your own private building move with you. Of course, it’s ideal to be of a certain height and you MUST have street sense while using it, but for me this was definitely the way to go. These days I always have enough golf umbrellas at any one time that I never again have to worry about losing my umbrella.

Which means that I don’t have to disrupt the sanctity of the not-really lipstick umbrella by removing its plastic tube. Or having to deal with its un-ergonomically designed the little lipstick nub handle once its opened.

If you see anyone walking around LA today looking like this it’s me.


Categories: Accessories, Fashion, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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