Fashion: Esthetics for a Rainy Day

Umbrellas are considered practical items, not usually objects for beautification. Some manufacturers have strewn them with flowers or polka dots, but the steady demand is for the ubiquitous black number—as exciting as an American cheese sandwich.

Clearly, there was a need to lighten the grim situation, and the need has been met in the form of the bangasa, the traditional Japanese parasol. Stores around the country are selling an improved version, made in Japan, to the specifications of U.S. Importer and Designer John Reynolds. The first few sessions under a bangasa, which is fashioned...

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