utility + beauty
i) I wanted to write about my new umbrella, because it has been some time since I took pleasure in anything that was useful in such a simple way, and also so beautiful to me. My umbrellas have always been filmsy, foldable things, usually a freebie with a purchase - I don't remember when I last bought an umbrella. But a few weeks ago, days after I threw away a broken umbrella, I was at Uniqlo and at one corner of the store was a rack of umbrellas. I noticed them because I thought they were very elegant - handle of matte black, stormy blue, almost black, nylon, a sleek dark grey steel ferrule. The canopy, when opened, was charmingly curved - almost generous in its fullness. In short, it was a very handsome umbrella. And despite the fact that there was no rain that day, I bought it. I love it because I need it only to keep me dry, but someone thought to make it beautiful.
ii) Then I read this article about Arne Jacobsen by Alice Rawthorne, and I thought, "Yes, I think Alice would understand why I've been cooing over an umbrella".
iii) Then I saw this picture by Vanessa Jackman, with the girl wearing what looks like a navy parka, and I thought it was perfect. Navy is the colour of uniforms and authority, a colour that connotes function, and it is also a beautiful colour, reminiscent of the sea.
iv) Because of all this, or maybe just coincidentally, I have been mentally stalking a navy sweatshirt. The only thing stopping me is the sweltering humidity, plus the reluctance to buy any clothing. Still, when I laid eyes on it, I knew why I never got into grey sweatshirts, classic as they are. Because I was waiting for the perfect thing and that might just be a navy sweatshirt.
What are your favourite useful and beautiful things?
Picture from Vanessa Jackman