When I’m living in Taipei, I feel like it’s completely normal to put up an umbrella when the sun is out. It’s very common in many Asian countries, such as China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. On Summer days like today, the sun can be very harsh in Auckland, and I tend to use an umbrella to stay cool and avoid getting sun burnt. Skincare is incredibly important, particularly in Eastern Asian culture, where beauty products have an emphasis on having healthy, bright skin. Our skin is the largest organ, which is why we must take good care of it, as it reflects our health.
Protecting your skin from early signs of aging. In order to avoid blemishes, wrinkles, spots and sun burns, sun protection is very important. I do feel that this is one of the reasons why some Asians look younger than their age, as many spend a lot of time taking care of their skin. Many people invest in skincare products that help maintain healthy and glowing skin.
Keeping cool under the umbrella shade. When the sun is blazing hot, an umbrella can be a great way to create some shade. It allows one to stay cool during the hot Summer months, when it seems like 2 minutes in the sun will make one start sweating. I find an umbrella helps, as my hat can only cover parts of my face, but an umbrella can cover your face and neck.
Avoid getting a sun tan. I still remember when my sister and I were in Taiwan as children, and we walked past two elderly ladies. One of them said “她們好黑!” which translates to “They’re so black!” because growing up on a farm, I tended to be playing outdoors all the time and had a very tanned complexion. There is nothing wrong with having a tan. As I grow older, I prefer to embrace my natural complexion.
The beauty standards are different. When I was living in Sydney, it was common during the Summer time to see topless men and women in bikinis at the beach, park and backyard tanning. It’s similar in NZ, where many Caucasians feel that a tanned complexion gives a warm glow that’s attractive. In East Asia, Pale skin is seen as beautiful.
It’s important to get enough Vitamin D from the sun each day, however this ranges from 15-30 minutes. If you are in the sun for several hours or travelling a long distance, then it can increase the chance of getting a sun burn. Remember to always wear sunscreen. It’s good to have a habit of wearing sunscreen everyday and protecting yourself from the sun. What are your thoughts? Do you carry an umbrella when it’s sunny?
Nana Komatsu for Kimono hime November 2014 Shodensha Mook
As we Aucklanders know, the weather can be quite unpredictable at the best of times. One moment the sun is shining and the sky is a beautiful blue, and the next moment it’s pouring down with showers and the clouds seem to fly by very fast. Throughout the last 5 years I have been through at least a dozen umbrellas. My third umbrella this year said goodbye today, before going inside out as the blustery wind blew heavily, it was quite a sight! I’d seen these wonderful Blunt umbrellas for quite a while, read several reviews and watched the videos online to see the level of wind resistance. It seemed like the right time to invest in one to resolve my umbrella dilemma.
There’s a wide range of colours to choose from blue, pink, red, orange, green and many more, with various different sizes from XS Metro, Blunt Lite, Blunt Classic, Blunt XL and more. I was considering getting the yellow one, as it’s a bright sunshiney colour on a rainy day, but I noticed that there was a Limited Edition Karen Walker design that was just absolutely lovely. It was sold out when I looked online, and so I went into the Karen Walker store in Britomart to make the purchase. It felt like such a relief to finally get an umbrella that won’t let me down, as you can probably tell as I’ve dedicated a post on umbrellas!
“There’s something about sheltering under a Blunt umbrella that gives a gorgeous sense of sanctuary. You’re in your own private world, your own dome, light and sound take on a different attitude and you feel ever so slightly removed and cocooned. It’s kind of heavenly.” – Karen Walker
The Blunt website says: Karen Walker is NZ’s top fashion designer well-known for her chic-meets-eccentric handwriting and her love of print and colour. This season Blunt Umbrellas has collaborated with Karen Walker to bring you another Limied Edition. The much-coveted Bird print from Karen Walker’s new season collection ‘Babou’s Revenge’. They are sold in the size XS Metro, and are designed in New Zealand. Featuring a whimsical bird print, that look like droplets of giant raindrops in the distance. Blunt Umbrellas are known to be one of the strongest umbrellas and can easily fold up. However, I find that they are at a size that’s more suitable for fitting in a medium-large bag.
Their collaboration from last year was a huge success, which has led to the release of a second collection. Featuring the bird print from Karen Walker’s new season collection, ‘Babou’s Revenge’. They are sturdy and stylish to brighten up the day and combine the elements of style and functionality. We’ve all experienced the feeling of the umbrella going inside out and sadly disposing it into the bin, wondering if this will be the endless cycle of purchasing a new umbrella one after another. The size is suitable for a single person, and can squeeze two people. If you have a Blunt Umbrella, what are your thoughts and your experience with them?