Lilacs and Parasols

Couple of weeks ago I received  a beautiful gift  – gift so precious that I’m still amazed by it and honored for receiving it. My friend and photographer Stela, together with her mother, gave me an old vintage cocktail dress that once belonged to her grandmother.

From a very early age I had fascination with fashion, but not only in terms of combining everyday outfits and eventually, taking pictures of some of them for this little blog – I love history of fashion, fabrics, stories behind various fashion items and people that made them.

Stela’s grandmother was a first class old school seamstress, and also a true fashionista. This beautiful dress with delicate lilac print has so much history behind her. It was made by vintage clothing firm Haroú, for which I found the following quote:

Not yet in his class is William Pearson, also a designer of talent. Mr. Pearson has had his own business for six of his 36 years before that working for Haroú, a California concern. His clothes have a young, contemporary look.” (1966) So, Pearson designed for Haroú”.

When I decided to do the post with this amazing dress my first thought was ” I gotta get myself a parasol! ” Truly, in my mind, no summer vintage look is complete without that perfect little accessorize. Now definitely a rarity in our everyday fashion, parasol is slowly making his return on fashion runway – and I hope it is here to stay 🙂 !

All the pictures were taken in the front yard of “Ivan Mestrovic Gallery” in my hometown Split. This beautiful gallery is actually a family palace of one of our most famous sculptors, Ivan Mestrovic – if you ever visit Split you must check it out!


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“Haroú” vintage satin dress with lilac print – still so beautiful, it feels like it was made yesterday, and not fifty years ago!

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Color block suede heels by Zara


Parasol bought on E-bay, “Cherry Cherry” clutch by “Miss Dee Hand Made Bags” from “Let Them Eat Fruit !” collection

The term parasol usually refers to an item intended to protect people from the sun. “Para” means stop or shield and “sol” means sun. Parasol  evolved into modern form around 4000 years ago in ancient Egypt and China. Because of their high cost and limited manufacture, parasols were almost exclusively used by nobility. Fashion demanded that nobility carries pale skin that was not tanned by sun (a tradition that survives even until today in Japan, where pale skin is regarded as one of the most important factors of female beauty).


It was the French Women who popularized the use of an umbrella during 17th Century and by 18th Century the use of an umbrella had spread across the whole of Europe. During 18th and 19th century parasols remained extremely popular, and were viewed as absolutely essential part of lady’s outfit.

lady with a aoarasol monet 1886 victorian

“Lady with the parasol” – 1886. painting by Monet


Ladies from “Downton Abbey” series don’t go anywhere without their parasols



Use of parasols in the 20s

By the early years of 20th century, waterproofed umbrellas started gaining more and more popularity in general population, which slowly made high value parasols outdated and later on unfashionable.

Constant fashion changes have slowly enabled resurgence of parasols in general population. It also seems a growing awareness of the damage caused by the sun has helped make an old-fashioned affectation hip again.


Matching dresses and parasols in the 50s


Fashionable ladies – Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe


Louis Vuitton SS 2012

tsumori chisato

Tsumori Chisato

kate middleton singapore carrie

Duches Catherine of Cambridge and Sarah Jessica Parker as her iconic character Carrie Bradshaw

To Dream of Japan fashion photography by Tina Patni for Amato Haute Couture

Modern take on parasols “To dream of Japan” – fashion photography by Tina Patni for Amato Haute Couture – love it!

Thank you Miss Stela for the beautiful pictures and this beautiful dress 🙂 !

10 thoughts on “Lilacs and Parasols

  1. If I wouldn’t have read what you wrote I would have never known that this dress was vintage! It looks so perfect! How sweet that your friend gave you her grandmothers dress, that is a real honor! It looks wonderful on you! Your accessories complete the look so beautifully!


  2. Pingback: Happy First Birthday “Miss Dee STyle” Blog :) ! | Miss Dee STyle

  3. Pingback: Shoe Gal | Miss Dee STyle

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