Although I live in Eldorado, which sits only a few counties away from the ever-creeping-towards-us edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, we have been enjoying the El Niño effect this year, which means a wetter spring than usual. In celebration of our recent (and hopefully continuing) monsoons, I’ve been sporting one of the most unique umbrellas ever seen in Texas or anywhere — the.
No, those couldn’t possibly be great big white drops of bird-poo on the umbrella’s dome, even though it’s certainly the effect alluded to by the bird flying away on the umbrella as well as on the umbrella’s sleeve.
The Squidarella, so named because it is a collaboration between UrbanTrim and SquidLondon, a UK design house, is an umbrella with a compact design. When it is put away, the Squidarella measures approximately 9.5″ x 2″. It’s got a 1.5″ x 1.5″ receptacle base which keeps the pointy ends of the umbrella’s dome tucked away, and there is a wrist strap for those who like the added security when using their umbrella.
Like many portable umbrellas, the Squidarella has a sliding post design that will allow it to extend and lock at about 19″ long. When you begin to unfurl the Squidarella, you can immediately feel a difference between the black material and the portions coated in white; the black is typical umbrella nylon, and the white feels similar to how the design on a silkscreened shirt would feel. Here’s what you are actually dealing with, though …
The umbrellas are made with the colorful design as the base. The design is then covered by the special ink designed by SquidLondon. The ink is white giving the silhouette look to the umbrella, but when the ink becomes wet it will no longer be visible and will allow the colorful design to show through.
Want to see what happens when the Squidarella gets wet? Sure you do …
So to start, you have this striking black and white umbrella that may or may not have been designed to look like a passing-by pterodactyl used it for target practice.
When rain starts to fall (or the umbrella gets wet from any water source – like my finger dipped in a bowl of water), almost immediately the vivid colors will begin to appear. The more water applied, the more vivid the colors.
It takes a while for the colors to fade as the umbrella dries, but the colors will continue to change, over and over, as many times as the umbrella is dried and then re-wetted. Watching the colors appear and deepen is fun, and you’ll notice people watching the initial color change smiling — whether they mean to or not.
Here’s a great video of the Squidarella in action …
The UrbanTrim Squidarella is a unique and fun umbrella, and it is guaranteed to make little girls’ eyes grow wide in wonder … and then they’ll want to “fingerpaint” on it. It’s portable enough to throw in your tote or gearbag so you’ll always have it “just in case”, and unless you get caught in a Texas-sized gale, it should keep you dry without a blow-out.
Theis available directly from the manufacturer or from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
MSRP: $38.00 + $6 shipping
What I Like: Portable design, unique pattern that defied explanation when dry ; bright, cheerful colors are revealed when the Squidarella gets wet
What Needs Improvement:Oh, I don’t know … it would be nice if they offered a gale-force wind model, as I will be sad if and when the first 40mph wind catches my Squidarella just right …