Find summer shade with these pretty parasols that blend modern-day design with age-old traditions.

Until recently Britain hadn’t invested in using gardens as an extension of living areas. There has been a separation between the house and garden, but this diminished over lockdown, and as our climate grows warmer we want to spend more time outside.

East London Parasols blend modern-day design with age-old traditions from the colourful lands of India and Indonesia, to create fun and flamboyant one-off pieces. With both Round and Octagonal shapes, almost every part of every canopy is handmade in Kerala by the temple umbrella makers using taffetas, hand block prints and antique Rajasthani textiles. The beautiful fabrics feature parrots to palm prints in hot pinks, lime greens, oranges, sky blue and canary yellow with finishing touches of carefully chosen tassels, pom-poms and pretty, delicate trims.

Launched by Lucy Ferguson in 2016, she was inspired to start her own business having seen the decorative parasols that are used in religious ceremonies whilst she herself was living in Kerala. Upon her return to London she wondered why garden parasols were all green, white or boring, and continued to use her colourful flamboyant parasols before deciding to start selling them herself.

Every piece in the range is a labour of love and made across India and Indonesia. The silver fringes are made in Kerala by the temple umbrella makers, before being flown to Bali, where it then becomes the form of traditional Balinese parasols. The canopies are made by talented locals, using hand block printed cottons from Jaipur and hand-painted fabrics from Bali. British partnerships include the William Morris designs.

Lucy now spends seven months a year travelling between India and Indonesia sampling, quality checking and working on the production process. The relationships she has developed with her suppliers have become a personal joy, getting to know her friends and parents and she knows their families too.

Lucy has added matching cushions, table cloths and napkins to her range. They are all designed to perfectly complement the parasols.

What is next? She looks forward to more bizarre requests and would love some challenges for bespoke parasols. Pre-orders for Spring 2022 are now open.

By Anna Bance
August 2021

Anna Bance

Anna is the co-founder of Girls Meets Dress and a contributing editor to the GWG. She expertly guides us round the most covetable online fashion.