The weather is in a funk lately with the first two weeks of this month set to be warmer than July and the mercury expected to rise to a high of 35°C. While that news certainly brings our attention to the pressing climate crises (learn how you can get a crash course on it here), we suggest you arm yourself with a handfan.
The accessory, which has been around since the time of King Tut, has been fanning a fashion trend of late, spotted on everyone from Fashion Week goers to stars on the red carpet. Lupita Nyongo made a statement during last year’s Met Gala when she paired her rainbow-coloured Versace dress with an outrageous/outlandish matching handfan; Kacey Musgraves held a fan on the album art of her Grammy-winning Golden Hour; while fashion brands like Ulyana Sergeenko and Maison Rabih Kayrouz have handed the fan as a party favour to showgoers.
The popularity of the handfan has also shone the spotlight on the ‘designer’ versions. A brand that has built a cult following for its romantic vintage-inspired handpainted designs is Fern Fans, which was started by London fashion publicist Daisy Hoppen and Danish textile designer Amanda Borberg in 2017. Their designs are made from cotton and birchwood in the Spanish city of Valencia which is well known for its fan-making tradition. Even Christopher Kane has created his versions for his summer 20 collection featuring cheeky slogans like “More Joy”, “Sex” and “Special”.
Then there is the master fan maker Duvelleroy, which was founded in 1827 and supplied designs to the French nobility and Queen Victoria. The brand was revived in 2010 by two Frenchwomen and today makes some of the most extravagant designs featuring feathers and embroidered fabrics worthy of couture. The good news: it offers more affordable everyday designs dubbed “fashion fans” that can be equated to a ready-to-wear collection. Consider us fan girls.