Fan story and language, timeless class accessory

From catwalks to the heavy air of public transport, there was a big fan comeback recently. A stylish and timeless accessory that has always characterized fashion, it is highly versatile in terms of styles and materials from which it can be made. It is often necessary to return the fan to fashion with the advent of heat, but its timeless charm makes it indispensable in many other situations beyond temperature. After years of being considered an item for old ladies and princesses of the past, in fact, it is now among the accessories that will always be in your purse.

From Japan to the French court, a fan in history

Favored by designers all over the world, the fan has an ancient origin. The first evidence of its use is in bas-reliefs and paintings.Ancient Egyptand its use is described in Greek tradition and in Etruscan and Roman. In the Middle Ages it was mainly made from canvas and pens and was used mainly in religious ceremonies. In the second century BC, rigid bamboo fans were already depopulated in China, but it is Japan that we owe the folding model which we know and use today. It was brought to Europe by Portuguese ships, which by the end of the 15th century gave way to trade routes with the East. Along with fine spices and silks, the fan reached the French courts, springboard to fashion Olympus. Catherine de Medici and the English Elizabeth I will make it not only an item of luxury and power, but also a tool of communication. The symbolic accessory of the eighteenth century, thanks to the development of an accurate coded language, was actually used by court ladies to exchange information without having to open their mouths.

Assortment in fashion today

Bring it back into fashion and brandish it in all its charm, even to the point of making it distinctive. Karl Lagerfeld in the 90s., who is often spotted and photographed at parties and parades with a folding fan. It’s not a big step from here to the catwalks, but we can say that the great return to the fashion world happened in 2017, when Gucci offered a hard version during Milan Fashion Week. The same model that flew shortly after beyoncé during the NBA All-Star Game, sitting courtside with Blue Ivey and Jay-Z. Also in 2017, the accordion fan became part of the Rihanna in a sports collection for Puma, and two years later Lupita Nyong’o had a version with rainbow colored feathers. at Met Gala 2019. As in French courts, even today the fan can be a communication tool and a creation London designer Christopher Kane. When unfolded, his paper models carry messages such as “More Joy” or “Sex”. Helen Mirren flaunted on the red carpet of the last Cannes Film Festival, where it was shown on the occasion of the premiere of Johnny Depp’s film “Jeanne du Barry”. While apparently spreading “#WORTHIT”, the choice of the actress sparked controversy as it was interpreted as a gesture of tacit support for Amber Heard due to the “#AmberIsWorthIt” hashtag created during the trial. The interpretation was denied by Mirren, who instead clarified that the message was due to her role as an ambassador for cosmetics brand L’Oreal.

Fan language

In the 19th century duvelleroy, a Parisian handfan brand that is still in operation, published a pamphlet titled “The Language of the Fan”, taken from a book by the Marquis Louis-Antoine de Caraccioli, a French nobleman of Italian origin. It’s about this instruction manual which contains a list of gestures that can be performed with the fan and a value associated with each. For example, according to the pamphlet, holding an open fan in the left hand meant “come and talk to me,” while holding it in the right meant “follow me.” Passing a fan across the cheek is used to show someone all affection. Placing a fan on the left ear would mean, “I wish you would leave me alone.” To agree or refuse, simply place the fan on your right or left cheek, respectively. The code is long and articulate, so be careful when deploying it if you don’t want to get into unexpected situations.

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