Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fan Challenge

The language of the fan is something that still enchants us today.  It is also an effective means of communications in a crowded area.  One can only hope the eighteenth century male understood rejection at the hands of a fan better than the twenty-first century male missing body-language queues from the floundering girl at the bar.  Here are some basics for you to practice with.

Touching closed fan to chin- "Your flattery annoys me"
Fanning away from face- "I am not in love with you"
Tapping left cheek- "No"
Tapping right cheek- "Yes"
Twirling in left hand- "We are being watched"
Open wide- "Wait for me"
Open and shut- "You are cruel"
Placing handle on lips- "Kiss me"
Finger on tip of fan- "I wish to speak with you"
In right hand in front of face- "Follow me"

And ladies you must be aware of a fan touching your girlfriend's left ear. That means "I want to be rid of you!" aka "Girls, get me out of here!"

That brings me to the challenge.  This past New Years Eve while I was out celebrating with the masses my eyes fell upon a woman on the dance floor - with a fan! It wasn't even me!  I immediately consulted with Lauren and we agreed, 2011 should be the year we bring the fan back.  We propose that you follow the mysterious NYE lady's good example and start carrying a fan around to all social events; let's start the trend, or rather, bring it back!

Fan Guilds
Souvenirs of Spain has affordable fans in many colors, so you can color coordinate.
WheeWare has fun quirky fans such as this adorable word bubble fan which tells others to "read my fan!"

Are you up to the challenge?


  1. Fans ARE back!! See these gorgeous new examples:

  2. Wow!! I hadn't seen that! Well, if Lagerfeld says it is so, it must be.

  3. Whoops -Sorry the link to the NYT story cut off. Here it is, bitly-fied:

  4. I love fans - so elegant and pretty. I bought a fan when I was on holiday in Spain two years ago. I used it to deal with the heat but it would be great to accessorize your outfit with as well. Only colour I have is red, though. I should get a blue one, too. :)

  5. Hooray! I carry a fan fairly regularly, and I love to do it. I teach scottish dance and go to formal balls several times a year. They are sweaty affairs but very dressy, and a fan is indespensible!

  6. I agree- I went to a wedding last summer that was soooooo hot (temperature) I had my fan with me all the time!

  7. I had a fan instead of a bouquet for my wedding last summer. I wanted a fan, and I ended up finding a vintage fan made of lavender(one of the wedding colors)ostrich feathers at an antiques store

  8. Before texting, the fan... apparently. What a charming painting. Whose is it?

  9. I was going to mention Lagerfeld but am de trop.

    Next topic: Sumptuary laws!

  10. @Renate, I bought a cheap fan in Rome due to it being incredibly hot and I being in long pants (Thank you DaVinci airport for losing my luggage) I used the campy thing to death!

    @Diane, Ooo yes I can see a fan being indispensable in those situations!

    @MadameKat, Thanks for the link and fab pictures!! I love the Abedul wood fans...might just have to invest in one...or two...

    @Margravine, You were prepared, I am sure some envious eyes were directed your way!

    @Apoidea, Ooo I might have beg a picture of that off you. It sounds gorgeous! I've always liked the idea of bridesmaids being supplied fans for weddings too.

    @Balsamfir, You are so right! The painting is by Pietro Rotari.

    @Retro, Thanks for the suggestion, I'll get on it!

  11. I love ans; and I do not understand why in aren't they more used; specially in hot countries such as mine.

    I do use them at Summer (and at parties or clubs). Since I am a man I go for sober monochrome models.

    Even so it attracts lot of attention and people stare. I normally stare back and put a smile on my clean dry face while looking at their greasy sweaty ones...

    Post scriptum: How about a «Tarts with Fans» photo contest on your blog? I would submit one!

  12. Oh i would love to see the fan come back! They are so elegant and flirty...:)

  13. Huzzah! Many, many thanks for this fabulous informative post, and I assure you my girlfriends and I will be using it prodigiously. ;)

  14. I've been merrily carrying fans for over a decade! I have a collection of more than 40, though some are for display more than for everyday use, but I certainly have enough that I can match to almost any outfit. They're indispensable in the summer heat of a Southern town where many buildings still aren't air-conditioned -- but they're just so much fun as well. I'm well enough known for them that I've been brought in on occasion to teach actors how to use them on the stage with fluidity and emotional expression. :D

  15. Look at this:
    Fan is the best accessory :)

  16. Loved this post! Fans are indeed fascinating, and it would be a lot of fun if they became a trend again!

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