Thursday, 31 July 2008

Fans of cool style

Fans are a stylish way of keeping comfortably cool during the hot weather we're experiencing and that visitors to the Olympics in Beijing are likely to encounter. They're also a tried and tested method of creating a bit of breeziness too, having been around for quite a while - at least 3,000 years in fact.

If you haven't visited the Fan Museum at Greenwich, I highly recommend it. You can learn all about the history and even the anatomy (left) of the fan. The first types of folding fans were inspired by those brought in by merchant traders from China and Japan. Fans were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries and continued to be imported from the Far East, as well as being produced in Europe.

Fans were originally associated with nobility, but gradually became more widely available - though they've always remained something of a fashion statement, if not a showcase for artists ( another case of fashion meeting art in history).

We've got a selection of vintage fans on sale at ShopCurious: from the decorative hand painted oriental variety to dramatic flirty feathered types. These unique accessories make an exotic addition to any outfit and are also great as an unusual gift.

Peacock feathers were often used to embellish Chinese fans (see above right). In China, the peacock is a symbol of beauty and dignity. An old Chinese legend tells the tale of a daughter of a top military commander who painted a peacock on an ornamental screen and promised to marry the first man who could hit the peacock twice with arrows whilst running. This resulted in the curious term "Selection by hitting the bird screen" - a Chinese euphemism for finding a husband.

For some modern day advice on this, click on the pic to the right. Alternatively, you could simply use your fan to create an air of mystery and allure ... and await the response.
Will you?

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