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Fashion: Fans

Fashion trends with Georgian era fans

No one would attend a Georgian era ball without their fan.

Surpassing even the quizzing glass in popularity, the fan was essential, first and foremost for fashion, but also for practicality. Do not be mistaken in assuming only ladies had fans--these were popular with both sexes. In terms of practicality, a fan would keep the wielder cool, protect any spoiling of cosmetics from heat, and prevent cheek flushing from warmth.

A luxury only for aristocrats in the 17th century, fans were mass-printed in the 18th century, available to all classes. It was not uncommon for someone to have a matching fan for every outfit in their wardrobe. So necessary of an accessory, there were even special fans for mourning.

Despite rumour of a secret "language of fans," this simply was not a thing in the 18th century. That said, the handling of a fan could tell onlookers a great deal about the good breeding and elegance of the fan wielder, as the person unfurling, fluttering, and even peeking from behind the fan should be doing so with the most graceful of movements.

Enjoy these fun posts:

The Fan Circle International: Fans in 18th Century Europe

Geri Walton: 18th Century Fans

Sarjeant Gallery: Chicken Skin Fan

Contouche: Fans of the 18th century

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