Thursday, December 16, 2010

All a Flutter

Queen Victoria's Jenny Lind Fan
We all know the teasing beauty of the Sally Rand fan, huge drooping feathers that hide and reveal at the whim of the burlesque star! But before a fan of feathers received this ladies name, a fan of "feathers" received the name of a mid nineteenth century ladies name!

Named after the famous mind nineteenth century opera singer Jenny Lind (the Swedish nightingale) the Jenny Lind fan is made up of "feathers" sometimes real, more often of silk which form a smooth flat leaf over the sticks. It's always been one of my favorite styles because it's so unusual, and I love the way the uniform shapes open up like a rockettes kick line!

My Jenny Lind is somewhat larger than the originals, kind of an 1860's meets the 1900's, but to me that gives it something of the charm of the originals, with the added impact of later fans. There's over 2000 sequins hand embroidered on to it and it flutters like a dream!

Today we tend to think of hand fans as being small, about 8" long when closed, but for the 18th century, and much of the late 19th-early 20th century they were big! The point was display so they were the kind of size that made an impact, about 10-13" long when closed. I love a nice big fan, the movements always look more elegant and deliberate, and they have that great "hide and reveal" aspect of the Sally Rand to some degree that adds a little bit of mystery to them too.

Today I'm opening up a custom salon in the atelier section of Candy Violet! We're now taking orders for custom clothing, accessories, and of course fans! I'd love to get some fans into the wardrobes and hands of today's coquettes and quaintrelle. We'll be designing and making custom fans to fit any style, era, even costume or dress, special to each individual order.

I'd love to collaborate with any performers and pin ups and bring a real variety of fan to the scene today as well as costume and accessories, so please pass on our name if you can think of anyone who might be interested!

For right now though I leave you with the lovely Virginia Bruce as Jenny Lind....


  1. Oh my goodness... you have no idea how long I have waited to hear you say "custom fans for sale"... I could cry tears of joy!!

  2. Everyone remembers Betty Page but not enough remember Sally Rand, even though she is fabulous. Did you make the fan yourself?

  3. Haha I'm glad it was good news, I had no idea my fans were in such demand!

    Yup My Jenny Lind fan is one I made as a show piece for the new custom fans we're selling in the shop now.



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