The origin of the hand fan can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt.
Particularly fashionable in the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries, in more modern times the hand fan has faded in popularity.
BUT...one woman is determined to bring this forgotten accessory back in vogue.
Julijana Trifunovic founded her boutique designer hand fan label 'Julijana Joseph' earlier this year, offering women a range of modern hand fans with interesting, bespoke designs.
NSS Editor, Michelle Larin, recently caught up with Trifunovic to talk about her reinvention and revival of this classic summer accessory.
Q: Julijana, tell me, what is it about the hand fan that most appeals to you?
A: To me, a hand fan is not only a beautiful fashion accessory, but also a very useful one for those hot and sticky days and nights!
Q: Where did you get the idea to start-up your own boutique hand fan label?
A: I was at a barbecue on a hot summer's day and wanted something to fan myself with. I grabbed a magazine from the car, which wasn't suitable at all! A few weeks later, I went out to buy a hand fan and couldn't find a modern, quality, fan with great designs. I have always been interested in design and fashion so I thought, “why not create fabulous fans of my own”?
My fans are perfect for use in the hot Australian climate, whether at the races, while watching the polo, attending a wedding or sunning yourself on the beach or poolside!
Q: From what materials are your fans made and where do you make them?
A: My hand fans are made of oxford cloth a (poly/cotton) and cherrywood timber. They are made in China under strict quality control.
Q: Do you design all of the prints yourself?
A: Yes, I do. All of my hand fans are inspired by the wonderful people I know. For example, “The Mimi” is inspired by my sister Mimi who has loved roses from the age of five when a neighbour introduced her to gardening. She now has a fabulous rose garden and roses are scattered all throughout her home. The “The Frances” is named after a good friend of mine who loves and always wears leopard print. Each fan has its own story!
Q: How should a lady old her fan?
A: A fan needs to sit between the fingers and the thumb in the palm of your hand. For the best breeze, it needs to be fanned loosely using the wrist. On my website, I have included a section called "the language of the fan", which shows you the movements that women used to communicate messages to men back in the 17th and 18th centuries!
Q: To where should a lady take her fan?
A: A fan should be in your handbag ready for use on any occasion! I use mine everywhere and anywhere; at barbecues, weddings, the beach, on the train, inside the bus, whenever and wherever it is hot, really! They are great to take on holidays too. Some "Fan Club" members have sent me photos with their fans from Hawaii, Cairns and Tuscany!
Q: What’s your favourite fan from the Julijana Joseph collection? (Mine’s “The Micky” – it’s on my Christmas wish list!)
A: I love "The Micky" too! It’s fun and bold. I also love “The Anna”; it’s beautiful and bright. But I can’t go past the Leopard Print - "The Frances"; being a Leo, it suits me!
Q: Julijana, tell me about yourself. What did you do before opening your designer fan business?
A: I started my career as a paediatric oncology nurse, afterwards moving into more philanthropic work helping to raise funds for a number of charities. For example, for over the two decades I worked in the charity sector, I worked for an organization assisting people with disabilities, Red Nose Day, Jeans for Genes, a school and a social justice film festival. All of my fundraising jobs required event planning and funding partnerships, but a lot of the work involved idea generation, creativity and development. In the end, this is what drove me to start my own business.
Q: From where can we purchase your beautiful fans?
A: My fans are stocked online at http://www.julijanajoseph.com/ and in a number of stores across Australia. A list of retailers is available on my website.
Julijana Joseph Hand Fans are soon to be featured in “Famous” and “Who Magazine!”
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