The microclimate of the London Underground never fails to befuddle us. Boasting the potential to throw a wardrobe completely out of whack, even on the frostiest days it can render regular commuters with little more physical integrity than a hot-and-bothered bundle of surplus winter layering.

Short of stripping starkers on a peak-time Central Line (not something we’d recommend) a fan is the simplest and – in the case of Fern Fans, brainchild of Daisy Hoppen and Amanda Borberg – most sartorially savvy alternative.

Launched at the beginning of this year to the delight of warm-blooded mammals everywhere, these delicate designs have wafted through the seasons as wedding accompaniments, party plus-ones, and interiors objets d’art thanks to the intricacy of their Damask-like motifs and whimsical florals – a signature calling card of textile artist and co-founder, Amanda. And, while there’s something undeniably bygone about the premise of a hand-held fan, both Daisy and Amanda have made it their mission to bring their creations into a contemporary context.

So, following the launch of the autumn/winter – and second – collection, we shot the breeze with the women behind our favourite fan club…

Tell us about the language of fans… What kind of things could be said with them?
We loved the idea of a fan language, which has certainly been embellished over the years. Namely, how to communicate, signal and flirt; you could even beckon a gentleman, and then send him away! Ultimately, a vague language or way of using the fan developed, because men and women were unable to interact in such a casual way as today’s romances. Fans were both decorative objects, reflecting of a certain station and class, as well as a facilitator of conversation. 

What first fascinated you both about fans? Is it their nostalgia, the romanticism of that bygone era, or something else?
We have both always loved the idea of a fan – there is so much you can do with it in a creative way – but also the nostalgia. Personally [Daisy], I would have loved to have lived in the Regency period; it was such a vibrant time, both in terms of society and style.

That said, your designs and motifs aren’t ‘antiquated’ as it were. What inspired these?
This was really important to us! There’s a certain age and romanticism associated with fans, and we wanted to bring them into a modern time. They are still invaluable, and as practical as ever before, but they also needed to relate and appeal to a contemporary audience. 

Has the new collection developed from your first, then?
We are always trying to stay true to what we think is visually interesting rather than following what others think a fan should look like… Everyone has their own opinion! To always have an unexpected or slightly random element is important for us. Colour is also key, plus graphics and design – where Amanda is really strong!

Where did the name Fern Fans originate?
We liked the idea of an organic shape, a fern, and its curved nature – add to that the classical image of someone fanning themselves with a palm leaf many centuries ago. It felt life a natural fit to bring nature and the modern take of a fan together. 

Fan the flames of your fashion desires; click here to shop the Fern Fans collections.