Temperatures continue to soar in the city, with the hottest day of the year hitting 36C last month. While we're not ones to complain – what with balmy evenings spent sipping Aperol on London's rooftops – we're struggling with our sartorial choices when faced with sweltering commutes, unrelenting sunshine, and faulty office air con.
Back in 2016, when presenting her pastel-hued debut Fenty x PUMA collection, Rihanna paired her dusky pink get-up with a lace and pearl-embellished handheld fan – surely the chicest end-of-show designer step-out of all time?
Since then, a slew of fan brands have been picked up by Instagram's coolest on the clammiest days of the year. Fern Fans, founded in spring 2017 by fashion PR Daisy Hoppen and Danish textile designer Amanda Borberg, make handheld fans from birch wood and cotton. "We noticed that there was no one producing and selling beautiful and contemporary fans," Daisy tells Refinery29. "Most of the fans we saw seemed to be throwaway ones for events or weddings – or very traditional."
Instead, Fern Fans creates a plethora of contemporary designs, from graphic prints to hyper-feminine detailing. "Amanda has an incredible eye – she works with Hay, Ganni and Sakura Swimwear among others so she brings her Danish sensibility to my more traditional British one," Daisy explains. "We look at our environments as well as textiles, and look to the past as well as designing more modern prints."
Fans (sorry) of the brand include Susie Lau, Camille Charrière and Laura Jackson, who have all been spotted beating the heat with their pieces.
It's not just indie brands providing us with the heatwave essential, though. Gucci and Chanel, too, have a selection of handheld fans, Alessandro Michele's with his typical eccentric prints – an owl and bold Japanese writing – and Chanel's in grey silk and diamonds (naturally).
Whether you go for a Marie Antoinette-esque fan, all drama and maximalism, or keep it simple with a more contemporary print, the only accessory we're reaching for during this summer's heatwave is a fan. Hot and bothered? Us?