Like a flower blossoming, there is a magical discovery when you unfurl the fans of Sylvain Le Guen. Gifted with an unbridled imagination, the Frenchman has created exquisite fans that include a fan based on a corset and the spreading wings of a peacock. For the French perfumier, Francis Kurkdjian, he created a fan in which the ‘leaf’ was made up of five layers of perfume tester strips that were impregnated with Kurkdjian’s perfumes.
Le Guen’s fans are a combination of ingenious creativity and extraordinary craftsmanship. They are produced with an incredible precision, which is required, as they are inspired by the craft of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. It is his ambition to make the folding fan not only a complete fashion ‘accessoire’, but an ‘objet d’art’.
From inception to conclusion, Le Guen carries out all the stages of making the fan. He creates his own prototypes and models from rough to finely polished materials including serpentine bone, mother of pearl, aluminum, horn, tortoiseshell, ivory, ebony, pear wood and rosewood.
The inspiration for Le Guen to create fans comes from a diverse range of subjects, such as Marlene Dietrich, a Venetian mask or Matryoshka Russian dolls. To date, a fan based on a magazine has not been created. When we suggested to Le Guen to create a fan using the content of our four published issues, he readily accepted our invitation.
In three stages we’re going to show the creative process of how Le Guen creates the 200% fan. This first post will show the first steps of Le Guen cutting and assembling the fan leaf elements. In our next post, we’ll show the actual making of the fan sticks and the mounting of the elements onto the sticks. In the final post, we’ll present the final result wherein we will discuss the ins and outs of creating the 200% fan.
Text Thierry Somers, Pictures: Nathalie Baetens