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Mandarin Oriental

Nestled in the heart of Mayfair’s Hanover Square, the new Mandarin Oriental sits just across from 44 Conduit Street, the Mayfair home of the Vivienne Westwood boutique. Through a shared love of the historic area, one of London’s finest and oldest squares, Mandarin Oriental collaborated with the house of Vivienne Westwood to design a handcrafted fan to illustrate this elegant square and create a signature emblem to inform the individuality of the new Mandarin Oriental hotel.

The inspiration for the fan started with the historic Square, named in honour of George I, the Elector of Hanover. The square was laid out in the late 1710s and was originally lined with fine terraced houses, occupied by some of London’s most celebrated society figures. Our senior designer, Alex Krenn explains, “The design of the fan sees two silhouettes meeting, dancing. Dramatic – well dressed – mysterious, perhaps friends meeting in the afternoon, perhaps glamorous lovers. The two figures are inspired by traditional paper cut-outs and Vivienne Westwood campaigns. The silhouettes are framed on a hand drawing of the square, turned on its head. Vivienne did this in the early years, in her Worlds End shop, with an image of Piccadilly Circus upside down.”

This is the first fan to be fully crafted on British soil for over seventy years, bringing together traditional artisanal skills and craft, brought together by Ian Block from The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers (The Fan Makers Guild), founded in 1709.The other fan is framed and on permanent display in the hotel.

The Silk Weaving for the fan leaf was created with The Gainsborough Silk Weaving Co Ltd, and hand woven in Suffolk. The Wooden Sticks that form the body of the fan were made from a London Plane tree that fell in a storm in St James’ Park, then hand carved and waxed by Malcom Cox, an expert in carving fan sticks.

Mandarin Oriental

The design was hand drawn in 8 layers on a light box - each element to the illustration has its own layer. The design was then screen printed onto silk in Southall by Ivo Textiles Ltd, while the finished silk leaf was pleated by London based Ciment Pleating. The Artist Tom Saunders then completed the painting of the design over the sticks. The charms for the fan were made in silver by the London jeweller, Katy Feldstein. Finally, the fan was then assembled at Ian Block’s workshop in London, A.T.Cronin Workshop Ltd.

A second handcrafted fan will be auctioned by The Auction Collective, to raise money for War Child, the only specialist charity for children affected by conflict. The sale of the fan will support War Child’s Children’s Emergency Fund which supports children in crisis when disaster strikes, such as the outbreak of war or the rapid deterioration of a conflict situation.

For further information, visit The Auction Collective and War Child UK

Please note, the auction will run from the 23rd of May - 28th June 2024.