As Jodie posted last year, as the temperature rises in Madrid, the number of fans that can be seen on the streets, metros and buses seems to increase in direct and infinite proportion. From what I have observed, there are a wide variety of fans on the market, from your less expensive, everyday “street” fan to your tricked-out, top-of-the-line fiesta fan. A few weeks ago I figured that after nearly two years of living in Madrid, it was high time I acquired my own abanico.
Like the average Spanish woman, I decided I needed two fans – one for cooling myself while sitting on a terraza and sipping a tinto de verano and another, more formal fan to use at my upcoming wedding. I recognize that I am getting married in the brisk season of autumn in New York City, but this purchase was more for effect (and photos).
Following Jodie´s advice, I decided to look for my regular fan at the massive Sunday market known as El Rastro in La Latina. The selection was wide and the prices were more than reasonable (I saw fans ranging anywhere from 1 euro to 25 euros). After elbowing my way into every fan stall along the way, I finally settled on an off-white, two euro number to best complement any outfit – practical and economical. For my boda fan, however, I wanted something more traditional and artisanal so I started doing some investigating and discovered the incredible Casa de Diego, a traditional tienda with two locations in the heart of Madrid.
Casa de Diego was founded in the 1800s and makes, sells and repairs fans, umbrellas, castanets, shawls and a variety of other traditional Spanish accessories. From what I saw, the fans range in price from about 10 euros to a whopping 1,000 euros! I ventured there alone one weekday afternoon and was more than a bit intimidated at first. Luckily for me the kind, Spanish woman working at the store had a special box set aside that was just for abanicos de novia. Once I had the selection of about 20 beautiful fans narrowed down to three or four, she helped me settle on the final choice – a simple ivory fan trimmed with lace that is sure to be a treasured keepsake for years to come.
Whether you are looking for something to keep your face fresh on a typical ride to work or are trying to fit in with the elegant, Spanish ladies at your next formal event, Madrid has a fan for everyone.
C/Mesoneros Romanos, 4
Puerta del Sol, 12