The Lady Dior bag is a classic of the Parisian house and twelve artists from around the world have brought their visual art touch to the classic tote.
Taking her name from the late Princess Diana, the well-known and global icon was a lady – Lady Diana – before she was married into the British royal family. Before Princess Diana, the bag was known as the Chouchou bag, but when Princess Diana was seen wearing her quilted black version, Dior changed its name.
The carefully square but more rectangular bag is an architectural feat with lines enhancing the cane motif. As it passes from generation to generation, it captures the hearts and eyes of women around the world. In 2016, Dior’s female artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, reinvented the Lady Dior bag by launching the Dior Lady Art project. According to a press release from the house: “It is a concentrate of the excellence of the House, season after season, because it continues to forge its timeless heritage, at the crossroads of modernity and excellence – becoming an object of art and desire, revisited by artists. of the whole world.”
This project is Chiuri’s way of promoting art and her vision for Dior. In its sixth edition and through Chiuri’s vision, Dior chooses twelve artists from around the world to work with the house to reinvent the bag through their own eyes filled with art. Artists are not subject to any restrictions as they design according to their own expression.
This year’s artists have traveled from Dubai to Shanghai, Tokyo and Dublin. They are: Manal Aldowayan, Gisela Colón, Johan Creten, Genieve Figgis, Gigisue, Antonin Hako, Zhang Huan, Leonhard Hurzlmeier, Yukimasa Ida, Daisuke Ohba, Li Songsong and Lina Iris Viktor.
Chinese artist Zhang Huan has collaborated with Dior in the past, sharing that the house codes align with its goals. “The Dior Lady Art Project represents the feeling of love, the transmission of great power.” For him, art and fashion go hand in hand. Inspired by the energy of the universe, which Huan believes in love, this was the basis of his bag.
His Lady Dior interpretation was a small black bag and a larger green bag. New York-based Anglo-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor found the opportunity to experiment and test her visual territory, which she had not yet explored. “It’s equally gratifying to be part of a legacy of guest artists, and a chance to discover how my art can be translated through mediums, specters and forms.” As this was the first time she had reinvented a fashion accessory, it gave Viktor the chance to be challenged as she reinvented a full-fledged historic and existing work of art with her own vision.
Inspired by the future, she says, “it was a fusion of many different eras of work. I took the visual landscape of flora from the Dark Continents series and merged it with the golden symbology of the constellations. The colors are a reference to what I have experienced and to things to come. So for me it was a fusion of the past and the future of my practice.
And the Saudi artist, Manal Aldowayan, who revisited the bag with a special Arab touch.
These twelve experts use various techniques and know-how for their handbags, showing all the different aspects of their detailed personalities. “As a final touch, these pieces are adorned with delicate reworked ‘Dior’ charms reminiscent of the lucky talismans that the famous superstitious Monsieur Dior always carried with him.”
This year’s Dior Lady Art bags are a bridge between the famous house and world cultures and, as Dior said, it is a connection through the combined prism of imagination and exceptional craftsmanship. . An ode to freedom.
Dior highlighted this sixth edition in a special podcast. Discover the artists featured in this article, their podcast on their Lady Dior bags: Manal Aldowayan, podcast here; and Zhang Huan, podcast here.