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  • Colleen Kratofil


Dior announced the seventh edition of the Lady Dior Art Project, a handbag collaboration with 11 artists from around the globe

Brian Calvin

The Lady Dior handbag has gone down in fashion history as one of the most iconic and coveted accessories of all time thanks to a famous early fan, Princess Diana. The style debuted in 1995 and was originally called the “Chouchou,” or “Favorite” in French. After the First Lady of France, Bernadette Chirac, gifted the People’s Princess the purse, the royal carried it so often, including to the 1996 Met Gala, it eventually became better known as the “Lady Dior” bag.

Over 25 years later, the design — with its signature structured boxy shape, “DIOR” charm and Cannage topstitching — remains a classic and one of the most recognizable styles from the maison.

Diana, Princess of Wales at Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art for a benefit ball.

(Photo By: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

The bag’s roots are a nod to Christian Dior himself. The easy-to recognize quilted design was inspired by Napoleon III chairs guests perched on during the brand’s very first fashion show in 1947. Now, Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, revamps the design each season with new materials, embellishments and sizes.

Brian Calvin

The brand gave the bags an especially modern flair in 2016 when it tapped a select group of creatives to reinterpret the Lady Dior handbag with their own artistic visions. The results were so inspiring that Dior is about to release its seventh edition of the Dior Lady Art project featuring collaborations with 11 artists from around the world: Brian Calvin and Alex Gardner (California); Shara Hughes (New York); Dorothy Iannone (America, Berlin-based); Ghada Amer (Egypt); Sara Cwynar (Canada, Brooklyn-based); Minjung Kim (South Korea, based in France, Italy and USA); Zhenya Machneva (Russia); Françoise Pétrovitch (France); Wang Yuyang (China); and Bouthanyna Al Muftah (Qatar).

Françoise Pétrovitch

Alex Gardner

Each artist brought their own sense of creativity and signature aesthetics to their designs to pay tribute to the savoir-faire of the brand. There are surrealist and pop art takes by Calvin, figurative artwork featuring a pair of hands by Gardner and a playful aviary-inspired interpretation by Pétrovitch, who reimagined the bag’s signature charm in the form of a bird. Some playful adornments include ruffles from Al Muftah and Machneva’s tasseled appliqués. As a special bonus, each contributor extended their work into the bag with a poetic surprise.

Shara Hughes

There will be a pre-launch selection of new Lady Dior Art pieces available this month followed by the full global launch in January.

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