As with many of the best stories, this one starts with a little anecdote. In September 1995, Bernadette Chirac, France’s First Lady, gave Lady Diana the house of Dior’s latest creation: an elegant black stitched leather bag. The Princess of Wales immediately fell in love with the bag and ordered it in every style. Its association with the most photographed woman in the world immediately cemented its place in fashion history. In November 1995, during her visit to a children’s home in Birmingham, Princess Diana was photographed sporting the bag by the worldwide press, holding a child in her arms. A few weeks later in Argentina, during an official visit, she once again was snapped holding her favourite bag as she stepped off the airplane. A legend was born.
Subsequently renamed the Lady Dior in her honour, the bag became one of the fashion house’s most emblematic pieces, reflecting a number of the Dior house’s codes. The stitched leather and cannage pattern are inspired by the Napoleon III chairs used by Mr Dior in his first-ever fashion show in 1947. The letters D.I.O.R on charm pendants will forever be the bag’s signature. Available in versions for day and night, the legendary Lady Dior has seduced some of the most beautiful women in the world. A succession of models and actresses have been the face of the bag, the first of whom was Carla Bruni in 1996, followed by Diane Kruger, Monica Bellucci and today Marion Cotillard, as captured through the lens of Peter Lindbergh, who represents a new chapter in the history of Lady Dior. Modern icons for an iconic bag.
The Lady Dior is undeniably one of the most famous accessories in the world, and not least for its crafting. The item’s true beauty comes from the marriage of beautiful fabrics and innovative creativity, testament to the unique skill of the bag’s designers. This can be attributed to the Florentine artisans who, with unrivalled patience and passion, are responsible for bringing the fantasy of designer John Galliano to life. Each Lady Dior takes no less than eight hours to make and requires the skill of seven craftsmen. Whether in quilted lambskin, crocodile or two-tone python, 130 pieces of leather are needed for its production, and they have to be dyed, sanded down and stitched together by hand. Each piece is cut manually and pieced together around a wooden mould. The bejewelled D.I.O.R letters, available in either silver or gold metal, are galvanised in different baths to give them their shine.
From the overstitched leather handle to the little inside zip pocket, as well as the 43 pieces of metal which make up the delicate feet that protect the bag from the ground, it goes without saying that an enormous amount of thought has been given to every last detail. This expertly created bag, which is so synonymous with French luxury, is available in different styles and colours including black, blue, red and grey. Four colours have been promoted by the mysterious and glamorous Marion Cotillard, who stars in four films directed by Olivier Dahan, David Lynch, Jonas Akerlund and John Cameron Mitchell.
The story continues
What better way to tell a story than through film? From Paris to Shanghai, passing through London and New York, Lady Dior’s story is one of Parisian elegance. Thanks to the outstanding collaboration between Dior and some of the world’s greatest directors, Lady Dior has once again become timeless and modern, sexy and glamorous and is more suitable than ever for all women and for every occasion. The latest creations, which are tailored in rose leather and satin and embellished with frilled edges and military shoulder straps, are proof of this. For summer 2011 Lady Dior boasts tie-dye prints, rope, fringing and pink, papaya or purple feathers. The famous cannage is now embroidery on plain or wild rose coloured tweed. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose: Lady Dior makes modern fashion history time and time again.