Dior bags in Art

by Alain Chivilò


Christian Dior’s favorite issue contains the eighth edition of the project dedicated to the famous bag of the French fashion house that marries art, creating new exclusive models.

Dior Lady Art #8 invited twelve artists, both women and men, who redesigned, not in stylistic forms, the visual and material impact of the Lady bag. About thirty models, some have made four, some one, become palettes with the original support which, based on the various exclusive projects created, are transformed.

The selected creatives are: Gilbert & George,  Mariko Mori, Zadie Xa, Xu Zhen, Hilary Pecis, Mircea Cantor, Jeffrey Gibson, Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Ludovic Nkoth, Mickalene Thomas, Lee Kun-Yong and Ha Chong-Hyun.

Manual skill, craftsmanship, different thoughts and feelings, different ways of seeing, other points of view, figures, drawings, shapes, colors and applications where everyone was self-involved in the personal Lady Dior bag.

Mircea Cantor inserted the concept of continuity, connection and transmission through a rope skin, a concept very present in her creations. The handles of the bag have the phrase “Make heaven from what you have” in the English, French and Romanian languages. The charms present are golden for a reference to the world of jewellery. Each bag, inside, contains a silk scarf designed and signed by the artist and a logbook for artistic journeys.

Jeffrey Gibson starts from his expressiveness which combines different elements such as Native American craftsmanship, the use of fabrics, painting, engraving, video and sculpture. His two Ladies are adorned with 1001 neon-toned beads and nylon, neoprene and leather inserts. If the first presents joyful ethnic motifs, the second depicts the artist’s face with the D,I,O,R pendants.

Gilbert & George become an iconic duo by intertwining in an X with a double effect, inserting the obvious motto love always forever and delicately embroidered beads creating effects between materials and colour.

Ha Chong-Hyun has created a poker of Lady characterized by the presence of materials and nuances. Colors including blue, red, hemp and a combination of cold shades act as a canvas for inserts to give effects of movement.

Lee Kun-Yong infuses his non-static art into four creations. Three are enriched by the gestures of his action painting along shapes and colors. The fourth, Dior grey, in leather adorned with beads and crystals outlining a non-obvious, but gentle, heart shape. Each bag has the artist’s signature in velvet thread under the flap.

Mariko Mori places herself in three of a kind. An interior landscape taken from the eighth consciousness of Buddhism, Alaya represents her first creation. Continuing a kaleidoscope bow provides personality to the second model, while the last one lives on a rainbow-colored bubble. The letter O of the D,I,O,R pendants has the artist’s signature.

Ludovic Nkoth in one black leather bag and the other in white, both edged with black beads replacing the stitching. A third features enamel shells on the handles and a satin lining. The interior of each bag displays the artist’s paintings from the “System” series on the lining.

Hilary Pecis and her floral Lady. Beads, sequins, stones in an enchanting garden of flowers embroidered between water lilies and pond. The charms and handles are redesigned into a wavy shape.

Mickalene Thomas from the Tête de femme series graphic lines of cannage create three-dimensional shapes for figurative embroidery via beads, rhinestones and sequins. The second creation brings a very colorful interior scene made in patchwork and 3D printing.

Zadie Xa in four models. The traditional craftsmanship of Najeonchilgi revisited in an ultra-modern prism. Each bag has mother-of-pearl appliqués for expressive windows. The back of the bag features a geometric patchwork in bright colors inspired by Pojagi. One model also has sculptures of tiger heads and three-dimensional silk flowers.

Xu Zhen. His two creations are adorned with phrases and exclamations in gold and silver applied to a reflective surface. Groups of words enclosed by precious workmanship.

Michaela Yearwood-Dan in chromatic abstractions between colors and shapes, embellished with fabrics and beads. Metal flower petals but also the brand’s pendants are revisited by a leaf or in deep black.

The choice between models is huge, while the workmanship, concept and brand have their price. Everything to see and touch in Dior stores and in the various official sales channels.


©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo

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