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Dior returns to Miami this year with the third installment of Dior Lady Art. Again, the fashion house asked a group of artists to reimagine the iconic Lady Dior bag, but this time around, all of the collaborators are women. That was at the request of the brand’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
This year’s 11 international artists—Polly Apfelbaum, Isabelle Cornaro, Morgane Tschiember, Li Shurui, Lee Bul, Burçak Bingöl, Mickalene Thomas, Janaina Tschäpe, Olga de Amaral, Pae White, and Haruka Kojin—were given carte blanche to reinterpret the architectural accessory, which debuted in 1995.
For instance, Bul, a South Korean artist, reimagined the Lady Dior bag in three models, using surprising materials and techniques to create something very organic-looking—even reminiscent of rock or moss. “I wanted to create a sense of mystery. The idea was to juxtapose two very different things. I was inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-Up (1966); by combining two different elements, we automatically create and develop a story full of mystery,” said Bul. “I asked [the Dior craftspeople] to reinterpret the unique texture and voluptuous form of each idea in an extreme way, as close as possible to the intrinsic identity of each material.”
The resulting bags surprised even Bul. “I was struck by one thing: the Dior production team had chosen materials that I would have chosen myself for my own work.”
The tactility of materials chosen by the artists for this project feels most striking. For Apfelbaum, it’s a mix of colorful geometric shapes that create surprising depth. Chains, metal details, and crystals come together for a jewelry-like series from Cornaro. Tschiember chose knotted ropes to wrap and slightly squeeze the signature handbag. Bingol employed floral embroidery and fur. Kojin chose circular mirrors and reflective surfaces.
All those and more are not to be missed this December—whether seen as wearable art for you to take home, or as an example of artists exploring their creativity beyond their comfort zone.