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Ludovic Nkoth Dior Lady Art

Ludovic Nkoth, Jeffrey Gibson, and More Debut Dior Lady Art Bags

Dior taps artists Mickalene Thomas, Hilary Pecis, Ludovic Nkoth, Jeffrey Gibson and more for its latest Dior Lady Art Collection.

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The Eighth Dior Lady Art Collection

The highly anticipated Dior Lady Art commission returns for its eighth edition, inviting 12 artists to add their creative touch to the Lady Dior handbag. The maison reveals the latest marvels by artists like Mickalene Thomas, Hilary Pecis, Ludovic Nkoth, and Jeffrey Gibson, following in the footsteps of past collaborators like Judy Chicago, Raqib Shaw, Polly Apfelbaum, Ghada Amer, and Song Dong.

Given carte blanche over the rectangular handbag, which traditionally features the topstitched Cannage motif, a rounded handle, and dangling “Dior” charms, the artists are set with the task of re-creating the functional accessory with their own mediums and influences. Over the years, this has seen the iconic bag crafted with a growing list of materials including beading, PVC, embroidery, flowers, muslin, fur, and abundant imagination. While each one-of-a-kind handbag is truly a paragon of artistry, as always, there are a few designs that have lingered in our minds with a particular fondness.

Hilary Pecis for Dior Lady Art, © Harry Eelman.

Hilary Pecis and Jeffrey Gibson for Dior Lady Art

The snapshots of everyday beauty captured in Pecis’s contemporary still-life paintings become a tactile delight representing the artist’s painting of a pond of water lilies. A wavy gold handle and charm lettering capture the soft rippling movement of water, while the abundant floating leaves and petals extend away from the bag in sequins, stones, and beads.

Jeffrey Gibson Dior Lady Art

Jeffrey Gibson with his Dior Lady Art bags, photo by Diego Vourakis.

Also employing techniques of ornate beading, Gibson’s artistic signature has yielded two models in neat, colorful patterns. One suggests traditional Native American prints, alluding to Gibson’s Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, and the second suggests links in past and present through an abstract representation of a face on one side, charms made from giant pixels, and the words “I can do whatever I choose” on the other.

Ludovic Nkoth and Mickalene Thomas for Dior Lady Art

Three models from the Cameroonian-born, U.S.-based artist Nkoth—two leather variations and one in black satin—combine the universe of the maison and that of his own practice with understated elegance. The outside of each Lady Dior sees the traditional Cannage reconceived with the addition of jewelry-like details, beads, tiny enamel seashells, and small metal mask charms. The inside of the bags each holds a secret gallery for their owners, lined with fabric printed in imagery from Nkoth’s “Systems’ series.

Mickalene Thomas Dior Lady Art

Mickalene Thomas’s Dior Lady Art bags, © Dana Scruggs.

Returning collaborator Thomas imagined two new artistic renditions that reflect two of the artist’s series, respectively, pulling from a practice driven by the feminist gaze and challenging traditional standards of beauty. A departure from Thomas’s “Tête de Femme” series (“woman’s head”) sees the first bag’s surface bearing facial features depicted in alluring layers of beading and rhinestones, topped with a sparkling black crystal fringe and a red velvet handle. The second pulls from the artist’s works depicting interiors, artfully alluding to a cozy home space with seating elements and suggestions of architecture achieved through textural patchworks of various materials.       

The artistic visions of Nkoth, Thomas, Pecis, and Gibson are joined by pieces from international artists Mircea Cantor, Gilbert & George, Ha Chong-Hyun, Lee Kun-Yong, Mariko Mori, Zadie Xa, Michaela Yearwood-Dan, and Xu Zhen for the latest Dior Lady Art collection, out this month.

SAME AS TODAY

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Ludovic Nkoth Searches for Home and Harmony After a Year-Long Residency in Paris

Whitewall's Winter 2024 cover story spotlights the artist just as his time with the L’Académie des Beaux-Arts Residency was wrapping up.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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READ THIS NEXT

During Paris Haute Couture Week, Dior presented an enthralling High Jewelry collection designed by Artistic Director Victoire de Castellane.
Whitewall's Winter 2024 cover story spotlights the artist just as his time with the L’Académie des Beaux-Arts Residency was wrapping up.
Dior releases the seventh edition of its Dior Lady Art, reimagining the iconic handbag through ten new artist collaborations.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.