It all began back in September of 1995 when France’s First Lady, Bernadette Chirac, gave the Princess of Wales the newest handbag from Christian Dior. It was adorned in black leather and featured an elegant stitching. The Princess immediately fell in love with the bag. Her new found obsession led her to order the designer purse in every style available. Since Princess Diana was known to be the most photographed woman in the world, it was inevitable that the designer handbag would be featured in several of these pictures – and that is exactly what happened.
In the following November, the bag was first captured on film during a visit to a children’s home in Birmingham. Lady Di was shown holding a child and carrying her new favorite designer handbag. The princess was then seen toting it a few weeks later while on an official visit to Argentina. Following these two major appearances was the birth of a legend. The House of Dior decided to rename the bag in honor of the princess by titling it the Lady Dior. Since then, it has become one of the most iconic bags for the House of Dior.
While John Galliano’s design seems somewhat simple, it is no easy feat to bring it to life. Each one requires a minimum of eight hours to construct and the work of seven craftsmen. 130 pieces of leather are needed for each bag and they all must be sanded, dyed, and hand-stitched then manually cut and placed around a wooden mold. Plus, the famous D.I.O.R. jeweled letters are all galvanized in different baths to ensure their luster. Even the feet of the bag are intricately designed with 43 pieces of metal coming together to protect the base from the harshness of the ground. One of the more fascinating elements of the designer handbag is its incorporation of some of the design house’s history. Mr Dior’s very first fashion show in 1947 featured Napoleon III chairs. These beautiful chairs are channeled through the cannage pattern and stitched leather featured on the outside. This reminiscent element gives the bag a touch of classic elegance that is undeniable.