SINGAPORE (Nov 19): For the third edition of its “Dior Lady Art” project, the Dior fashion house has invited 11 artists from around the globe to reinvent its famous Lady Dior handbag. This year, the French luxury brand’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, chose to celebrate women in art with an all-female line-up of artists.

Lady Dior bag reinvented

The Lady Dior handbag — named in honour of Princess Diana, who carried it on many occasions — proved a hit as soon as it was released in 1995. Embodying the spirit of the French fashion house, the bag, with its graphic codes, mostly comes finished with a “cannage” motif inspired by the Napoleon III chairs on which Christian Dior seated his guests at fashion shows. More than 20 years later, the bag has become a fashion icon, as well as a symbol of French craftsmanship, with various versions seeing the light of day.

Every year since 2016, the Dior fashion house has invited artists to create their own interpretations of the now legendary bag via its “Dior Lady Art” project. The collaboration was initially open only to British and American artists before going global. It takes a new turn this year, with 11 women artists being invited.

The women — visual and contemporary artists, photographers, painters and sculptors — have put their skills and creativity to turn the Lady Dior bag into custom works of art. They are Olga de Amaral (Colombia), Polly Apfelbaum (the US), Burçak Bingöl (Turkey), Lee Bul (South Korea), Isabelle Cornaro (France), Haruka Kojin (Japan), Li Shurui (China), Mickalene Thomas (the US), Janaina Tschäpe (the US), Morgane Tschiember (France) and Pae White (the US).

Highlights include a Lady Dior stitched with cotton leaves hand-finished in 24-carat gold by de Amaral and a black velvet mini bag embroidered with chains by Cornaro. Li’s version in coated fabric is embossed and printed with a holographic effect, while the black patent calfskin version by Thomas is embroidered with a multicoloured patchwork of beads, threads and organza. 

Watch out for various events from the Dior fashion house to mark this latest limited-edition creative selection. 

Tree of love

Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg will be bringing her iconic sensibilities to Claridge’s in London, where she will design the luxury hotel’s annual Christmas tree.

The American designer follows in hallowed footsteps, taking on the project a year after Karl Lagerfeld brought an inverted, silver-gilded design resembling a glimmering stalactite to the hotel’s art deco lobby.

Known around the world for her iconic wrap dresses, von Furstenberg will create a tree she is calling “The Tree of Love” — which she says will celebrate “all aspects of love and life”.

The Christmas tree is not von Fursternberg’s first collaboration with the luxury Mayfair hotel; she designed a series of rooms and suites for the hotel in 2010.

This will mark the ninth year in which Claridge’s has invited a guest designer to reinterpret the famous tree. Before Lagerfeld in 2017, Apple’s Jony Ive and Marc Newson took on the challenge, preceded a year earlier by fashion designer Christopher Bailey.

Von Furstenberg will unveil “The Tree of Love” on the morning of Nov 27 in the hotel lobby.

New global creative director for Timberland

British fashion designer Christopher Raeburn has reportedly been snapped up as the new global creative director of footwear and clothing brand Timberland.

The designer, who has carved out a name for himself, thanks to his successful eponymous brand, will unveil his first full collection for the brand for Fall/Winter 2020, WWD reports. He will continue to head up his own label, which is based in London.

“Christopher will be central in helping to bring Timberland’s brand creative vision and purpose to life, not just in our product collections, but in our store environments and marketing — literally every touchpoint we have with the consumer,” Jim Pisani, global brand president of Timberland, tells WWD.

The designer himself adds that the collaboration will be an innovative one, saying: “I challenged Jim and told him it’s going to have to be comfortable — and uncomfortable. That’s the very nature of the way that I work. It really is about changing things and innovating.”

Raeburn, who founded his own label in 2009, is known for his innovative work with used and repurposed materials and has previously incorporated everything from old military jackets to parachutes into his catwalk collections. This focus on sustainability is something Timberland is said to be keen to maximise, in line with the brand’s wider environmentally friendly goals, which include the aim of sourcing 100% of its leather from gold or silver-rated LWG tanneries by 2020.

This article appeared in Issue 857 (Nov 19) of The Edge Singapore.

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