Handbags have always been a fashion staple accessory to complete any outfit, and today I will shine the light on one of my favorites, the Christian Dior bag collection. The influence of Christian Dior is still seen in modern designs and even on other designers. The brand itself has also managed to stay relevant for over seven decades, so why not?
The idea of investing in a high-end designer bag sounds appealing to me, which I am sure is the same for fashion enthusiasts. The impeccable quality of such bags makes the price worth it, as they are long-lasting and trendy for years to come. From the classic Lady Dior to more recent designs, here is a rundown on all things Christian Dior bag.
History of The House of Dior
According to the original timeline, the House of Dior was founded, in December 1946, at 30 Avenue Montaigne Paris, but the company marked its opening year in 1947. Since it only launched its first spring-summer collection in 1947, named “Corolle” and “Huit” presented at its headquarters, which was dubbed the “New Look,” and started a new style revolution.
The collection featured feminine pieces of full skirts emphasizing the hips and the bar suit that flattered the bust. The New Look collection was widely accepted by many amidst a few critics since it was a clear contrast to the designs people were used to at the time. As Christian Dior’s popularity spread, so did the spark of the French fashion industry, to put France as the fashion capital of the world.
Haute couture came in; the brand also increased its design portfolio to include various luxury items such as hats, scarves, lingerie, jewelry, and handbags. With the Christian Dior name placed visibly on some of these pieces. The idea was to create a complete set of items a customer could use for a whole outfit, including perfumes. The perfumes also had a backstory, with one of the earliest releases named Miss Dior, in honor of Catherine, the sister of Christian Dior.
The Dior brand caught on with just about anyone. After its expansion to New York City and other parts of the world. Which at its prime was the largest exporter of fashion products from France.
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The rise of Christian Dior bags
The Costume Institute Metropolitan Museum has in its archive several Christian Dior purses from the early 1950s. However, when Dior decided to start making its handbags, Dior was not known to produce leather goods. So, back then, the bags were outsourced to leather artisans to create after they had come up with a design.
The clan of Dior bag faithful was solidified by three bags– The Lady bag, Book tote, and the Saddle. The Lady Dior bag was the most famous after being carried by the late Princess Diana. The designs of the bags are associated with Marc Bohan, the second designer/ creative director to take charge of the fashion house after the death of Christian Dior.
Marc is said to have come up with a sketch for a handbag, which was a lopsided design model, with the word Dior written in italics slanting and placed repeatedly over each other to form a diagonal line. This did not make it to the runway until two years later, in its 1969 spring collection, where a model was seen carrying a shoulder bag to complete a wool coat outfit.
The boxy bag featured the iconic initials splashed on anything as Dior’s signature piece. When John Galliano took over, he still featured the Dior askew initials on his Saddlebag design. Its current creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, has also been known to apply the signature askew monogram to all its new bag styles.
1. The Lady Dior Handbag
The House of Dior regards the lady Dior bag as contributing from its one-time creative director Gianfranco Ferre. The story behind the bag’s creation started in 1995 when the first lady of France, Bernadette Chirac, requested a custom-made bag from Dior. A purse was meant to gift Princess Diana, who is set to visit Paris. Drawing inspiration from the upholstery designs of Napoleon III chairs, Christian Dior used them as some of his first fashion shows. The method of the lady Dior bag, with a rectangular box of quilted black leather, was made to match the taste of the Princess.
Lady Dior’s structure is elegant and firm, so it is stable. Which was a way the designer paid tribute to Monsieur Dior, as he had a design philosophy of constructing dresses like buildings. The bag also featured half-arched handles with golden yellow metal accessories.
After its presentation to Princess Diana at the Grand Palais, her love for the bag was evident. Over time she was spotted with the purse on several occasions back home in the United Kingdom and overseas. This Victorian purse inspired by the Princess became part of the signature bags associated with Dior.
In recent times, the bag has been crafted in three basic sizes (small, medium, and large); the large is manufactured by hand. All are available in calfskin leather, patent leather, and fun prints with various high-quality materials.
2. The Saddle bag
Spring ready-to-wear collection 2000 debuted the saddlebag under the creative leadership of John Galliano. The bag was indeed fit for the beginning of a new era, as the clothes they paired them with had side slits, lack of hemlines, and cut denim pieces. The collection was well-received, and when it started rolling out to the mainstream, a few celebs like Paris Hilton and Carrie Bradshaw made it the bag of the season.
The success of this bag was its unique shape, which takes a resemblance to the side saddle of a horse. Galliano did several iterations after the fashion show, and it stuck in the fashion industry as a bag of the aught. Since then, the purse has been a part of the Christian Dior bag family.
Its reign eventually dwindled as the years went by, only to be resurrected in 2018, the peak of Y2K and all things early 2000 inspired, which has only slowed down a bit. The saddlebag was presented on the runway for fall’s 2018 American patchwork collection, headed by its current creative director. With the inclusion of new colorways and prints, the rave for the purse came alive to regain its spot as a bag to own.
3. The Book Tote
The book tote bag was launched by Dior the previous season before the resurgence of the saddlebag for the 2018 spring collection. Models hit the runway carrying big tote bags and were soon tagged the Book tote. The bag design and size were the selling point, as it soon became the carry-all bag for everyone, including celebrities.
Judging by the crafting of this bag, it is an elevated piece that features the signature askew monogram sketch of Marc Bohan back in 1967. This print feature is achieved because the tote bag is a plain canvas at the start that allows a variety of prints designs, including floral embroidery, personal initials, Christian Diors name, e.t.c. The book tote bag is available in various sizes, to even a more vertical height suitable for carrying magazines.
4. The 30 Montaigne Bag
The 30 Montaigne collection launched in 2019, a fashion interpreted ballad to the House of Dior’s rich history. The bag design that presented was a boxy-designed bag with large CD(Christian Dior) initials as the clasp, which is also found in one of the brands’ perfumes. As always, there are a variety of colors, including the signature Dior monogram.
5. The Caro bag
The Caro bag is one of the most recent designs of Christian Dior bags, which was introduced as part of the Cruise 2021 Collection. The bag is designed to be worn over the shoulder or as a crossbody body bag. It also comes in many colorways and sizes made with several fabrics. The distinct features of the Caro bag earn it a spot in the prestigious league of Dior bags.
I think a few other bags are worthy of note, such as the bobby bag, St Honore Tote, DiorDouble bag, and the many spin-offs from the original Dior designs. The new Dior Vibe bags are even better, launching in the Dior Cruise 2022 Collection.
How much is a Christian Dior Bag?
There is no fixed price for Dior bags, as the prices fluctuate like most luxury goods. However, you should be able to get one starting from $3000 to anything close to $15000.
Unfortunately, there are no cheap Dior bags unless you want the mini versions because the brand has always been associated with luxury. Since the prices of Christian Dior handbags are known to be pricey, most women result to buying the inferior and cheaper versions. The brand has tried to make smaller versions more affordable, like wallets, pouches, Air-pod cases, so everyone has access to their luxury products. However, ‘affordability’ is relative.
The fact remains buying a Christian Dior handbag is an investment. The bags are very durable, and Dior patrons keep them as collections for their vintage storage or resold later. Before shopping, you should keep in mind that Dior bags and couture are only sold in Dior stores unless you buy from a trusted reseller. You may also like to read, 15 different pleated skirts and how to wear them with anything.