Two artists of South Asian lineage reinterpret the iconic Lady Dior


Two artists of South Asian lineage reinterpret the iconic Lady Dior

Both the bags are highly distinctive in their character while also carrying forward the lineage of Lady Dior

By ELLE team  December 11th, 2019

History need not be monolithic and closed, it can be transformative yet rooted in its origin. The Lady Dior, an emblem of the house’s illustrious history, stands for that and more. The iconic Lady Dior has been a representation of the haute couture savoir-faire that marks design and skill excellence in situ. This year, with the fourth edition of Dior Lady Art, eleven artists from across the globe have metamorphosed the Lady with their singular artistic voice as an ode to the relentless woman of today. 

Artist Raqib Shaw

From Mexico to as far as Japan, from the United States to Portugal, the alchemy of the bag as we knew it remains loyal to its lineage as it turns into a canvas for the artists’ creative interpretation. Rina Baneerjee and Raqib Shaw, two of the eleven artists to explore Lady Dior’s architecture, put a novel perspective to its aesthetic possibilities. As Banerjee’s sculptural and Shaw’s whimsical play of elements translated to the Lady Dior, their rendition reiterates that “what’s ladylike” is always fluid, subjective, and highly reflective of one’s person.

Shaw‘s rendition of the iconic bag revisits Christian Dior‘s childhood garden

Their work questions status quo through paintings and sculptures and casts an alternative vision of femininity, beauty, and contemporary society; it pays an ode to creativity and freedom, further cementing Dior’s connection to modern reality. 

Artist and sculpturist Rina Banerjee

Banerjee—known for her three-dimensional works that she renders as a dialogue between nature and humans—stays true to her artistic vision. Her Lady Dior is a “cabinet of curiosities” that unfolds like a story. Naturally occurring materials such as hand painted feathers, seashells, and embroidered foliage draw a vivid palette of nocturnal blue and a luminescent orange; the embroidery on the back that represent the rivers of the world merge at the nerve centre, conveying the implicit message of universal peace.London-based Shaw views the bag through the whimsy of the enchanting paradise he creates through art.

His Lady, encrusted with jewellery and enamel, conjures mythological imagery, poetry, and literature from across the globe. The gold highlights and details bridge the gap between the past and the present by recreating the chimerical garden from Christian Dior’s childhood—dreamy, poetic, and breathing life into a memory. 

Rina Banerjee‘s Lady Dior is ornate with naturally occurring element

Both the bags are highly distinctive in their character while also carrying forward the lineage of this defining accessory from the house of Dior.