The Lady Dior is the House’s signature handbag – the one that, for more than twenty years, has been constantly reinvented without losing its allure and sophistication. Everything about it draws upon the finest in leather-working expertise. This limited-edition Christian Dior Wheel of Fortune Lady Dior handbag in smooth black calfskin bears a hand-painted motif from the ‘Wheel of Fortune” card in the “Motherpeace” tarot deck designed by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble. This divinatory game was one of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s inspirations for the 2018 cruise collection presented last May in the middle of the California desert. The card was chosen for its powerful symbolism; represented by the twelve signs of the zodiac, the wheel evokes the passage of time, or destiny. A destiny that a woman should follow by trusting her instincts, note Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble.
Identical to the original, this illustration was reproduced by a painter based in Verona, Italy. The leather on which he executed the design was chosen in the House’s leather-working workshops.
The exacting selection process always follows the same ritual: touching, examining, scrutinizing and encircling each imperfection by hand. The leather must be perfect. For this Lady Dior style, calfskin offers greater luster and optimal precision for the artist.
By alternating stamps and different sized brushes, the craftsman carefully and patiently replicates all the signs of the zodiac in feminine versions, using no less than twenty colors from sky blue to ochre, violet and green. Realized entirely by hand, each reproduction of this design is unique thanks to variations in color and reflections. Each requires more than six hours of work to complete. When the art is finished, the bag is mounted using a wooden form crafted by a patternmaker to precise proportions in function of the Lady Dior’s dimensions and the specificities of this semi-supple leather. That way, the leather craftsman can shape and work the leather as a couturier would the fall, drape or pleating of fabric on a mannequin.
Next, the craftsman assembles the handles by gluing leather onto two cork handles, mounting them and deftly tapping the ensemble using a round-headed hammer. Metal hardware embellishes and completes the bag: eyelets, feet and charms spelling “Dior” are revisited in a contemporary version. Every detail, down to the most minute, contributes to the beauty of the whole. As a final touch, a wide, detachable strap makes it possible for the owner to wear her Lady Dior however she likes.
Watch the making of this exquisite pieces as the whimsical art comes to life.