Dior: The Art Of The #DiorSaddle

IMAGES: DIOR

You would have spotted Dior’s #DiorSaddle in person or over on social media platforms like Instagram, having taken the world by storm with its casual-chic appeal and the ability to be carried in multiple ways. It’s been a cult fashion favourite since its appearance on the Spring-Summer 2000 runway under John Galliano (made even famous by Carrie Bradshaw in SATC), and one that Maria Grazia Chiuri revived almost 18 years later for Fall-Winter 2018.

And while she kept the shape and placement of the hardware elements (the CD buckles on the side and the hanging D to emulate the horses’ stirrup), she gave new life to the #DiorOblique monogram, with the intricate canvas fully embroidered in the leather-working ateliers located in Tuscany. The process now comprises of the layering of three different colours to create a hypnotising effect, starting with the grey base overlaid with beige motifs followed by midnight blue letters.

Once that’s done, the #DiorOblique jacquard canvas is handed over to the craftsman, who will officially start the process of making Dior’s signature bag. The craftsman begins with the cutting of the canvas, carefully positioning the patterns by using the ‘i’ in the #DiorOblique monogram as the registration (or the starting point), thus maintaining consistency in the appearance of each piece.

IMAGES: DIOR

In total, each #DiorSaddle bag comprises of 11 elements, with a second craftsman coming in to assemble the remaining parts. That includes the flap which is shaped by hand, assisted with a round-headed hammer to form the perfectly smooth curve. Next, the front and back panels are sewn to the sides and base, before the entire bag undergoes an expert stitching process (the bag is manoeuvred and controlled by hand) together with the help of specialised machines. Finally, the metallic embellishes are added, which include the D fastened on the leather tab in front, and the CD buckles firmly attached on the sides. And there you have it, the classic #DiorSaddle in #DiorOblique is born.

Maria Grazia Chiuri also introduced an accompanying embroidered wide canvas strap (sold separately, of course) that’s to be hooked on the hardware links at either side, transforming it into a versatile crossbody piece that gives a new dimension (and look) to the iconic bag. Today, it comes in multiple variations including pieces embroidered with an extra Christian Dior woven panel in front (much like the Book Tote), as well as pieces in full calfskin or velvet.

IMAGES: DIOR

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