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Ode to an iconic bag

Jan 02. 2019
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By The Nation

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A Bangkokexhibition pays tribute to the Lady Dior

NAMED 23 years ago as a gift for Diana, Princess of Wales – or Princess Di as she was known in France – the Lady Dior bag has remained a symbol of timeless elegance ever since.

Now, the House of Dior is bringing the bag into the spotlight once again in the exhibition “Lady Dior as Seen By”, featuring interpretations of the Lady Dior bag by renowned artists including two representatives from Thailand. The exhibition runs until January 20 on the Iconluxe floor of Iconsiam shopping complex. 

The late princess received her namesake bag in 1995 from the-then first lady, Bernadette Chirac when she visited Paris to open the Cezanne exhibition. She was so taken with the bag that she ordered one in every version. Its topstitched or cannage pattern, golden rings connecting the rectangular body to the arching handles, and dangling gold letters have made it an iconic accessory over the past two decades. 

The exhibition features the Lady Dior bag as an inspiration for some of the great artists around the globe including photographers, visual artists, video artists, leading film directors, and sculptors. 

The bag is a testament to Christian Dior’s love of art. Before becoming couturier, Christian Dior was a passionate and knowledgeable gallery owner. In Paris, he was the first to show the work of Calder, Dali, Miro and Giacometti, and also presented works by Picasso, Dufy, Ernst and Klee. Gertrude Stein was one of his biggest clients. The dream of going to art school remained close to him throughout his life. 

“The Lady Dior as Seen By” exhibition showcases works by international artists Olympia Scarry, Kohei Nawa, Ren Hwang, Sophie Zenon, Makoto Azuma, Kum Chi Keung, Oh You Kyeong, Seon Chi Bahk, Tunga and Wanda Barcelona Studio, among others. Joining the renowned artists are Thai photographer, Kornkrit Jianpinidnan and sculptor Rattana Salee. 

“I was inspired by the various stories about Dior and structured them for my project, which I called ‘Nirat’,” says Kornkrit of his photographic collage. 

“By taking a closer look into this work, you will find that it’s inspired by memorable journeys to a variety of places. It’s a subtle interpretation of the Lady Dior bag and shares Dior’s original story and the meticulous details of the design.”

Rattana adds that as this is the first official exhibition project of Dior hosted in Bangkok, she decided to present the city. “As we know, Bangkok is evolving and it’s getting more and more modernised. This sculpture is entitled ‘Elegance’ and aims to encapsulate this modern city. The small-sized art piece and steel material were challenging to work with. Alberto Giacometti was a famous sculptor. He was Christian Dior’s favourite artist and inspired his couture work. He also has an influence on this sculpture’s texture. Giacometti’s work always gave the impression of being exposed to light. Texture can somehow indicate time, place, and proximity and create an ambience. Thus, this sculpture is a new way to present the Lady Dior bag,” she explains. 


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