Making of Dior Lady 95.22

The craftsmanship that goes into the making of the Lady 95.22 bag is a mix of traditional techniques and modern innovations. The latter involves a high-frequency wave energy that uses heat and pressure to mould the leather. Photo: Andrea Cenetiempo

The Lady Dior has never left but recently, the iconic Dior bag has been receiving a new surge of attention with the release of the latest season of The Crown. The new episodes focus on the dissolution of the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana in the 1990s—a time at which she was at the height of her fashion influence. That was when she honed the superstar style we’ve come to associate with her and the Lady Dior was an indelible part of that image. So much so that the brand named the bag for her. The costume designers on The Crown were faithful in recreating Diana’s looks—down to the Lady Dior bags that Elizabeth Debicki (who played Diana) carried scene after scene. The brand knows a cultural moment when it sees one—it recently reissued the mini Lady Dior that Diana carried to the 1996 Met Gala.

Maria Grazia Chiuri, who helms Dior’s womenswear, is a designer who has her finger on the pulse. Since her arrival at Dior in 2016, Chiuri has set off a quiet revolution—bringing a woman’s perspective to the quintessential French brand, the House that literally birthed the New Look but has been creative-directed by men ever since the passing of Christian Dior. Since then, Chiuri has been delving into the brand’s rich archives and has consistently been revisiting and refreshing House icons like the Bar jacket, the Saddle bag, and of course, the Lady Dior. Some of her recent updates on the latter include the Lady D-Lite and the Lady D-Joy. The bag’s timeless, structured shape lends itself perfectly to reinterpretation, as seen with the House’s long-running and fruitful Dior Lady Art project, in which artists put their stamp on the classic.

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The newest iteration of the Lady Dior, the Lady 95.22, made its debut in the fall/winter 2022 show. It was a collection in which Chiuri examined and explored how Dior’s couture vocabulary could be expanded by technology. The result was a collaboration with D-Air Lab, a company that specialises in technical wear combining their know-how in making clothing for athletic and industrial purposes with Chiuri’s classical, ladylike pieces. Like the show in which it was introduced, the Lady 95.22 seeks to reconcile the push-and pull between heritage and modernity. The name itself is an ode to the year of its creation, 1995, and the year of this latest revival.

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Dior Lady 95.22
Photo: Andrea Cenetiempo

The thing that strikes you first about this new version is that it is now subtly curved, which lends a contemporary allure to a time-tested shape. A closer look also reveals that the Lady 95.22 combines the signature Dior macro-cannage pattern with a new and graphic maxi-cannage motif. The savoir-faire that goes into the bag is a combination of traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge innovation. For the 92.55, the macro-cannage is created using a high-frequency technique—leather meticulously selected by the Dior ateliers is first cut by hand before being worked upon using wave energy. The combination of heat and pressure allows the artisans to shape the material into the perfect volume, which underscores the architectural quality of the bag. The Lady 95.22 comes in three sizes—small, medium and extra large—in the classic hues of either black and latte, with finishings in pale gold or ruthenium. The addition of a leather shoulder strap to the usual leather-and-metal handles ups the versatility factor.

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