Who: One of South Korea’s most feted contemporary artists (and frequent Dior collaborator), whose oeuvre is deeply grounded in 20th century Utopian Theory and politics, resulting in surreal and futuristic works that span genres such as installation, performance, sculpture, film and painting.
What: The one-of-a-kind medium-sized Lady Dior is covered by shards of Plexiglas mirrors, then finished with silver handles to mimic the appearance of a broken mirror. It’s a lengthy process that took 60 trials to perfect. The use of industrial materials and a highly polished finish are hallmarks of Lee’s body of work. One could see the influence of the shattered acrylic mirror interiors of Lee’s out-of-this-world cave structures like the Cella (2012-2013) and Bunker (2012) in her Dior bag design.
Portrait Ahn Hyeong Jun Installation Photo Jeon Byung-Cheol
Who: The Swiss-Guinean photographer obsessed with exploring African identity and cultures through a super colourful lens. She’s covered topics such as myths and religious rites of Guinean tribes,
Zulu children in South Africa, and Nigerian youth culture, often using street-cast models and highly stylised compositions that recall an early Tim Walker.
What: She created two designs for Dior. The first, in medium, is inspired by the Ndebele culture of Zimbabwe and north-eastern South Africa, and features a complex patchwork of blends – mink fur, fine fabrics and pearls – which took more than 300 hours to finish. Another S-sized bag, meanwhile, boasts the exact handwoven technique employed in old African textiles. The colours of this bag are her take on the abstract expressionist works of Willem de Kooning and Clyfford Still.
Portrait Lea Kloos Ndebele Photos Namsa Leuba
Who: The Los Angeles-based, German-born multi-disciplinary artist, whose works explore existentialism and nostalgia with wit and humour. His paintings, installations and sculptures are often portmanteaus of disparate ideas such song lyrics, German romanticism and conceptual art.
What: Kunath tapped on the insolence of hippie ’70s America with his M-sized Lady Dior. He created a photographic effect of a couple kissing, and added rainbow-coloured handles, with the inner lining stitched all over with the quote “F*** It, I Love You”. That brazen declaration is also on the back of the cloud-shaped charm.
Portrait Philippe Servent Print Photo Friedrich Kunath
Who: The multi-disciplinary artist, musician, DJ and club owner made his name in New York’s art scene back in the ’90s. Like his colourful background, his works are known for their riotous strokes, collage painting and comic-like drawings.
What: Sweeney dolled up four hand-embroidered Lady Diors – a large- and a medium, as well as two small sizes – that bear some of his signature motifs such as faces, handprints and that big leering eye. Each design possesses a raw, childlike and unfinished aesthetic, including one of the S-sized bags that was inspired by an oil-on-canvas self-portrait he did in 2014.
Portrait Andrea Stappert Painting Photos Spencer Sweeney
Who: One of China’s leading contemporary artists, best known for his satire of the Chinese and the consumerism culture through large-scale multimedia works.
What: Hao created a medium- and small-sized bag for this outing. The former features a reimagined world map based on a silkscreen called New World Physical, which has the colours of land and sea swopped, and names of the oceans and mountains changed. The layered leather stitching allows one to better feel the contours of the map. Meanwhile, the smaller bag is inspired by his Pop Art-esque print from his My Things project in 2011, which featured images of round items like plates, bottle caps, lids and more, translated into actual buttons, pins and beading on the S-sized Lady Dior to create one super tactile bag.
Portrait Beijing Commune Print Photos Pace Gallery
Who: The 24-year-old American-born Okubo happens to the youngest name involved in this Dior Lady Art project. A recent graduate of Parsons School of Design, her work as an illustrator, painter, and textile designer is informed by blackculture, African-American fashion of the ’70s and ’80s, as well as the African diaspora.
What: Okubo’s trio of detailed and complex designs proved a challenge for the Maison’s leather artisans. Her M-sized Lady Dior employed the brand’s signature quilting technique, which was then adorned with hand-stitched flower beadwork using haute couture techniques. The two S-sized Lady Diors, dripping with fringes of crystals and beading, saw Okubo combining Kenyan-style embroidery with French crystals.
Portrait Tyra Mitchelle Print Photos Jamilla Okubo
This story first appeared in Female’s December 2017 issue.