February 23, 2017
By Candace Longfellow
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR LADY DIOR BAG IS THE REAL THINGSHOP LADY DIOR BAGS
Every heritage luxury brand worth its weight has a flagship bag — Chanel has the Classic Flap, Hermès has the Birkin, and Christian Dior has the Lady Dior. With classic clean lines, feminine accents and a structured shape, Dior’s ladylike handle bag was destined for icon status all along, but it was handed a major leg-up from its equally iconic and most famous fan, Lady Diana Spencer of Wales.
The bag debuted in 1994 under the name Chouchou, French for favorite. One year later, former First Lady of France Bernadette Chirac gifted one to then-Princess Diana, who immediately fell in love with the bag and was frequently snapped by the paparazzi while carrying it, prompting the brand to rename the bag, “Lady Dior” in her honor.
Inspired by the house’s long tradition of haute couture artistry, the bag features the same meticulous craftsmanship for which Dior has become famous. “The creative director at the time, Gianfranco Ferré, was really referencing the archives when he designed it,” says Senior Authentication Director Graham Wetzbarger. “He brought back design signatures that hadn’t been used by the brand since the 1950s, but are now so iconic to the house.”
Unlike many of the brands’ other products, the Lady Dior bag is only sold in Dior boutiques, making it all the more difficult to come by, and therefore frequently counterfeited. Learn how to separate real from faux with Wetzbarger’s expert tips.
Lady Dior Cannage Stitching
The iconic cannage quilting seen on many Dior items was inspired by the canework used on the Napoleon III chairs at Christian Dior’s first runway show in 1947. “The quilting should be precise and centered at the front. However, if the pattern doesn’t match up perfectly with the bag’s edge, that would not be a sign of inauthenticity since the pattern’s scale doesn’t change based on the size of the bag,” explains Wetzbarger.
Lady Dior Handles & Charms
Like any proper lady bag, the Lady Dior’s handles are extremely rigid and structured. They’re connected to the bag by large O-rings, which link through two sets of grommets. “There are two small engravings on the inner sides of the oval grommets, which are made to look like screw heads,” explains Wetzbarger. “They’re not real, but made to mimic the construction of the original Lady Dior bag which did use actual screws.”
All the hardware should be well-affixed and sound, including the most recognizable features, the DIOR charms: D, I and R letters floating in front of a large letter O. “It appears on every item in the Lady Dior line, and adds a nice touch of whimsy,” muses Wetzbarger. “Though you might expect them to be soldered closed, on authentic Lady Dior bags, the rings on the small chains attached to each letter are actually left open.”
Lady Dior Zipper Pull
“The zipper pull features the Dior cartouche, the oval logo commonly seen on Dior pieces. It is attached to the zipper with four chain-links (three big and one mini), which give it a jewelry-like quality.The zipper pull has to be strong for a sturdy, structured bag,” says Wetzbarger.
Lady Dior Interior
Inside the bag you’ll find a tab embossed, “Christian Dior PARIS,” and below that, “MADE IN ITALY.” Because Dior handbags have not been made in France since before 1990, no authentic Lady Dior should bear a tag indicating it was made in Paris. “On all current Dior bags, the label will be stitched all the way around, and when you flip up the label, you will see a date code in the same format as those found on Louis Vuitton items, as Dior is also part of LVMH,” explains Wetzbarger. “The interior lining will also feature the cannage motif in a jacquard weave.”
Lady Dior Feet
Many structured handbags like the Lady Dior feature protective metal feet at the base to prevent wear on the bottom panel. “The feet on the Lady Dior bag are very unique, and therefore they’re a major element we look to while authenticating,” says Wetzbarger. “While other bags may use square feet or a flattened cone shape, the Lady Dior uses a hybrid between a cone and a dome, sort a tapered dome shape. The number of studs may vary depending on the size of the bag and when it was produced.”
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