Lady Dior Art is a concept that invites modern artists to convey their works on the iconic Christian Dior bag. The Lady Dior was initially named after Princess Diana and is one of the most sought after and classic bags for the French luxury fashion maison. It was one of Lady Diana’s most worn bags, and has since been predominantly loved for its meticulous design and the ability to be reinvented time and time again.
Now in its 6th edition of Lady Dior Art, where artists are invited to interpret the canvas of the bag in their own way, Manal Aldowayan becomes the first Arab to craft her very own versions of the Lady Dior Bag.
Aldowayan has been revered for her art installation with floating birds entitled, “Suspended Together” which was exhibited at the Burjeel Art Foundation in 2011. Her installation expressed her ideas of freedom. Manal Al Dwayan is also an avid photographer, and themes of her work include critiquing the role of women in Saudi society.
For her Lady Dior Art creations, Manal shares a very personal journey. The Dubai based artist has created three versions of the Lady Dior bag, and being the first Arab to be commissioned by Dior to take part in its initiative, another first for Aldowayan was that she had never collaborated with fashion before.
Her three bags are labelled, “Landscapes of the Mind, The Boys,” and the “Desert Rose” minaudière – that speak to her personal story as a Saudi Arabian woman and artist.
“Landscapes of the Mind” is a gold calfskin leather bag, printed with a photograph featuring oil barrels. In a statement reported by Vogue Arabia about this design, Manal said: “The whole climate and fossil fuel conversation exists, and I acknowledge it, but this oil, this black gold, has transformed my country. It’s brought longevity to lives. I am the result of this economy of black gold and the life that is bursting out of it is something I must recognize, even though I understand it is important that we address the impact that fossil fuels has on the climate.” There are also palm trees in the background and two doves which sit on the keychain.
The second bag, “The Boys” is an ode to her art education, and how it was a terrible time in her life. She expressed that when she was in school in Saudi Arabia, it was forbidden to draw images of anything that had life – like animals, or people as it was considered bad to “imitate God and his creation.”
The back of the bag reads, “I live and die for the moment,” which is a homage to Saudi’s young population, the trailblazers of the future.
The Dior Lady Art limited edition in collaboration with Manal Aldowayan launches in December 2021.