When Christian Dior introduced his luxurious New Look in the ‘50s, he established a series of strict fashion rules for women to follow. His 1954 “Little Dictionary of Fashion,” stated, “You can wear the same suit from morning to dinner—but to be really perfectly dressed, you can not keep the same bag. For morning, it must be very simple, and for the evening, it must be smaller and, if you wish, a little more fancy.”

But, according the rules of the era, a “good” simple day bag had to be made of the finest exotic skins like python or ostrich and hand-crafted to the highest degree of quality. The irony being that while Dior was crafting his dresses with billowy full crinoline skirts and tiny waists, he was not that concerned with the handbags himself. When putting a runway look together, it was low on the pecking order in his fashion house.

In fact, it was Dior who introduced the concept of licensing to haute couture. He would farm out handbag production to other luxury good companies, who then benefited from the Midas touch of putting the Dior name on their products.

Decades after Christian Dior’s death, the handbag became an important piece of the Dior collection in 1990s. And in 1995, the fashion house introduced the biggest “it bag” of the 20th century, the Lady Dior. The story goes that Bernadette Chirac, the first lady of France, gave Princess Diana this bag, which featured cannage stitched leather and four charms for each of the letters in DIOR. Lady Di fell in love with the bag and bought one in every style and color. Thanks to her, in the year 1997, 140,000 of these newly dubbed Lady Dior bags sold for $1,200.

Designer John Galliano, with his wildly inventive purses, is largely responsible for the company’s success in the handbag market. His Saddle Bag, which has appear on “Sex and The City,” is shaped like a saddle with C and D charms hanging from miniature leather stirrups. In 2007, he redesign his iconic bag into 12 new styles representing 12 countries—Argentina, Mexico, France, Russia, Morocco, Spain, China, the United States, India, Japan, Egypt and England. Other popular Galliano bags include the Rasta bag, the Samurai, and the Dior 61.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Bag Lady University

Bag Lady University

Bag Lady University is the place to learn about handbag makers from Adrian's, which made Bakelite bags, to Whiting … [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Wo4308 Auth Christian Dior Black Lamb Skin Lady Dior L Cannage Hand Bag Gold HwAuthentic Christian Dior Ever Shoulder Bag Crossbody Nude Pebbled Leather Good Condition Christian Dior Lady Dior Nylon Hand Bag Cannage Black U2907zbi5Christian Dior Lady Dior Denim Hand Bag Cannage With Shoulder Strap U2906zbi5Christian Dior Paris Black Leather Handbag Bag Purse ItalyChristian Dior Lambskin Quilted Drawstring Tote In Black 151076 Auth Christian Dior Lady Dior Hand Bag Nylon Black Vintage 6j040080nChristian Dior Silver Cannage Quilted Lamb Leather Day Shoulder BagChristian Dior Satin Soft Babe Tote Black Shoulder Bag 150398Auth Christian Dior Medium Cannage Lady Black Quilted Fabric Bag Gold HardwareChristian Dior Purse, Red, Never Used, In Original Box - No Reserve! Great Gift!Authentic Christian Dior Lady Dior Hand Bag Black Leather Vintage Christian Dior Black Leather Quilted Gold Tone Accents Satchel Handbag100% Authentic Christian Dior Panarea Cannage ToteBlack Christian Dior Handbag Authentic Christian Dior Saddle Bag Pony Fur. Statement Bag!!Auth Christian Dior Vintage Black Leather Flap Top Handle Handbag Satchel Bag Christian Dior PurseAuth Christian Dior Trotter Brown Boston & Lady Dior Red Bag 2 Set 6k080530nChristian Dior Shoulder/cross Body Bag Pink & White Trotter Monogram/pvc/leatherChristian Dior Flight East West Handbag Pre-ownedAuthentic Christian Dior Small Saddle Monogram Pouch Bag Hypnotic Poison By Dior For Women Eau De Toilette Spray 1 Oz. & Purse AtomizerDior Toiletry Bag+cologne Samples: Cartier, Polo, Givenchy, Hugo Boss, Bvlgari++Men's Shaving Bag Dopp Kit/49 Pc Various Designefragrance Samples Dior/versaceChristian Dior Lady With Charms Cannage Quilted Tweed Large Black Tote BagAuthentic Christian Dior Black Street Chic Monogram Columbus Bag & Wallet Christian Dior Bowler HandbagChristian Dior Handbag Strap Black