That year, the Costume Institute celebrated the work of Christian Dior, and the Princess of Wales attended wearing John Galliano’s first haute couture design for the French fashion house. The updated version of her blue satin bag with rhinestone accessories hit stores this week. Priced at 5,000 euros, it is available in a limited edition of 200 pieces.
French event organizer Françoise Dumas told WWD the story behind the naming of the iconic handbag. In 1995, then First Lady Bernadette Chirac asked Dumas to pick a gift from the Dior boutique for the Princess of Wales, who was expected for tea at the Elysée presidential palace during a visit to France.
“I had noticed a little bag, which at the time was made of fabric, and so I had it wrapped and sent to the Elysée,” Dumas said, adding that she phoned Bernard Arnault, the chairman and chief executive officer of Dior parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, to inform him of her choice.
“He said, ‘Recall the bag immediately.’ Why? Because he was working on a prototype in leather. He had it finished overnight, and the leather version was sent instead,” Dumas recalled. The bag came to be so closely associated with Princess Diana, who was still referred to as Lady Diana in France despite her royal title, that it was renamed in her honor.
It has been produced in a multitude of colors, sizes and materials. Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women’s collections at Dior, has added variants such as the Lady D-Lite and the Lady D-Joy, while leading artists have customized the handbag as part of the Lady Dior As Seen By and Dior Lady Art projects.
The bag features in season five of the Netflix series “The Crown,” which chronicles Princess Diana’s evolution into an international style icon. In a neat piece of synergy, Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Princess Diana in the show, was named as a brand ambassador for Dior Joaillerie last year. — Joelle Diderich
Tiffany Collab: Tiffany & Co. and Daniel Arsham are teaming up once more. The contemporary artist and American jeweler have collaborated on a limited-edition version of Tiffany’s “Lock” bracelet, along with a sculptural case to hold it in.
The holiday-season edition, of which only 99 pieces were made, refashions Tiffany’s “Lock” franchise with its first run of colored stones. Arsham’s take is a white gold bangle set with more than 3 carats of diamonds as well as a 1 total carat of green tsavorite stones — evoking his studio’s trademark green color. Tsavorite is among the precious stones that Tiffany is said to have discovered: they introduced it to the western market in 1974.
Each bracelet comes housed within a padlock-inspired bronze sculpture called “Bronze Eroded Tiffany Padlock,” which takes its shape from an archival Tiffany design and is painted with a Tiffany blue patina. Tiffany said the pieces took about 400 hours to make.
The collaboration is Tiffany’s third project with Arsham. The jeweler’s executive vice president for product and communication Alexandre Arnault said: “We began our creative partnership with Daniel last year, introduced a limited-series artwork, titled ‘Bronze Eroded Tiffany Blue Box.’ We are excited to continue our creative journey with him in commemorating the launch of Lock, which reimagines an archival Tiffany & Co. padlock design into a contemporary artwork.”
Arsham added: “It’s very personal to me, but there’s also an element of history in there — a link between generations of craft, between function and design, between craftsmanship and beauty. These are the elements that make Tiffany so unique, the elements that allow it to consistently hone the ‘sweet spot’ between heritage and modernity. I wanted to create an artwork to celebrate that.”
The work hits select Tiffany stores on Dec. 1. — Misty White Sidell
RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Louis Vuitton has tapped Isabel Mössinger as its new vice president, fashion communication, effective Jan. 3.
Mössinger will join the French luxury giant from Burberry, where she is global vice president, brand communication, overseeing public relations, events and experiences, VIP relations, influencers and event production. She had joined the British fashion house in January as global vice president, public relations and events.
At Vuitton, her duties will include defining the press strategy, and growing the house’s relationships with international celebrities and influencers.
It marks her return to the French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Before joining Burberry, Mössinger spent seven years at Christian Dior Couture — which like Vuitton, is part of the LVMH group — as press and public relations director for women’s collections, accessories, Dior Home and corporate.
A German national, Mössinger started her fashion career in 2004 as a publicist at agency Karla Otto, ultimately rising to the position of vice president of Karla Otto Paris.
Marquis will have spent one year in the Vuitton role. It is understood he will communicate his next move in due course. — Miles Socha
ROMAN NIGHTS: It was a night on Monday to celebrate art, music and sustainability at the MAXXI, Rome’s Museum of the Arts for the 21st Century. It was also a moment to mark the return of the live event after almost three years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Each year, the “Acquistion Gala Dinner” gathers established and influential figures from the fashion and art scenes with the goal of raising money to support contemporary artists and grow the museum’s collection and initiatives.
This year’s dinner was focused around the theme of sustainability, nature and preserving the health of the planet and it drew more than 500 guests including Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories collections for Dior; Nicola Bulgari, vice chairman of Bulgari; Giovanna Caruso Fendi, founder of the cultural hub FOROF; Christian Valsecchi, general manager of Fondazione Prada, and Roberto Cicutto, president of Venice’s Biennale.
“This year we overcame the tragic events of the pandemic with a record of visitors and with the renewed support of many guests and patrons, whom I want to thank heartily for their generosity and trust,” said Giovanna Melandri, the president of Fondazione MAXXI.
She highlighted how 2022 recorded a 30 percent increase in visitors compared to 2019, the best year for the MAXXI museum.
The night officially inaugurated Grande MAXXI, the new project of the museum that will see the construction of a new sustainable and multifunctional building, the realization of a green area, which will help bring temperatures down during warmer seasons and the implementation of photovoltaic panels throughout the entire structure. According to MAXXI, the goal is to overcome physical and sensory barriers to make the museum more accessible and welcoming.
Attendees were able to experience a preview of the new exhibition “Pier Paolo Pasolini. Tutto è Santo. Il corpo politico,” which pays homage to the Italian author and will officially open to the public on Wednesday, followed by a dinner curated by Michelin-star chef Domenico Stile. Guests were also treated to a performance of the American musician and composer, Alvin Curran. — Alice Monorchio
Now on the brink of launching its fifth collection, called Super Magic Family Time, Pleasing is kicking off the holiday season with three pop-up shops in New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California, and London, England, which will be open from Nov. 26 through Dec. 27.
“The whole collection has a sense of nostalgia to it; it’s camp, it’s joyful, it’s about doing a Pleasing version of Christmas — making it a fun celebration that’s sort of sickly sweet and delightful,” Lambert said.
While the four nail polishes in the collection bottle the feel-good whimsicality of the holiday through vibrant colors and frosting-inspired packaging, the Pleasing pop-ups bring the sentiment to life through green-and-purple floral wallpaper, imitation old-style heatilator fireplaces, vibrant shag rugs and other sigils of a classic, old-school family Christmas.
“It’s this even more exaggerated version of Christmas dinners and parties, and going to grandma’s house where she has the constant platters of food out and it’s all these, you know, cocktail shrimps and profiteroles and cream cakes,” Lambert said of the pop-ups, which are launching in partnership with American Express.
At the locations, visitors will be able to shop Pleasing products, which include hoodies and a recent foray into color cosmetics, and participate in a variety of soon-to-be-announced activations, some of which will be specifically geared toward the elderly, from whom the brand sources creative inspiration and aims to continuously uplift.
“Harry Lambert and I aren’t necessarily experts in anything, we just know what we love,” said Molly Hawkins, Styles’ creative director. “We felt like this was a perfect time to highlight the continuing contributions of older generations to fashion and culture and bring to the shops a socialization aspect for older people.”
The New York and Los Angeles pop-ups will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays, and are located at 120 Wooster Street and 1306 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, respectively.
The London store, located at 19 Foubert’s Place, will be open Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. – Noor Lobad
The beauty giant is bringing a range of gaming-inspired hair and makeup looks to Ready Player Me, a cross-game avatar platform that allows users to customize 3D-animated avatars and use them across more than 3,000 metaverse platforms.
Created in partnership with CGI artist Evan Rochette, L’Oréal Professionnel has launched five trend-led hair looks on the platform, while Maybelline New York has released five colorful makeup looks.
“Our approach was not to duplicate realistic looks — it was to push the boundaries of creativity and bring people looks that they could not have in real life,” said Camille Kroely, chief metaverse and Web3 officer at L’Oréal.
The initiative comes after a slew of immersive beauty experiences by L’Oréal, including Maybelline’s recent Virtual Loft, which allowed consumers to watch makeup tutorials and virtually try-on looks, and L’Oréal’s newly minted partnership with Meta to support and incubate AR and avatar creation start-ups.
“We want to crack the codes of beauty within [the metaverse], and to do that, we’re partnering with key players who know the field,” Kroely said. “When it comes to avatar customization, people are very much focused on fashion today — there’s a huge untapped opportunity in hair and makeup.”
While L’Oréal is testing the waters on Ready Player Me with L’Oréal Professionnel and Maybelline, it plans to bring other brands from its portfolio further into the digital beauty realm as well, taking what Kroely describes as a “test-and-learn” approach.
“We’ll see what looks resonate with people, and develop more from there. We want to explore a multibrand approach that will bring more creativity, expertise, diversity and tech to hair and makeup,” Kroely said.
A leading cross-game avatar platform, Ready Player Me has teamed with several fashion brands to date including New Balance and Pull&Bear, and presents an avenue for beauty brands seeking to get in on the fledgling customizable avatar opportunity, as well. — N.L.