'Lady Dior As Seen By' exhibit

SHORT AND SWEET: The itinerant “Lady Dior As Seen By” exhibit has touched down in Germany, 21 years after the creation of a handbag first popularized by the late Lady Diana.

However, given the tight exhibition calendar at the Langen Foundation in Neuss, near Dusseldorf, the show of some 40 artistic interpretations of the Lady Dior bag will only be on view from April 7 to 9. That did not stop Dior from painstakingly installing sculptures from the likes of the Wanda Collective, Arturo Berned, Kum Chi Keung, Wen Fang, Alice Anderson Studio and a new cement and glass piece by Olympia Scarry, plus photos by Paolo Roversi, Nan Goldin, Patrick Demarchelier, Steve McCurry and Jean-Baptiste Mondino, among others, in Tadao Ando’s concrete, glass and steel building.

The Lady Dior exhibit began its tour in Shanghai in 2011, making further stops in Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo and Milan.

As in every new stage of the exhibit’s international journey, new works by local artists have been included. Jan Albers underscored the bag’s cannage pattern, handles and charms in his glazed ceramic rendition, while Helen Feifel (whose solo exhibit at the Langen Foundation opens on April 10) cut up two Lady Dior bags and hot-glued them back together in an amorphous ceramic object.

Katharina Sieverding lensed her blue study, “Looking at the Sun at Midnight,” and Moritz Wegwerth went symbolically abstract for his pretty-in-pink photo, “Hello Gorgeous.”  And for a centerpiece definitely worth coveting, Mona Oren’s wax Lady Diors, lit from inside, graced a long table laid out for Wednesday night’s private dinner for 150 guests — a mix of Dior customers from Munich, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, assorted celebrities, socialites, VIPs and members of the art scene.

Dior was out to celebrate, albeit belatedly. Last June, the French house opened its first German men’s and third women’s boutique on Dusseldorf’s premium shopping boulevard Konigsallee, joining the Frankfurt door which also opened in 2015, and the 10-year-old Munich store. In the spirit of Christian Dior, who was an art dealer before turning to couture, the Dusseldorf flagship will present three additional artistic interpretations of the Lady Dior bag: a white organdy version by Angelique, Liu Jianhua’s gold painted ceramic model, and a crystal beaded python Pix-Cell bag by Kohei Nawa.

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