Dior Reissues Mini Lady Dior Handbag Carried by Princess Diana at Met Gala

LADY’S NIGHT: Dior has reissued the mini Lady Dior handbag carried by Princess Diana at the Met Gala in 1996.

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.

NY Daily News via Getty Images/Courtesy of Dior

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.

The limited edition mini Lady Dior handbag inspired by Princess Diana

The Mini Lady Dior in blue satin and crystal accessories.

Courtesy of Dior

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 new 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.

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