The seventh edition of Dior Lady Art announces a pleasant surprise for the Arab world. The latest chapter features the work of two women artists from the region who bring their respective creative touch to the Lady Dior bags. Identifiable for its signature Cannage, the Lady Dior was named as such in homage to Lady Diana, after she was seen carrying her bag – a gift from former French first lady Bernadette Chirac – on numerous official engagements. Egyptian Ghada Amer and Qatari Bouthayna Al Muftah were given carte blanche to design the bags. They are joined by Brian Calvin, Sara Cwynar, Alex Gardner, Shara Hughes, Dorothy Iannone, Minjung Kim, Zhenya Machneva, Françoise Pétrovitch, and Wang Yuyang, hailing from all over the world, from the US to China. The former edition was the first time Dior invited an Arab artist to the table, with Saudi Manal Al Dowayan creating several sell-out pieces.
Amer, who has imagined a color burst Lady Dior Art bag, recounts, “I cannot remember how and where I discovered color. I guess one discovers color 40 days after our birth… At least that is what is believed in my country. The only incident I remember with color though is when we moved from Egypt to Nice, France. I remember this huge difference in colors. I was very impressed by the contrast of a quasi-monochromatic yellow ochre of the desert environment I left with the blue and colorful South of France.” She adds that the effect of color on her life is that of “bringing joy.” The artist and self-proclaimed feminist says equality between sexes is her cause. “My aim is to make art and my cause is women,” she specifies. For Dior, Amer took inspiration from one of her own garden sculptures called Women Qualities, a piece she made in 2001, and again in 2020. “I wrote on the bag six women qualities taken from the last iteration of the sculpture in 2020. Strong, determined, resilient, loving, caring, and independent. These qualities were embroidered on the bag, while the handles are inspired by the abstract sculpture I am developing at the moment,” she shares without revealing more. “It was a much more fun project than what I have expected,” adds Amer, confirming that the joy she seeks to inspire is duly reciprocated.
Originally published in the December 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia