Atelier Icon Series - #8 The Christian Dior Saddle Bag

If we are talking iconic bags, how can we not feature the Christian Dior Saddle Bag.  It may be a bit of a ‘Marmite’ bag, that can divide taste and opinion, but it’s without doubt a statement and part of fashion history!

The saddle bag was first introduced under John Galliano’s reign at Dior’s SS 2000 show, and quickly became THE statement bag of the early 00s, worn by everyone from Beyonce to Sarah Jessica Parker.  We, of course, will remember Carrie Bradshaw bringing the bag to our TV screens in Sex & The City.  (For those SATC geeks out there, it was S3 Ep5 on her second date with Aiden!)

The true inspiration for Dior’s equestrian It bag was never confirmed by Galliano himself, however rumour has it that the sexy and romantic aesthetic of the bag was inspired by a Helmut Lang photograph named Saddle I, which featured a model on a bed wearing a saddle and riding boots. 

The saddle bag lost relevance over the years, as the recession hit and the desire for It bags and logomania diminished.  Additionally, Galliano exited Dior in 2011, replaced by Raf Simons who had a completely different vision for the House.  This makes those vintage bags created under Galliano’s reign hugely desirable and very beautiful, as seen here with our 2002 tan saddle.

It was then reintroduced in 2018 by Dior’s current artistic director, Maria Grazia Churi, who said “I consider this icon of the house’s recent history the perfect accessory to deal with this battle that is daily life.” Her reincarnation came with new fabrics like calfskin, new colour ways and new embellishments. The familiar C and D gold clasps remained, but the bags were slightly bigger, making them more practical.  There have also been super cool collaborations, including the creation of a metal saddle bag by Sorayama. 

We love the saddle bag, in all the different variations, and it is absolutely an icon in our eyes!  Michelle has got two of her own – a classic black in grained calfskin and a 2020 limited edition in brown oblique velvet.  With the addition of shoulder straps, they just look so cool and make a real statement to any outfit.

Is the saddle bag for you?  Let us know what you think….

We have this beautiful vintage saddle bag for you to shop now, priced at £1795.  In fantastic condition, this is a chance to own a piece of true fashion history!