The Horse Rider's Journal

Tracing Dior’s jockey-inspired Saddle bag

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The Dior Saddle bag rides again! Here’s what you need to know about the noughties It-bag.

TEXT Astrid Hiort

The wave of 90s and early 00s nostalgia has flooded the catwalks with slim sunglasses and bumbags blasts from the past, and now the Dior Saddle bag has made its timely runway return. Spotted in the hands of models walking in Maria Grazia Chiuri’s AW18 collection – and popping up recently at our favourite Copenhagen vintage store Time’s Up – here’s what you need to know about the iconic bag.

JOHN GALLIANO INTRODUCES THE SADDLE BAG TO THE WORLD

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It all began in 1999 when John Galliano presented his spring/summer 2000 ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior. Paired with denim-on-denim looks, knee-high lace-up boots and the house’s signature print, the bag shaped as a jockey’s saddle made its debut – and instant bag history.

THE HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN

No self-respecting 00s It-girl was without a pimped-out Saddle bag. (Paris Hilton, we salute you.) “Owning a handbag from a certain company is like belonging to a club,” The New York Post wrote in an article from 2000 about the new designer bag frenzy. There’s a Dior pony club joke in there somewhere.

GUEST STARRING ON SEX AND THE CITY

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The Dior Saddle bag hit peak pop culture when Carrie Bradshaw swung it over her shoulder on Sex and the City (season 3, episode 5). Here’s Carrie, blissfully unaware she would later fall in Dior.

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE

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As with every other cult piece, fake versions quickly started to circulate. Here are a few tips from eBay on how to spot a fake: if both the C and D hardware is moving back and forth; if there are any screws; if it is a newer edition bag and the tag is not finished with stitching on every edge; if the hardware is the wrong font – for the full guide click here. You’re welcome.

 

LIMITED EDITIONS

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In 2007, John Galliano celebrated his 10th year as creative director at Christian Dior with twelve limited edition saddle bags, each representing a country. “Marie Antoinette was in love with the toile de jouy printed fabrics and that was where I got my inspiration for this bag. The pearls are equal to the same she used to wear,” John Galliano told the New York Times at the time. Two years before, he had noted: “The story behind the Saddle bag creation is a great example of how haute couture ideas can enrich another line of ready-to-wear. Nowadays, years after its creation, the Saddle bag is one of the most wanted bags.” And with its recent comeback on the runway, it seems like this fashion icon is ready for another round.

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(From top left: India, China, Japan, Egypt, France, Morocco, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom)