For a project that was born two years ago in Shanghai and has subsequently stopped in Beijing and Tokyo, the travelling show still has a remarkable set of legs, thanks to the injection of new artistic content and collaborations at each stop.
At the base of the exhibit are 80 works of art that have been accumulated from a rich stock of creatives from different disciplines. Photographers like Nan Goldin and Jean Baptiste Mondino, visual artists such as Loris Cecchini and the Recycle group, furniture designer Maarten Baas, film director (and former Wallpaper* guest editor) David Lynch and even socialite Olympia Scarry have each been inspired in some way by the French brand's boxy bodied Lady Dior bag.
The Milan arm offers 12 original works of art presented by a 'new generation' of Italian artists; in other words, no one born before 1985. Curated by Cloe Piccoli, the project gave things an original slant by mining talent at Milan's Brera Academy of Fine Arts for its show.
A Dior-sponsored contest at the school yielded two young Italian creatives - Alessandro Carano and Davide Stucchi - as its winners. Their work now appears in the exhibition, along with that of other seasoned youths such as Pietro Agostino, Luca Lomonaco, Daniele Milvio, Anna Mostosi, Mario Pellegrini, Matteo Pomati, Nuovla Ravera, Giangiacomo Rossetti, Francesco Joao Scavarda, and Massimo Vaschetto.
Dior president Sidney Toledano (sans new creative director Raf Simons) flew in to inaugurate the event and to captain an intimate, candlelit dinner held in the magnificent Palazzo Crespi private residence.
All of this artistic handbag hoopla was done, of course, to fete the brand's new retail store - a much larger, refurbished space conceived by house architect Peter Marino, which has just reopened on Via Montenapoleone 12.