Weaving New Magic: How Christian Dior's Signature Print Got An Update


September 20, 2018 | BY Justine Lee

Oblique canvas, a signature print of Christian Dior since 1967, is getting an update courtesy of artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri. We trace the history and revival of the heritage motif

How can a 70-year-old fashion brand stay relevant in the 21st century? Sometimes it’s with the aid of nostalgia. That, at least, has been the case with the latest creative endeavour by Dior artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri—a new take on the French maison’s iconic Oblique canvas print.

At her autumn/winter 2018 show in March, Chiuri presented her own twist on the jacquard canvas and its application to accessories, honouring the legacy of the atelier in taking inspiration from its archives.


The jacquard canvas, considered by many to be Dior’s official monogram, dates back to 1967, when it was designed by the house’s artistic director of the time, Marc Bohan. An immediate hit, the graphic motif has stood the test of time.

(Related: How The Creative Director Of Mother Of Pearl Is Making Fashion Sustainable)

John Galliano gave it a new spin in 2000, debuting a saddle bag in the fabric that’s still one of the most coveted It bags in luxury consignment stores both on and offline—and a staple in many celebrities’ closets. 

Chiuri has now brought her creative energy to bear on the iconic jacquard weave, putting a hypnotic spin on the Oblique canvas in a range of bags in her fall/winter collection, most notably with the debut of a revamped Saddle bag, the style that first appeared under Galliano’s hand for spring/summer 2000.

With patterns slightly larger than the original, Chiuri’s Oblique canvas exudes the same craftsmanship that has long characterised the house. The Dior Book Tote, for example, takes 37 hours of embroidery to make, involving 1.5 million hand-sewn stitches.

Chiuri has also applied the Oblique canvas—which comes in a range of new shades and patterns, from Dior’s signature deep blue to green, deep amaranth and rust brown, but also with patchworked florals and beaded embellishments—to other hit bags, including the Miss Dior, Dior Addict, and the new Dior Quake clutch.

The classic C and D gold clasps remain and look remarkably fresh next to Chiuri’s latest designs.

But of all the bags, it seems that perhaps the Saddle is closest to Chiuri’s heart. “I consider this icon of the house’s recent history the perfect accessory to deal with this battle that is daily life,” she said of the Saddle in a recent statement. “It’s so comfortable to wear, with its long strap, that you almost forget it’s there.”

We couldn’t agree more, and the guitar strap can be added to just about any small handbag from the line. Versatility at its classic best.

(Related: 7 Stylish Weekender Bags For A Quick Getaway)

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