Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag: Review

Disclaimer: The product featured was purchased by me.
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Last October, I invested in my first high-end handbag (read my review of the YSL Niki here) and shortly after, I started eyeing even more options. I was debating for a long time on the Prada Cahier Shoulder Bag in the soft leather design but since it felt too similar to the YSL Niki, I decided against it. After which, I started eyeing the classic Chanel Medium Flap Bag but due to its ridiculous price tag (almost C$8000 after tax), I decided to look for another style. I then chased after the Chanel Trendy CC Wallet on Chain in the black chevron design but unfortunately, none are available as the style is not in season. However, just when I thought my wallet was going to get a break, I spotted the Dior Lady Dior in stores. I had previously tried the medium on for size but found it too boxy and clunky so I didn't give it a second thought. That is until I tried on the Mini Lady Dior (C$4000, price as of April 2019)......

Arguably the most iconic bag from Dior, the Lady Dior came into immense popularity after it was presented to Princess Diana by the First Lady of France in 1995. Consequently named after the princess, the bag is known for its sophisticated outline and iconic cannage stitching. As I personally like to do a lot of research before investing in a luxury bag and since my YSL Niki review received lots of views, I decided to write a detailed review of my Mini Lady Dior to help you in your shopping process.

The Lady Dior is available in four sizes: micro/nano (technically a part of Dior Kid's line), mini, medium, and large. As a relatively petite 5'1 (155 cm) female, the Mini Lady Dior felt like the most appropriate size. Although it doesn't fit much, it looks a lot more elegant and has more strap options. Additionally, because the Lady Dior is quite structured, it's not the lightest bag on the market. Therefore, the mini size keeps the weight in check. Keep on reading for details on just how much fits into the bag and what it looks like when worn on the body.
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag
Over the years, countless iterations of the Lady Dior have been released that are made with calfskin (printed, embroidered, beaded, studded, crinkled), satin, or denim. However, the permanent collection consists of lambskin or patented calfskin in several colors. While I was shopping, both options were available in the black color and light gold hardware that I wanted so I really had to debate between the two. While the patent calfskin looks super glossy and sleek, it picks up fingerprints and smudges like no tomorrow, rendering it very high maintenance as it requires regular wiping and polishing to ensure a presentable condition. Therefore, I went with the lambskin option, which has a super supple and luxurious finish. Paired with the iconic cannage pattern, the lambskin just feels more classic and expensive.
Collonil | Waterstop Reloaded Spray and Supreme Creme de Luxe: Review
Collonil | Waterstop Reloaded Spray and Supreme Creme de Luxe
Because lambskin has a reputation for being super delicate and prone to wear and tear, I was extremely worried about scuffs and marks. However, having used the bag for a couple of months now, I can confidently say that the leather is a lot more durable than I was led to believe. Aside from a very faint scuff on the inner surface of the handle that was already present on the bag at the time of purchase, there are no other scuffs or scratches on the bag that I can see. With that said, I have been treating this bag with care. I'll shield it against my body while I'm walking in crowded areas or narrow spaces as that's when most scratches occur. Additionally, I've invested in two leather care products from Collonil (see photo above) to further protect the lambskin. After doing some extensive research, I got the Collonil Waterstop Reloaded Spray to protect the leather from water and UV damage and I also picked up the Collonil Supreme Creme de Luxe (upon the recommendation of the Dior sales associate) to condition the lambskin and to buff out any scuffs. Both items were less than C$15 and can be purchased on Amazon.

The Lady Dior features rigid, rounded handles (drop length 2.75 inches or 7 cm for the Mini Lady Dior) that are designed to stand erect and give the bags a structured look. They are quite stable and won't easily shift from side to side. They won't flop open when worn but can be moved to allow better access to the inside. The bag can be carried using just the handles as the strap is removable. However, I think that due to the size of the Mini Lady Dior, it looks a bit too dainty when carried that way. It's also worth noting that because the leather on the handles is stretched over a rigid core, it is more prone to scuffs.
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | Top View with Flap Closed
Three color options are available for the Lady Dior hardware: gold, silver, or light gold (or champagne gold). I choose the light gold option as the silver felt too austere and the gold a touch too gaudy. The most notable feature of the Lady Dior is the "Dior" charms hanging off the handles. I find them utterly adorable but also incredibly annoying at the same time. For one, the hoops for which these hang off of aren't actually closed off so the charms have the tendency to migrate and move out of place. The letter "D", especially, constantly moves up to the upper half of the hoop. To my utter dismay, the letter "I" actually fell off while I was conditioning the bag so I ended up using a pair of pliers with rubberized tips to tighten the gap. Granted none of these would be a problem if the bag is kept upright at all times but I doubt that's the case for anyone actually using the bag so I really can't help but feel that this is poor design.
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | Charm Close-Up
Secondly, the charms are incredibly prone to wear. After using the bag (while babying it with extreme caution), I noticed countless micro-scratches all over the surface of the charms (please see photo evidence in the updates at the end of the post). They aren't noticeable unless you observe them up close but this would be a huge drawback for those who strive to keep their bags in pristine condition. The Dior sales associate told me that the Lady Dior hardware is galvanized to prevent scratching but I'm not sure if the process is actually helpful. The other hardware found near the handle and on the chain seems to be doing okay but the charms are clearly very prone to scratching.
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | Chain in 
Chain Strap:
Most Lady Dior styles come with a removable strap and for the Mini Lady Dior, there is an option between the leather strap and the chain strap. I chose the chain as it made the bag fancier and dressier but I presume the leather option is lighter and more comfortable. The drop length of the chain is about 23 inches (58 cm) and it works well for crossbody wear. If you want some reference for how the bag looks while worn,  please check out the photos near the end of the post. The chain strap is secure and well made and it has a leather padding for the shoulder. It sits comfortably when I'm wearing thicker clothing but it does dig in a bit when I'm wearing a thinner layer given that the bag can get a bit heavy (for its size).
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | Feet on Bottom of Bag
Shielded with a leather flap that simply tucks into the bag, the inside of the Lady Dior is lined with a jacquard red fabric weaved with the Dior cannage pattern. I initially did not like the idea of a flap closure as it didn't seem secure. However, after using it for a while, I had no issues with items spilling out and the flap seems more practical than a zipper closure, which is found on all other Lady Dior Bags larger than the mini. The zipper closure reportedly makes it tricky to reach into the bag and requires both hands to maneuver while the flap can be raised completely to allow a wider opening. I do find, however, that the leather on the flap gets the most wear and tear as I really have to go hands-on when untucking it from the bag. Both models of the style I wanted in stores already had some faint scuffs on the flap surface so this is definitely something to take note of when inspecting the bag before purchase.
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | Top View with Flap Opened
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | Inside View with Zipped Slit Pocket
Aside from a very tiny zippered slit pocket that fits nothing more than a key and a few cards, the inside of the Lady Dior has no separate compartments. However, since this is a pretty small bag, the single compartment allows more items to fit. As you can see in the photo below, the Mini Lady Dior can accommodate an iPhone XS with an Otterbox Symmetry Case (lengthwise), along with a card case, tissues, blotting paper, compact, mini comb, hand cream, and lip balm. This is a pretty tight fit and I usually wouldn't carry around the compact but for demonstration purposes, I've included it to show you how much you can comfortably fit into the bag without distorting the shape of adding too much weight.
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | What Fits Inside
If you are someone who needs to carry around a lot of stuff, the Mini Lady Dior obviously wouldn't be enough. I debated quite a bit while deciding on the size but in the end, the mini just looked a lot more flattering for my height so I sacrificed practicality for style. I am 5'1 (155 cm) and as you can see in the photos below, the Mini Lady Dior sits right at hip level when worn crossbody. This height, in comparison to where my YSL Niki Baby sits, is slightly higher on the body which I prefer. I personally wouldn't wear this as a shoulder bag as it slings way too low but if you are taller than me, both styles would work.
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | Worn Crossbody
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Lambskin Bag in Black with Light Gold Hardware: Review
Dior | Mini Lady Dior Bag | Worn Crossbody
So there you have it, my detailed review of the Mini Lady Dior. Overall, I'm quite happy with my purchase. Admittedly, the bag is not as practical and lightweight as the YSL Niki but I definitely purchased it for its look. If you've been wanting something very classic and elegant that's still playful and stylish, then this is a great bag to invest in. Aside from the unsecured, scratch-prone charms, the bag doesn't have a ton of shortcomings. The lambskin is surprisingly more durable than I thought so even if you aren't too careful with your bags, this is still a viable option. As is with my YSL Niki review, I will update this post to report on new findings and how the bag wears. Feel free to ask any questions below in the comments and I will do my best to answer them! 

Dior is available in Canada at Dior boutiques and Holt Renfrew.

*Update (January 2020)*: Although I've not worn the bag much in the fall or winter months, I feel that it's ample time for a check-in. As mentioned in my original review, the lambskin is doing surprisingly well. I still don't have visible scratches on the leather so everything looks almost good as new. I have, however, managed to capture just how scratched up the Dior charms have gotten. Again, this is not a bag I've worn a lot and all the scratches occurred as a result of the letters rubbing against each other. It's definitely not a pretty sight up close but the scratches are not visible at a glance. I read on a Purse Form that you can get the charms replaced at Dior boutiques but quite honestly, I don't see the point of that as they will just get scratched up again within a month.
Dior | Lady Dior Bag Charms with Scratches
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