Happy New Year! For my first blog post in 2019, I want to share my most favourite bag purchase in 2018. I was fortunate enough to expand my bag collection quite a bit last year and am pretty happy with it at the moment. I think I have a bag to cover me for pretty much all occasions (which was my goal in 2018) so I’m not in a hurry to get anything else on my wishlist and aim to have a more frugal year.
Despite some of the gorgeous bags I got in 2018 such as the Chanel rectangular mini flap and LV empriente speedy, the bag I’d lusted after the most and was continuously on my mind was the Dior Diorama. After multiple viewings in Harrods and the Dior flagship store in New Bond Street, I finally bit the bullet and got it and have zero regrets.
I have the Diorama in the size medium in the grey/gris colour (fun fact: grey is the classic official colour of Dior).
The dimensions are 25cm across in length, 15.5cm in height and 8cm in width.
If you are thinking of picking this up, just a note on the leather and hardware. My version of the Diorama is the older style from when the Diorama was first released in 2015. Mine is grey grained calfskin leather with a grey lacquered lock and silver hardware. Under the new creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, this style has been slowly phased out in favour of the new calfskin which features an all metal lock with champagne gold hardware. I find it`s rare to see current Dioramas with silver hardware.
From the comparison above, you can see the difference between the old grey Diorama (which I have) and the new style Diorama. I compared both in store and am not a fan of the new one for 2 main reasons. I usually do prefer silver hardware on my bags, but I particularly don’t like the look of the gold hardware combined with the grey leather. In addition, I’m not a fan of the leather now – if you see it up close, the old style is more grained and therefore feels tougher, thicker and more durable. The new one looks smoother and the grains are larger. This makes the bag softer and therefore more prone to losing shape. A big appeal of this bag for me is its structure so I do prefer the sturdier, grained calfskin of the older model to help it retain its shape. Overall, the new style doesn`t fit my aesthetic and by the time I had finally decided to purchase this bag around Autumn 2018, I did struggle to find it and Dior customer service had said this particular one was sold out in all of Europe. There are still a few boutiques in the US that may still carry leftover stock, but there is no new production for the older style anymore.
I love how classic and clean the design is and although many people compare this to a Chanel Boy bag, I prefer the Diorama for a few reasons. Firstly the design is simplistic but eye-catching which truly makes it a timeless classic. I could wear this in 10 years time and not have to worry about it being out of style/season (which is what I look for in all my bags).
It features the Dior cannage pattern (as shown above), but it is simply magnified on the Diorama bag. It also has a simple crest shaped magnetic clasp lock which has the name Dior engraved on it (the details on the lock are also stunning and has the cannage pattern displayed in such intricately precise detail). If you aren’t aware of designer brands, you wouldn’t be able to identity this bag as Dior as the branding on it is very subtle. It catches the eye because it looks high-quality and luxurious not because it features a loud logo or print, and I love that aspect.
I also appreciate how functional and versatile this bag is. The strap is absolutely perfect. I like bags that I can wear a number of ways such as with the LV Speedy B30 with its 3-part strap. The Diorama chain can be doubled up to be worn under the arm, or a single strap as a crossbody bag or just straight down over the shoulder. I find the problem with a lot of bags is that if they are made to be worn crossbody, the strap is far too long to wear straight down on your shoulder. However this bag has 5 holes to adjust to your liking and I find that on the middle 3rd hole, it allows me to wear it all 3 ways perfectly.
I’m not really a crossbody person, unless the bag is really small so I don’t typically wear the Diorama this way, although I appreciate having that option. It has a boxy shape and is quite a stylish bag (as opposed to a slouchy casual bag) so I prefer to wear it doubled on the shoulder or just straight down on one strap.
An interesting feature of the Diorama strap is that the chain links have been hollowed out which reduces the weight of the bag, especially in comparison to the Chanel Boy which I find heavy before you even put items in it. This feature doesn’t cheapen the Diorama though; the chain still feels weighty enough to not feel cheap or plastic. I really applaud the designer’s choice to do this as it makes it so comfortable to carry. In addition, a part of the strap where you can adjust the length is made of leather which also adds to the comfort when it sits on your shoulder and helps distribute the weight. You don’t have to worry about the chain digging into your skin.
The interior of the Diorama features 1 main compartment, 1 zip pocket on the back and one on the front. I don’t use the zip pocket on the back except to store my bag receipt and authenticity card but the open front pocket is super handy and convenient to access my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone.
This bag is the perfect size to comfortably carry all my essentials for a day out which includes:
- LV 6 ring key holder
- Chanel zippy coin purse
- Chanel mini o case – for lipstick, eye drops, medicine, mirror and blotting sheets
- LV cles – additional medicine, hair tie etc.
- Hand sanitizer
- Packet of tissues
I would also have space to add a pair of sunglasses on top if I needed to in Summer or a small compact umbrella if I thought it might rain. I typically avoid using this bag if I know it will rain because I really value and take care of my bags, but living in the UK, rain can be unpredictable.
If I do carry an umbrella, I will usually take out my mini o case because I don’t want the bag to be too bulky and it does become very full and bulges slightly if I have all that in there. Also, even with just my essentials (minus umbrella), this bag can feel weighty when you’re out for a long time and after a long day out my shoulders do hurt and feel the strain.
However, I do love the size of this bag because it`s the perfect inbetween for a mini bag that doesn`t quite fit everything I WANT to carry but also not a full size bag that would be too heavy/bulky for say, a day of shopping. For example, I really do prefer this to the Chanel mini rectangular in terms of functionality. On that review I mentioned that I wished the bag were just a little taller in height because it would allow the SLGs I carry to fit that bit easier as I could put them vertically. The Diorama lets me do that perfectly, and is less like a game of tetris than the Chanel.
I’ve only had this a few months so it is still in like-new condition. I do have concerns about the bag losing it structure over time as the ones I`ve seen on the preloved market do look very misshapen but that might be due to lack of taking care of the bag properly. I always make sure to stuff the interior with air paper and put it back in its dust bag when I`m not using it. I also make sure not to over-stuff the bag on the sides because the leather is softer there and more likely to warp. I am not too worried about the bottom because it can`t really be noticed and heavy items will unavoidably make the bag sag at the bottom over time.
I am also cautious of the wear on the leather around the corners of the bag simply because it is so structured and sharp and it will come into contact with surfaces a lot when I place the bag down on tables etc. I think this is probably the most common sign of wear on all Dioramas that people have so I will just have to monitor that and try and be careful.
Overall, I absolutely looove this bag and is one that I know I will never ever sell or get rid of just because it’s such a timeless classic. I love a neutral grey because it can pair well with anything and this particular style can be dressed up or down and instantly makes any outfit look more put together. It has great functionality, is the perfect size and is so versatile in the ways you can wear it.
I am so so happy I decided to get this, especially knowing they no longer make the Diorama in the old style anymore and I don’t have anything else in my bag collection like it. I think this will definitely be an iconic classic Dior bag much like the Lady Dior and I highly recommend the Diorama if you are still on the fence about it.
I have used this bag everyday for the past 2 weeks over the Christmas and New Year holiday period and it always makes me look forward to going out. I never get tired of admiring all the beautiful details of this bag and still have the same excitement for it as when I first got it.