Lady Cloud exudes the sparkling and enduring beauty of crafted quartz.

In January 2024, The House of Dior approached Tia-Thuy Nguyen to collaborate on a project to transform the iconic Lady Dior bag into a captivating work of art.

Known as ‘Lady Dior As Seen By,’ this Dior initiative involves a traveling exhibition that showcases collaborative artworks between Dior and talented artists from various countries. These artworks aim to capture a creative narrative that transcends geographical boundaries and cultural principles, reflecting an international creative context.

This special collaboration also pays tribute to Christian Dior’s passion for art.

Despite being occupied with various major art projects, Tia-Thuy Nguyen, an artist who embraces the motto of ‘always work hard with every opportunity,’ readily agreed to Dior’s suggested two-month timeline to complete the work.

Lady Dior As Seen By is a remarkable project that celebrates the distinctive essence of the signature Lady Dior bag. Through the artistic touch and boundless creativity of the world’s top contemporary artists, the name Lady Dior gains an enhanced allure.

Dior describes this project as a captivating modern adventure fueled by creative passion.

The contemporary artists who have collaborated on this project include Mircea Cantor, Jeffrey Gibson, Gilbert & George, Ha Chong-Hyun, Lee Kun-Yong, Mariko Mori, Ludovic Nkoth, Hilary Pecis, Mickalene Thomas, Zadie Xa, Michaela Yearwood-Dan, and Xu Zhen.

Sketches of the Lady Cloud bag. Photo: Supplied

Dior plans to showcase these extraordinary artworks in many countries, allowing art and fashion enthusiasts to admire them for years to come.

Upon seeing Tia-Thuy Nguyen’s completed artwork called Lady Cloud, representatives from Dior were pleasantly surprised by the artistry of the piece and the seamless connection between the essence of The House of Dior and the artist’s vision.

As time passed, Dior representatives, along with the audience, found themselves becoming increasingly contemplative and curious about the possibilities of blending art and fashion to bring inspiration to life.

Lady Cloud, being one of Dior’s exceptional pieces, stands as a work of art that distinguishes itself from typical commercial collaborations, where limited edition products are sold in stores.

The making of the Lady Cloud bag. Photo: Supplied

Cloud, quartz, hand-applied, and Tia-Thuy Nguyen

Upon receiving the invitation, Tia-Thuy Nguyen embarked on thorough research of the Lady Dior bag from a creative perspective.

The Vietnamese artist began by sketching her ideas on paper, ultimately selecting colorful clouds as her creative inspiration and hand-applied techniques as her distinctive touch.

She then sculpted a 3D prototype using clay, which allowed her to accurately visualize the structure and proportions of the artwork in real space.

Nguyen explains that she chose quartz as the primary material for this artwork due to its symbolic significance.

In feng shui, quartz is a stone known for balancing qi, calming the mind, crystallizing thoughts, and dispelling negative emotions.

Tia-Thuy Nguyen and the Lady Cloud bag. Photo: Supplied

From an aesthetic perspective, quartz resembles clouds, allowing light to pass through and reflect its surroundings, creating an ever-changing visual experience.

The contrast between the solidity of quartz and the ethereal nature of clouds challenges viewers’ imagination, leading to open-ended personal contemplation.

Selecting quartz crystals to form a cloud surrounding the bag posed a significant challenge, as it involved finding the right quartz block and intricate attachment processes.

To locate the ideal stone block with the desired clarity, hardness, and size, Tia-Thuy Nguyen and her team embarked on a journey to renowned quartz quarries in Vietnam and even explored options in other countries.

Each location yielded quartz rocks of various colors, smokiness levels, and irradiance properties.

Tia-Thuy Nguyen poses at the Lady Dior As Seen By exhibition. Photo: Supplied

After extensive searching, Tia-Thuy Nguyen discovered the perfect stone block—a 103kg quartz crystal tree found in south-central Vietnam.

Following this discovery, the stone sculptures were meticulously crafted, and the large stone blocks were manually cut and polished.

Once sorted, Tia-Thuy Nguyen and the artisans embarked on the meticulous task of attaching the stones, forming a soft and adaptable cloud with a gradient of colors surrounding Lady Cloud.

When art harmonizes with fashion

Tia-Thuy Nguyen shared that throughout the creative process, there were numerous moments when her collaborators doubted completing the project within the tight timeframe.

There were also moments of uncertainty, particularly when devising a manufacturing plan.

However, by persevering step by step, they managed to overcome these challenges and successfully create the one-of-a-kind Lady Cloud bag sculpture.

Harnessing the power of light to accentuate its beauty, Lady Cloud, adorned with meticulously arranged quartz crystals, evokes a range of emotions in viewers. The interplay of light and angles creates an ever-changing visual experience.

Tia-Thuy Nguyen stated, “Dior has researched and followed my artistic journey and found similarities. Now is the right time for both sides to work together. This collaboration is not just about ‘adapting’ a Dior icon; it is an intersection of design thoughts and philosophies. I bring my signature aesthetic and spontaneous personality, while Dior represents exemplary elegance with its classic bag shape. For me, this collaboration represents destiny with a timeless symbol. I am delighted that we have more opportunities to meet and interact with the diversity of the world. Through this exhibition, I hope the audience and my colleagues see new possibilities and ways of expression, motivating us to move forward together. This project shows that Vietnamese artists and art no longer limit themselves to the ’round’ sky.”

Lady Cloud is currently on display for the public to admire at the Lady Dior As Seen By exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City. The exhibition runs until April 14.