A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

Review: Dior Diorama Wallet on a Chain

In a previous outfit/personal style post, I had promised to do a full dedicated review-esque article on my new Dior Diorama bag. And, ta-da! Here we are. This Diorama bag was a “surprise” purchase. Surprise in the sense that I had not intended on leaving Christian Dior with this bag: I had the intentions of purchasing a Dior bag, just not this one. Originally I had wanted to purchase the Lady Dior Calfskin Chain Pouch, in a dark blue/navy color with a metallic finish. The colorway isn’t available in the US, and I loved the idea of wearing the bag with jeans. My friends Yvonne and Joe went back and forth with me for days over the purchase because I am indecisive by nature…and because when it comes to luxury purchases I know they will not judge me. Hot tip: identify the friends among your social circle who can speak frankly and openly about money and investment purchases without judgement or jealousy. Actually, just surround yourself with those type of people, period.

I purchased my Diorama Wallet on Chain clutch, in ‘Champagne” in Paris, December 2019, on the 3rd floor of the Galeries Lafayette in the Christian Dior boutique. Originally I had wanted to make my purchase at the new DIOR Concept store on Saint-Honoré, but alas the grève générale had other plans. Students and general protesters struck en masse, shutting down Rue Royale, Stain-Honoré, and Saint-Florentin, while making their way to Place de la Concorde. To access the Prada store, I had to backtrack to Place de la Madeleine (via Rue Duphot), and then up and over to Boissy d’Anglas and then negotiate with the police to let me through their barricade. Surprisingly, the stores (at that point) were still open…

I was nervous about my Dior purchase. In efforts to talk myself out of it, and perhaps find another bag to fall in love with at a smaller price point, I stopped in at Mulberry (I love their leathers). I had just left the Prada Boutique and had the store completely to myself; and Mulberry was the same – but imagine my complete surprise when a police officer in full riot gear stepped out of the back! He had asked to use the restroom, and I was browsing a darling crossbody bag when he was on his way out. This past trip to Paris was full of so many learning and cultural experiences, and this was just one of those smaller moments: even during protests and revolutions, people still need to use the restroom. Even at luxury boutiques on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris.

The surrealism of walking down the center both Rue Royal and Saint-Honoré without a car (or person) in sight is beyond words…to hear the police sirens in the distance, the chants of crowds and megaphones…I had to stop and take it all in. Are you reading in between the lines here? Are you seeing the strange juxtaposition of an American in Paris luxury shopping on the famous boulevards in the City of Light while its residents fight against pension reform, and for livable wages? Because I am. I was the only client shopper in these boutiques. It felt strange and eerie. On the flipside, it allowed for conversations which may not have happened otherwise: at Prada I was able to discuss with the sales associates the gilets jaunes, and their misrepresentation in the media as being violent and destructive (for clarification there was plenty of violence and destruction, but from anarchist-opportunists who seek out demonstrations). I learned that last year the Prada boutique had been filled with tear gas, which had poured in from the streets… I was shocked to learn this.

...All this to tell you when I finally did make it to the Dior Concept Store, hand on the door, standing on the stoop, I was not let in. It was at that moment that all of Rue Saint-Honoré shut down, and each store pulled down their hefty metal safety gates, at roughly 2 o' clock in the afternoon. Le grève générale had won. And I respected that. So, I turned myself to the Galeries Lafayette and marched the 1 km there. Once there, I went straight for the 3rd floor: I had quickly learned that the entry level boutique doesn’t have a full stock, and rather than redirect you, the SA’s will simply tell you that they don’t have the item you are looking for. I knew the 3rd floor boutique had exactly what I wanted, and my SA, and Yvonne and Joe (via IG DM) quickly got down to deciding which one I should leave with. It still took me 2+ hours to decide, but hey! I made a decision, and I am very much in love.

And now all the pretty photos, review, and what I can actually fit into this thing!

Review: Dior Diorama Wallet on a Chain 

History of the Dior Diorama bag

The Diorama bag made its premier on the runways of the Spring 2015 Dior show, under designer Raf Simons. It instantly drew comparisons to the Chanel Boy Bag, which I personally feel is a little unfair. The Boy Bag felt trendy to me – whereas the Diorama feels classic and timeless. The hardware on the Diorama has more delicate features, but depending on the leather/materials of this bag, it can morph quite well into various “attitudes”. The Diorama has a minimalist, clean design, and somehow manages to make a statement while being understated; which to me is the very epitome of French design. While an instant classic in my mind, there sadly are rumors that this bag is being phased out and will be discontinued…so if you would like a Diorama, now is the time!

Chain length: 120cm / 74in
Dimensions: 19x12x3cm / 7.4x4.7x1in
4 vertical card slots
1 flat pocket
1 zippered compartment
Chain detaches, so it may be carried like a true clutch; may also be worn as a short shoulder bag, or as a crossbody.

First things first – not a whole lot fits into this wallet on a chain. It’s small, it’s compact, and suuuuuper cute omg. What I can fit: my LV 6 key holder, iPhone 11 (sans Otterbox cover) 4 cards, and a lipstick/balm. That is it. And, because I purchased this WOC in the metallic calfskin, it’s not going to stretch out very much. Had I purchased a soft leather option, my items would probably be a little less squished, but oooh shiny.

The detailing on this bag is beautiful – for being so small and compact, I absolutely love the attention that has been paid to the small details: I love the textured, laser-cut leather detail over the entire bag, and the “cannage” detailing on the magnetic shield-like clasp-closure. The Champagne color also brings me a lot of joy – at times it looks rose gold, at others it looks more silver than gold…I feel that it makes the bag all the more versatile, which is important to me.

Another feature that I like about the bag is the chain; it’s not heavy, but certainly of decent weight. I own three WOC styles, and the chain on my Louis Vuitton Felicite is much, much lighter, and I feel a little weird about that, tbh. The chain on this Dior Diorama WOC has a nice density, which I really like -it’s not so weighty to the point of being uncomfortable, but it makes its presence known.

Admittedly, I did have a moment of panic after purchase - I had spent how much on a bag that could only care the bare essentials?! But I am more than happy with my Diorama WOC. It currently overshadows every other purse that I own as it is the only bag I wish to carry (except for my Longchamp Le Pilage that accompanies me to work everyday). It wears as both a stand-out piece, and a neutral, which in my mind is truly the best of both worlds. A happy purchase indeed ♥

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A Mused Blog | A Northern California Sonoma County Blog