Remember when equestrian jewelry was trending pretty hard? I think it was about 2012 or so, when many brands were doling out styles featuring horse bits, especially. It’s a classic, upscale look that is a mainstay in many a woman’s collection, and I have to wonder if somewhere along the line it will be met with a millennial or Gen Z twist.
When Dior rereleased its iconic saddle bag late last week, nearly every fashion influencer I follow had a photo op with one. Whether Dior paid them, or sent them the bags in exchange for the press, I’m not sure, though none of the Instagram posts were marked as advertisements (and a clarification on the part of Instagram’s Eva Chen denotes that no money changed hands; her post was simply “to help the brand celebrate their big day”).
Nevertheless, the campaign—thinly veiled or not (though, most likely yes)—will surely do its job, sending fashionistas rallying to get their hands on one of the bags. And it’s a good-looking bag. So, despite its controversy (if we can even call it that, while most consumers, I think, won’t be paying attention), it will be a must-have accessory for the fall, with plenty of fast-fashion retailers churning out their versions to cash in on the trend (my money is on Zara coming out with a saddle bag in the next few weeks).
Originally designed by John Galliano for the spring/summer 2000 fashion season, the bag is pretty true to its name—in the shape of a saddle—and features varied canvas prints, embroideries, or solid calfskin leathers, each adorned with a big, golden “D” that hangs down its center. Two sizes are available—mini or medium—and you can purchase (separately!) a canvas strap to make the bag a crossbody. In total there are 15 styles of the bag available, with prices ranging from $2,350 to $8,500 (they don’t come cheap!).
So, how literal can we be about what its return means? Is the saddle bag a cool silhouette to be copied to death, or are we going to get down with all sorts of equestrian styles now?
If we aren’t headed for an equine obsession, perhaps we can look to early 2000s–era Dior and other fashion brands for clues as to what the new big jewelry style to dominate the market will be. For now, though, I’m pretty stoked that the bit-style jewelry could possibly get a makeover. As someone who used to compete in dressage shows, I love a somewhat subtle way to wear my love for horses around my neck, without venturing into animal jewelry (though a good horse pendant never cramped my style, either). Only time will tell what designers start to roll out, but there’s no denying that everything old is new again at any point in time—almost always with a modern twist.
Top: Equestrian earrings in sterling silver, $875; Vincent Peach