Images via Dior

Fresh on the tail of her Black Swan costar and longtime Dior spokesperson Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis has been tapped to front the Christian Dior Spring 2012 ad campaign. Her first set of shots for the company features a group of products that is very relevant to our interests – handbags!

Images via WWD

Women’s Wear Daily has announced that Christian Dior will team up with Berlin contemporary art star Anselm Reyle for a line of accessories, handbags and makeup just in time for Miami’s Art Basel. I’m pretty sure that it cost me a hundred bucks just to write that sentence.

Images via Vogue.com

Excuse me while I echo the sentiments about the Dior Spring 2012 collection that have already been expressed by everyone else in the fashion industry: It’s kind of a placeholder, yes? Months have passed and Dior still doesn’t have a replacement for John Galliano, so the collection is being designed by what the French call “le studio.” Bill Gaytten, long Galliano’s right-hand man, has taken the reins, along with the rest of the Dior creative team.

While none of us know for certain where Dior is headed, if the snaps that have come out of the Dior Resort 2012 handbags are any indication, accessories addicts don’t have much to worry about. During recent years, John Galliano’s Dior gave us season after season of mediocre accessories, never quite recreating the success that the brand had with the Saddle Bag years ago.

Like most businesses, fashion tends to gloss over whatever moral and ethical quandaries that might be encountered on the road to aesthetic fabulousness. The use of animal fur, the health and employment rights of models and garment workers, and the absence of women of color not only from magazine pages, but also from the upper echelons of the corporate fashion world are just a few of the matters that industry bigwigs would rather weren’t discussed.

It’s been an upsetting and sad week at the Christian Dior offices. Creative director John Galliano was arrested at a French café on a variety of charges including anti-Semitism, which saw him swiftly suspended from his duties at Dior. Once video emerged of a second public neo-Nazi tirade, his ouster from the brand was just as decisive.

Dior made more than a bit of a statement with its Spring 2011 accessories collection, and if you’re itching to get your hands on a piece of the brand’s lighter, younger handbag aesthetic, Bergdorf Goodman would like to let you start that process now.

I can’t remember the last time I was excited for a Dior bag collection, but ladies (and gents), I’m excited about Christian Dior Spring 2011. Perhaps it’s because John Galliano stepped away from the patrician well that he had been mining for the past year or two, or maybe it’s just the residual effect of staring at so many bright colors over the past week, but it seems to me that Dior finally has turned the page on the bland, predictable bags that we’ve seen from the Parisian label in recent seasons.

On the one hand, fur bags are usually atrocious, not to mention dubiously ethical. On the other hand, they’ve certainly given me plenty of fodder for posts and given you guys lots of stuff to talk about (or, more accurately, to talk smack about), so maybe they’re not all bad.

I hate to say it, but John Galliano’s haute couture collections for Christian Dior have been a bit repetitive over the past few seasons. The clothes have always been suitably beautiful and ornate, of course, but I left the last collection unsure if I had seen anything particularly interesting or memorable.