Gucci Dionysus Review
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Not that it makes my infatuations any better, but my love of brands, clothing, handbags, etc root in the history
of the product(s), and not necessarily in the trends. At the very least I like to research items before buying. For example, I answered a popular question about Doc Marten boots here, but also gave you their background. What can I say? I like to know things! It makes for great “cocktail conversation”, whatever that used to be. RIP parties and networking socials I actually disliked.
My love of knowing the “why” behind everything is pretty much in general, but I have a soft spot for fashion. This was one of the many reasons I chose to study apparel merchandising in college. We of course covered all of the big fashion houses in school and I read as many books as I could get my hands on; but, to be honest, Gucci was never my favorite. I was more of a Chanel girl, though aren’t we all ;) The one thing I recall learning about Gucci in school was how Tom Ford helped it come out of bankruptcy and become relevant again. He made it sexy and somewhat scandalous. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Look about the ad where he had the Gucci logo shaved you know where… Anyway, Ford was there from 1994-2004. After his departure, Gucci floundered and pretty much became irrelevant for the next 10 years. That is until Alessandro Michele was named Creative Director back in 2015. Now Gucci is back on the map and is bigger than ever!
I know - you want to hear about the Dionysus! Well I had to get through all of the above to talk about it, because the handbag design was first introduced in the 2015 Fall / Winter collection under Alessandro Michele, the current creative director!
Why I love the Dionysus
I really like that it is by the current Gucci creative director, while he is still in that role. I also really like that it is a notable design at only 6 years old, but isn’t something you see a lot of like the quilted / Marmont camera bags and such. It doesn’t scream Gucci, but if you know, you know, as it is sure to become a classic. The original Dionysus bags came in the signature GG monograms which you can still get, but I prefer the smooth and supple leathers, sans lettering. On that note, I enjoy the fact that it is a mixture of old Gucci and new Gucci. Even if you don’t choose the original monogramming, the “U” clasp with the double tiger closure is very, what can I say… Gucci ;)
Don’t forget the history!! Dionysus is the Greek god of agriculture, fertility, wine, life, pleasure and dance and of immortality. The U shaped tiger head closure on the Dionysus bag nods to the Gucci tiger, but also references Greek mythology from which it came. It is said that Zeus sent Dionysus a tiger to cross the Tigris River on.
Dionysus Sizes and Styles
There are a lot of different styles, but here are the basic silhouettes. Note that they usually come out with limited edition leathers and patterns year over year.
6.5"W x 4"H x 1.5"D
8"W x 5"H x 2.3"D
7.5"W x 6"H x 2"D
10"W x 5.5"H x 3"D
My Thoughts on the Gucci Dionysus Mini Leather Chain Bag
Long story short, my husband got me the Gucci Dionysus Mini Leather Chain Bag for my birthday last August (2020). Well… he got me the Super Mini Leather Bag which we then exchanged because my phone wouldn’t even fit in it. It will fit a phone as long as it is 2.7”W x 5.8”H x .3”D or smaller. I wasn’t expecting it at all and it was super sweet! Dino’s full name (our great dane) is actually Dionysus / that is what it says on his American Kennel Club registration, so it was a fun way to pay tribute to him and get a new bag with meaning.
When I went into exchange it, I thought I would trade it out for both the size and color, but I ended up just changing the size and keeping the white because it was SO pretty. I came really close to getting the emerald green leather, but didn’t like how the double tiger head “U” closure was gold and the strap was still silver. To be fair, all the straps are silver, but I thought they should have at least mixed metals in the gold closure to make the strap look better. Who am I to tell Gucci what to do though?! I don’t think I ever intended to try out a monogram version, but the basic GG with the black suede and black smooth leather accents is really pretty.
While I was at the Gucci store, I also tried on the Dionysus Mini Leather Bag which was tempting, but I ultimately went with the mini leather chain bag for reasons of both price and style. My favorite part about the Mini Leather Bag was that the long chain strap could be pulled to a short shoulder strap by doubling it. It could also hold quite a bit more / has more stretch in the width. Besides being $750 more than the mini leather chain bag, it was also more formal. I saw myself carrying this with sundresses or shorts and sneakers, so the more informal chain wallet worked best for what I needed.
Regarding the quality of the bag it is VERY nice. The leather is thick and structured, but the sides accordion like an actual large wallet. That leather is thinner. I can’t remember what color the lining of the other bags were, but the white one has the prettiest mauve hue. I keep mine in the duster bags when I’m not using it, especially because it is white. I also try not to use it with any dark / raw jeans that might rub off on it. I haven’t had any issues regarding that thus far, but it is a risk to take with any light color bag. Fabrics that have not been “set” WILL rub off. For example I have one pair of jeans that make my hands have a light blue tint at the end of the day if I rub on them / put my hands in my pockets a lot. The scientific term for that is called “crocking”. You can thank my textiles classes for that terminology ;)
Inside the mini leather chain bag it has 16 different card slots and 2 larger, thin slots. Those are featured on both the inner front and inner back - so 8 slots and 1 thin slot each. There are 4 larger slots via the accordion, 1 of which is fully closed along the edges (the others aren’t) and has a zipper. My favorite feature is the chain strap. It can be worn as is, shortened, or removed entirely to carry it as a clutch. I store it with the chain inside, in a slot / still clipped in when I’m not using it.
Outside the mini leather chain bag, I love the signature Dionysus closure. It is obviously pretty, but shuts with a true snap. Something that makes the chain bag stand out is that it has a simplistic envelope cut front, whereas the other 3 bag silhouettes all have an extra outline around the sloped “V” front. I think both are pretty - it is just something I wanted to call out. This contributes to my opinion that the chain bag is less formal, since it doesn’t have the extra adornment. The lower back of the bag has “Gucci” embossed in the leather / no filler. This is the only actually Gucci labeling, as there aren’t any inside the bag.
What fits in it? I can fit my phone (iPhone 12 Pro Max) and my husband’s wallet, along with small things like my keys (off the key chain), cards in the holder, and some lipstick / chapstick. Typically when I’m using this bag I don’t need much else. While the accordion sides do allow you to put more in it that the super mini, be aware of the snap closure. If you try to shove too much in it, then the snap closure will be hard to connect. If you want more space, I would at least get the mini shoulder bag, or even the small shoulder bag for only $300 more. The mini shoulder bag is technically smaller than the mini chain bag like I have but there is more open space and no accordion, so you are able to “shove” more inside.
I don’t really have anything negative to say about the bag / things I don’t like. I have heard that some people think the bag is heavy (not sure compared to what), but the heaviest part of the bag is the chain, which I’m thankful for as I would prefer that part to be heavy duty.
Overall I really like it and think it is a fairly practical crossbody in the designer realm. It is the least formal of the Dionysus bags in my opinion, which makes it more wearable. It looks good for a night out, but also goes well with jeans and sneakers and can really dress up the look. This was my first Gucci bag and it has won me over. Last season they had a pair of women’s Ace Cat sneakers that I thought were so cute and Nick likes the Ophidia duffle bag. Oh and of course the mules! Needless to say, we will be Gucci customers again. Likely the next time will be at their restaurant in Beverly Hills (dying to go!) and not a bag though. Hah! Gotta save up ;)
In the meantime, here’s a YouTube video with more details and a closer look at the bag.
Let me know if you have any questions I can help with or cover for you. I take review requests too. Happy shopping!
P.S. If you’re going to be a Gucci buyer and tote around the double G logo whether it be the ever trendy belt or on a monogrammed bag, I think it is important to know that the GG stands for the founder’s initials… Guccio Gucci.
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