A Chanel Affair

If you’ve been following North On Harper for a bit you knew it was going to happen.  I mean come on now.  How couldn’t it?!  After all, we peaked at the Spring Couture Show, recapped the Fall Ready-To-Wear Show and fawned over the Resort Show.  So let us be serious.  We are going to cover the Fall Couture show.  ‘Cause the truth is, I have a love affair with Chanel.

I’ve mentioned before that I really appreciate how Karl Lagerfeld stays true to the Chanel aesthetic, while still forging his own path.  It is this dichotomy that appears in nearly every look that makes Chanel, Chanel.  I feel like he took it to another level with this collection, as I imagine these pieces would live in Coco Chanel’s closet were she alive today. They are mysterious, sultry, powerful and of course they are sophisticated.

But I will quit talking and start showing…

Yes, it is the staple Chanel tweed suit.  But I love how Lagerfeld makes it feel new again season in and season out.  This time the collar and the skirted jacket are perfect for a woman who commands respect.

There is something fresh and cool about this dress, which is kind of crazy because simultaneously there is something utterly classic about the shape.

This look is feminine, but edgy.  Modest, but daring.  And it is the balance that it strikes that makes it so successful.

Who knew black could be girly?  Apparently Lagerfeld did.  I love how sweet this one is!

At first glance this dress seems rather conservative.  That is until you realize it is actually completely sheer.  So you are like this isn’t practical!  I hear you.  But this is couture, so it is allowed. Plus, it is kind of awesome.

I feel like I should let this gown speak for itself.  Except that this is a dress that turns heads.  But the wearer has to own it, or else it will be a complete loss… (I imagine my grandmother wearing this when she was young… she had a very cool sense of style!)

What do you think of Chanel’s 2011 Fall Couture Collection?


(All images via Style.com.  Photos by Yannis Vlamos /Go Runway.com)


  1. I am loving the accentuated hips on the suit jacket! Basically Karl is a genius :-)

  2. I love it! It has me longing for the smells of cinnamon and apples.

    Though, I’m not sure I could own wearing the conservative sheer dress at the PTA meeting. Maybe I should opt for the tweed.

  3. Ohhh you are so right about Chanel’s Resort collection! It was the first collection I started pulling images from to look at–and even though the ones I picked were different/for a different slant, I love your picks! It struck me as one of his most classic Chanel seasons, but with his own twist as you point out–which makes it extra amazing. And I agree, I think Chanel would’ve loved the sense of drama in this collection. Great post Alexis!

    xo Mary Jo

  4. I really, really.. like the suit and, the dress with ‘pink’. Who knew black could be girly ~ only Lagerfeld….. LOVE the skirt!

  5. I LOVE the first and fifth one (even if it is sheer!). The others, I’m afraid, are a little beyond my realm of imagination, although the second one does have some sort of appeal for me.

  6. They’re all beautiful. The last one is my favorite though – so outrageous :-)

  7. I can see Cate Blanchett rockin’ that last gown!

  8. Karl is a genius. And who doesn’t love Chanel?! My favorites are the first and fourth. That tweed suit is killer.

  9. I absolutely love the tweed suit…..you can never go wrong with fitted suit.

    Also the #3 is very pretty and feminine.

  10. Happyaunt says:

    Have always loved Chanel……including the twists on the classics

  11. The floral-ey looking two-piece one is so original, especially the way its styled.

  12. Yes, you can get away with much more with couture pieces. It will be interesting to see the mainstream fashion pieces that spring off from this very specific point of view.

  13. I hadn’t actually seen it til now, but I concede that it is rather stunning – love the ones you’ve chosen. The last image is just beautiful; must feel like wearing milk.

    Thank you, by the way, for your comment on my guest post at The Loudmouth – I hope you manage to squeeze some Chanel in with your myriad wardrobe staples… 😉

  14. I declared my love for Chanel long ago. 😉 I agree with you on how Karl carries on the Chanel legacy. Staying true to its values, but making his own statement as well. A great collection, Alexis! :)

  15. I’m in love too! I went to the original store when I was in Paris. Karl was upstairs in his office. lol.

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