Chanel Fall 2011 Couture Review

Chanel Couture Fall 2011

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Chanel Fall 2011 Couture collection.

SHOW: Chanel (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Sam McKnight

MAKEUP: Peter Phillips

ACCESSORIES: Knee-high boots, ostrich-edged boaters with lace veil

THEME: Place Vendôme at night

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Haute Couture done right

Of all the couture houses in Paris, Chanel knows how to put on a show— no-holds-barred and certainly no expense spared. That was the case last night, without a doubt, as Chanel recreated the Place Vendôme at night, done right— the street-lamps were plexi-glass, the sidewalk was black glitter, and Coco herself topped the iconic column. Ironically, the only thing Chanel didn't rebuild was the Ritz. But they put that into the clothes.

The idea was a loose feeling of masculine meeting feminine. The show was called "Les Allures de Chanel" after all, and besides her couture business, Chanel was known for her many love affairs. So there was an air of seduction, lace veiling eyes, and boaters tilted back to frame the face.

But as ever at Chanel, the real theme was the expertise of the ateliers. Lagerfeld gave them the full workout, showcasing two silhouettes, one tailored to within an inch of its life into bombshell curves, the other impressively subtle. For evening things took off into fantasy, sequins and ostrich feathers flailing on gossamer-fine evening dresses. The best was executed from wavy ropes of pearls in navy-blue and white, that managed to marry faultless chic with the ease of nautical.