It’s rare that I get the urge to refer to a handbag collection as “tight,” but the more I look at 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2011, the more that seems like the most appropriate word to use. The color palette, shapes and materials are all limited to a very cohesive few, but the resulting designs are surprisingly varied and covetable, so long as you subscribe to Lim’s particular brand of contemporary minimalism.

The upright satchels strike me as a less expensive alternative to the much sought-after Celine Luggage Tote, and the smooth leather shoulder bags with bold metal closures and a witty puff of contrasting fur are an office-friendly option that would work even if you don’t work in an office. These designs are mostly neutral and functional without being boring or forgettable, and towing that line requires the sort of aesthetic confidence that makes these bags very much worth noting for the coming season.

Photos via Style.com

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