"It's a continuation of Spring," Carolina Herrera said of her pre-fall collection. "I think we have to change the name."

With no-nonsense practicality, Herrera showed a collection that ranged from warm-weather dresses (for May, when the line hits stores) to tweedy, fur-sleeved coats for cooler temperatures. The twisting and draping motifs from her Spring show reappeared, but the autumnal palette of reds, browns, wheats, and cobalt blue was pure Fall.

Hererra knows her loyal customers look to her for smart dresses, coats, and tailored pieces, and she didn't disappoint. But she's lately started rubbing shoulders with a younger clientele, too. Nicki Minaj sat front-row at her Spring show; she designed a gown for Bella Swan's twilit wedding; and you might have seen a version of one silk faille evening piece here on none other than Lady Gaga. (Gaga and Herrera, two names you'd never before think to link in a sentence.) Maybe they've inspired her to amp up the drama, with bow-bedecked gowns, or lighten the mood with puppy prints. (Their inspiration: her miniature poodle, Gaspar.)

Still, the finest pieces were often the simplest, like a Deco-ish shift whose pattern appeared to be print but was actually a fine layering of tulle and lace. Whoever else she may be channeling, Herrera has long been her own best influence. She showed a trompe l'oeil one-piece look of lace-inset white top and billowing organza skirt—an evening-ready nod to her own famous uniform.