As a brand becomes more established, recurring stylistic elements come to be known as "house codes." That Collette Dinnigan has several easily identifiable touches—lace that flutters over shoulders and neckline-to-hemline sparkle both come to mind—speaks to a level of consistency that she's more or less maintained over 20 years.

Her 2013 pre-collection follows the classic Resort ethos—clothes for beach getaways—without abandoning her red carpet-lite niche. Dresses in geranium, sky blue, and crisp green French lace skimmed the body without clinging. A short-sleeved dress in mesh and lace was an LBD with staying power. Dinnigan placed equal weight on three-dimensional fabrics (featuring raffia flowers, beads, and paillettes) as on two breezy but busy prints.

If some pieces (the daisy embroidery, the coral capped-sleeve ruffle dress) prompted a déjà-vu reaction—as in, doesn't that look like [insert high-end label here] from Spring 2012?—it simply confirms that this designer can turn runway drama into first-date fashion. Her collection will make it to poolsides and movie premieres; eyelet blouses and jersey dresses looked travel-friendly, while the bejeweled gowns are party photo bait. These are lifestyle codes that Dinnigan understands well.