Carolina Herrera is an avid gardener. It's a pursuit that's given her a healthy appreciation for bees, and she used her Pre-Fall collection to pay tribute. "I connected it to the whole life of a bee," she corrected at its debut, at a fizzy little cocktail hour that, in more temperate conditions, could have been a garden party. As promised, everywhere you looked, something was abuzz. Little bees were embroidered onto structured dresses and printed onto polite shifts. The honeycombs they make were blown up into micro and macro print versions, and the flowers they pollinate—florals being an evergreen at Herrera—embellished day dresses and evening gowns alike.

There were new silhouettes for the season, key among them a longer-waisted skirt, fitted then flared, paired with a shorter jacket. Lengths hovered primly around the knee. But the overall message was more about honeyed sweetness than pushing new propositions. More so than in her occasionally labored runway collections, Herrera's inter-season outings, this one included, do justice to her enviably unruffled sense of lightness and well-polished whimsy. "Fashion should be fun and effortless," she opined. Her bees ensured that it all was. They're also noted for their industry, not unlike the lady of the house. (Asked how she possibly had time for gardening, she replied, "Everyone should have time for everything. If you have discipline…") But of course, she does have help. "The beehive is very important in my office," she added. "I always have people buzzing around." Which would make her the queen.