Pamella Roland's latest Resort collection was loosely inspired by her mother's garden—"the memory of it, an abstract," explained David Rodriguez, Roland's VP of design and brand development.

In this case, the more abstract, the better. Roland used the same floral design throughout, but how it was rendered drastically changed its appeal. A floral party dress, done in a brash black-and-purple, was pieced together with strips of hand-beading—the technique was neat, the effect less so. Appliquéd flowers made of feathers seemed unnecessary when added to a few of Roland's signature beaded dresses, given the intricacy of the beadwork.

The garden-ish concept succeeded in a black-and-white floral jacquard gown covered in sparingly beaded black tulle. The solid-color dresses were pretty, too. A bright magenta gown, made of silk faille, fell away from the bust in a grand, sweeping fashion, and a series of fit-and-flare frocks in hothouse colors were almost universally flattering. The winner, though, was a strapless cocktail number in a faded lavender gray floral that had a narrow skirt and fabric gathered at the front. Cute without being cutesy, its appeal went far beyond the garden party.