Nicki Minaj made for an incongruous sighting at Carolina Herrera today, particularly sitting between two important editors in chief. But even beyond the rapper's unexpected, Muppet-like presence, there was a freshness to the proceedings at hand. That started with the spring-y colors, the yellows and greens that made you think of tulip leaves, and then a sweet but not saccharine little sparrow print. When the latter was cut into a cap-sleeve dress worn with sunglasses, a natty matching scarf, and a cherry red belt, it looked ready to hop on the back of a Vespa and tool around Rome. There were lots more options here with that kind of pared-back and easy feel. But even when she's sporty, the Herrera dame needs luxury. Cue the piped canvas trench in a gold-tinged khaki.

As a counterpoint to the organic, Herrera went geometric. The idea popped nicely in a trio of black and white dresses, and of course when the motif read Art Deco in bugle-beaded evening looks, it was a perfect fit. That wasn't the case with random, constructivist-style trims on skirts and dresses, however.

When it comes to evening, Herrera's ambitions can sometimes get the better of her, and there were a couple instances of that here. Trying to marry canary yellow jacquard silk with dotted chiffon and big panels of embroidery is just a case of attempting too much at one time. But mostly, the gala gowns had the simple elegance of one of Mrs. Herrera's white shirts, particularly a beaded tank worn over a fluttery chiffon—not quite Vespa-ready, but close.