The decorative impulse is both divine and dangerous, and the two sides jostled for dominance at Carolina Herrera.

Herrera loves to inject smart classics with a touch of the artiste, which made for some lovely aspects to her spring collection. Dresses bore a pleasant crispness in graphic eyelet as well as in strips of white faille inset with black lace, while the pairing of gentle, intricately detailed blouses with sportier fare introduced an adult subtlety to fashion’s ongoing feminine-masculine dichotomy.

Yet some visual pop — all that high-contrast geometry comes to mind — works better in two dimensions, while certain admittedly gorgeous fabrics, like the rose-toned hydrangea jacquard, are better suited to a flashy sofa than a shift dress.

It was when Herrera took a breather from such obvious statement-making in favor of sultry blush gowns or a stark pin-dot shirtdress that the collection oozed confident élan, much like the designer herself.

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