09/10/2012 04:12 EDT | Updated 11/10/2012 05:12 EST

Herrera blends softness and light into her typically chic look

NEW YORK, N.Y. - When you have the loyal following and solid reputation that Carolina Herrera enjoys, there is no reason to stand in your stiletto heels way out on a limb. For the spring collection she presented Monday morning at New York Fashion Week, Herrera tweaked her signature chic look just enough to be in line with some of the emerging trends without straying too far from what her woman likes.

She moved everything a bit away from the body and she played a lot with hemlines. Herrera gave a name to the popular dress length just a tad below mid-calf that's graced many catwalks during these previews for editors, buyers and stylists: the "longuette" dress.

But to go with the vibe of relaxed glamour that also has been pervasive, she trimmed pantsuits into shorts suits, even for evening, turning out black wool cropped jacket with white piping paired with black wool flounce shorts, and a cream-colored distressed organza jacket with pleated shorts, both decorated with gold "lightening" embroidery.

Her usual ballgown evolved into more of a slip-style gown with floral embellishment. Her favourite print of the season was an abstract geometric one that she used for a daytime shirtdress and a one-shoulder gown, among other looks.

There was a purposeful mix of romantic fabrics and details with the modern print and pale shades of blue, green, grey, orange and yellow.

"This collection is very soft. It's all about lightness and fluidity. It's very light," Herrera said in a backstage interview. "I wanted to use all the very light material like chiffon and georgette and the overlays of tulle in the evening, and it has a new silhouette which is a bit high-waisted and long, fluid skirts and shorts and very narrow shoulders for the jackets."

She added, "It's for a woman who likes to flirt."

Bianca Jagger was in the front row wearing a white pantsuit. She came to support her longtime friend Herrera. "She is such an extraordinary woman, such a talented person and with so much style. So, what can I expect? Just Carolina."