Hold the irony, please. And the pilings of stuff. And the cute-young-ones-only madcap costumery that has so tickled our fancy in recent seasons. New York has gone blatantly, unapologetically, refreshingly chic. That's chic in the traditional sense of the word, in which elegance is an essential part of the equation, even for the youngest end of the spectrum. In fact, no less a master of all things undone, twisted and manipulated than Marc Jacobs took a 180-degree turn for the collection he showed Monday night.

"It's all precise shapes, simple, clean and polished," he said, adding "no layers," in an obvious reference to his more-is-more mantra of the last few seasons. Jacobs said the time just felt right for a change, and even noted his approach to his casting. When one girl, the elfin Cecilia Mendez, showed up in a black V-neck sweater with jeans accessorized only with a pretty pendant and a gold watch, she stood out. "I'm so over seeing girls in superhero getups with tutus," he said.

He has plenty of company. Though they've never designed for the tutu set, both Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera have, at times, experimented with varying levels of artsy, boho embellishment, and on Monday, both sent out strong collections that emphasized a luxe sportswear attitude. And Tuleh's Bryan Bradley still played to the iconic Vassar girl of yester-runway, but this time held the jokes. In each case, the designer showed a hankering for classics, sometimes as basic as a great blouse-and-pants pairing, and a deft knowledge of how such seemingly simple fare can skirt the mundane.

De la Renta's collection was, in a word, dazzling, and not only in its well-controlled embroideries. It shone as well in its security; its grounded, cross-generational appeal and its fabulous expression of sporty luxe. The clothes ranged from the utterly understated to those which, had they not been so cleverly rendered, could easily have veered toward ostentatious.

On the simple side, de la Renta showed any number of divinely unfettered dresses in double wool crepe and chill-chasing tweeds — a sweet houndstooth dress flecked with glitter; the simplest charcoal skirt under a little sweater. When he upped the extras, he did so with restraint. Fur — and it's everywhere again — was as likely to show up in a big, floppy hat or a border on a cocktail dress as in an au sauvage coyote vest and mukluks or a hand-woven mink tweed coat. And even when he gave in to such extravagance, de la Renta's cozy earthen palette kept the looks grounded. Though he deviated from those inviting neutrals with a few gorgeous, vibrant brocades, for the most part, he stayed relatively quiet even at night, decking simple shapes with sparkle. He outlined the neckline of a navy silk velvet column in crystals, and embroidered paillettes onto a graceful anthracite organza gown. And in his hands, the ballerina found new sophistication in layers of smoky gray tulle under a chinchilla bolero.Herrera said she was inspired by an Edvard Munch portrait of Hans Jaeger and by Horst's book of interiors. "Not just the way the women dressed," she said, "but the way everything was effortlessly elegant, with little touches of embellishment." To wit, Herrera captured the mood to near perfection in a collection that delivered considerable decoration with considerable understatement. Its success lay in the tempering of the designer's artsier leanings. Here, she favored easier shapes, often rendered in sturdy fabrics for control and that essential sportif air. She cut geometric designs into sturdy wool felt dresses and tops or spiffed up an understated gray wool dress with ivory satin appliqués. And she offered some fabrics with visual pop, as in a brown and blue dot motif.

Herrera, too, loves her fur. She showed it oh-so-casually in a muskrat tunic over an engineered plaid skirt and in big, wonderfully cozy scarves with pockets — a terrific jacket substitute for the not-too-cold days of autumn — worn over a skirt or pants in a dusty lilac plaid. For evening, she sought alternatives to traditional beaded decoration — rows of girlish looped ribbon defining a blue taffeta dress; a black tulle overlay veiling a dotted gown. And she found a delightful print, a gentle purple-and-black raindrop affair, for a dress as gentle as a spring shower.

While in seasons past, Bryan Bradley has mused on such heady inspirations as "Western entropy," he went for something a little more accessible for fall: "The Tuleh girl is in love and getting married. No irony," he said preshow. What followed was an unabashed celebration of delightful prettiness and femininity that was hard not to, pardon us, love. "In my mind they're classic American clothes," he said, which meant there was plenty for the tony type with a downtown sensibility and a healthy sense of humor. For instance, she wouldn't wear an evening dress under that exquisite embroidered and sequined teal coat, lined in dyed-to-match mink. She prefers a heart intarsia cardigan and the skinniest pants around. The hearts, in fact, were hard to miss — as copper paillettes caught up in a lacy jacket and dotting a lovely printed coat — and were a cheerful manifestation of the designer's mood. He wanted his girls to look as good as they felt, and they did, in polished, supertrim suits and some great furs that dominated day and evening's flirty ruched chiffons, shiny jacquards and gauzy laces. And, as if to hammer home the point, Bradley ended the show with that most hopeful of girls: the beautiful bride.

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