From strictly shaped little suits to glam black dresses to full-on goddess gowns, there was plenty of va-va-voom sensuality in evidence as the New York collections continued.

Oscar de la Renta: What to do with too much of a good thing? That was Oscar de la Renta's pre-show dilemma, and unfortunately he didn't quite work the kinks out of the quandary in time for his fall show Monday afternoon. Knowing the current communal attention span can't tolerate more that 60 or so looks, de la Renta had some serious surgery to do to get his 150-piece collection down to runway size. A few years ago, he might have opted for a more editorial edit in hopes of luring the young celeb set. Now that he has them — he delivered the first front-row frenzy of the season over Nicole Richie — he seems to have reverted to his prior mind-set (and fashion's prior reality), when the show was all about channeling commercial looks toward retailers.

As a result, de la Renta's runway felt like a platform for Oscar's Greatest Hits, boasting a lot of good clothes but no clear message of the season beyond a little of this and a little of that. On the upside, retailers must have been gleeful over the smart salability on parade. Oscar's coats, especially his furs, looked magnificent. He offered typically gorgeous tailoring (though he lingered too long in dowdy dirndl land) and teased with some terrific sportswear looks such as with a loose, short-sleeved shearling jacket over flannel pants.

Evening was equally as diverse, with fabulous highs — an ingenious white embroidered bolero over a black velvet gown; a dream of black lace, slashed to a deep V in front — and a quizzical low: a cardboard-stiff bright blue taffeta gown cutaway over matching pants. That one aside, come fall, decisive types should have plenty from which to choose — unless they're in the market for direction.

Carolina Herrera: Carolina Herrera works from the premise that women should appear refined, and it's her professional mandate to further that cause. Certainly, she seems preternaturally incapable of looking anything less than fabulous 24-7 — always ultrapolished but never fussy. It's an attitude that she long ago applied to her work, which makes the fall collection she showed on Monday something of a puzzlement.

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