In a so-so spring ’17 season so far you can always count on Dries Van Noten to deliver. Maybe it’s because despite what’s going on elsewhere in fashion he always stays true to himself and his own personal aesthetic. Thinking about his collection it dawned on me that he is one of only a handful of established designers that heads his own namesake fashion house. Prada, Armani, Azzedine and Stella McCartney come to mind in Europe. Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors in New York.
The norm has become designers as commodities, switched out when the press attention wanes or management desires a change. On the upside it can give an unknown the chance of a lifetime to showcase their talent on the world stage and possibly change the course of fashion. On the down side the intense media glare and pressure to deliver from the first collection prevents a designer to organically grow and fully explore concepts that intrigue them. Over the years designers like Dries Van Noten and Azzedine Alaia have worked to hone their skills and develop their unique aesthetic over time, the results of which are highly evolved and personal collections that could not be mistaken for anyone else. There is a lot to be said for consistency.