Back in the 1970’s, top designers were known for their unique styles. It was impossible not to recognise the casual elegance of a Diane von Furstenberg, the bouncy femininity of a Betsy Johnson or the sleek caress of a Bob Mackie. With today’s designers, it is hard to tell who they are or what sets them apart. Most of today’s designers are too busy chasing the next big thing to have their own style and it shows on the sales floor.
The lack of variety out on the sales floor hurts everyone. Not everyone has the same tastes and if shoppers can’t find anything to their liking they won’t buy new clothes. For example, I have a strict policy against paying to advertise; I believe if a designer scribbles their name across their clothes, they should pay me to wear them. I also do not like clothing that is too tight, if I can’t move then I tend not to.
The few who do attempt some modicum of individuality get ridiculed for it. This is one of the reasons that I stopped watching Project Runway; some seriously creative designers got shown the door.
Fortunately designers from that golden era of the 1970’s are returning to the store racks. Vera Wang has strutted her stuff at Kohl’s for well over two years after exclusively designing wedding dresses for the past few decades. Betsy Johnson has resurfaced with her unique flair. The ruffles and perkiness of the design were Betsy Johnson’s trademarks and she continues to produce new designs with her unique panache. She has a website and recently opened her own boutiques; the first one is in New York. DVF is now available at fine department stores in several of her classic designs as well as being able to purchase her latest designs.
Let’s hope that some of the younger designers get the message!