Innovation. Innovation is striving to make things better, in any way, shape, or form. But if it's already the best, is there really any need for innovation? That seems to be the thinking of the old, heritage designers. In a recent interview with Business of Fashion, acclaimed fashion critic Cathy Horyn said that with the traditional high fashion brands, such as Armani, there's never going to be any particular newness because there's no need. It's hard to judge and review collections from them because there's just not much to be said. If any aspect was good in the collection, it's probably something that's been well done for the past 10 years, and if anything needed work, needless to say no changes will be made.
In my opinion, this applies most to Valentino. A Valentino show will always be beautiful, it always follows the same aesthetic and the same general feeling. Because of that, the house of Valentino is trustworthy and reliable, but it's not exciting (unless they pull a marketing stunt like they did this past season.)
When there's many collections to cover and one must be choosey during fashion week, it's pretty safe to eliminate a brand like Valentino because you've probably said everything in a past review. No point in repeating yourself. It's a familiar predictability that's not going to change because it works. And I don't mean to pick on Valentino; there's plenty of others out there. One of the things I look for when I'm reviewing a collection is reliability and consistency within both the collection and the brand. This means a general common theme, but too often are designers either stick to the same thing or differentiate too much. It's all about finding the balance, but once you've found your style, you know how the saying goes: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.