It wasn't always like this but there's definitely an adaptive capacity with regards to the mind's ability to recognize good/progressive design. When I got into this game in 06 I wasn't able to process a lot of things when i saw them, not able to see them in context nor multi-dimensionally. I would just see what was on the rack or in pictures online. Clothes have to be felt and worn to be appreciated, on the hanger they are just two dimensions but on the body the depth and volume is perceived. I spent a great deal of time on the forums and going to virtually every shop in LA trying things on so slowly my mind was able to digest all of the details and design of each garment. There are things I still kick myself for not picking up but I didn't know better back then because my comfort zone was far more constricted that it is now. There was a willhelm robe I thought was ridiculous and it sat at sw for months until one day it finally disappeared. It took me over a year to recognize how brilliant it was. Contrary to your initial point it only got better when I really figured out what jil was about in 07 even though I handled it quite a bit the year prior at barneys. Different shops have different buys and jil especially has quite the expansive showroom from what I hear. It is nearly impossible for any two shops to have somewhat similar buys and quality is tiered in my experience. A particular shop I dealt with only sold the very high end garments while barney's down the street had the crude pedestrian pieces because they were afraid the others were too luxurious and unaffordable I imagine. This design boom lasted until late 2009 which is what I've been lecturing here for some time, then and now it is still superb when I go through my closet and pictures I've saved. The fact that hindsight is clearer or the perception that older is better has no bearing on my opinions, it just is. We are definitely in a design depression since vb is no more, mmm design team is history, raf going insane and making a mockery of jil not to mention his own line in as far as the aesthetics I am drawn to. There are new designers emerging all the time and there always will be but none of them really seem to have a more signature vision that lends itself to perceived wearability than my preferred ones above.
Well, she is back, sorta. Here's hoping that new mens collections follow soon.