The most compelling designers working now are those who do so out of genuine personal conviction, and Ann Demeulemeester is certainly one of them. She has stayed true to her punk-out Patti Smith vision for 15 years, gathering many faithful followers along the way.

To fashion insiders, however, Demeulemeester's onward march seemed samey and relentless this season. Apart from some great silver leathers, the collection showed little awareness of mainstream trends—or even the idea of summer itself, which doesn't exactly cry out for black washed-leather biker coats and pants. Rebel-hearted fans, of course, won't have cared about that, preferring to zoom in on the messages on her T-shirts, which spelled out encouraging words like life, sin and wilder. And her fans should have been more than happy with the new Demeulemeester accessory, a dangling wraparound leather neck piece, which looked thrillingly like barbed wire.