Top 3 Fashion Portfolio Books: How to Create Perfect Fashion Portfolio

Top 3 Fashion Portfolio Books. How to create perfect fashion portfolio
Fashion portfolio is like resume. It demonstrates your skills, experience and talent in a visual way. If you are an established professional your work says it all for you, but for a novice in fashion industry creating a great fashion portfolio is crucial for gaining a prominent spot.

I have picked the best 3 books that will inspire and guide you through process of creating excellent fashion portfolio.

I must say that each of these books will give you fundamental information on all aspects of creating successful fashion portfolio from getting an inspiration to choosing a layout and cover for your fashion portfolio. They are the best in the industry.

Topics common for all books

Yes Introduction into industry, fashion markets and fashion cycles.
Yes Fashion over time: fashion history and trends.
Yes Creative research: from finding an inspiration to ways to organise different sources of creative materials and work out the main idea of a collection.
Yes Development and sampling. Methods to work with colour, shape and texture in order to articulate main concept of a collection. 3D, 2D sampling to define the main idea.
Yes Garment design and range planning. Refining silhouette, proportions, colour and texture of garments to crystallize the idea behind a collection.

There are important differences in the details and I am going to highlight them in this post.

How to Create Your Final Collection by Mark Atkinson

How to create your final collection by Mark Atkinson

As it comes from the title, the book focuses on creation and presentation of end-of-year collection. Hence its style is methodical and very clear. It is well balanced with lots of examples and visual material for more exhaustive topic coverage.
The way information structured in the book is much like creative process itself: from broad themes through refining and selection to a final point.
Much the same Mark Atkinson does in his book – from wide and general topics of fashion markets and cycles, trends and fashion periods through the study of creativity he guides the reader to define project steps.

What makes How to Create Your Final Collection by Mark Atkinson different?
• The chapter ‘Styling and presentation’ where author discusses catwalk styling, editorial styling, lookbook presentation.
• Very useful practical advices on how to make most out of your collection and leverage it, Chapter 7 ‘Diffusing your final collection’.
• Practical tips and description of approaches on range planning.
• Case studies.
• CD with even more case studies.

Fashion Portfolio by Anna Kiper

Fashion Portfolio by Anna Kiper

This is a wonderful book and I did a separate in-depth review of it earlier so I’ll keep it short here.
Fashion Portfolio is undoubtedly one of the best books on the topic. It covers all basic subjects one will need to create a collection.
It is very visually centred which is great if you are a visual person. However, it doesn’t mean that it lacks textual information! Blocks of text are highly informative and precise. There are no unnecessary words, all is sharp and clear. Needless to mention beautiful illustrations that adorns almost every page.

What makes Fashion Portfolio by Anna Kiper different?
• The section ‘Storytelling in design’. Concept of a design as a narrative is a quite new approach. Using a case study Anna Kiper explores the topic showing interesting possibilities of storytelling in design.
• The section ‘Design approaches’ displays interesting classification of designers by their signature style like The sculptures, The Sensualists and so on.
• Styling and presentation of fashion portfolio. The chapter outlines different methods and approaches of design presentation: from choosing the right media to page composition and stylisations. Special pages are devoted to photomontage and digital manipulations as well as traditional media.
• The chapter ‘Specialisations’ provides reader with heaps of useful information. It explores particular fashion niches such as Knitwear, Activewear, Lingerie, Evening Wear, Menswear, Children’s wear and Accessories.

Fashion Design Course: principles, practice and techniques by Steven Faerm

Fashion Design by Steven Faerm

This book is an exemplary example of how to squeeze tremendous amount of information into less than 200 pages without compromising on quality. This becomes possible partly due to an elaborate page layout that helps to comprehend great amount of information Steven Faerm puts on each paragraph. On other hand, thoroughly selected illustrations intensify the text and help to make the most out of every single page.
Fashion Design Course is straight to the point and concise, but what makes it unique is its practical approach. Steven Faerm fills the books with assignments, exercises, questions and practical considerations that aim to enhance creativity and aid the development of fashion collection.

What makes Fashion Design Course by Steven Faerm different?
• Assignments. Among exercises and assignments, one may expect to get while studying in college, this chapter provides practical tools for independent research and shows ways for gathering fashion information.
• Chapter ‘The professional world’ which focuses on getting a job within industry. It offers useful tips on resume writing and fashion portfolio presentation along with actual portfolio examples.
• Quite comprehensive glossary on wide range of fabrics, fibres and common fabric-related terms.
• Interview transcripts of industry professionals which give the first-hand information on fashion industry world.

Bottom line
As I have mentioned in the beginning of this post all of three books are great and they will gently guide you through creative process without preaching or directing, they will give all the necessary information you may need to create a great fashion portfolio. These are the best books.
But remember they are general guidance only! Every country and every fashion institution has its own standards. Therefore, before starting the work on your collection don’t forget to make yourself familiar with those.
Good luck on your fashion adventure!




You may also like to read about:
Top 5 Fashion Illustration Books
Fashion Portfolio: Design and Presentation by Anna Kiper
How to Improve Your Fashion Illustrations



How to Improve Your Fashion Illustrations

Huge colourful fashion drawings laying around on big white tables in the best design studios with your initials in the corner. Who did not have this thought flashing by while starting up on their next masterpiece? Great looking works definitely enhance portfolio of any artist and gets the focus on the main part, the idea. The path to get there is simple — practice. Here are some suggestions on how to get to that next level.

  • Pose. Make sure, that pose of the model you draw reflects the mood of the garment, or a subject of the drawing if it is fashion illustration. For example, intricate and exaggerated poses rarely appropriate for demonstrating an office wear. But they are a must with evening or club wear. Poses that are too static or generic make ideas look ordinary.
  • photo with pencil hands drawing, fashion drawing, and words pactice makes it better

  • Hands. This is always a tough part. I myself spent hours mastering hands drawing but still not satisfied with the result. It takes a lot of practice to get better. Correctly drawn hands make drawing look much more professional, help to express mood and enhance perception.

    Thankfully for me and anyone out there looking to improve there is a wonderful tutorial by Mike Koizumi. It is a step by step explanation of how to draw hand from different points of view. Moreover, it provides a nice tip on how to draw a hand from every imaginable angle.

    For more in-depth knowledge of hand’s anatomy, the ways they can help to express the mood, emotions and meaning of fashion illustration or fashion collection I suggest to read the classic book Drawing Dynamic Hands by Burne Hogarth. This is the most comprehensive book ever published on drawing hands, definitely must read!

  • Face. Our brain is trained by evolution to recognize faces. We pay huge attention to facial expressions and features. So just a hint of eyes, nose and mouth could make your drawing more live and pleasant to look at.
    Check this post by concept artist Xia Taptara for really good examples on how to draw female faces. It starts from basics, so it is easy to follow.

  • Style. It is what makes your drawing unique and it takes time to find it. Some authors recommend to begin drawing with classical 8-heads figures. Others suggest that copying different styles may help to find your own. I am sure that both paths will certainly lead to improvement of drawing skills and will help to find the best way to express your ideas. Get the basics right and then start experimenting.
    Here is a fantastic video from Sycra Yasin showing on example that with persistence and a bit of a talent you can chose to draw in a style you like (or few of them):



  • Background. It is surprising how just a few strokes outlining a ground or a shadow could add volume to a figure and separate it from the background. Try it and see yourself.

  • Gym and museum. Interesting pair, but no kidding. Going to the gym will enhance your anatomy knowledge. Working on your body will give you the notion of muscles layout and body movement range to draw figures correctly. And in any case you will still have nice side effects – improved fitness and more positive energy so needed for any artist. As for museums, the more you explore other artists’ ideas and works the more inspiration and food for thought you would have in your own attempts. Classic, contemporary, street art — all adds up to your style.




  • You may also like to read about:
    Top 5 Fashion Illustration Books
    Fashion Portfolio: Design and Presentation by Anna Kiper