"I don't design clothes. I design dreams." -Ralph Lauren

Designers do not just make clothing items that can be easily worn by all types of individuals; they create art.

While some people may think of painters or sculptors as artists, they forget to credit the inspiring work of fashion designers as art. It is essential to state that the painting or garments created amongst experts in the fashion sector have made it a multi-billion dollar industry.

Before gaining a stellar reputation amongst other designers and running your own fashion house, amateur fashionistas need to prove themselves worthy.

How so? 

By creating a well-prepared fashion design portfolio, aspiring designs showcase their best work in an organised manner that will eventually help them get the best jobs available. 

Therefore, without further ado, in today's article, we will consider the steps required to prepare a fantastic fashion portfolio.

Preparing a Fantastic Fashion Portfolio: Steps to Take

a short portfolio
It is important to mention that your fashion portfolio should be easy to analyse and doesn't need to be pages and pages long. (Source: Unsplash)

It's inevitable, at one point or another, an aspiring fashionista will have to create a portfolio. Nevertheless, after years of sketching designs in your notepad, it may be a complicated ordeal to select the best illustrations.

It is highly recommended to specialise in a specific style of sketching and focus on improving your overall skills; by doing this, you will recognise which fashion drawings should be featured in your portfolio. 

Also, considering the fact that there are many designers offering practical advice on online resources for creating a legendary fashion portfolio, the following steps should not be taken lightly:

  1. Brainstorm Ideas: for amateur sketchers applying for a design program, there should be clear instructions from the institute as to what should be included in your portfolio. Nevertheless, for the overwhelming majority of amateur designers, a lot of time is spent thinking about what should be included in the collection. Remember that an overload of information is not always prefered. A variety of carefully selected sketches that display your abilities to convert 3D images into 2D drawings, use of diverse colours, and keen understanding of computer-based design programmes should be presented. However, it is essential to state that various portfolios might be necessary if you are applying for design jobs in distinct sectors.
  2. Stay Organized: analyse other fashion portfolios to get ideas about how to effectively organise your material. For example, some designers like to arrange their portfolios in chronological order while others prefer to connect links between all the different angles explored. When planning the organisation of a professional portfolio, it is highly recommended to feature your most stunning work in the beginning and your oldest sketches in the back. Also, it is worth stating that many talented designers write explanations in certain spots to demonstrate how their work is organised.
  3. Assemble Different Designs and Materials: to attract the attention of more experienced fashionistas include various different materials. Such as? Incorporate colour samples, fabric swatches, and sketches together to create an interactive portfolio that provides for more than simple black and white illustrations. Also, many individuals have included pictures of the best pieces of clothing they have designed.
  4. Buy a Presentation Case: after you have brainstormed what should be included in your portfolio, an organisational method has been chosen, and the distinct materials or sketches have been correctly featured, it is time to buy a presentation case to put it all together! Where can a presentation case be purchased? At any arts and crafts store or online on sites such as Amazon. Depending on who you are displaying your portfolio to, a high-end portfolio case may be necessary. It's important to state that presentation cases are more like small binders, whereas collections are more extensive and can fit items such as paintings.

After the previously mentioned steps have been taken into consideration, don't be nervous when presenting your portfolio, let your beautiful sketches do the talking!

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What Do Experts Want to See in a Fashion Portfolio?

A man holding paintbrushes and covered in paint
Displaying originality and creativity in your fashion portfolio is greatly valued by experts. (Source: Unsplash)

A fashion portfolio should feature your best drawings, sketches, photos of your finished work, collages of distinct samples of material, written notes organising your designs, and presentation sheets.

It is essential to state that a fashion portfolio does not have to be very long; it should feature your best work to impress future employers. 

Possessing a brilliant fashion portfolio takes time and effort. Nevertheless, fashion enthusiasts should spend time observing the world around them to find inspiration. Looking at magazines, visiting art galleries, and surfing the web helps all illustrators to remain creative.

However, what do experienced fashion designers expect to see when scanning through a fashion portfolio? 

Whether you are showing your portfolio to an admissions director at a fashion school or a future employer, there are specific things that all experienced individuals working in the fashion industry look for in a portfolio.

Such as?

The following are specific aspects that should be evident in your fashion portfolio:

  • Originality: since fashion experts scan through countless collections to find new talent, it is of the utmost experience to stand out with your own style. Don't try to copy others; hone your technique and own it! Possessing a unique style takes time specialising in a specific type of fashion sketching; nevertheless, the results are well worth any efforts made.
  • Art Skills: showing outstanding drawing and craft techniques in your portfolio demonstrate that you take fashion design seriously. Also, possessing the ability to create fashion items with repurposed materials highlights an elevated level of craftiness.
  • Attention to Detail: while it is true that attention to detail and a manageable level of perfectionism is greatly valued by all employers, it is especially treasured by fashion enthusiasts. Why? The difference between a runway-worthy garment and a lacklustre clothing item is all in the details.

By strongly considering and honing your originality, artistic skills, and overall attention to detail, a simple fashion portfolio becomes a work of art.

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Tips for Becoming a Skilled Fashion Designer

becoming a fashion designer
Gaining hands-on experience is essential when studying to become a fashion designer. (Source: Unsplash)

Do you have a passion for fashion that cannot be tamed? Do you love to sketch and design new clothing items that stylish people could potentially wear? Do you want to become an haute-couture fashion designer?

If you answered yes to all or any of the three previously mentioned questions, a career in fashion design is a perfect fit! 

Fashion designers study trends to create beautiful pieces of clothing. They let their imagination run wild to sketch designs that can eventually be reviewed and manufactured. Haute-couture designers carefully select fabrics and trims, conduct distinct fittings and make frequent adjustments to ensure that the final product is a masterpiece.

But how does one become skilled as a fashion designer? 

Through the guidance of experts, years of experience, and helpful tips from trusted sources, you can become one of the best fashion designers in the business; step aside Marc Jacobs and Jean-Paul Gauthier!

It is also worth mentioning that there are many expert fashion illustrators that are worthy of following on Instagram to gain positive feedback from their drawings.

Nevertheless, without further ado, the following are some tips to become a fashion designer:

  • Study Fashion Design: while it may be true that some of the world's best designers are self-taught, many others attend design courses or fashion school to hone their artistic skills. Fashion students who want to prepare themselves for all types of design effectively are wise to consider attending a qualified university to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in fashion design. Required courses are taught in computer-aided fashion design, history of fashion, textiles, and pattern making.
  • Gain Hands-On Experience: acquiring practise outside of the classroom is necessary to become skilled in the future. For example, by working with an experienced designer, amateur fashion enthusiasts learn how to execute a design from an idea to a mesmerising finished product. If you live in a critical fashion city such as Milan, Paris, London, or New York City, try volunteering for a fashion to gain extra experience!
  • Business is Business: although fashion design is an enriching and creative experience, students need to familiarise themselves with the business aspects of the fashion industry. Such as? The finances, sales, and marketing that takes place behind the scenes are essential to grasp, especially for those who want to start their own fashion line.
  • Have an Attractive Portfolio: aspiring designers need to create a portfolio that successfully demonstrates their skills and creative abilities to be qualified for the best jobs. Fashion students should prepare each and every assignment as if they are about to show it to a future boss; this ensures quality.

By taking into consideration the previously mentioned tips, a career as a successful fashion illustrator or designer is guaranteed!

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