“Cutthroat” is the word most commonly used to describe the world of fashion design. Whether you’re creating a portfolio to try to get into design school, you’re creating a portfolio to show to potential employers, or you’re creating a portfolio to show to potential clients, you need to make sure your portfolio showcases your best work. You can’t afford to be sloppy, as that will end with someone else being chosen instead of you.
When you’re creating a fashion design portfolio, it’s important to be flexible. You’ll want to keep the reason for the portfolio in mind so you can create a portfolio the reader is going to want to look at. You’ll also want to make sure it’s going to fit what they’re looking for. Beyond that, you need to showcase your best work and show, not tell, them why they should choose you. You want to give them plenty of reasons to choose you, not reasons to skip you and look for someone else.
Take your time when working on your portfolio. You’re going to want to make sure it’s organized and put together well to really show off the work you can do. This is an important part of your future, so you don’t want to rush and miss out on getting into the school you want or getting the job you want. The more time you can take to create your portfolio, the better it’s going to be.
What Your Portfolio Should Include
Fashion designing portfolios can vary based on why you need it. A portfolio for design school is going to be different than the one you’ll use to apply for a job. One freelance portfolio for a potential client might be different from another portfolio for a different client. Most of the time, you’ll receive instructions letting you know what should be included in your portfolio.
If instructions are available, make sure you follow them carefully. You don’t want them to choose someone else just because you missed something that should have been included in your portfolio. If there are no instructions, create a basic portfolio with your target audience in mind and be sure to include as much as possible for them to consider without making the portfolio too big.
Start Gathering Your Work for Your Portfolio
Start gathering some of the work you’ve done together to see what you have that could be perfect for your portfolio. If you have some fashion design sketches already, get them together in one place so you can go through them to see what looks good and what needs to be redone if you’re going to include it in your portfolio.
Remember, you want to choose your best work to showcase. Gathering everything together lets you sit down and see what you’ve done so you can figure out what’s going to be perfect for your portfolio and what’s going to show off everything you can do.
Boost Your Sketching Ability to Create Sketches
Your fashion design portfolio needs to be perfect, so what can you do if your sketches are not that great? You cannot turn in sketches that do not have the right proportions or that look off because they’re not done well. You need high-quality sketches to display your best work.
If you need to boost your sketching skills, take a class. Classes are available online, so it’s easy to find one that’s going to cover what you need help with. Start with the basics and learn how to draw the human body so you can draw figure drawings and learn more about how to draw clothes with the right proportions for your flats and specs.
The more you put into learning how to sketch properly, the more it’s going to show. Your work will speak for itself when you’ve done a great job of creating the sketches for your work.
Create Figurative Drawings of Your Garments
Fashion design sketches will often include figurative drawings. These are drawings of a human body with the clothing you’ve designed. The model you sketch can be standing in a pose or straight, depending on what you prefer and what you believe the reader of your portfolio will prefer. There are generally two ways to great figurative drawings.
You have the option of starting each sketch from the beginning. This gives you the flexibility to choose how the model you’re drawing is going to be standing when they’re wearing your clothes. This does let you make sure each one in your portfolio is unique, but you may not want to completely start over every time you need to draw a new sketch.
The base model you’ll draw before you add your clothing designs is called a croquis. You can create a croquis in each of the standing positions you prefer and then use that same one for each of your designs by tracing it onto a new piece of paper each time you want to use it. This way, you don’t have to start from the beginning every time you want to create a new sketch.
Create Flats for Your Garments
Every fashion design portfolio needs to include flats. While the figure drawing will show how your clothing drapes when it’s worn and how it might look on a person, the flats show how the garment looks when it’s laying on a table. Basically, this shows the front and back of each piece of your garment so the reader of your portfolio can see how it is constructed.
You’ll want to draw flats for each of the sketches in your portfolio. Usually, each piece will be drawn separately. If you have a dress with a light sweater that will go together, draw flats for the dress and the sweater separately, not together.
Create Specs to Explain Your Garments
In the fashion design world, specs are what will tell the manufacturer how to create your clothing. For a design portfolio, you’re telling the reader what your clothes are made of and what techniques you used in the design. Basically, this is the schematics of your design that show off how everything is made and any of the special techniques you might have used when you were designing the clothing.
The specs should be as detailed as possible. You will want to do these separately from the flats and will want to make sure they’re full color so they show off the material you’ve chosen as well as the techniques needed to make the clothing.
Create Sketches to Showcase a Variety of Techniques
When you’re working on choosing the right garments to show in your portfolio and you’re working on creating all of the sketches you need for the portfolio, remember to show off a variety of techniques. You will want to make sure each of the outfits you put in your portfolio will show different techniques so you can really show off what you can do and why they should choose you.
Be careful to show these techniques in your fashion design sketches when possible. They shouldn’t only be seen in the specs, even though they should definitely be included in those sketches. If you have any fashion design techniques you’ve used that can be seen in the clothing you choose, such as designing a certain type of dress, be sure to show this throughout that outfit’s section in your portfolio.
Create Sketches to Showcase a Variety of Materials
Those who are choosing you for fashion designing school or for a job want to see everything you can do. They don’t want to just see the techniques you can use and the clothing you prefer to create. They also want to see you work with a variety of materials so they know you can work with them and design anything they need.
Make sure your portfolio includes clothing made from different types of materials. You won’t want to show only a collection of cotton garments or only a collection of garments made from leather. Unless the portfolio is specifically for a job that focuses on clothing made from cotton, show off some of the different materials you’ve worked with and designed with.
Putting together a design portfolio takes a lot of work. However, each one you’ll create through your fashion design career is going to be different and unique for the school you’re applying to or the job you’re hoping to get. If you decide to be a freelance designer, you may need to create new portfolios when you want new clients.
Taking your time is going to help you create the best portfolio you can create and help you get the job you want or get into a fashion designing program so you can learn more and boost your design skills. Use the tips here or check out different examples of design portfolios to start working on your portfolio. If you aren’t sure your sketches are where they should be, take a class first so you can make sure your portfolio will be perfect when you’re done.
Need something to jazz up an online portfolio? Try learning Adobe After Effects with these great tutorials.