5 Books Every Fashion Student Needs To Read Right Now

September 27th, 2022 at 1:00pm

Interested in learning more about fashion design or just really love coffee table books? While it’s super easy to scroll through social media to stay up to date on all the latest trends or spot which designers your favorite celebs are wearing, you can learn more about fashion design from one of the many incredible books on the topic. From biographies to histories, the options are endless, but narrowing down the helpful ones can be daunting. 

When I began my degree in fashion design, I was recommended a list of books to read before I started college. While I haven’t made it all the way through the list, I have used some of the resources to supplement my lectures and even to write a few final papers. To make things simpler for you before you dive into your fashion degree, I’ve narrowed the books recommended to me down to the five that have helped me the most thus far.

Image via Barnes & Noble

01. Fashion Portfolio: Design and Presentation by Anna Kiper

This book serves as a guide on how to create an impressive fashion design portfolio. It covers everything from what to include in your portfolio to how to develop your work and demonstrates the process the same way a designer would develop a collection. It teaches almost all aspects of fashion design through text and shows you the process through fun illustrations, but it doesn’t limit you to a set path.

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02. Fashion: 150 Years of Couturiers, Designers, Labels by Charlotte Seeling

This book walks you through the history of some of the most memorable moments in fashion and some key figures in the industry. If you’re interested in the history and development of fashion or just want to learn more about fashion icons from the late 19th century to the present, this book is for you.

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03. Fashionpedia: The Visual Dictionary of Fashion Design

This one-stop-shop visual dictionary highlights important industry terminology from production to materials to style and turns it into illustrations and infographics to make it easy to understand. It covers several topics: history and style, accessories, apparel details, textiles, manufacturing, body and beauty, measurements, and care. It’s a great place to start if you want to learn about fashion design or if you want to brush up on your fashion vocabulary.

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04. Fashion Design Essentials: 100 Principles of Fashion Design by Jay Calderin

This book has examples to explain crucial design concepts with illustrations to go along with them. You can get insight on defining and rendering concepts, selecting and understanding textiles, developing sewing skills, constructing garments, building a reputation in the industry, and finding your audience. Like Fashion Portfolio: Design and Development, this book also provides details and examples for every stage of the design process.

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05. Any fashion biography

Understanding how iconic designers made their mark in the industry isn’t just an interesting read. It can inspire you as a designer to dive deeper into your own career development. Maybe you enjoy learning about Elsa Schiaparelli and her Dada inspirations or how Christian Dior’s New Look paved the way for womenswear to celebrate femininity. Whatever it may be, fashion biographies give you unparalleled insight into the minds of some of the greatest designers in fashion history.

Featured Image via @nefeliatmn. Design by Her Campus Media.