What Makes a Good Portfolio? August 2, 2011Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Professional Portfolios , comments closed
Check out this interview with SCAD MFA graduate Mengjie Di on what makes a strong portfolio….Writen by: Erin Johnson, Fashion 720 Writer
In the fashion industry, a designer’s portfolio is the prime opportunity to display your work. If a designer’s resume is the ticket to getting an interview with an employer, the portfolio serves as the tangible proof of talent. It shows what you’ve done and reinforces the abilities outlined in your resume. While there is no formula for putting together a professional, entry-level portfolio, there are a set of basic skills and knowledge that come with creating one. First, an important distinction must be made between the two different types of portfolios.
Design Portfolios & Skills
Technical design, which highlights the intricacy and expertise behind a designer’s work. Creative design, which focuses more on what inspires the designer’s artistic process. Mengjie Di, an accomplished designer who has interned with both Maggie Norris Couture and Calvin Klein, highlights this distinction by explaining the difference between her two portfolios. “Personally, my online portfolio has two separate themes. One is for my own aesthetic which can express me as a creative person. I would identify it as more personal and artistic. Another is for job searching purposes that would allow the potential employer to understand what I can do as a fashion designer. This would include a full collection with technical flats, mood board, fabric board, etc.” Creative design is usually illustrated more with photo collages and theme-enhancing materials, figure illustrations, and some flat sketches, while technical design is better displayed through the use of clean, detailed flat sketches that show the expertise needed for an often complicated garment to be constructed.
Whether for creative or for technical purposes, however, the construction of any fashion portfolio is made easier with a certain skill set. With today’s growing technology and the subsequent development of online portfolios, a mastery of certain software is becoming more important. As Mengjie says, “for surviving in this cut-throat industry, you have to know Photoshop/Illustrator,” and familiarity with WebPDM (a web-based program that allows designers to interact transparently through a web browser) is also helpful. Additionally, concentrating on your portfolio’s neatness, size—it must be manageable, not too large to present in an interview—and focusing on the profile of a specific employer are all important. As Mengjie explains, “you cannot use the portfolio which you showed to Calvin Klein to apply at Nike.”
How can I get better?
Finally, and perhaps most notably, a fashion portfolio is a work in progress. As we wrapped-up our interview with Mengjie, she points out, “There is no trick or way to improve your skill in a few days. Practice as much as you can. Carry a small sketch book in your bag, keep a drawing journal. Find some great illustrations that you really like, print them out, trace it or imitate it. Try your best to do exactly the same. Only use this method to practice, don`t use that template just to memorize it. Personally, I prefer life drawing. Since I’m a quite visual person, I have to see how the body moves and the real proportions. Also, make time to join a drawing club. I found it`s quite fun when you see how other people draw to compare to yourself. This learning process not only gives you opportunity to meet other talented people, but also it`s a competition. Under that competitive pressure, you always want to be the best.”
As a designer’s collection expands and skills improve—Di suggests reading books like Portfolio Presentation for Fashion Designers (3rd Edition)
Little Miss Posey March 1, 2011Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Design Resources, Illustration, Professional Portfolios , comments closed
Finding a good pose for your fashion figure drawings is like finding a needle in a haystack. Most magazines are filled with photographs of models in poses that are very difficult to illustrate in a way that doesn’t look super awkward – or they are cropped at the hips or knees. Well, I finally found a solution for this problem: cheesy prom dress websites!!
Seriously, I feel like I just tapped into the motherload of swingy-hippy-leggy-poses. There are even back views! Here are links to a few sites that I think you all might find helpful if you are on the hunt for a good pose for your croquis: PromMeUp.com, AtriaClothing.com, and LaFemmeFashion.com.
Speaking of prom, the Fashion Haus students at SCAD-Atlanta are busy little bees. They are working steadily away at refashioning prom dresses for Becca’s Closet (an organization created to honor the legacy of Rebecca Kirtman, a high school student from Florida who believed that every girl should be able to attend formal school events such as Prom and Homecoming despite their financial situation.)
Well done, Fashion Haus! We know that going through fashion school is daunting and that you have ZERO time on your hands. That makes it all the more meaningful that you are taking time out of your crazy sewing and sketching all-nighters to help those in need. We applaud you!
- Tiffany Horton
SCAD Fashion Professor Exhibition February 15, 2011Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Careers, Illustration, Inspiration, Local Sources, Museums and Exhibitions, Professional Portfolios, SCAD, SCAD - Student and Alumni Enterprise , comments closed
Professor Filis Hagi-Zaid’s fashion illustrations are being featured in a solo-exhibition “Illustrate My World” this month at The Art Place in East Cobb (3330 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta, GA). Her work will be shown until February 25 – so don’t miss it!
Here are a few snapshots of the works on display, taken by our go-to journalist on the scene, Sarah Collins:
- Tiffany Horton
Fashion Illustration for Designers January 20, 2011Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Illustration, Inspiration, Professional Portfolios , comments closed
Many of you frequently reference the book Fashion Illustration for Designers by Kathryn Hagen in your fashion sketching classes. Now she has added a few videos of her illustration and rendering techniques online. While her style may not suit your own aesthetic, she is incredibly talented and shows some very helpful techniques for those of you looking for ways to improve your illustration skills.
She demonstrates step-by-step how to render chiffon and fur, leather, vinyl, ruffles, corduroy, transparent fabrics, plaids, graphic skin tones, satin among other things. These videos are a great reference for those of you in all levels of fashion classes, from Intro to Fashion Design t0 Advanced Fashion Sketching. Thank you, Professor Shinekia Thomas, for sharing this link with us!
- Tiffany Horton
I Heart Illustration November 17, 2010Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Illustration, Inspiration, Professional Portfolios , comments closed
I know that several of you are looking to improve your illustration styles over the winter break. SCAD Atlanta Fashion Senior Edmond Bobb recently referred me to one of his go-to-blogs called “I ♥ Illustration.” Compiled by Dutch Art Director, Anneke Krull, this blog exposes you to the work of nearly 200 illustrators. Click here to access I ♥ Illustration
Here, also, is a roundup of posts here on the SCAD blog that will inspire you (I hope!) to develop your techniques and a variety of croquis to suit various consumers and brands: Lots and Lots of Illustrators.
Those of you based in Atlanta who would like some help with your illustrations or croquis over the winter break are welcome to contact me for some one on one time. Just check your SCAD email for my address and send me a note to schedule an appointment.
Thanks for the great resource, Edmond!
- Tiffany Horton
In a Bind August 12, 2010Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Art Supplies, Design Resources, Local Sources, Professional Portfolios , comments closed
A question that often comes up in my class is where can you get a booklet printed and bound. Everyone knows that Kinko’s can do it for you, but they don’t offer a variety of binds and well, let’s face it, Kinko’s lacks consistency. Some of them, however, are open 24 hrs which in many cases makes it the only choice for your printing needs. If you plan ahead, however, there is a number of excellent choices available to you for professional printing and binding needs.
Staples is a great place to have presentations bound. They offer six different types of binding. You can create your project online and pick up at a store.
mimeo.com is an online store that offers all kinds of printed presentation options and same day service (not including shipping). They offer nine types of binding and are very well priced. For a 5 page color presentation, printed front and back and black tape bound for same day turn-around is only $9.18. Yes, that’s right, only $9.18. Yes, they will do a single copy, no minimums. They also offer 50% off on your first order.
ABC Imaging, the company that has an on site campus printing in Atlanta, can do a variety of printed presentations as well. As a warning, they aren’t open on Sundays. They do offer building and car wraps, however, which might be even cooler than a printed booklet. Imagine your professor’s surprise when they find out you’ve wrapped their car with your presentation.
Speaking of taking your presentation to the next level, if you want to try book binding by hand, some local stores in Atlanta have book making supplies including Binders Art Supply and Paper Source. Online sources like Talasonline.com and Bookbinders offer greater variety of goods, but you have to know what you are ordering.
The real key to having your project nicely bound is finishing your work in enough time to have it bound. Professional binding isn’t going to happen at 3 AM when your project is due at 8 AM. Shocking news, I know.
Process Books! March 11, 2010Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Careers, Illustration, Inspiration, Professional Portfolios , comments closed
This morning, I’ve been examining the process books from students at various European fashion schools and I came across several that I found inspiring. Click each image to see more from these student designers.
De Montfort University, BA
Central Saint Martins, BA
Central Saint Martins, MA
- Tiffany Teague
Handbag Design Contest March 8, 2010Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Inspiration, Organizations and Associations, Professional Portfolios, SCAD, SCAD - Student and Alumni Enterprise, Trends , comments closed
INSTYLE & HANDBAG DESIGNER 101 ANNOUNCES 4th ANNUAL HANDBAG AWARDS
On June 16th, 2010, Tim Gunn (fashion guru and co-host of Lifetime’s “Project Runway”), in association with InStyle and Handbag Designer 101, will be a presenter at the 4th Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA) at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.
Designers will compete for one of eight awards for handbag design, including a variety of prizes to help take their designs one step closer to becoming the next ‘IT‘ bag of the season.
This past year, over 800 submissions were received from designers from over 30 countries. With the rate of submissions up 100% each year since the 2007 launch, the Handbag Awards have become increasingly popular around the world and are attended by over 500 guests, including top editors, buyers and stylists.
The designs will be judged by a panel including handbag design professors, editors, stylists, and buyers The panel currently includes InStyle Accessories Director Meggan Crum, famed handbag designer Carlos Falchi, Deborah Lloyd, 2010 ICONOCLAST Recipient and Creative Director of kate spade new york, Lisa Smilor, Associate Executive Director for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Claudia Poccia, Global President for mark., and Lincoln Moore, Senior Vice President Divisional Merchandising Manager of Fashion of Saks Fifth Avenue.
All finalists will be featured on InStyle.com, where visitors can vote for their favorite style. The bag with the most votes will receive the Audience Fan Favorite Award. Everyone who casts a ballot will be automatically entered in a drawing for the winning bag.
Of the 35 finalists, eight awards will be given in the following categories:
Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design: Winner will receive a booth at WWDMAGIC American Express OPEN Forum, www.openforum.com, the opportunity to develop a capsule collection for Saks Fifth Avenue and the chance to design a limited-edition bag for kate spade new york.
Best Use of CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements: Winner will receive a design sponsorship that includes free access to crystals and Swarovski know-how. The winner’s bag will be produced as a limited edition and will be given industry and consumer exposure in the U.S and internationally via several CRYSTALLIZED™ channels and communication tools
Most Innovative Handbag Inspired by mark.: Winner will receive a designer feature on meetmark.com highlighting their journey as an entrepreneur, in addition to having their bag recreated for sale on a global marketing platform with mark.
Best Handmade Handbag: Winner will receive a designer feature on Singer Sewing Company’s and Coats and Clark websites (www.singerco.com and www.coatsandclark.com respectively), and is awarded the opportunity to create a downloadable pattern for the ultimate craft audience. Winner also receives a new SINGER CURVY™ sewing machine.
Best Student-Made Handbag: Winner will receive a prestigious apprenticeship with Carlos Falchi.
Best Green Handbag: Winner will receive the chance to collaborate with Timberland to develop a product for sale in its stores.
Most Socially Responsible Handbag: Winner will receive the opportunity to have their bags featured on WorldofGood by eBay, gaining exposure on a worldwide platform.
Audience Fan Favorite: Winner will receive a feature on InStyle.com and will be announced the night of the awards.
Leading up to this exciting event, there will be an exclusive pre-press party taking place at the Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ Store and Lounge on June 9th, 2010 in New York City.
|Deadline: All entries must be received by 11:59pm on April 15th, 2010
Entries submitted without full information filled out will be disqualified.
|CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION|
Childrenswear Illustrations March 4, 2010Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Illustration, Inspiration, Professional Portfolios , comments closed
Just came across these images by British illustrator, Mandy Sutcliffe. Those of you looking for a new way of illustrating your childrenswear collections could benefit from a look through her shop on Etsy.
Vuvox February 11, 2010Posted by SCAD Fashion Department in : Careers, Design Resources, Inspiration, Professional Portfolios, SCAD - Student and Alumni Enterprise , comments closed
Just came across a great resource for those of you wanting to create an interesting way to show your portfolios online. The service is called Vuvox and it’s a company that creates interactive, multimedia collages of your work. It allows you to integrate your images and videos seamlessly with SmugMug, Flickr, and Picasa.
The functionality of the site is impressive and you could spend HOURS creating something truly interactive and beautiful, but if you’d like a quick and easy way to show your work in an interesting manner online, it’s a great place to start. I tried it out and made the following presentation of some of my accessory designs. The whole thing took about five minutes to make: Vaquero Accessories Collection.
Here is a really cool interactive presentation that gives you a good idea of the functionality available through Vuvox. If you create one, be sure to share it in the comments section so we can see your work!
- Tiffany Teague