Every aspiring fashion designer will have to make a design portfolio at some point. But with so many pieces and so few guidelines, where do you even begin? It can be hard to get started, in this article, we have itemised simple steps that make it really easy for you to create your own amazing design portfolio.
1. First, whatever you do, you should probably try to keep different parts of one project together as much as possible.
So, for example, if you explored organic structures like feathers and leaves for one project and tribal or folk art for another, try to keep the various parts of those projects together. Ultimately, you need an organizational principle because you’ll have to choose how you want to present those projects.
Do you want to tell a story, showing the links between the different angles you have explored? Do you prefer the simplicity of chronological or reverse chronological order? Think about the work that you’ve done and see if there are any particular connections that you want to highlight.
Remember that whatever you come up with, it should be clear to a viewer what you’re trying to communicate. If you’re really unsure about this, just stick with something simple, like presenting your most recent work at the front to capture the viewer and then dedicating the rest of the portfolio to showing how you got there.
Note that for professional portfolios, you should arrange your work with the most recent pieces first and put older material in the back.
2. Write an explanation to show how you want to organize your work.
As with any project, it’s easy to become so enthusiastic about an idea that you don’t really plan out how you’re going to execute it. Before you know it, you’re overwhelmed by everything you didn’t plan for. The point of this step is to make sure that you’ve maximized the presentation of your work and that all the parts will be as clear to an outsider as they are to you.
Don’t just think about what your storyline is: assess how each part fits into that story. Play around with different arrangements and think about how each arrangement affects how your works will be perceived. You may create a diagram or an outline to illustrate why you organized your pieces in a certain way.
Show or explain your idea to someone who has worked with you throughout your creative development. Ideally, that person should be a mentor, such as a teacher or someone close to you, who has some experience with building portfolios and can provide feedback on how effective your ideas will be.
3. Pick out a selection of pieces that show your development in each of your projects.
These pieces may be a combination of things that have inspired you, early work that you did, or first steps in a developed idea that will reappear later. Try to pick out two or three pieces for each project that you’ve explored.
Do include casual side projects if you’re not making a targeted professional portfolio. These unofficial works show the diversity and range of your talents. Plus they offer some insight into your interests.
If you have a large volume of work, try to select primarily from your most recent explorations. Include some of your older work to show your development, but emphasize where you’re at right now, especially if you’re making your portfolio for professional advancement.
4. Select your best pieces.
You definitely want to include your best work in your portfolio. Aim to have between one and two pieces of really high-quality work per project. Go for pieces that represent your personal style and approach to design. Maybe you tend to focus on designing for a certain demographic (young, fashion-forward women, androgynous men, active children, etc) or around a certain theme. You may then include pieces that illustrate your ideal customer or consumer. You may select pieces that have also been well regarded in your design classes and considered some of your best work by professors and peers.
Make sure that these works incorporate a range of different types of styles or approaches to fabric and materials. You shouldn’t include more than two pieces from one style or approach. For example, maybe you have two pieces that showcase your ability to work with leather. You should also include one to two pieces that show off your ability to work with a different material, like silk or jersey. This will illustrate that you are able to work with several different materials and in several different styles.
5. Fit the pieces together into your chosen arrangement. You may want to begin by laying things out side by side or on a table, just to play with the order. If you choose to have separate sections for each category, figure out how you want to organize the pieces within a particular section.
Ask yourself questions like, does a chronological order make sense? Do you have clusters of works that you should group together by subject or by medium?
If you discover that something doesn’t fit well with your arrangement, don’t include it. See if you have a different piece that works better with the other parts of the section. You want everything in your portfolio to fit well together.
6. Then you can now design your portfolio. It is also very important to consider hiring a professional designer who has experience creating fashion brochures and portfolios, this will make sure your output is guaranteed and that you are not guessing all the way. At 360 Creative Hub, we can help with this, send an email to [email protected] to start.