How To Create Your Final Collection: A Book Review
August 17, 2012
By: Dennis Brunner
This month, Laurence King Publishing is releasing How to Create Your Final Collection: A Fashion Student’s Handbook by Mark Atkinson. Being a step-by-step guide on how to create their final collection, the book aims to provide a comprehensive overview on how students should approach their work and show off their results in the best light possible. Divided into seven chapters, the book starts off with a brief summary of the different markets for womenswear and ends on how to diffuse your final collection. Through the course of the book, topics such as creating a theme board and how to best style a fashion show are considered and outlined along with detailed examples of designers and fashion students alike.
I found the book to be both instructive and inspirational. With each chapter exploring a different stage of the process, the guide provides a concise oversight of the most important aspects to consider. However, rather than being educational, I found the book to be aimed at focusing the students’ attention on the underlying principles and what is truly important. It is a handbook to accompany you along the process rather than go into gritty details and deliver an abundance of information. By providing a brief outline of each step and giving pointers of the most important aspects, it tells you what to bear in mind when approaching your final collection and prevents you from getting lost or being overwhelmed. More importantly, it successfully ties in the knowledge you have acquired over the course of your degree and how it relates to the work you will be undertaking as part of your career in the fashion world.
However, the clear standout of the book is the collection of case studies from 18 top fashion schools around the world. Accompanied by personal statements and detailing inspirations, processes and underlying concepts, the studies outline various students’ final collections and grant an insight into their thought processes. The examples encompass students’ work from top schools such as Central Saint Martins and Parsons The New School for Design in New York. I found this to be the best aspect of the book, as looking at other students’ work proved to be incredibly inspiring and gave me a novel outlook on the different work that is being completed. Seeing designers’ thought processes and approach to their work proved to be both insightful and interesting, providing a peak behind the seams (pun intended) of their work.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to fashion students regardless of whether they are currently in the process of creating their final collection. Whilst it may not serve as the ultimate guide to producing a collection, it will allow you to recalibrate your focus and prevent you from going off track. Furthermore, it provides an excellent opportunity to gain an insight into top fashion students’ work and what they were inspired by.
Here are some additional examples of the case studies included in the book and an additional CD:
Images courtesy of Laurence King Publishing Ltd