A Fashion Designer's Library
I thought I would invite you to take a peek at an area of the studio I love in particular, my bookshelf. In true organised fashion I have categorised them in order of the design process so please find a full list to the bottom of the page. Though I will talk you through a handful of my favourites and go-to's.
Until I sat down to write and link these books, I felt my humble shelf of looked a little empty. I dream of a Beauty and the Beast style library full from floor to ceiling with information galore, but thankfully I am not at that stage yet otherwise this blog post would have taken a lifetime, 39 is more than enough to get started. Many of these books (as books tend to do) have accumulated over the years through visiting exhibitions, studies at university and wanting to explore further areas of my field since graduating (see Bare Essentials).
My oldest and most treasured book is the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. I have a more modern partner to this called Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers but I hate to admit, I have hardly touched that book in comparison to the clear and easy layout of this fail-safe golden oldie. Given to me by my Mum this hefty thing takes pride and place at the end of the shelf to stop any book landslides toppling off. It covers so much ground and really is the easiest bible of knowledge to understand.
The next trio I felt it worthy to mention are the books that were picked up at the start of my venture. How to Set Up & Run a Fashion Label and The Fashion Designer Survival Guide are very similar in terms of content and guidance. My personal favourite was How to Set Up & Run a Fashion Label due to layout and digestible information. That being said, I would read the matching chapters in each both to really gleam an understanding as they offer slightly different approaches and information.
Drive is not particularly related to fashion in the slightest but it's a compelling read in areas to what really gets a fire lit under us in terms of motivation. There are really interesting studies within this that I have crossed over and applied to how I not only manage myself but my interns. It was a great insight as to why we work hard.
The next series of books really helped me through university and they are the Basics Fashion Design range. Small enough to throw in your bag and have a quick 'top-up on skills' read on the bus, information is broken down amongst the pages and there are great references in all three to further your knowledge and understanding.
The Adobe Creative Team Classroom Books aren't ones I necessarily thumb through time and time again, but I felt the need to include them due to the integral part technology and Adobe Suite competency now plays in the industry. My personal weakest skillset would probably lie in Photoshop, so if you could do with brushing up on some of your skills, invest in the above!
And finally, my holy grail of reference books is awarded to my one true love (Dr) Winifred Aldrich for her Metric Pattern Cutting series. If, like me, your university didn't teach you how to draft a pattern from scratch (or you're self taught and would generally like to know), fear not, Winnie's got your back. I was very kindly lent the menswear pattern cutting book by a friend so I will definitely be buying a replacement once I've returned it. Check. Them. Out.
You may notice two books listed below aren't actually in my library... yet. I have treated myself this Fashion Revolution Week and invested in these long awaited titles. I have included them in here because sustainable fashion is the future, and as a designer, we must prepare and adapt to that.
I will be looking to write up a book review once I have read them both so do not fear, and by all means if you have read them already please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below because I am SO excited to get started on these.
I am a self confessed book worm away from work, but building a library of reference books to maintain curiosity and expand your knowledge is a great direction to take. What are your favourite books? Would you like me to expand on any you've seen pictured in future posts?
Thanks for reading, I'm off to wait for the postman.