A textbook-style guide to the basics of fashion design, aimed at tween and teen girls.
In this debut fashion textbook, Olinger guides students through the fundamental elements of fashion design and production, using a simple T-shirt as the focus of the lessons. The first section covers the design process, from creating a mood board, which incorporates inspirations and representations, to color selection and initial garment design. In the following sections, the focus shifts to the business side of the fashion industry, as students are led through cost analysis, sustainable production methods, an explanation of margin and retail markup, and marketing. The book concludes with a teachers’ guide that provides further guidance for the book’s hands-on lessons. Exercises throughout the book, such as describing the attributes of an ideal client and understanding the relationship between production volume and unit cost, provide a complementary theoretical framework for the practical activities. Though clearly intended for use in a classroom setting rather than as a stand-alone text, the book has its origins in a class taught by the author, and it seems best suited to teachers who already have a substantial knowledge of the fashion production process. For instance, one exercise asks students to draw conclusions about the nature of cotton harvesting based on a photograph of workers in a cotton field and a photograph of a cotton boll, yet no information is provided that could help either the student or the teacher evaluate those conclusions. Citations and suggestions for further exploration are included in footnotes, but not always effectively: In directing students to a YouTube video, the text instructs them to “Go to www.youtube.com > Forever Tango—A Evaristo Carriego.” The back of the textbook includes a helpful “Guidelines for Teachers” section as well as appendices that recommended additional skills fashion students should pursue in the scientific and technical fields.
A useful, experience-based accompaniment to a fashion class, but less effective as a stand-alone textbook.