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Drexel Library

Fashion Design

RESOURCES FOR FASHION RESEARCH, INCLUDING TRENDS + FORECASTING, COSTUME HISTORY + SUSTAINABILITY

Welcome

This guide is intended to help you with your research for fashion design courses. Use the navigation on the left to find recommended library + freely available resources for all aspects of your research.

Questions? Email the Media Arts + Design Librarian, Shannon Robinson, at smr87@drexel.edu or schedule a research appointment.

Fashion Design Student Recommendations

Fashion Wonderland

Fashion Wonderland

I found this book while searching through the stacks and I was attracted to it because of the loud graphics. The book talks about the combination of fashion design and graphic design which are two things I enjoy doing. I love how the book shows all different ways you can combine fashion and graphics. The beautiful photo layout is intriguing and very unique.

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

I love Oscar de la Renta and this had a lot more than just his end product. There were drawings, explanations, biographies, etc. I loved that there wasn't just pictures, there were actual writings in the book with so much information!

Gucci by Gucci: 85 Years of Gucci

Gucci by Gucci: 85 Years of Gucci

Looking in the oversized section of Fashion Design, I found books of old photographs of designers. I was drawn to Gucci by Gucci because I know and shop the brand. I liked how visually pleasing the interior is and how it showed how the brand has changed throughout the years. It moved from black and white to color and I liked the layout of the book.

Gucci, the Making Of

Gucci, the Making Of

I found this book while walking through the stacks. I was really intrigued by the texture and I love Gucci. The book is about Gucci. I really like the outer design of the book and I think the images inside are spectacular. I think the visual table of contents is unique and useful.

Children's Wear Design

Childrenswear Design

I saw the children's clothing category on the guide. This book is from 1974 and I find it very interesting because is shows detailed guides on how to make formal children's wear. This is something you rarely see today, but I love seeing the all-inclusive view of fashion, including age, and think children deserve fashionable and well-fitting clothes, too.

Costume in detail : women's dress, 1730-1930

Costume in Detail : Women's Dress, 1730-1930

I found this book in the section for books on costuming and since I have an interest in period pieces, and the covered showed that, I wanted to look further. The book is about costumes and garments between 1730-1930 and what techniques and structures went into making them. I like how the book contains visual elements with text to explain how the garments were constructed.

haute couture embroidery

Haute Couture Embroidery

I was looking for an interesting oversized fashion book and I found this one. This book is about the history and evolution of embroidery. I really like the different displays of embroidery they use. It's not just close up shots but its also sketches and photos of the entire garment.

The Grammar of Ornament

The Grammar of Ornament

This item is a historical book about patterns and designs from different regions back in the 1800s. Not only does it portray designs but also social issues from that era. It's used for research and I like that even though it is very old, it's a great source for inspiration. I wonder how different social issues are compared to today.

Yves Saint Laurent : icons of fashion design

Yves Saint Laurent : Icons of Fashion Design

I found this book in the oversized section; the gold print on the binding attracted me, as well as the fact that this book is about YSL. The book is mainly an in-depth look at the early YSL aesthetic and life of the designer. What I like most if the variety of editorial photos included in the book for reference.

Yves Saint Laurent style.

Yves Saint Laurent Style

I found this book looking through the books on fashion designers. This book is about Yves Saint Laurent's signature style in illustration and design choices. I like the inspiration I can pull from this book and the way this gives me a peek into how he saw fashion. I highly recommend it for inspiration.

100 Dresses

100 Dresses

The bit of the image of the pink gown on the spine interested me so I pulled it off the shelf, then I saw the whole gown and was more intrigued. The book is about gowns from the 1600s until modern times from the Costume Institute of the Met. I love the vibrant images and detailed descriptions of each of the gowns and being able to see the shift of women's designer gowns.

Photographs Collection: Student Fashion Show, 1980s

This photo shows more of a party occasion, more dressy and elegant. It shows the feathers on a black dress as a v-neck. I like how the layout of the two dresses as more of a formal event like a ballroom dance.

Advanced Fashion Sketchbook

Advanced Fashion Sketchbook

I found this book in the oversized section and was attracted to it because of its title. I found it very intriguing and it had beautiful sketches and really useful information about how to sketch and what you need to use for sketching. It is about sketching and that process. I like that fact that it is informative and teaches you.

Talking to Myself

Talking to Myself

Talking to Myself is a raw collection of Yohji Yamamoto's campaigns, designs, design processes, bodies of work, etc. This book attracted me simply from the Yohji Yamamoto name. His revolutionary anti-fashion designs inspire me and so many designers of this modern era. I look forward to learning more about Yamamoto.

Versace Signatures

Versace Signatures

I found this book just by browsing. Versace did a lot of costume pieces in his work and was very expressive so I wanted to learn and see more. The design of the book is mainly images and it's great to see his works in its expressive way, especially from black and white to color.

Magnificence of the Tsars

Magnificence of the Tsars

This book is about the clothing of the Russian Tsars and their function as a display of status. I was interested in this book because one of my ancestors may have been an embroiderer for the Romanovs. I liked looking at the detailed images.

The Grammar of Ornament

The Grammar of Ornament

A book published in 1956, this work includes various design and concepts that are pulled from different cultures and eras. I loved all the designs and color variety that's portrayed with every chapter/section. I do wonder where there are further editions to see how technology has shaped design.

Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style

Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style

I found this book while searching the oversized section for fashion design references. The book covers past Chanel designs and divides them by topic. I enjoyed looking at this book because it had large, beautiful images that all you to see the garments and designs in great detail.

Photographs Collection: Student Fashion Show, 1960s

Photographs Collection: Student Fashion Show, 1960s

This is a small, five piece collection from a student in the 1960s. The collection portrays 1960s fashion such as shoulder pads, menswear as womenswear, and a forced, small waist. I really like how mature clothes used to be compared to today, which is more casual. If I had to ask one question it would be who designed this collection and what courses did he or she take to get to that final piece.

Drawing Fashion : The Art of Kenneth Paul Block

Drawing Fashion : The Art of Kenneth Paul Block

I found this book in the oversized section, next to other drawing and pattern making books. I was simply attracted by its title, at first. I have been wanting to improve my fashion drawing skills and find designer illustrations inspiring. The book is about various designers and how they approach illustrations and convey certain concepts and ideas. I love the simplicity of the cover and vibrancy and detail of each drawing.

Self-help Clothing : For Children who have Physical Disabilities

Self-help Clothing : For Children who have Physical Disabilities

I was attracted to this book because I noticed the title and how the book is dedicated to clothing for children with disabilities. This fascinated me because it's an area of fashion that is very small and most often unnoticed as I have never heard anything about it before. I enjoy this book because it brings awareness to this topic.

Fashions of the Decades: The 1930s

Fashions of the Decades: The 1930s

I've always thought that the 1930s possessed the most elegant women's fashion ever made. The book breaks down all of the decade's fashions and their influences, what influenced them. What I like most are the examples of the fashion as they show everything from women's to men's to children's.

The Repository of Art, Commerce, Manufacturing, Fashions, and Politics

The Repository of Art, Commerce, Manufacturing, Fashions, and Politics

This item displayed a multitude of fashion illustrations dated from 1809-1828. Since it was from a magazine, I assume that it was displaying the latest fashions of the time. I am such a history buff when it comes to fashion, so looking through all the drawings and their functions are especially exciting for me! My only question would be can I look through the rest of the pictures?!

Chanel

Chanel

I found this book browsing for menswear books. The muted color of the book stood out from the colorful books next to it. The book is about the brand Chanel and inspirations she took to create her clothing. I like the simple design and layout of the book.

Gianfranco Ferré : Disegni

Gianfranco Ferré : Disegni

I found this book in the fashion design section and it caught my eye when I saw how simple it looked and read the word "Drawings" on the side. The book is about looking at Gianfranco's sketches and learning about the simplicity and intricacy about design. Looking through the book you can see many of his preliminary sketches and he also explains how he wanted to make a book about drawings to piece together his ideas and give inspiration to the public. I enjoyed looking at his sketches because it made me feel as though I was looking through a friend's sketchbook. The designs were also visually pleasing to the eyes.

The Costumes and Textiles of India

The Costumes and Textiles of India

More than a book, this is a historical representation of a beautiful culture. I could just read the preface and view the designs. I can't believe how people with so many different thoughts demonstrate with their work how talented they are. Beauty is about more than money; the Indian culture inspires simplicity through detail. I found this book really interesting.

The Grammar of Ornament

The book consists mainly of illustrations from several cultures across the world. It portrays different patterns and color combinations. It is truly an amazing book to use as inspiration, especially for pattern making and compare and contrasting styles, but also what changed with time. I wonder how it was created and how all those different parts were put together and connected through one book.

The Art of African Fashion

The Art of African Fashion

I was looking for a book that was related to fashion history and then I saw the bright pink book that said Art of African Fashion. I love African fashion and the culture as a whole. This book is about African fashion, its history, and the impact on the modern world. I love how it is an overall in-depth book about African fashion, from the hair to the makeup, not just the clothes.

Key Resources

Free Library of Philadelphia logoAccess Lynda.com tutorials through The Free Library of Philadelphia. The Free Library of Philadelphia, the city's public library, is available at no cost to anyone who goes to school in Philadelphia. Get a card!

 

Business of Fashion logoThe Business of Fashion is a website with breaking news and fashion business intelligence. You can sign up for a free student membership and get daily news as well as weekly careers newsletters.


These are key resources in Fashion Design. Find more information about how to use them throughout this guide. For resources on the business of fashion, check out the Design + Merchandising guide.