This is a book review, not experience sharing because I have never gone to fashion school. While it may be tempting, fashion design is listed among the worst 5 useless degrees currently by articles on some big sites like Yahoo!… for what those opinions are worth. Fortunately for me, I have a great job not involving fashion design and am doing it for love, not money.
101 Things I Learned in Fashion School is part of a 101 Things I Learned in series of books. This particular book is focused on some practicalities and myth busting around fashion itself, fashion design, business and a few techniques. It’s not a sewing techniques book, by any means, so don’t get it that’s what you’re looking for. There lots of tidbits about things you may or may not have known, or perhaps have known but haven’t given it enough priority and/or thought in your fashion design work. There are also some quotes and simple illustrations to accompany the text.
Book reviews online are generally quite well done so I recommend you read the variety of reviews posted on Amazon via the link above to the book title. I’ll only go further to relate my experiences with the book. I found it easy to read, both in terms of content and structure. You literally get 101 small bits you can read in any order, in any amount you have time for at a moment. Probably best read like poetry, one or several at a time and think about it. I was at an airport delayed by a late flight so I breezed through it all in a couple of hours, making small notes about each. I’m happy to say with a lot of them, I was already on the right track or doing it. There were definitely some eye openers to note that I will accommodate in my fashion design in the future.
The most useful thing I found about what was in this book was all the things not followed by people in the clothes they wore. It’s not necessary people follow all those tips to be fashionable, of course, by far. However, there were a lot of fundamentals ignored. I’m among those people in some cases, though for some, it’s because I didn’t have a lot of choice being a short male in stature. That’s why I ventured to do some of my own clothes.
Overall, I would recommend this book, even if you’re well trained in fashion design. It’s a nice reference for some prioritized points, and something you could hand to others to help them with their fashion, or explain some things that could, or perhaps should, be important to them. If I needed to give a rating out of 5 stars, I’d give it a 4. Just remember, this isn’t a techniques manual so don’t get it if that’s what you’re expecting.