Finding a passion in life is a real task for many out there, whereas for some, it happens early on. Regardless of when it happens, without proper guidance, it can fall weak. Hence, we apply to the best colleges that give us high-quality resources and tutors to help our passion transform into reality. Although, getting into those institutes is not as easy. However, anything can be achieved when you know where to aim.
The portfolios that you attach with your application represents you as a designer and speaks for you. Along with all those similar applications year after year, your portfolio is something that needs to be your beacon to grab some attention in the pile. Therefore, it is very important that you know how to speak through your work.
Here are 4 factors that all fashion institutes (national and international) look for in a potential student of their curriculum.
Different Mediums of Expression
These institutes get about thousands of applications with amazing portfolios every year; each with something unique and experimental to show. So, your portfolio may have about a minute of their time to make an impression. They flick through a number of portfolios, looking for a select few which are capable to make a mark or leave an impression.
So, it is advisable to layer your work with all the little elements like materiality, photographs of models or concepts, text to describe your ideas and sketches, and also to show your design development. All these elements are necessary to portray the extent to which you explored your subject.
To successfully accomplish the above, you need to have the curiosity regarding everything around you. An institute sees your curiosity through your work and ideas; for this, you have to be bold enough to ask even the wildest questions and challenge your own creativity. Show that you are not afraid to ask and explore even what may seem like crazy to many.
You can show this curiosity though extensive research into history, culture, your surroundings, and everything that resembles your thought processes. It can be span any field. The fact that you looked beyond fashion shows that you are not limited.
Growth and Transformation
You might have been working on this for years and years, but do you really want to bombard the them with a huge mass of information? Like mentioned before, there are over a thousand portfolios they look through, hence, keep it short, sharp and catchy.
Limit your portfolio to a timeline of 2 years and show only the best of your works, but also show a growth curve that is steeping upwards. Make sure to edit your work and take away all the unwanted or messy bits out of the portfolio before handing it in. If needed, have a separate sketch book attached to your portfolio to showcase all the amount of design development sketches in an unedited manner.
Pride For Your Work
Talking about messy bits; it is very important how you present your work. You may have followed just the correct specifications, but if they are all loose sheets of various shapes and sizes with nothing binding them, then all that work loses its charm.
The way you portray your work shows how serious and proud you are about it. For example, it can be designed and printed in a book manner, or it can be neatly organised into plastic sleeves bound together in a file. Folded or creased pages are not something that signifies a well-kept portfolio.
Your technical skills and hard work are something that will be appreciated, but more than that, your passion needs to show on paper. Give it your all but also know how to play smart.
Here is a set of images showing examples of different portfolios that you can aim for.