Sample Fashion Project: Mood Board

Whenever I check my referring search terms, one of the ones that's always there is "sample fashion porftolio." In moving, I have rediscovered a bunch of my old interview projects, and I figured if everyone was searching for them, I'd post one here. The one I'll be showing you this week is one I did back in 2010 for an interview at a classic American name brand.

A fashion interview project consists of a few parts. The image you see today is of a "mood board." The mood board is a collection of images that will "inspire" the rest of your project. These images can be of anything you find trend-right, inspiring, or cool. This parciular mood board is for a back to school collection, so I made it school-themed. 

When building a mood board, I use a host of different sources for imagery. In this particular one, I used google image searches heavily, searching for vintage photos involving books, cheerleaders, and uniforms. I also borrowed a couple of photos from The Sartorialist, and some images of pencils, which I layered on top for effect. Other sources you could consider may include Pinterest, design blogs, rookiemag, and magazine editorials.

My style of mood board has changed over the years, and now I actually prefer more straight lines and organized looks, but at the time this one was made, I favored more of a freeform collaged look. I use photoshop to make my mood boards, but there are plenty of people who actually just cut out photos and stick them to paper. My thinking, though, is that it's important to display, by means of the mood board, that you can use photoshop fairly well. 

Some things to avoid on a mood board (in my opinion): 
1. Images from other brands' ad campaigns or runway shows.
2. Images that are identifiable as being from previous seasons (ie: are no longer considered brand new trends)
3. Text that is difficult to read (when it comes to text, simple is most often the best)

Some things that are good to have:
1. "Lifestyle" photos:
          These are photos that convey the kind of girl you think wears the brand for which you are interviewing. These are most often images of a girl doing running on a beach or riding in a car or out with friends. But be careful...this can get dicey and cheesey really fast.

2. Current/recent street style photos:
          This shows you're paying attention to what's going on in fashion aside from just shopping online and looking at the runway shows. Runway is one thing, but what people are actually wearing is just as important.

3. A Color theme:
          It's sometimes hard to find a bunch of photos that offer a cohesive look and color story for your mood board. This can be solved in a few ways. Firstly, you can search for images by color on Pinterest or some other outlet. This can offer you some interesting imagery you perhaps wouldn't have thought to look for in the first place. Secondly, you can always choose a background that is not white but sort of pulls a similar color out of all of your images, giving a more unified look. Thirdly - and this it the one I'd been doing most recently - you can actually alter the color of your images in photoshop via the color replacement tool or just plain hue/saturation adjustments. 

4. Visual Texture:
          I sort of have it in this mood board, but it can be done in a number of ways. The idea is that it's nice to have some variance in the texture of your imagery. It cant' all be the same size photos of girls in button down shirts. Add something like a ball of yarn or, like in this mood board, some 3D-looking pencils. Pictures of other raw materials such as wood, metal, stone, etc can also help to add this element to your overall finished product.

Once you're happy with your project and its layout, print it out on paper that's larger than the actual image, then crop it down. This way, you'll get a bleed print, and you wont' have those pesky uneven white borders you get when you try to print to actual paper size. 

Stay tuned! Tomorrow we shall discuss the next part: Color!

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