Fashion Illustration Tribe founder Laura Volpintesta online fashion design schoolHere are my top 9 recommended books for fashion design!(video)



Hello Fashion Creatives!!

Finally, answering “that” question: 9 Awesome Books for those who are learning Fashion and Design and Illustration!! 

Check out the video on youtube,(below)  then look under the video  for the amazon links to each book if you want to buy any one now.

From Patternmaking essentials with great drawings and diagrams to inform your illustrations and knowledge of how garments work,

to draping techniques, sewing and construction,

to books about design research, designers, and color theory, this half-hour talk is well worth your time to learn more about how these books can enhance your experience, and your knowledge. 

Above all, I’m here to inspire you and guide you to great resources!
Here’s the video: 9 Top Recommended Books for Fashion Design!

I’ve been teaching fashion design for 25 years at Parsons: from Patternmaking, Draping and Sewing/Construction studios, Portfolio Development and Presentation, Model Drawing Beginner – Advanced, Fashion Illustration, and Fashion Concept Development.

I’m an illustrator, sketch artist, technical designer, and TEACHER/GUIDER/MENTOR who is also a performing artist/musician (jazz and Brazilian) and have been a passionate single  homeschooling mom to 3.

CREATIVITY and LOVE are the foundations of everything I do.

I also POST ON INSTAGRAM EVERY DAY. Do you love it too? Here:

the language of fashion design by laura volpintesta


the Language of Fashion Design: 26 Principles Every Fashion Designer Should Know:…

This is an excellent fashion design book full of visual examples bringing FASHION DESIGN visual and verbal language together. Excellent for bringing you on board into deeper conversations about fashion design. 

It also includes 26 designer highlights/ biographies. 


Other books in the video:

the Art of Zandra Rhodes
The Art of Zandra Rhodes:…

Trained as a textile designer, Zandra Rhodes’ book shows her extensive archive of fashion designs based on ethnic costumes and original fabrics, a truly iconic and unique designer of her time!  And I love to see her themes from season to season and how they roll out.

Color: How to Use It by Marcie Cooperman color theory textbook

Color: How to Use It…

Color (and design) theory was one of the most mind-blowing courses I ever took as an undergrad. This book is incredibly thorough and extensive in discussing and clarifyiong  all manner of dynamics of design theory and color interaction. Written and thoroughly researched by one of my colleagues at Parsons. Awareness of these principles gives you so many tools  to consciously wield in visual expression and design!

Draping the Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel. Fashion Design Books

Draping: the Complete Course…

I only WISH we had a book like this when I was a fashion design undergrad student.  Gorgeous, clear and lush photographs take you step-by-step through draping and patternmaking techniques for a well-rounded range of beautiful fashion garment designs. Pants, skirts, collars, jackets, sleeves, blouses, corsets… all draped, pinned and marked on the dress form. GET THIS BOOK!!!!!! For more in depth, check out my Patternmaking and Draping course as a foundation for tackling the projects in the book!

Fashion Design Course by Steven Faerm ,Fashion Design Books

Fashion Design Course:…

This is a great book to jump-start your fashion design book/ croquis book for researching, compiling and developing your fashion design concepts in depth! A personal, loaded, creative space inside a sketchbook is the best portfolio for showing how you “think and feel  fashion design. “

it’s one of the most pleasurable and rich ways to express and grow your ideas and visions, for sure!

Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong, Fashion Design Books Recommendations

PatternMaking for Fashion Design:…

I know i am so enthusiastic about all of these Fashion Design Books, but it’s true! This book is amazing. I have the Second Edition, and it’s my favorite, but there are many great editions, all good. I assign it in every single class I teach!– from fashion illustration and flats, portfolio and model drawing classes to draping, sewing and patternmaking classes. Why? it teaches the visual and VERBAL vocabulary giving a wide and rich foundation, as well as having specific instructions, clear diagrams, and EXCELLENT fashion sketches that are stylish, shaded, AND technically clear.


Fashion Design Research, by Ezinma Mbeledogu ,fashion design books recommendations

Fashion Design Research:…

Fashion design is born from where? I never actually used a book to guide this journey, but if you want one, here it is. To me, research is (and should be ) natural and pleasurable. There are no limits on the resources and references that come together for you in the creation of fashion garments or collections.

YOU can research within the world of fashion and design history and current trends, or work entirely outside of that realm and bring that which is NOT “FASHION” into fashion.  Art, locations, technologies, music, movements, muses… the list is ENDLESS, like your creativity.

The Fashion Designer's Textile Driectory by Gail Bough, fashion design books recommendtaions FASHION FABRICS

Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory:…

Honestly, I am obsessed with the fact that we should always sketch with fabric IN OUR HANDS. And in that respect, this book falls short because it only shows pictures of fabric swatches for fashion designers. BUT it is rich in VOCABULARY and fashion language, as well as shows most of the fabrics both flat as well as in USE which can tell you a lot about how they can drape and feel. 

So it’s a great book to own and refer to again and again. It will definitely build your vocabulary and confidence in talking about fashion fabrics and the quality of the book printing is gorgeous. BUT YOU NEED TO BACK THIS UP WITH FABRICS IN HAND: swatches, etc.  More on that in my courses, programs, and blog posts for you!

Kimberly Kight, A Field Guide to Fabric Design, Fashion Design books recommendations

A Field Guide to Fabric Design:…

Some people couldn’t care less about prints, but for others of us, there is no fashion without prints and patterns! This book helps you focus and get clear on the foundation of different kinds of print repeats for fashion and interior design and how you can  create your own digitally and by hand….. as well as learn the vocabulary to talk about prints and the techniques that help you be creative with them.

I hope you truly enjoy and get something from this video!
I keep an archive of design details and model poses for sketching, as well as inspiration, on Pinterest. If you enjoy pinterest too, join me over there!



I’ve lovingly created the Fashion Masterclass Series and Soulful Fashion Foundation Coaching Program to bring professional and creative skills to women in their homes, all over the world, over wi-fi, to learn on THEIR SCHEDULES at their own pace in their own strength and not be intimidated by a university structure …. non-competitive, encouraging, and focused on finding your own voice and strengths to do work that you LOVE to do.

My website:


for full FREE Bundle of tutorials and tools for fashion design and fashion illustration. SUBSCRIBERS get updates and offers that are only for subscribers so consider signing up right now! Subscribe here on youtube also!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top