Fashion Portfolio Step 4: Creating a Mood Board

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Step Four To Creating Your Fashion Design Portfolio

Do you know what a mood board is? This is the fourth installment of a ten-part fashion portfolio series. In this series, I break down the ten steps you need to follow to create a killer fashion portfolio. In the last article, I showed you how to get clarity on your concept. You should now be super clear on your concept and what to focus on as you go forward designing your collection.

The next step in designing fashion portfolio collection is to create a mood board. This is a page that captures the overall feeling in this collection. This is done by creating a collage of images that bring together the feeling of your collection.

Hopefully, when you were doing your trend research you were also finding images that will set the tone for your collection. Sift through your images and see if they tell a story. You don’t need a lot of images to get a point across. You definitely do not want it to look jumbled or to have so many images that your viewer doesn’t know what they are looking at.

We couldn’t cover every possible angle of how to create an amazing fashion design portfolio in just one post! This article is part of an EPIC 10 part Fashion Portfolio Blog Series. If you want to learn all the tricks to make YOUR fashion design portfolio stand out and get you hired you can check out the entire series at the bottom of this page.

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Join The Fashion Portfolio Challenge on Facebook!

This month I have taken on a personal challenge to re-design my own fashion portfolio and have journaled the 10 step process I used. I will be going through my personal design process of creating a killer fashion design portfolio. I will share my thought process and every detail of my work from what tools I use to fabric selection. You can follow along with me here on the blog. You can also join the challenge by joining the Pick Glass Fashionable Careers Facebook group!

If you are ready to get to work and start to work on your own fashion portfolio I encourage you to join The Fashion Portfolio Challenge on our PG Insider Facebook group. Here you can post examples of your own work and get feedback from the group!

How To Create A Mood Board

A mood board is usually the first page of a fashion portfolio. Its purpose is to set the tone of the collection and give the reader the immediate look and feel of your collection. In one glance the reader needs to be able to understand the overall feeling of your concept. Now I am going to show you how to do this.

To do this start by laying out your images on a single page. Play with the proportions and placement. Think about this page as a cover page. You need to add text that gives a descriptive name to your collection. You may also choose to add the season it is intended for. Depending on how many pages you have decided to do, you may need to leave some room for your color palette. For now, this is a rough draft. And you can always change it.

What Should A Mood Board Look Like?

The good news is there is no right or wrong way to create a mood board. The most important thing is that your concept is clear to the viewer. I also chose to put the creation of a mood board before a color palette only because, for me, I sometimes get more clarity of my color through the selection of the images I find. It is perfectly acceptable for you to either create your color palette while you create your mood board or even create it first. I will be adding my color palette after my next post, so I left some room.

One more thing I should mention here is that you should decide if you are going to show your work portrait or landscape. It is important to stay consistent with your different projects. You don’t want the viewer to have to keep flipping the pages upside down to see your work.

Once you are done I highly recommend you show it to a friend or colleague to get their feedback. Ask them what this page makes them think of. If they take away a totally different feeling than what you are trying to express then it is time to re-think.

Below is my big reveal. Tell me what you see. What does my mood board make you think of?

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Mood board by Malie Bingham

Fashion Portfolio Challenge

As part of this ten-part fashion portfolio series, I am re-working my own personal fashion portfolio and journaling my process. If you are following along with me you can see all the images I pulled on my Pinterest board called “FP mood board”. ( I was trying to find images that are sporty, have mesh, and have mostly white with a dash of bolder colors. You will see I pulled a lot of texture images. In fact, I had too many images to choose from when it came to showing the trend I wanted to use.

I actually ran into a bit of an issue. The first board I put together I soon realized was really a concept board and not a mood board. The two are sometimes hard to tell apart. Many people just combine them. But I found so many great images that conveyed my intention to use loose knitting to simulate mesh that I went a bit overboard. You will see my concept board in the next couple posts. So, stay tuned!


Fashion portfolio tear sheets


Action Steps

  1. Find images that set the mood of your collection via Pinterest, magazines, blogs, etc.
  2. Play around with the layout of your page with the images you found.
  3. Show a friend to get feedback.

Fashion Portfolio Blog Series

If you, or someone you know, want to learn how to create a killer fashion design portfolio you can read the entire series here. Learn what it takes to build an amazing fashion portfolio that will get you noticed and get your foot in the door.

  1. How To Create A Killer Fashion Portfolio
  2. Fashion Portfolio – Step 1 – Review Your Current Body of Work
  3. Fashion Portfolio – Step 2 – Find Inspiration
  4. Fashion Portfolio – Step 3 – Get Clarity of Concept
  5. Fashion Portfolio – Step 4 – Create A Mood Board
  6. Fashion Portfolio – Step 5 – Create A Color Palette
  7. Fashion Portfolio – Step 6 – Create Your Concept Board
  8. Fashion Portfolio – Step 7 – Sketch Out Your Ideas
  9. Fashion Portfolio – Step 8 – Find Your Fabrics
  10. Fashion Portfolio – Step 9 – Add flat sketches
  11. Fashion Portfolio – Step 10 – Fashion illustrations
  12. Interview With Karen Avila – Freelance Fashion Designer & Illustrator


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Fashion design portfolio, fashion portfolio, fashion portfolio tips, fashion careers fashion design careers, fashion career advice, fashion industry, fashion portfolio blog series,