Emerging Fashion Designers 5

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Release Date: 
March 28, 2015
Schiffer Publishing
Reviewed by: 

First, let’s start with all the positive aspects of Emerging Fashion Designers. The presentation of all the students’ work is beautifully executed with simple but highly professional photography. When viewing this book as a physical object it receives a grade of A.

The conundrum begins with the school selection. Depending on what list and who compiled it, these are not the top fashion schools in the USA; maybe half register on so called “best” school lists.

Next up is apparently no one told these students that fashion is a business of selling clothes and not just about letting one’s imagination run free. For a seasoned fashionphile, this book might prove offensive for one is immediately aware that the title of the book is a bit of a misnomer. Emerging as defined in Merriam Webster is an adjective: newly created or noticed and growing in strength or popularity: becoming widely known or established.

The candidates or students in this book have just graduated school and are not emerging except from school and as far as we can ascertain have no position lined up. Essentially this would make them fledgling designers or in more base parlance, wannabe designers. All of this is evidenced, in the majority, by the somewhat less than perfect and in some cases subpar execution of their designs. The fact is there are maybe seven would-be designers in this collection who deserve any sort of attention.

Those who follow fashion can speak of the best known “graduating classes” or the yearly gatherings of soon to be or yet to be designers such as Central St. Martins, Academy of Art in San Francisco, or Hyeres. Granted, two of these are not in the United States, but only location separates their qualifications. In other words, if this is the best that we have to offer then American fashion better fasten its seat belts as we are woefully behind our European relatives as well as those schools and graduates not examined here.

If the reader is just into perusing and not examining, then this book will suit your purpose in much the way a scrapbook would satisfy your visual sense. If you take the time to read the many varied inspirations of these soon to be designers, well, then you will most probably shake your head and roll your eyes as many of them get lost in their own thoughts. Then of course what could be more inviting than a collection inspired by hemophilia?

Congdon-Martin surely needs to either raise the bar for selection or examine the “designers” and the schools far more closely, for “no matter how long you stand in a garage, you will not become a car!” Think of it this way, just because you go to design school, there is no guarantee that you will be the next Cristóbal Balenciaga or Christian Dior.

It is my observation that this is a book with really very little merit. Some things cannot be taught nor, apparently, can they be learned.