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What Is a Fashion Collection?

Designers host shows in which models wear clothing that is part of the upcoming season's collection.
A fashion collection usually includes a line of similar, but not identical, clothes.
Models show off the individual garments that are part of a designer's collection.
Fashion designers often sketch out an idea before creating it.
Fashion designers must sew every garment that is part of their collection from scratch.
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  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2014
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A fashion collection is a selection of outfits and individual garments that fashion designers put together every season and that reflect predictions of upcoming trends, including color, cut, line and proportion. A collection will usually include a variety of styles, from evening wear to sportswear to outerwear. The cut, coordinating colors and design elements of each style usually tie the items together. It's likely that a fashion designer will have two collections per year — one for the fall/winter season and one for the spring/summer season. The number of pieces included can range from as few as 30 pieces to as many as 120.

After the collection is finished being created and tailored, the designer usually puts on a fashion show. This allows potential buyers, such as distributors or retailers, to see each piece to see if they are interested in buying any of the garments. In the majority of fashion shows, models walk down a runway dressed in pieces from the collection.

Models in fashion shows often wear outlandish hair, makeup, and accessories to represent the designer's artistic vision about the clothing. Each garment itself usually is designed to be functional and appealing to the general public, also known as the mass market, although this can vary by designer. People's tastes change so frequently that fashion collections usually are designed with the idea in mind that the style, colors, and cuts will be out of style within one to two seasons.

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Some designers specialize in haute couture, garments made to order for one individual customer. Money usually is no object when it comes to such pieces, and expensive fabrics and design techniques are used. Ready-to-wear collections are a cross between mass market design and haute couture. Although the pieces in a ready-to-wear collection aren't created for individual customers as haute couture is, the designs and price points likely will not appeal to the general public.

Fashion students often have to present a fashion collection as part of their graduation requirements. Successful designers and fashion houses sometimes attend graduate student fashion shows, particularly at well-known art and design schools, to scout out future employees. These schools often are location in cities known for being centers of fashion, such as New York, London, Chicago, and Paris.

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Discuss this Article

andee
Post 10

Once when I was visiting a friend in New York, we just happened to go to a show where they were modeling the newest summer fashion collection. Some of the clothes were much too outlandish for my taste, but others were designs I really liked.

What I found interesting is how much longer it took for those particular designs to become popular where I live. I live in a small community in the middle part of the country, and the mass market designs I saw at the show took a few years to show up where I lived.

SarahSon
Post 9

My daughter loves fashion and photography. She has made a name for herself at the local college as a great photographer -- especially when they have fashion week. Because she has such an eye for fashion, and loves everything about it, she comes up with the best shots. I have a feeling she is going to pursue her love of fashion through the camera.

sunshined
Post 8

My niece is a teenager and absolutely loves fashion. Surprisingly, she is made fun of at school sometimes because she dresses very fashionably, and different than what most of the kids are wearing. Her dream is to be a fashion designer, and I would not be surprised if she succeeds at this.

She knows in order to be successful she will have to move to a major city. Right now she is trying to decide between New York or Los Angeles. I am not that great at keeping up with the latest fashions, but always love to see the outfits my niece puts together.

Mykol
Post 7

@healthy4life -- I live in the Midwest, and have known several young girls who attended college to study fashion. The sad thing is, there are not many opportunities for employment in the fashion industry in our part of the country.

Only one of the girls went on to study and live in New York. I don't remember for sure who she works for, but know it is a well known fashion design company. I also remember her mom talking about the fashion collection she was putting together for a graduation project.

The other girls who graduate with their fashion degree and stay close to home, usually end up working at a job that has nothing to do with fashion. They are still interested in it from a personal standpoint, but are not being able to use their degree like they were hoping they would.

cloudel
Post 6

Sometimes, fashion show shoes are outrageous and unwearable, at least to me. It's hard to believe that even those trained models could walk around on shoes so clunky and awkward!

I realize that in many situations, the shoes are just part of the flair, much like the wild hair and hats sometimes worn with the clothing, which is the real star of the show. However, I have seen some fashion shows that were all about the shoes, and even then, the heels were so tall and the soles so awkwardly shaped that I can't imagine they would sell well in the real world.

I stick to the fashion collection at my local discount shoe store. The styles tend to be less wild and more comfortable than the ones on the runway.

StarJo
Post 5

@Oceana – The items are not that similar. They don't have to all be the same color or even the same cut. They do all complement each other, though, and if you saw them all hanging on a rack next to each other, you would see that they look like part of a collection.

I remember the spring fashion collection from last year that I bought several items from at a department store. The common theme was pastel shades and billowy blouses and dresses. However, the items were unique to themselves, so it wasn't like buying the same dress twice.

Oceana
Post 4

How similar are the pieces within a collection? For example, would a fall fashion collection contain items that all feature the same shade of orange or brown, or would the items be more varied?

healthy4life
Post 3

Wow, I had no idea that potential employers attended graduate student fashion shows! What an awesome opportunity for the students to find work in their field!

I studied graphic design, and I would have loved for a scout to have viewed my work and offered me a job. However, we didn't have that sort of opportunity at my college.

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