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How to Vision Board Your Fall Fashion Story: Creating Your Own Look Book

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

It’s inevitable, really. No matter your level of steely determination or the limits of your bank account, you will covet something—a maxi (non-mini) skirt, a cashmere sweater, a shiny new pair of penny loafers—once you take a gander at a September fashion magazine, stroll down Fifth Avenue, or simply notice how everyone around you has emerged from the sweltering New York heat fashionably clad in the season’s newest trends. And if you are as neurotic as I am, you’ll need a way to capture this new fashion vision as it takes shape.

This is where the fall look book comes into the picture.

Creating look books has long been a favorite pastime of mine, one I’ve practiced since I was a little girl stretched out on my Nana’s living room floor, eyes glued to the pages of Harper’s Bazaar. Professionals use mood boards to set the tone for their projects in the fashion, advertising, and graphic design industries. Self help gurus advocate vision boards (individualized visual collages similar to mood boards) to speak into your life via the powerful laws of attraction. Designers use look books to merchandise a collection, provide a sense of their brand, and entice retail buyers and their clientele.

To get started on your own, head to Polyvore.com, an online vision board tool, which allows users to create their own digital collages called “sets.” Web browsers can use the Polyvore “clipper” to import the stylish items they like from other Web sites and place them into personalized digital collages. Then, presto! You’ve got a vision board with all of your favorite clothes and accessories in one place. Don't be shy, there is no obligation to buy—or even use the images you import.

Polyvore has taken the consumer driven fashion world by storm. The site has over 6 million unique visitors and 140 million page views per month. If this isn’t a testament to the power of vision boards and looks books, I don’t know what is.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Fashion is a world of fantasy. You get to live out your wildest dreams as you flip through magazines, earmark catalogs, and peek at department store links calling you from your e-mail inbox. Make a vision board or look book.  You won’t regret it. At the very least, you’ll receive a valuable lesson in your own personal style.

How to Make Your Own Look Book: It’s as Easy As 1,2,3!

Step 1:  Do your research. Browse the Web pages of your favorite stores, catch up on the fashion blogs, lose yourself in a few magazines. The only rule? Have fun.

Step 2: Decide on your preferred style aesthetic. Downtown darling? Art world consegnato? Jet setter? Or, an eclectic mix of all three? You’re the master or mistress of your look book, and there is no reason to limit yourself to one fashion story if you’re on the more adventurous side.

Step 3: Choose a medium. Collages are creative and fun, and lists beg to be carried around and ticked off. Creating a fashion set on Polyvore.com is free and user friendly, so go ahead and start importing. Personal choice dictates, but the more visual the end product, the better.

Step 4: Check out other look books to prime the pump. Here are a few ideas to get you started: modern bombshell, minimalist chic, glamour puss, bohemian rhapsody. Or if these ideas are too limiting, make up your own catch phrase and write it in fuchsia lipstick on your bathroom mirror. It is only a matter of time before your fall fashion vision begins to take shape before your very eyes!

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Comments [6]

Sara from Sunnyside

I need to do something about my wardrobe. I like this idea of exploring new looks and styles through various mediums, but I know that my ADD self would get distracted by the pretty pictures and people and not actually create the book. Hence, I need to develop patience. Great posts and articles!

Sep. 28 2010 08:41 PM
Danielle from Greenpoint

Another great post by T. Can't wait to start my own look book - and definitely gonna use some of you fall advice for it. Thanks, T!

Sep. 03 2010 08:37 PM
Hazel from Bronx, NY

Fashion on a mom's budget! I love this blog!

Sep. 01 2010 10:08 PM
Hae-Lin from Brooklyn

Great article, Theresa! Totally agree about look books and loove the sample look book in the article. Absolutely up my alley.
Keep em good stories coming, Theresa and WNYC!

Sep. 01 2010 05:29 PM
Adrianna from Brooklyn

Look books! Now I can live my fashion fantasy on a grad student budget.

Sep. 01 2010 10:30 AM
April from you'll hold it against me

okay then, i'm gonna try and make a look book despite myself......i admit to being inspired by your (writing) style....great article and nudge to do something about my look!

Sep. 01 2010 10:12 AM

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