I just recently celebrated my birthday - go me! - and I got this amazing book as a gift. It's called "Form, Fit, Fashion" by Jay Calderin, from Rockport Publishers. This book is a fashion designers bible. I am about halfway through and so far it has touched base on just about everything I've learned in school thus far.
Here is a little excerpt from the back:
Topics encompass collection theory, forecasting, budgeting, specializations, color, textiles, silhouette, fashion illustration, patternmaking, stitching, finishing, digital technology, quality control, portfolio building, branding, merchandising, and show production. Interspersed throughout, interviews with leading fashion designers demonstrate how these ideas can be creatively interpreted in practice.
Unlike many of the textbooks we have to buy for our classes, this book is easy to read and small enough to fit in your purse. Aspiring designers, established professionals, and fashionistas alike can all take something from this book. It offers a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry focusing on six core aspects of fashion: research, editing, design, construction, connection, and evolution. If you are a fashion student, or thinking of pursuing a career in a fashion industry, this book is definitely a good investment!