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Fiona Walker Dieffenbacher student work and teaching examples

Identifier: KA-0136-01


Fiona Walker Dieffenbacher is a fashion designer, author, and alumna of Parsons School of Design, as well as a faculty member and director of the BFA Fashion Design program. The collection consists of student notebooks and portfolios kept by Dieffenbacher while Fashion Design BFA student at Parsons School of Design in the 1990s; samples of visual aids she created as professor; and student work made in her classes in the 2000s.


  • 1989 - 2011



0.4 Cubic Feet (1 box, 3 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

The collection is comprised of work created by Fiona Walker Dieffenbacher during the course of her studies at Parsons School of Design in the early 1990s and her later career as a professor of Fashion Design. Dieffenbacher's last name was Walker when she was a student. Consequently, the name identification between her student work and her teaching examples differs.

Student work consists of two pattern drafting notebooks created by Dieffenbacher for a class taught by Fashion Design Department faculty member Carolyn Dwyer. A third notebook containing detailed instructions for creating a variety of clothing projects shows examples of Dieffenbacher’s coursework between 1991 and 1992, while a notebook containing her senior project demonstrates her skill and aesthetic style at the time of her graduation from Parsons in 1993. Her student work also includes scrapbooks and notes related to advertising and fashion illustration techniques.

Additionally, the collection contains sample mood boards created by Dieffenbacher to serve as teaching examples, as well trend and shopping reports created by ten of her previous students, which were selected as outstanding examples of completed coursework. Through examples of both Dieffenbacher's and her students’ work, this collection provides insight into the learning and teaching processes employed by Parsons students and professors in the 1990s and 2000s, as well as providing detailed records of fashion design and retailing trends throughout these time periods.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact:

Biographical note

Fiona Walker Dieffenbacher earned an undergraduate degree in Fashion and Textiles from the University of Ulster (United Kingdom) and a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in 1993. She was the recipient of a Designer of The Year Award and received the Michael Kors Gold Thimble Award at the annual Parsons fashion benefit show at the conclusion of her senior year. In 1998, she launched her own ready-to-wear label, Fiona Walker, which was shown at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and sold at select international retailers. A year later, Dieffenbacher opened her own boutique in New York City.

After closing her business in 2005, Dieffenbacher began teaching in the BFA Fashion Design program at Parsons as an adjunct professor before transitioning into a full-time faculty member in 2007. One year later she became Director of External Projects for the School of Fashion, where she oversaw projects with Coach, Louis Vuitton, MCM, Swarovski, LVMH, and others. In 2011, Dieffenbacher took over as BFA Director for Fashion Design and continued teaching as an Assistant Professor. A proponent of strong research and diverse entry points into the design process, her first publication Fashion Thinking: Creative Approaches to the Design Process (AVA/Fairchild, February 2013) seeks to unmask these varied approaches, enabling designers to better understand their own ways of working. In February 2015, Dieffenbacher began a research project entitled “Dress and Emotion”, investigating clothing as a means of identity and communication.


“Fiona Dieffenbacher.” The New School. Accessed March 30, 2015.

Schiro, Anne-Marie. “Patterns.” The New York Times, July 27, 1999. Access March 30, 2015.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Fiona Walker Dieffenbacher, 2014.

Related Materials

Additional examples of Fiona Walker Dieffenbacher's student work will be found in the Parsons School of Design Fashion Design Department records (pre-2008 accessions) (PC.02.02.01).

Guide to the Fiona Walker Dieffenbacher student work and teaching examples
Sara Idacavage
July 27, 2016
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