Caryn Franklin says she loves being one of fashion’s tribal elders. The former magazine editor, BBC presenter, co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk and MSc student (currently studying applied psychology in fashion at London College of Fashion) is an inspirational woman and style heroine of mine. I’ve been lucky enough to work with her via the All Walks Beyond the Catwalk organisation and my part-time job at university. I recently enjoyed the chance to catch-up with Caryn when I interviewed her for a feature in the Telegraph’s Stella magazine. And a couple of things she said really resonated:
‘Fashion is on my terms and that is the only way I will allow it into my life. I’ve learned that it has a power to beguile and that the repetition of seductive imagery can have an impact on what I and others think. So, I actively choose to disregard stuff, to say I’m not going to beat myself over the head with an image that has been so prolifically post-produced that it’s not real. I’d like every woman to feel the confidence to challenge fashion’s narrow appearance ideals.’
And I think it’s wonderful that this incredibly busy 56-year-old still finds the time to stop women in the street and pay them complements:
‘I will often say, ” My god you look fantastic!” I love those conversations with women I don’t know; we use fashion to begin conversation it gives us a common language to talk to each other. Women are primed to want to reach out and share, we are communicators and so fashion gives us the opportunity to begin with a complement and then take the conversation elsewhere.’
Read the full feature HERE.