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Photo: howtolookgood.com

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.

11 thoughts on “Inspirational Women – Caryn Franklin

  1. Very wise words about how fashion and images beguile us. We’re all subject to image lust, but I think older women are better at resisting the siren call. And it’s good to have fashion elders remind us it’s okay to be ourselves.

  2. I’m off to read the full article right now, but I must say her words resonate powerfully for me at the moment, especially about something I’ve just posted on, a liminal relationship I’m negotiating with Style and Fashion as I adjust to retirement, after travel. . . (and sorry if that seems I’m plugging my own post, but the context seems relevant, especially given what Val S says, above, about older women and fashion elders). Worth copying out and repeating: “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. . . ”
    Thanks for bringing this Inspirational Woman to my attention and choosing these inspiring words to include right here.

  3. Feeling less than chirpy after a terrible nights sleep my first read of the day has set my mood back to good.
    It’s important to keep fashion images in perspective, there will never be a way of keeping up with them in real life. More importantly, we should take notice when women in real life have made an effort with their personal fashion, that’s true beauty.
    Inspirational woman indeed, your post has put a smile on my face too!
    Thanks Alyson & Caryn xxx

  4. I’ve loved Caryns style since the 80’s when she presented The Clothes Show, she has a quiet authority, would love to see more of her on tv again.

  5. I like the way she thinks. Caryn feels like the real thing, genuine and warm, outgoing and engaging. I wish she had a blog to follow. I believe we would all get inspiration from her. Thank you for sharing this piece with us, Alyson.

  6. She’s fabulous…. having received random compliments from strangers myself i know the delight it can bring and so always delight in complimenting anyone I think looks delightful!!

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