For any woman interested in fashion, Caryn Franklin needs no introduction. As presenter of the BBC’s The Clothes Show in the late 1980s and 1990s, before the internet explosion, she was to many the only insight into one of the most desirable and fascinating industries in the world.  Caryn was also Fashion Editor and Co-Editor of i-D magazine, one of the most influential and ground breaking youth publications of the 1980s.

A broadcaster, author, director and producer, Caryn has been heavily involved in campaigning for both charity and education. She co-chaired Fashion Targets Breast Cancer for 15 years and was the instigator behind the initiation of the Centre of Sustainability at London College of Fashion, an all encompassing hub for ethical fashion practices. Caryn founded All Walks Beyond the Catwalk with Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor in 2009.

Semple was delighted to catch five minutes with Caryn and ask a few questions about her favourite pieces of clothing.

Image courtesy of Chris Floyd

Do you have a piece of clothing that you treasure?

I have so many pieces but my collection of Vivienne Westwood dresses certainly come to mind. I also have a fantastic piece by Junky Styling that is totally unique. It is an up-cycled garment featuring two suits that were recreated into a tailored waistcoat (pictured).

Why were you so drawn to this piece, does it have a story?

I really respect the brand Junky Styling and the fact that nothing is mass-produced. It is extremely sustainable and I admire their ethos.

The waistcoat itself feels like an amazing comfort blanket. I can put it over so many different things and it has pockets everywhere. It is beautifully tailored and fits perfectly, I put it on to make a statement.

Do you have a piece of advice for your younger self?

Don’t waste your time in relationships with men who are unable to be supportive and kind!

Which women inspire you?

I have been inspired by so many, but I particularly admire women who are great thinkers. An example of this is the psychoanalyst and writer Susie Orbach. Her first book, Fat is a Feminist Issue, was released thirty years ago and deemed revolutionary for her enlightening conclusions regarding the psychology of eating habits and female self-loathing and negative body image.

What was the last book you read?

I would highly recommend Susie Orbach’s latest book Bodies as it is a must read for all women.

What was the last exhibition you went to?

We took All Walks Beyond the Catwalk to Graduate Fashion Week Exhibition recently; I haven’t had time to visit many for pure pleasure!

However, I thoroughly enjoyed the collection of paintings by Alfred Munnings at Castle House in Dedham, Colchester. It is a beautiful homage to his life and work. The museum was once his actual home where he lived with his wife. They were both incredible socialites and led extremely fashionable lives. He loved his house and spent much of his time in the garden with his plants when he wasn’t painting.

What does the future hold for All Walks Beyond the Catwalk?

We are working with colleges across the country to try and implement important changes in the way fashion is taught. We need to broaden the student’s understanding of how design works with real-life bodies.

We have already secured three colleges to launch a Centre of Diversity and we hope to do the same with a further twelve colleges over the next year.

All Walks Beyond the Catwalk:

Twitter Follow:@Caryn_Franklin / @allwalkscatwalk

Stephanie Barker

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2 Responses
  1. Semple

    Thank you, we like the look of your blog too! Please keep and eye on all Maggie Semple activities, they may be very relevant to your work?

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