Fashion icon delivers inspirational event for students

Fashion industry icon Caryn Franklin visited the College’s Southend Campus to hold an eye opening talk and workshop for students.

Fashion and psychology degree students at the College attended the event, which gave them an invaluable opportunity to work with and hear from an industry expert.

Students from local schools and colleges with an interest in the subjects were also invited to the event where they also found out about Higher Education courses available at the College.

Caryn's interest in psychological aspects including body image, diversity and identity politics narratives formed an interesting and eye opening insight into a different side of the fashion world.

Following the discussion, students participated in a workshop with Caryn where they explored the unconscious bias within the fashion industry. They also had the opportunity to investigate their own thoughts around beliefs, identity and the issues surrounding selfhood and objectification portrayed in fashion advertising.

Students then created their own presentations of identity through a number of different activities.

Sue Windham, BSc (Hons) Psychology & Sociology Programme Leader, said it was a fantastic event.

She said: “The work that Caryn has done within her many roles in fashion has helped drive forward key discussions around worker exploitation, HIV and Breast Cancer.

“The event highlighted that there is so much more to the fashion industry than we see as consumers.”

Kirsti McLean, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Programme Leader added: “We were delighted Caryn was able to visit the College. We aim to train our students to be the responsible designers of the future and for our young designers Caryn’s talk was both enlightening and influential. “

The event was well received by students with one saying “Growing up, Caryn was one of my idols so to hear her talk was amazing, especially hearing what she has learnt and studied after her Clothes Show years. It was really thought provoking and insightful.”

Another said: “I intend to adopt the concepts and beliefs that Caryn presented in my own work to ensure fair representation across gender, age and body shape. Caryn is definitely someone who I look up to and who is hugely influential in the fashion industry”

To find out more about degree courses available at the College visit www.southessex.ac.uk/university