57211330.jpgHost of the Clothes Show Caryn Franklin spoke this week to Femalefirst.co.uk about Graduate Fashion Week and what it's all about. She joined River Island MD Richard Bradbury in answering the tough questions including the size zero debate and the "green" issue currently facing designers.

"Nobody really wants to buy garments where they feel that say, child labour has been involved or that people have suffered and are not getting a living wage. Fashion is all about feel good and certainly to marry the two where you can feel good and you can feel that you’ve made a contribution - that you’ve paid a rightful price for something is crucial," Franklin said. [Image: Getty]

Below is a small transcript from Caryn Franklin and Richard Bradbury's interview with Femalefirst.co.uk. For the full interview please click here.

FF: What should be looked out for at this year’s [Graduate Fashion Week]?

Caryn: Well not really trends. We’re looking for graduates and students to marry their technical excellence with their creative vision. This is the space for them to create something that really shows the industry what they are about. This is a space where there are no commercial restraints remember actually. Once they get in the industry there will be all kinds of things for them to consider. There are plenty of judges and a whole load of awards.

Zandra Rhodes, for instance will be presiding over a print award and she will be looking for somebody who’s going to making a contribution and lead the way. It’s about having something to add to the print industry. We’ll certainly be looking out for a student who is deserved of the River Island Gold Award. It’s a fantastic prize -£20,000, this is a very real monetary prize that will make a massive difference to this student’s life. It maybe could help them clear a bit of debt, perhaps help them go on with further education or even start up a business. So there are a lot of different aspects really to Graduate Fashion Week!

FF: Louise Redknapp did the size zero weight loss experiment to highlight the matter. Would you ever be prepared to go through something as controversial as that to draw awareness to an issue?

Caryn: I certainly was offered the opportunity to because there were quite a few documentaries made about that time but that just wasn’t for me. I would rather highlight it in a different way.

FF: You both do a lot of charity work, for instance Caryn, you help with campaigns for breast cancer and eating disorder organisations. Would you consider becoming involved with anything else in the near future?

Caryn: Well I think you can’t spread yourself too thinly, you’ve got to be able fundamentally be involved in something and know what’s involved and give your time accordingly. Rather than fix myself to a variety of causes, these are two things, which affect ladies in the fashion industry and the areas that I work in and are very much about women. I’m very proud of the way that the fashion industry has really risen to the challenge with "fashion targets" for Breast Cancer to raise millions of pounds to help build and maintain Britain’s first ever dedicated Breast Cancer Research Centre.

Richard: There’s also an opportunity at the event to actually meet some of the people from Fashion Targets Breast Cancer because they’ll be launching a great competition there. They’ll be talking to young girls about some of their worries too.

FF: What hot fashion trends can we expect for Autumn/Winter 2007 then?

Caryn: Well we’ve just seen all of the high street collections - it’s still going on in fact and we had the shows back in February. What’s really coming through is fabric technology - the way in which designers can be inspired by fabric that has completely different properties so we’ve got fabrics still that have very much liquid metal abilities. The colour and dyes are still amazing quite a lot of cobbled blues. Lots of different textures - many designers chose to work in black, but black is just black. Because of the fabrics there’s patent fabrics, there’s soft buttery leather so that there are actually quite a lot of black in collections but it doesn’t look like it.

Richard: There are many more facets to fashion than just the catwalks. I say that all the time. We would not have a business if we just followed them. From the catwalks we just look to see what the directions are that fashion is heading in. Sometimes we have to say that’s really no good for our customer because they don’t want to be buying knee length pencil skirts and tight fitted jackets, they want something much more interesting.

Keen to know more about Graduate Fashion Week? Then swing by GFWLive.com