Camden Fashion


Camden Town is a world-renowned place to shop for alternative clothing. Carmen goes there to find out more about its history and what's fashionable now.

 Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the transcript at any time.



Presented by Carmen:

Camden Market is made up of many different markets. The first market was called Camden Lock because it was next to the canal. It first opened in 1972 and is now one of the largest markets in the UK.

Half a million people visit Camden market each week. And with hundreds of stalls, there’s something for everyone. But Camden is best known for fashion and famous for punk.

Everyone knows what punk fashion is but 30 years ago it didn’t even exist. Clothes like this seem quite normal now. In the 1970’s it shocked many people because it had never been seen before.  

Punks were young people who were anti-government, anti-popular music and anti-fashion. Punk music was loud, wild and about breaking all the rules. Punk style was the same.

Punk’s created their own cheap fashion with torn clothes, safety pins and spiky hair. 

Punk fashion is still here today and it’s still about rejecting ordinary fashion and standing out, but there are lots of ways of looking different.

Camden isn’t the only place for fashion. London Fashion Week, held twice a year, is a great place to see clothes by British designers and the latest new fashion trends. 

British fashion is very important; creatively, it’s very important all around the world. Lots of the kind of fashion trends that you and I end up wearing started out on the catwalks in London.

British fashion is different from the fashion that comes from different countries around the world. Often the shape of the clothes is a bit more aggressive - maybe a bit sharper and we try to come up with looks that are a bit more imaginative so possibly they’re less wearable, less classic clothing, but always very exciting. 

Back in Camden there are still many other fashion trends. People mix different ideas and create new looks. Another style that really stands out is Cyber-Goth. 

So this is one of Europe’s biggest Cyber-Goth shops. What’s a Cyber-Goth? Take a look at these.

Carmen: So Jack, what exactly is a Cyber-Goth?

Jack: A Cyber-Goth is someone that doesn’t think about what other people think about them. And it’s someone with a very strong fashion sense. It’s kind of a mixture of varied stuff; like punk, Goth and American surfing scene.

Carmen: So, talk me through the influences of your look, the hair?

Jack: Well, my hair is a really, really lovely creation I think. It takes everything from the punk style like colourful stuff - really standing out.

Carmen: The t-shirt?

Jack: My t-shirt is a Cyber-Goth futuristic style. It’s an exo-tubes top - which means like, it shows the inside of my body. 

Carmen: The trousers?

Jack: I really like the American surfing scene - I’m really into that. So I wanted something to remind me of that so I chose these really, really baggy trousers. 

Carmen: And finally the belt?

Jack: Twenty-first century.

So punk maybe thirty years old but here in Camden it’s constantly evolving in the twenty first century.


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • What do you know about British fashion?
  • What do you think British fashion is?
  • Do you have any British clothes?

Now, watch the video to find out more about British fashion.



Vocabulary Task

Carmen talks about punk, London Fashion Week and Cyber-Goth. Choose the right group for each expression.



Hi there! Can you explain the sentence " Lots of the kind of fashion trends that you and i end up wearing started out on the catwalk in London''. Among these words, i don''t understand which of part ( you and i end up wearing started out). Please, answer my question. Thanks!

Hello Vekna,

Most of the music in each Word on the Street episode is written and recorded specifically for that episode; the music you're asking about, however, might actually be from a classic punk song, but I'm afraid we don't know which.


Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team 


We called "fortnight" for two weeks. What do we say for "one week"?

Thank you.

Hello naaka,

We say 'a week'.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

hi teacher ,

when jack said ( It’s an exo-tubes top .. ) and (American surfing scene ) I don't really understand it I looked it up but I couldn't find any meaning of these two sentences so would you please explain it to me ?

thank you

Hi samaa.mohd,

If you look a little further down the page at earlier questions and replies you'll see that I have already answered this question from another user.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

hello teacher ,

I am sorry but I found the meaning for the first sentence but I didn't find the meaning for the other one so can you please explain it to me ?

thank you

hello samaa.mohd,

'The US surfing scene' means 'in the world of surfing in the US'. In other words, it describes all the people and organisations connected with or interested in surfing. You can use this kind of phrase in many contexts:

the contemporary poetry scene

the mountain biking scene

the classical music scene

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team