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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.


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.



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 1970s 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.

Punks 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.


Language level

Intermediate: B1


Hello Akbar Safi,

That was a spelling error! It should have been 'you're having', and I've now corrected it. Sorry for the confusion.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, My name is Sidney, I'm from Brazil and this is my first comment. I would like to say that this lessons are very important for improve my english. Thank you!

until now i have known about British's fashion trend. Thank for providing information about these interesting market in Camden

thanks for letting me know such a amazing place in the UK

Hi Team, I have some questions that make me little bit confused regarding forms of the sentences above. Could you please to explain me with the sentences :
1). " it first opened in 1972 "
I think the subject is not human, so why the author didn't write the sentence in passive? Shouldn't it be " it was first opened in 1972 "
2). Punk's created their own cheap fashion with torn clothes, safety pins and spiky hair.
and my question is :
What is mean " 's " in the sentence punk's created?

Hello Nizam Balinese,

Those are good questions. 'open' can be used as an ergative verb, so that is why 'it first opened' is correct. You could also use it passively ('it was first opened') and it would be just as correct.

The other sentence had a spelling error! I've corrected it so that it now says 'Punks created their own ...' – thanks very much for asking us about this so that we could fix it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again Nizam,

You're welcome! I just wanted to point out that there was a link to our page on ergative verbs, which might help you understand them a bit better. Maybe you already saw it, but I wanted to be sure! The Wikipedia is also a great place to learn more, though sometimes it's very technical.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir, I would like to ask where is the "Street wise" part (There is a question on this part, and the question of this lesson is "In Britain one of the following words is used to describe a thousand pounds: A) a quid B) a grand C) a ton). Furthermore, at the end of the programe, they will give the answer and there is a "Review" part to look back at the programe. Where can i find them??? Sorry for my English.

Hello Minh Nhut Nguyen,

I'm afraid that here at LearnEnglish we don't have the 'Street Wise' segment for Word on the Street. You can find some of them on the BBC, though I'm not sure if you'll find the one you're looking for there. In any case, I can tell you that the answer to this one is 'a) a quid'.


All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I don' have lots of information about British Fashion but I know a little bit things about it from "I'm an English Man in Newyork" song clip and some videos I have watched before. I think (especially old English Fashion) is showy and their big hats are so nice. But I haven't any English clothes.