Lifestyle: Fashion: Camden “Street style”
Think of Camden fashion and your mind concocts a somewhat specific image – and it’s rarely a style for the faint-hearted.
Put it this way: if you’re travelling on the Northern Line in the general direction of Camden Town Station and you spot an unambiguously dressed person, you can safely assume they’re looking to alight somewhere in NW1 and head toward the Market.
It was once the undisputed mecca for London’s alternative scene – and while it has arguably been watered-down as some mainstream elements leak in, and the true alternative-children are emulated instead by fair-weather style chameleons, there is still plenty to be found around the markets and the lock once you know where to look.
It harbors vintage fashion, retro t-shirts, to quirky second-hand bits and bobs.
Post all the drama of the fire and the traditionalists’ sulking because of the refurbishments; the traders of Camden are fighting hard to maintain their rebellious roots to cater for the rockers, punks and other alternative dressers.
Some of the most notable styles you’ll see for sale and paraded up Camden High Street and Chalk Farm Road by the real-life mannequins are as follows:
PUNK: one of the most recognisable style genres of the Camden area. It is hard to explore the markets without running into someone of ‘punk’ resemblance – that equals the British Boot Company’s Doc Martens and the like as footwear, or perhaps now more of the cool kids will be rocking creepers. You can barely cross the street without seeing some ripped denim and unnaturally dyed hair – and of course the necessary punctured flesh by means of a body piercing more dramatic that the ear lobe.
ROCKABILLY, PSYCHOBILLY and 1950s: manifests aplenty in and around the Stables Market. Characterised with petticoats and circle-cut skirts, perfected hair, some leopard print and artistic tattoos, the girls rocking rockabilly are often stunning. There is a line you can choose between delicate ‘50s style and pastel colours, and the more hardcore edge represented by rockabilly/psychobilly. Moving away from dresses, but keeping the same overall neat styling, guys and girls alike can rock the bowling shirts, PVC and pinstripe.
ELEGANT GOTHIC LOLITA: follows on perfectly from the ’50s and rockabilly vibe, as the girly aspect of fifties styling meets gothic: think Victorian porcelain doll meets Marilyn Manson… Cute and creepy.
So GOTH: that’s another plethora of outfits you’re sure to see for sale and being worn up Camden High Street. Sometimes seen as a rebellious teen-phase, you are sure to be able to distinguish which wearers are in it for the long haul and which ones are merely experimenting with black and intense styling for shock-value. Basically, it’s impossible to nail down one specific style of goth, because the genre divides off in so many tangents. There are glamorous goths, who know how to work their hair, make-up and outfit to their advantage. For sale is all sorts of alternative bondage and fetish wear, PVC, wet-look, velvet and corsets.
From goth, to cybergoth, to CYBERWEAR/CLUBWEAR: dominated by one of the largest shops in the Stables Market, Cyberdog stocks plenty of UV, circuit-patterned, foam-padded, be-tubed and light-reflecting outfits.
There are plenty more styles to be found, like Burlesque, Hippy, Ethnic clothing… There is no end of inspiration to be yourself in the markets around NW1.
So what did our Winkball Reporters pick out from the Saturday crowd on the 17th March? What did the stallholders have to say about their stocked vintage items – and what does Camden predict to be the trends for the summer?