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It Happened Here

Camden’s Alternative Fashion Cheat Sheet

Fri 19 Aug

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Rockabilly, suedehead, skinhead, goth and grunge – Camden Market is where style subcultures thrive and multiply. Here’s your ultimate guide.

A stroll through Camden provides a masterclass in alternative fashion, with punks, rockabillies and goths breaking rules since the Market opened its doors in 1976.

With music written into its DNA thanks to gig venues including Dingwalls and The Roundhouse, the rebels buying and rocking their alt styles in NW1 don’t do fashion by halves. But if you’re a novice, consider this Camden’s alternative fashion cheat sheet.

Punk

Camden’s vintage stores are the perfect place to hunt down authentic threads. Make band merchandise shop Rock ’n’ Roll Soldiers your first port of call and pair with ripped Levi’s 501s from St Cyr. And we don’t need to tell you twice that Dr Martens are one of Camden’s most enduring icons. What Goes Around Comes Around stocks a great selection of second-hand ones.

Do: Wear a leather jacket and a sense of ennui.
Don’t:
Stand on the bridge and charge for a photo.

Grunge

The 90s are back and are a defining Camden decade. If in doubt, Placebo-era black-on-black-on-black is a winner – extra points if you can name an album by the band on your T-shirt and double those if you add excessive eyeliner and a choker. If that’s a bit too Brian Molko, FLUXDEUX will kit you out with playful seapunk pieces and Funkytown is a treasure trove of plaid shirts.

Do: Let your hair almost completely obscure your eyes.
Don’t:
Smile.

Retro Glamour

Combine sailor tattoos with 1940s tea dresses for a fast-track to Camden-appropriate rockabilly. For women, a Collectif wiggle dress, pencil skirt, ditzy print blouse and capri pants and men, a sharp three-piece suit and gravity-defying quiff (check out Camden’s Teddy Boy for inspiration).

Do: Invest in MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick.
Don’t:
Get it on your teeth.

Mod Generation

Heritage British street style shot through with a hint of 1960s subculture fills the rails at Camden Market’s Modfather, a shop packed with polo shirts, khaki parkas, sharp shirts, chinos and loafers beloved of rude boys, skinheads, suedeheads and soul boys.

Do: Buy a scooter.
Don’t: Eat too much, everything is slim-fit.

Rave

If dance music is your kryptonite, then Cyberdog is here to give you a first-class futuristic clubwear fix. Attention-grabbing neon, metallic moonshine everything and space babe style is on tap at the Camden flagship that is a forward-thinking, alternative dressing hotbed.

Do: Book a flight to Ibiza, stat.
Don’t: Wear sunglasses inside.

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