Back then we drifted into Chalk Farm Road like a gaggle of hollow looking wood nymphs with attitudes that fitted our black gothic complexions. In those days you were thought to cool if you could sum up in one brief sentence what The Cure records were all about. Nowadays you would lucky if you could find a trendy youth who would even know who The Cure were.
Whilst wandering around like someone who has just stepped off an alien spacecraft like they have never seen Earth before, I came across a shop called Black Widow. It spoke to me and said ‘you remember dressing like this don’t you?’ I noticed the black steampunk basque and layered frills and dresses and it felt like a long forgotten home.
She is writing a book, she tells me. It is going to be about the history of Camden Market. Her interest leapt as soon as I said I had be venturing here for almost thirty years. She was keen to interview me, but first, customers were drifting into the shop and it was my turn to wait and serve.
There is something to be said about attending a shop with is covered from ceiling to floor in black steampunk gothic attire. It is probably what I would have given my eye, teeth and O levels for back in the day.
But here, I felt old, but not old in a George Burns sort of way but like Stevie Nicks since she turned 50 – a matriarch figure, all-wise, mysterious and all-knowing. It suited me. I think if I ever give up the day job (which is also my night job and weekend venture) I will open up a shop like Alice’s and sell all the dresses, cloaks and thigh length boots I would have been seen in, in 1987.
I urge you to take the Northern line to Camden Town and sample the delights of this cultured town. It hums with social interaction (in a very pleasant way) and is the hub of all things trendy, youthful and avant garde.
For those of you who were like me and hung around shop doorways looking miserably cool in Carnaby Street, don’t dishearten yourselves by standing in a boutique all air-conditioned and playing Backstreet Boys, remembering the good times, go to Camden Market where, I promise you, from every walk of life, you will feel right at home….