Once upon a time, fashion was only for the rich. Paris was the centre of the fashion world, and everyone else tried to copy the top French designers. But now, fashion is a much more international matter. London, like other big European cities, has a large number of its own talented and hard-working designers.
Anyway, many people, especially the young, take no notice of the clothes the designers produce. They wear things which express their ideas and feelings about life. They use fashion like a kind of uniform. Take hairstyles, for example. If a boy has very short, almost shaven hair, people expect him to have right-wing politics whereas they expect boys with very long hair to have left-wing politics. A boy who wears a leather jacket covered in bits of metal will probably ride a motorbike, and a girl who wears Laura Ashley dresses will probably have middle-class ideas.
Some young people, of course, have fun with all the latest “street styles”. They cut their hair into strange shapes, wear lots of cheap jewellery, cut holes in their trousers to make them look old, or paint their lips blue. These “street styles” come and go, and are not the creation of the big fashion designers, who, in fact, often use ideas from street fashions when they make their own designs. Many young people simply try to look as clean and tidy as possible, particularly when looking for a job, in order to produce a good impression on possible employers. Clothes with a sporty look are popular, as they make people look healthy and energetic.
Most British people are possibly not very fashion-conscious. Even the richest and most important people frequently wear old and untidy clothes, and, of course, only a very few can afford designer clothes.
Read the text and the instructions to the questions very carefully. Answer all the questions in English.
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible (approximately 50 words, 1 point).
2. Find words or phrases in the text that correspond in meaning to the following (1 point: 0.25 each)
- a) Brilliant or with great ability, in the arts, for example.
- b) To pay no attention to.
- c) Ornaments worn by people, usually made of (precious) stones or metal.
- d) People who give you a job.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one (2 points: 0.5 points each)
- a) Paris was the centre of the fashion world.
- Paris used ...
- b) These “street styles” come and go, and are not the creation of the big fashion designers
- These “street styles”, which...
- c) People expect boys with very long hair to have left-wing politics
- Boys ...
- d) A girl who wears Laura Ashley dresses will probably have middle-class ideas.
- The ideas of ...
4. Answer the following questions in your own words, as far as possible. Your answer must be based on the information given in the text. (2 points: 1 point each).
- a) According to the text, what connection exists between “street styles” and fashion designers?
- b) Where does the writer say is the centre of fashion today?
5. What sort of clothes do you like wearing? Do you always wear the same type of clothes? (Approximately 120 words; 3 points).
1. The text talks about fashion, which today is not based on any specific centre of creation, but international. Young people take little notice of fashion design, mostly creating their own styles, and dressing in ways that reflect their attitudes and feelings. Often their “street styles” inspire fashion design.
- a) Paris used to be the centre of the fashion world.
- b) These “street styles”, which come and go, are not the creation of the big fashion designers. / These “street styles”, which are not the creation of the big fashion designers, come and go.
- c) Boys with very long hair are expected to have left-wing politics.
- d) The ideas of a girl who wears Laura Ashley dresses will probably be middle-class (ones).
- a) Fashion designers frequently get ideas from “street styles” for their creations.
- b) The writer says that there isn’t really any centre of fashion nowadays. It used to be Paris, but now fashion design is international.