Love Island, sustainable fashion &
Made in Chelsea star’s
second hand fashion success
£ 3 . 9 9
5 Social media and body shaming:
So, who’s really perfect?
6 Love yourself before anybody else
7 Gua sha and the roller
8 Self care is the best care
The do’s and dont’s of digital
12 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn
13 The female gaze:
Taking control of the narrative
14 Grown-ish review
15 The Tinder Swindler review
16 Domestic abuse survivor
‘At that point it was normalized
for me to walk through the
house like that.’
18 Dealing with abuse:
Tips and places to go for help
19 What is this behaviour? podcast
20 Stalked in uni:
‘He chased my friend in the dark’
22 Make room for me
24 Either British or Asian, not
25 Time to normalise female
26 Sophie Tea Art Gallery
The secret relationship killer
28 First time lucky
s e x
l i f e s t y l e
30 Cover story:
Interview with Made In Chelsea’s, Eliza Batten
32 Ordinary girl
33 Sustainable fashion:
Our guide to creating a sustainable wardrobe
34 Starting a clothing business at 23
36 Pretty little problem with fast fashion:
Interview with Love Island’s, Brett Staniland
38 Your favourite makeup brands
40 Welcome to the House of Aristocrats
42 Eating disorder survivor:
“When everyone told me that life begins at 30... they
44 Brazillian butt lift gone wrong
“I’ve had to live with a dent in my thigh - plastic surgery
is not a joke”
46 Gestational diabetes:
A story of untold suffering
Is there a bright side?
52 An untold story about anxiety
54 Autism in women
56 Lockdown led to ED hell
58 Sling the mesh campaign
f a s h i o n
h e a l t h
fter months of hard
work, myself and the
Adore team are proud
to give to you our first edi-
tion of the magazine.
What has evolved from
simply ideas on a page have
become a reality, and some-
thing we can finally share
With our mission to em-
power our readers, and give
them a voice to share their
As you flick through each
page, you will find stories
from some extraordinary
Stories of success, sustainabil-
ity, and survival.
It is in our every hope that
these stories fill you with
inspiration and make you feel
like you can do anything.
Such strong women have
shared their stories with us -
stories that we feel honoured
sharing with you.
Women have shared their
stories about battling anxiety,
eating disorders, and domes-
Discussing topics such
as mental health and sex is
imperative in the modern day
world we live in.
We want to provide you
with a safe space and relevant
information to feel assured
that whatever you are going
through, we can give you the
We are committed to help
you recognise your own
We hope our work has paid
off and you can thoroughly
GET IN TOUCH WITH adore
Social media manager
e d i t r ’ s
l e t t e r
s it just me, or did they try to make us be-
lieve that those pretty little Barbie dolls we
had growing up were the ideal body type?
When I was little, my parents told me I
was beautiful, perfect and to never change
But, growing up things started to change.
People started to whisper things in my ears
about things that I couldn’t change, things that
would scar me and build insecurities, until I
chose not to listen.
I didn’t post my first picture on Instagram until
I was 19, and even if I did I’d probably delete it
ten minutes later and feel judged, even though I
knew nothing was wrong with me or the picture.
But then again we’ve always known that social
media has had its downfalls, especially in the
sense of women and their body types and sizes.
For some women, it was almost impossible to
post a photo and not receive backlash or judge-
mental and negative comments about what they
looked like - especially for those with a big social
media platform like influencers
Still people are very aware that this is a form of
For many years now, the media have pushed
unrealistic images of how women’s bodies should
Social media has made it seem like all women
should have ‘perfect’ body shapes.
Most young girls, especially the ones growing
into this generation have had to grow up believ-
ing the stereotypes of a ‘perfect’ body type being
along the lines of Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashi-
It seems like social media has normalised that if
you’re a size 10 and above, you’re a plus size and
that if you’re a size 4 and below, you’re too slim.
Some girls were body shamed, and people crit-
icised them for calling themselves ‘thick’ rather
Other girls felt insecure as social media contin-
ued to portray ‘big bums’ and ‘a slim waist’ as the
It’s things like this that made me feel so inse-
cure to use social media , and I learned that you
just can’t please everyone.
Surprisingly, although some celebrities are
portrayed as ‘the perfect body’, they also get body
This makes me wonder - what is the actual
‘perfect body shape’?
All women have different and beautiful body
sizes and shapes, such as pear, diamond, apple,
hourglass, straight and full bust.
Others gain or lose weight quicker and others
Social media needs to understand, as long as a
person is happy and comfortable with who they
are, then it shouldn’t be anyone else’s concern.
Of course, it’s understandable if someone want-
ed to lose or gain weight, but my question is why
must social media be so judgemental or critical
of another person’s choice.
I never really understood that.
It’s always the people under the comments that
always have a lot to say,
We need to normalise appreciating our bodies
the way we are, ignore social media comments
and understand that as long as you’re comforta-
ble with what you look like , then you shouldn’t
have to change yourself to please anyone.
Social media will always pick and choose what
and when something is perfect and when it’s not.
S o c i a l M e d i a &
B o d y S h a m i n g
S o w h o ’ s r e a l l y p e r f e c t ?
By Shantelle Gondo
l i f e s t y l e
before anybody else
ame five things you love about
yourself - such a simple task
which can trigger instant
If you had asked me five years
ago to name five things I hate about
myself, I would go above and beyond
to answer that question.
But, why could I not translate this
hate I had towards myself to love?
Five years later, I learned about
However, self love is not an
overnight process - it is something
that goes a lot deeper than running
a bath, lighting a few candles, and
binge watching your favourite show
This is only a temporary fixture.
You’ve cared for yourself, but
you haven’t explored that love for
As soon as that plug is pulled,
those candles are blown out, and
you’ve finished that series, you’re
back facing that difficult relationship
Where do you go from there?
It’s a position I’ve found myself in
a lot in the past, and I can happily
say I’m in a position now where I
can say I love myself.
I don’t mean that in an egotistical
way, nor am I going to sit and stare
at myself in the mirror all day, telling
myself that I’m a 10/10.
I mean it in a sense of that I accept
myself, and I wouldn’t want to be
I have been that person that has
debated plastic surgery - making my
boobs bigger, getting filler in my lips,
and even contemplating a nose job.
But at the end of the day, there’s
always going to be something that we
will find a flaw in.
Let’s face it, living in the digital
age we find ourselves in, it adds extra
ammunition to our self hatred.
An innocent scroll on Instagram
can lead to us poking and prodding
ourselves in the mirror, comparing
our bodies to models and influenc-
ers, leaving us wondering ‘why does
my body not look like this?’.
Their bodies are not perfect either.
The tough reality is that nobody is
The chances are high that these
models are fighting the same inner
battle as like you.
It’s a never ending circle of people
But, you need to break yourself
free from that self-loathing circle,
and recognise that you are beautiful.
Everything you believe to be an
imperfection for yourself is realisti-
Each scar, each curve, each feature
of your body makes you who you are.
You might be unhappy with your
nose, but it’s your nose.
Simply changing this could in-
stantly make you unrecognisable.
You were put in the body that
you’re in for a reason.
That reason was to make you stand
out from everyone else.
You’re unique, and that’s okay.
If we all emobodied this idea of
‘perfection’, the world would be a
pretty boring place.
We’d all be the same.
No character, no creativity, nothing.
You wouldn’t want to be part of
that world, now would you?
So, how are you going to get on
track to live a life of love and accept-
ance of yourself?
You need to learn to value time
with yourself, and get to know your
Working on this and building a
relationship with yourself is setting
you on track to acceptance.
You need to start loving yourself
and recognise your own worth.
Let’s start now.
So go ahead, ask yourself now:
what are five things you love about
Self help books you
Women Don’t Owe You
Pretty | Florence Given
The ultimate book to teach you how
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She Must Be Mad | Charly
Exploring the transition from girl-hood
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by Abigail Beresford
The Evolution of a Girl |
Bowman’s collection of poetry takes
readers on journeys through heartbreak
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l i f e s t y l e
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Bloom & Wild | Flower
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With a variety of bouquets to choose
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Time to unwind and enter the spring season, in a fresh
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Growing with the Flow | Nayna Florence
Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts
Start your day with an episode of Growing with the
Flow, by YouTube star, Nayna Florence.
Talking about personal experiences to relationships,
Nayna creates a safe space for listeners to grow and
figure out who they want to be.
Papier | Academic Diary
Plan your work, outtings with
friends, and time with yourself
- feel more organised.
These beautiful diaries are
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The Mindfulness Colouring
Book | Emma Farrarons
Take time out of your day to
relax and colour!
Feel your troubles slip as you
put your energy into concen-
trating on creating a master-
Who knew you could get
such joy out of something you
used to do as a child?
Leon: Happy Guts
Treat yourself to a healthy, tummy-warming
meal, with the help of UK loved, sustainable
fast food chain, Leon.
With recipes including curries and hearty
salads, you’ll be wanting to try every creation
in the book!
Not only will these recipes satisfy your hun-
ger, but they also bring healthy benefits for
your eating habits.
Don’t forget - with a healthy body comes a
Teapigs | Cleanse
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The aromatic tastes of
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Headspace | Mindful Meditation
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Does your life feel non-stop and
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Subscriptions and paid features
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ooms and rooms full of bright colours, , and
boobs - it was a body positive sanctuary.
With it’s bright pink exterior, it is very difficult
to miss in the hustle and bustle of the Carnaby streets.
The Sophie Tea Art Gallery, London, exhibits the work of
viral Instagram artist, Sophie Tea, who aims to empower
women through her body positive work.
Women and young girls were walking around pointing
at the neon nudes, with smiles painted on their faces,
saying “that body is like mine!”.
The Instagrammable interiors encourage visitors to you
to document their time, and capture moments love for
the art and all bodies.
Sophie’s excentric creations not only aim to empower
women, but also has the mission to take people’s ‘artistic
virginities’, introducing them to the world of art.
The exhibit is not only filled with bright, beautiful
bodies, but it is also filled with abstract pieces, and love
hearts with secret messages - art that is able to appeal to
s e x
Rooms and rooms
full of boobs Visitors not only have the opportunity to explore the
creative mind of Sophie Tea, but to also watch her crea-
tions come to life in front of them.
If you find a piece you particularly fall in love with, the
pieces are available to purchase for those , with payment
plans also available, with Tea’s hope to make art accessi-
ble for all!
Visit the exhibition today, for the love of art and your-
by Abigail Beresford
SECOND HAND SHOP
‘TIL YOU DROP
From lockdown donations, to co-founding a second-hand
clothing website, Made in Chelsea’s Eliza Batten speaks to
Abigail Beresford about her second hand fashion journey.
f a s h i o n
f a s h i o n
he coronavirus pandemic brought a time of uncertainty
for people, with a large majority left in crisis.
The sudden halt in reality led to many losing jobs and
struggling financially - many turning to food banks, unsure
where their next meal was going to come from.
After visiting and donating to a local food bank, the tough
realities that many were facing struck a heartstring with Eliza
It was a time when charity was needed.
“I just wanted to do good and try to make as much of a dif-
ference as I could,” she says, beaming.
Known for appearing on E4’s Made In Chelsea, Eliza, 24,
used her social media platform for charitable means.
A simple idea of selling clothes and using the money to
donate to charities worked wonders and created a social media
Every Thursday night at 5pm during the lockdown period,
she would upload a selection of clothes on to the second hand
store app, Depop, and further promote the new items on her
Instagram, to encourage people to purchase, assuring that all
the money made would go to charity.
“I raided my wardrobe, then my sister’s, and my mum’s and
that alone raised £250,” she says.
“I then reached out to friends, asking if they had any clothes
to get rid of, and then to my following to see if they had any
unwanted clothes to get rid of, too.
“It kept growing and growing and raising more and more for
charity each week.”
Originally, the Depop donations went towards the food bank
The charity’s aim is to stop hunger and poverty in the UK,
and needed all the donations people could provide to help
during such a dark time.
“I would use the money raised to buy food and donate to
the charity in a food form, but then I started raising too much
money to do that,” she laughs in disbelief.
“Spending £400 on tins - how on earth was I going to be
able to transport that.”
The money raised made a sizeable difference, and was highly
regarded by the charity.
“I saw that Michael McIntyre had raised about £1 million for
Trussell Trust, and Andy Murray had raised about the same - I
was just a drop in the ocena compared to them.”
But a drop in the ocean it wasn’t.
The Depop drops raised £12,000 in total, in support for a
number of charities, as well as the Trussell Trust, including The
Stephen Lawrence Foundation,Time 4 Children, and Southall
Eliza’s work for charities does not stop with the Depop
drops, with plans to run the London Marathon this year, in aid
of Diabetes UK, too.
“I could go with the times, and that helped keep the project
current and kept people engaged, because they were raising
money for charities that were not only in their peripheral
vision, but also for something that they were passionate about,”
“It was hard to move on to the next charity. Each time, I
would set myself a bar for a certain charity, and then once I
reached it, I’d move on to the next one.”
Over a year later since the Depop drops began, Eliza still
finds herself baffled at how something so simple was able to
“I think the success behind it was that everyody had done
their wardrobe clear-outs. Charity shops were closed, so there
was a big gap in the market for it, which the drops were able to
“It was the perfect storm, and I don’t think that it could be
recreated. It wouldn’t have the same attraction and excitement,
in comparison to what there was during the pandemic.
“The beauty of it was that nobody felt guilty for shopping
because all of the money went to charity. It was the idea of
trying to help others, whilst we all felt so helpless and trapped
However, now finding ourselves in a post-pandemic reality,
people are back to their busy and chaotic lives, and using their
time money for other purposes.
“I don’t have that time anymore, as like everybody else. It
took up so much time - it was a commitment. I never wanted it
to become something frustating for me,” she says.
“I still sell things on there every now and again, but to keep
it manageable I don’t promote it on my Instagram much any-
Eliza’s Instagram content now sees her expressing her
interest in second hand and sustainable clothing, whilst also
introducing her followers to the wonders of this new way of
“A lot of people picture second hand shopping as going
into charity shops, and it being quite dusty and musky, where
actually it’s not,” she says.
“Second hand shopping still offers you labels at affordale
prices and you can find some amazing things in great quality.
“I think its opened a lot of people’s eyes to ways of shopping,
showing that it can be a really pleasant and clean experience.”
This modernised way of shopping ensures that a consumer
is more conscious with how they spend their money, whilst
also benefitting the environment and
“Sustainable shopping is like eating with chopsticks, rather
than a fork - it keeps you slow and it keeps you measured.”
However, changing shopping habits may not be of interest
of people, and to sway people away from them may not be
“You can’t go shouting down people’s throats - you want to
make it more appealing to people, and show that it is a fun way
Eliza’s passion for secondhand fashion has allowed her to
puruse it into a career, now co-founding new second hand
clothing site,The Cirkel.
“People have clothes they want to shift, but they don’t have
the time to run their own Depop accounts, and that’s where we
can help,” she says.
“Using The Cirkel, people don’t have to lift a finger.We do
all the work for you.You send us your clothes, and we do the
pictures, the posting, and the packaging all for you,” she says.
The second hand website aims to become part of the sus-
tainable solution, whilst also making high end second hand
fashion accessible for all up and down the country.
“It’s not too disimilar to the Depop drops,” she says.
“The difference is that on Depop and eBay is that you can’t
just have a casual scroll on there. Unless you know exactly
what you’re looking for on there to the most minut detail.
“It can be so stressful finding what you want - that’s where
we compete with them.”
However, drawing people away from their buying habits
and fast fashion fixes may prove to be the company’s biggest
“We want to convert new consumers - people who love a
casual scroll on ASOS and Net-A-Porter can have that with us.
We want to make sure you’re getting the same fix, whilst being
sustainble in your purchases.”
“We’re trying to make The Cirkel feel like you’re shopping
new, because sustainable shopping is the future of fashion.”
With the fast fashion industry offering cheap prices, many
are loyal in the purchases with them in order to get their fash-
ion fix for a temporary time.
However, re-purposing an item that was once loved has the
potential to be loved by someone new, and too can come with
cheap prices, but also great quality.
“The fashion industry needs to change, and I hope this can
create a much needed start for it to do so,” she says.
It is certain to say that change is being made, for charity and
For Eliza, it has certainly become full ‘cirkel’.
f a s h i o n
Our guide on where to shop to create your conscious
Available on the App Store
If you love vintage pieces
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Vestiaire presents buyers
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Available on the App Store
Depop is simply home for
selling and buying second
This alternative method
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prices and a range of items.
Rent the Runway The Cirkel Save Your Wardrobe
Available on the App Store
Wanting something to wear
for a one off occasion?
Rent clothes, shoe and
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It’s as simple as that!
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Cirkel, brings ease to your
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ondhand needs for luxury
These prices cannot be
Available on the App Store
Save Your Wardrobe has
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Keeping track of your
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limits your buying habits!
tacked upon shelves in the beautiful old London house
of former Love Island star, Brett Staniland, are various
books about the history of fashion, styling manuals,
and collections from luxury designers.
These are books belonging to someone who clearly knows
the fashion industry inside and out.
Fashion PhD and model, Brett Staniland, 27, appeared on
the most recent series of ITV2’s, Love Island, in the hope of
“It didn’t particularly go well for me there,” he laughs.
The desire of finding love on the show has increasingly
been misted in the hopes of signing contracts with fast fashion
brands, following the success of ex-Love Island star, and now
creative director of PrettyLittleThing, Molly-Mae Hague.
The show is associated with fast fashion brands, especially
due to its sponsor, I Saw It First.
“The sponsors are actively involved in the production of the
show, due to supplying Islanders with free clothes throughout
the course of it. If you ever want any clothes, you can simply
call production and get it,” he says.
“When they sent me the contestant agreement, it details
what the show’s sponsors can use of you if you wear their
“If you do wear them, then the sponsor can use your name,
voice, and image for a prolonged period of time, which carried
on after the show had finished - they said they couldn’t change
that part of the contract.
“When I got to Majorca for my holding period, the sponsors
sent across loads of codes and vouchers to use on their website
- it was something that was completely redundant for me.”
To avoid promoting something that he was so against, Brett
took his own clothes into the villa.
“If they said that I had to wear those clothes, I wouldn’t have
done the show,” he says.
Association with these brands after appearing on Love
Island comes with the opportunity to sling shot careers into
success, with offers of amazing opportunities and six-figure
“I contemplated sucking it up and doing it for the first year,
to earn as much money as possible, so that I could then put it
towards creating a documentary about the negative impacts of
the fast fashion industry,” he says.
“It was something that I really wanted to do and I still want
to do, but I’d lose a lot of credability in that, for sure.
“I’ve spent a lot of my most recent years in my career actively
speaking against fast fashion, and have never worked for these
brands - it really affects your capacity to earn money, as well as
Prior to his appearence, Brett’s modelling career proceeded
him and was a professional.
Walking for designers including Helen Anthony and Love
Hero, at this year’s London Fashion Week, Brett’s association
with the reality show did not define him, following distancing
himself away from being considered an influencer.
“I was expecting a bit of a hit in my career with the con-
natations of reality TV, and working in high-end and luxury
fashion,” he says.
“Some publications came out and told my management that
they wouldn’t work with me anymore, after appearing on the
show - alternatively, I turned down a couple offers here and
there, as they just weren’t right for me.
“It’s all swings and roundabouts,” he shrugs, in dismay.
“I had some brands that were really keen to work with me -
usually, its the ones with a small budget that have approached
me, as they know I have a platform to talk about sustainable
Sustainable fashion is something that Brett regularly pro-
motes and encourages people to get behind, using his social
media to educate audiences about the unfair realities that fast
fashion brands generate.
With the relevation during the coronavirus lockdown that
garment makers for the brand, BooHoo were being paid £3.50
an hour, the inhumane reality behind buying cheap clothes
were imminent - however, its a moral debate to choose to pro-
mote this way of buying, or pave way to a sustainable solution.
Unlike Brett, contestants from the most recent series chose
the opposing path, with Liberty Poole signing a deal with In
The Style, and winner, Millie Court releasing edits with ASOS.
The most prolific example being series 4 runner-up, Mol-
ly-Mae Hague, 22, with her assignment as Creative Director of
PrettyLittleThing in 2021.
The brand announced back in January this year, that it was
taking their new collections to the runway in London.
Originally, the event was promoted in co-operation with
London Fashion Week - however a statement was later re-
leased by the British Fashion Council, stating that they had
nothing to do with the event whatsoever.
“A few weeks before the announcement, we caught wind
about the show. I really wanted to know the address, and want-
ed to have a look and see what they were doing - from there,
we started to plan a little bit,” he says.
“We had to keep it lowkey, as if they knew we were planning
it they would have shut the whole thing down.”
Between 20 and 30 people attended the protest outside the
event, including fair fashion campaigner,Venetia La Manna,
and co-founder and CEO of Rotaro, Georgie Hyatt, were acces-
sorised with powerful protest signs with impactful messages,
condemning the fast fashion industry.
“It was really successful in the end, and we were all really
happy with how it went down,” he says.
“When things like this happen, it’s impactful. People have
stopped me in the street and brought it up to me - it’s really
“Regardless of my Love Island association, I would have
Despite the positive response, faced backlash, with Brett
branded as a ‘mysogonist’ from fans of Molly and those who
disagreed with the protest.
“I’ve had no response from Molly - I’m not someone who
can just message Molly and get a response, and resolve some-
thing like this,” he says.
“I have to acknowledge that the reason I am passionate
about this is because I’ve worked in fashion - it’s led me to
where I am now.”
Campaigning for people to get behind sustainable fashion is
something Brett will continue to participate in
Leading the runway towards a more sustainable way to style
Pretty Little Problem with
Model and ex-Love Island contestant, Brett Staniland, speaks to Abigail Beresford about the and his involve-
ment in protest at the PrettyLittle Thing fashion show.
f a s h i o n
f a s h i o n
Welcome to the House of
With features in BritishVogue and Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, designer, Fa Rukh talks to Abigail Beresford
about the successes and excentric creations of his sustainable fashion label.
annequins dressed in new, unique designs, awaiting
for models to bring life to the masterful creations.
A work room full of creations in progress for the
House of Aristocrats.
With the mission to create bespoke, slow, and sustainable
designs, the luxurious, sustainable fashion, House of Aristoc-
racts, puts an elegant twist on reclaimed fashion, bringing life
back to old fabrics, and transforming them into masterpieces.
“Sustainable fashion is being revolutionaised,” exclaims Fa.
Fa Rukh is the creative mind behind the luxurious looks of
Having only been in the fashion business for three years,
Fa’s extraordinary work has achieved achievements many
would dream of, including being featured in British Vogue.
However, fashion was not the originally the intended path
for the Dundee designer.
After graduating from Punjab Medical School with a Mas-
ter’s in forensic dentistry at Dundee University, it was soon
apparent to Fa that it wasn’t the right fit for him.
He simply fell in love with the creative freedom within the
fashion universe - it felt like destiny for him to follow this path.
Switching his dentist scrubs for luxurious garments, he
found the right fit for him.
Hence, the label was launched in 2019, alongside the its first
The collection featured eight different outfits to represent
each colour from the rainbow,
Each design had a story behind it, with the hopes of inspir-
ing the LGBTQIA+ community.
“House of Aristocrats is an all gender and style inclusive,
sustainable, slow fashion house,” he says.
“The pieces created at Aristocrats are bespoke and personal-
ised to fit the wearers unique body shape and personality.
“The House reperesents modern sillhouettes, keeping values
of different ethnicities in mind, designing for women empow-
erment, LGBTQIA+ acceptance and celebrating all bodies.
“Aristocrats bring drama-mama to the runway.”
Themes of empowerment are regularly reflected within his
collections, especially within the LGBTQIA+, to echo the value
it holds of inclusivity.
Fa’s creations are frequently modelled on drag queens, with
the label’s most iconic display on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
The label took to RuPaul’s runway during the second series
of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in 2021.
Drag Race contestant, Lawrence Chaney, who later went on
to win the series was styled in a customised House of Aristo-
crat garments, inspired by Diana Rigg’s costume in 1960’s TV
series of ‘The Avengers’, for the Gay Icon runway challenge.
Chaney dazzled in a purple catsuit, with accessorised with
a bejazzled bowler hat and a pocketwatch belt, paying ode to
Ridd’s character, Mrs. Penn.
“Working with Lawrence was the best,” he says.
“The moment she walked in, I knew she was made for tele-
The runway piece welcomed compliments from LGBTQIA+
icons, Ru Paul, Michelle Visage, Graham Norton, and Liz Hur-
Such compliments from Ru Paul, many would dream to hear
from their idols.
It showed that Fa was clearly excelling in couture.
This isn’t the only big achievement of the upcycled fashion
This year, Fa saw his designs come to life on the red carpet
at The Brits.
Model, Lily Iaschelcic, wore an elegant black dress with
puffed sleeves, and displayed an intricutly designed gold heart
in the centre - the masterpiece titled ‘My F**king Heart of
“I live for a red carpet moment,” he exclaims.
Fa’s zero waste design was amongst outfits worn by celebri-
ties by designers that inspired him.
“Reaching to this moment always felt impossible and a delu-
sion,” he says.
“After I took the idea of making red carpet worthy looks not
just using expensive fabrics, but instead using elaborated skills
and details, not many people around me understood.”
Sustainability is increasingly becoming a core value within
the fashion industry, with many consumers becoming more
conscious in their buying habits, something that the House has
encorporated into their production.
“We use circular strategies on reclaimed garments and
textiles, mixed with designer hand picked, high-quality cut offs,
end rolls, and damaged fabrics to design for low waste and
longevity,” he says.
“We look for new sustain-
able, creative, valued and en-
vironmental friendly ways to
make and sell our clothing.”
brings multiple environ-
mental benefits, whilst also
“We have to start consider-
ing the value of our environ-
ment and should stop taking
it for granted.
“We need to be more mind-
ful in what we buy, how we
buy, and how much we buy.”
Many tend to purchase
from fast fashion brands to
follow trends with affordable
However, this is something
that Fa wants many to move
away from to ensure of a
more environmental way of
Looking to the future,
fashion is certainly bright for
With many more projects
underway, it is certain that
Fa will make his mark in the
“I’m trying to create for the
next generation - I want to
keep touching hearts, even
when I’m gone,” he says.
“It’’s my legacy.”
He has certainly put the Fa
ental health generally is something
most people would rather not open
up about - especially in an African
household, as it’s rarely ever talked
Every single individual has different experi-
ences and reactions with mental health, and for
Malika the autumn of 2016 was when it all began.
It’s a peaceful evening of September, getting
ready for bed in excitement for the first day of
sixth form is Malika Thomson (made up name),
now 22, in her home in Barking.
When suddenly she felt a feeling of death come
Malika, who was 16 at this time, was in great
fear and confusion as she wasn’t aware of what
“I literally felt like I was going to die and I real-
ly believed it,” says Malika.
“This had never happened to me before, so I
didn’t know what to do - all I could feel was
terror and loneliness, so I did what anyone would
do. I went to sleep in hope that everything would
be better the following morning.”
Unfortunately for Malika, she felt worse.
Although the feeling of death wore off she be-
gan having unexplainable symptoms.
“I was so confused and still didn’t know what
was happening, so I just went on with my day,”
“When I arrived to school, it wasn’t easy, al-
though I had all my friends by my side.
“But something still felt off - it was as if a
bright world had turned into a dark, gloomy
“Everything was different, I knew something
was wrong but I just didn’t know what it was.
“When I got home that day, I spoke to my sister,
she didn’t seem to know what was wrong either.
“And that’s when I made the biggest mistake of
my life, and till this day I regret it - I went on the
Malika had always used the internet to search
up anything , and like anyone else it felt like a
safe place in a time of need for answers.
Except this time, it was different.
“I searched up every symptom I had - the
results showed anxiety, depression or stress, but
anxiety stood out the most to me,” says Malika.
From this moment, she carried on the belief
that she had anxiety.
As for the other symptoms listed that she had
not experienced, she began having them contin-
The human brain is intelligent; sometimes it
can create symptoms that you don’t even have.
Overthinking may make you start to believe
that you have the problem even if you don’t - this
was the case for Malika.
“The thing is after searching up these symp-
toms and knowing it was anxiety, I felt better - at
least I thought I did and I thought it would all go
away,” she says.
“For a few months, everyday got worse
“Everything felt dark and I wasn’t happy at all.
“So I decided to do something about it.
“To change my lifestyle and my mindset, I
prayed a lot and even had counselling, which
helped a lot and I felt much better.”
Many factors can cause anxiety and other men-
tal health problems, such as trauma, stress, drugs,
alcohol, and some have it worse than others.
For Malika, it may have been due to the death
of her mother, or stress due to starting a news
school or many other reasons.
Although Malika still has anxiety attacks every
now and then, she has gotten better .
Social media and family or friends should be
able to talk about mental health openly and offer
support to those that need help.
“It’s also really good to know when you need
help, because yes sometimes we are very strong,
but it’s okay to ask for help,”says Malika.
As a hardworking and motivated student, Malika Thomson is left devasted after her experience
with mental health. In this interview, Malika speaks to Shantelle Gondo.
An Untold Story
h e a l t h
he intense three-month lockdown period left people It
was the perfect time for them to work on theirselves.
“I came out of lockdown feeling like a brand new
person,” said Nicole.
“I was. I didn’t even recognise myself in the mirror.”
The lockdown period left Nicole, whose name has been
changed to protect her identity, facing a health battle with an
With home workouts dominating trends, many took the time
to better themselves, however for Nicole it led to feeling the
lowest she had ever felt.
“I did a popular workout that I had heard about on TikTok
and YouTube day-in and day-out, as loads of people were doing
it and said that it was amazing,” she says.
“It was a simple ten minute intense workout, which ensured
that you were staying active and didn’t take up a large portion
of your day.”
Each day started with rolling out of bed and rolling out the
fitness mat straight away to get her fitness fix for the day.
“As time went on, I felt like a ten-minute session wasn’t
allowing me to fulfil my exercise needs.
“My exercise session times went from an intense ten-minute
session to an intense hour and a half each day.”
Nicole would attend Zoom gym sessions, and would never let
the ball drop.
“It became an addiction,” she says.
“It felt just as addictive as smoking 20 cigarettes a day would
feel for a smoker.
“Over time, it would feel impossible to ever break that habit
- as like how I felt with exercise.”
Nicole lost a total of 2st 7lbs, leaving her severely under-
As time went on, her relationship with food was also
strained, worsening her condition.
“I couldn’t bring myself to eat something as simple as toast,
without the anxiety of what the carbs of the bread or the butter
would do to my body,” she says.
“It felt like it was slowly killing me.”
At first, her weight loss camoflauged into the lockdown
workout trends, with many presuming that it was a healthy
change in lifestyle.
“People constantly complemented me on my weight loss,
saying things like ‘lockdown did me good’, and that I ‘looked
well - it made me feel as if I wasn’t good enough prior to my
weight loss, ” she says.
“I know that if they had saw the reality of how I got to where
I was, they wouldn’t have been saying the same thing.”
However, those close to Nicole saw her condition worsen and
wanted her to get back to who she once was.
“It caused loads of arguments with friends and family, with
them constantly telling me that I needed to eat more,” she says.
“Looking back on it now, I can’t imagine what it felt like for
“Not only was I losing weight, but I was losing me.”
“My hair was thinning, I struggled breathing, and I was con-
stantly tired - I wasn’t myself,” she says.
The worrying effects that Nicole was experiencing led to
her thinking about what the long term effects of her disorder
would do to her.
Starting a family is something that Nicole has always
dreamed of, but with her dangerous weight, her chances of
becoming pregnant in the future were slowly being lost.
“I remember searching online whether an eating disorder
would lead to pregnancy struggles in the future,” she says.
“I realised that if I continued living how I was, it was not
even going to be a possibility.
“I could never dream of ending that possibility of not only
for myself, but for my boyfriend and family, too.”
Not only did this realisation save her dreams, it also saved
Almost two years on since the beginning of the health hell
she faced, Nicole has been on a track of recovery, leading a
happier and healthier lifestyle.
“Looking back at where I was two years ago, I’ve come a long
way”, she says.
“I wake up each morning, and can have my toast without
constantly worrying about the effects it could have on my body.
“In some ways, I feel free.
“There are still days when I struggle, but Rome wasn’t built
in a day.”
Nicole continues to maintain a healthy lifestyle, however she
has encorporated balance to ensure that she avoids relapsing.
“I still exercise from time to time, but I keep it in modera-
tion,” she says.
“I love exercise, as its a perfect stress relief for me between
work and everything else in between.
“I want to be able to continue to enjoy it, and not let it take
over my life.
“I’ve learned that there are better ways to become healthier.
Looking at models all day on social media and bullying your-
self to lose the weight is not the way to go.”
Nicole can now safely say that after this life-changing jour-
ney, she has achieved her goal of finally bettering herself, and
hopes that those reading her story can stay safe in fitness.
“It was a scary time for me and my family. It’s scary to say,
but I don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for them,”
“Talking about weight and my experience is always going to be
a difficult subject for me, but I really want to grow and show
to people that might be going through what I once did that it
does get better.”
020 3666 1543
Beat Eating Disorders
0808 801 0677
01482 718 130
080 802 5544
0808 800 2222
If you are struggling, contact
one of the numbers below
Lockdown led to ED hell
In a time of fitness-frenzy due to the spare time many had during the lockdown period, Nicole
found herself in a health hell. She speaks about her troubling time with Abigail Beresford, and to
show that things do get better.
h e a l t h