Category: London News

Getting into your first place is a scary thing, and you’ve probably been bombarded with so many tips from friends, family and financial advisers it can be hard separating fact from fiction. We put some of the biggest myths to the test to help you get into your first home quicker.

Myth: If I buy my own home, I’ll be permanently broke, because I’ll always be saving!

Fact: There are lots of affordable options available for first time buyers, which will help to free up some of your hard-earned cash. Housing associations like L&Q offer Shared Ownership schemes, which require you to save as little as a 5% deposit of the share being purchased. So, for a property worth £400,000, your deposit would be £5,000. If you have more money for a deposit, the government Help-to-Buy Mortgage scheme can help you buy a home, without you having to take out a costly 95% mortgage – which can incur large monthly repayments.

Myth: Shared Ownership means I have to share my property with other people?

Fact: Absolutely not! You can live by yourself! Shared Ownership means you buy a share of your home, at least 25%, paying a mortgage on your share and a subsidised rent on the rest, to a housing association. You can buy additional shares in the property over time, and ultimately own the property outright.

Myth: I need a huge pay rise to afford to buy a home.

Fact: Recent figures have shown that the average Londoner needs a 266% pay rise to find properties in the capital, however, while pay rises are always great, you don’t necessarily need one to be able to buy your first home. Affordable options can keep your monthly payments down.  Mortgage repayments through Shared Ownership are lower because you only buy an initial percentage share, they can work out cheaper than an outright sale mortgage and renting privately on the open market.

Myth: If I want to buy in London, I won’t be able to live in a cool area.

Fact: Not true! Here are 3 fashionable areas you could be eligible to purchase your first home in.

Elephant & Castle: Living right next door to Zone 1 means you can easily whizz into Central London whenever you fancy.  Home to L&Q’s Harvard Gardens, there’s plenty going on in this eclectic cultural neighbourhood!.Just south of the river, the Borough of Southwark has the highest population growth of young professionals, giving the place a lively buzz.

Canada Water: SE16 is flourishing, the vibrant area offers a number of popular independent shops, restaurant and cafes; Street Feast have set up ‘Hawker House’, their latest food market here. A short walk from Quebec Quarter, L&Q’s new development of 69 Shared Ownership apartments, is the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, which is set to become a shopping mecca when a £34 million redevelopment programme is completed within the next 5 years.

Woolwich: With more and more young professionals moving in and new boutique shops and bars regularly popping up, Woolwich is now being pipped by some as the future Shoreditch of Southeast London. The opening of a Crossrail station in 2018 will make the area a true property hotspot; just minutes from Woolwich Common is Ordnance Place, L&Q’s collection of ten 1 and 2 bedroom Shared Ownership homes.

Myth: Never buy a new home on Friday 13th

Fact: Don’t believe in superstitions! If you’ve done your research and most importantly, spoken to an independent mortgage advisor, nothing should get in the way of your dream of buying your first home.



Paula Knorr AW/18 - 180 The Strand

Could there be a more glamorous and elegantly stunning collection than that of Paula Knorr? Well, the designer, most recognised and well known for creating clothing that empowers women has done it again. Knorr’s AW18 collection featured some stunning pieces, once again we see the signature aesthetic use of materials such as Lamé, mesh and liquid-like velvet.

Giving a nod to the lucrative feel of the material, we see the models in the Knorr show standing vigilantly around a large flowing piece of Lamé on the floor, the fluidity of it all and reflection of the lighting allowing the aesthetic glittering principles of the material to stand out on the models, giving them their appearance of deities.

Within the collection we see the use of elegantly layers, primarily focused around one shoulder dresses with a mixture of shiny black, neutral palettes and sanguine colours. Slit dresses and lengthy forearm wraps are also a feature alongside sequinned, and mesh tops and skirts completed with linear patterns throughout. Pointed-toe shoes are also present, giving the already lucrative collection a sharp edge.

Knorr’s feature of bauhaus inspired jewellery presents a welcome juxtaposition to the fluidity of her collection, as we see linear-inspired metallic ear pierces and a totally cool hybrid between a ring styled bracelet.

If you are heading to any award shows or big events this year or, perhaps, you simply want to look and feel amazing, then this collection is the one for you.

Words: Nathan Mills | Fashion Week Press

Images: Joshua Atkins | Fashion Week Photographer | Website

In her latest exploration of the woman, for AW18 Edeline Lee transported us to a secret garden, where we find Eve – still and reflective. This season Lee is taking a moment for self-reflection. Stepping into one of Lee’s presentations is always a relaxing occasion. She included a copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Forest Reverie within the show notes, encouraging us to pause for thought away from the hustle and bustle of the fashion week circus, whilst soothing gong music played in the background.

Whilst impeccably tailored as always, compared to Lee’s previous work this collection was fairly subdued and lacked the quirky nuances of which Lee is known for. Gone were the extreme length sleeves and abstract shapes from last season; silhouettes were monastic and modest. Lee does well to appeal to the growing market for modest high fashion.

The colour palette was suitably autumnal, consisting of rich jewel tones of deep purple, red, moss green and navy. Pieces include floor length dresses in Lee’s signature flou bubble jacquard, styled under heavy weight coats. Garments were elegantly flourished with tassels, knots and folds.

Shorter length dresses were paired with skin tight sock boots in a range of colours that disappeared underneath the dresses. Trousers were wide legged and heavy weight in floral jacquard, styled with matching ruffled cropped top. The floral elements of the collection came in deep, dark colours as well as lighter, brighter shades.


Overall, Lee’s foray into the secret garden was luxurious and refined – but missing an alluring edge.


Words: Lucy Hardy | Fashion Week Writer | @lula_har

Photography by Jessamine Cera  | Fashion Week Photographer |


The lights dim and a red spotlight illuminates a set of bronze gates. Behind the bars, a man with a huge fur coat dances alongside two women. A pause in the music, and he opens the doors, stepping into bright white light – and then the beat drops.

The man is tattooed, with a shaved, bubblegum-pink haircut and the crowd cheers loudly as he reaches into a bag and starts throwing money around.

This whole spectacle energises the room and wouldn't look out of place in a music video. It is evident that the theme for the show is based on R&B and Hip Hop culture.

Fortie Label is an urban-luxe brand, and for AW18 at Covent Garden's Freemason's Hall, it drew inspiration from 'Forty Thieves' – an all-female London crime syndicate – and combined it with elements from 90s video vixens.

As the first model walked out in just a bikini, the man took off his fur coat and clothed her, leaving himself with a bare chest. Considering the collection plays on female sexuality and empowerment, this could be symbolic. A shift in power from the man to the woman.

Each model walks with a strong air of confidence and owns her body and style. There are caramel tones and gold jewellery, oversized denim and PVC shorts, sheer tracksuits and hoodies worn with one sleeve off. It's nostalgia with a modern edge.

There is such a buzz in the room. From the people in the crowd to the dancing models on the catwalk, everyone is excited by not only the new season design but by what this brand stands for – "kickin' ass through clothes."

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Fashion Scout

Settling in to our seats in the BFC Showspace on the first day of LFW AW18, we were primed and ready to start the season off with Bora Aksu’s signature florals and floating fabrics. His beautiful and feminine collections are a much-loved staple of fashion week, providing tranquillity amongst the madness. So we were all intrigued when the first model marched onto the runway in a navy tailored jacket and wide-legged trousers, no lace or sheer fabrics in sight.

Inspired by the story of Margaret Ann Bulkley, a woman back in the 1800s who had to dress as a man in order to practice as a surgeon, this season’s collection is an exploration of that metamorphosis, from woman to man and back again.

Structured silhouettes, heavy velvet materials and dark, rich colours emulated the masculine uniform that Bulkley had to wear in her role as Dr James Barry, but flamboyant edging and intricate detailing nod to the female within.

As the collection develops, hemlines become more floating, fabrics become lighter and jackets sit over dresses and skirts, juxtaposing the two opposite styles in a way that complements each of them, as well as the wearer.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Aksu show without his florals; layers of pastel pleats in tulle and organza eventually appear on the catwalk, sat atop simple silhouettes, giving them depth and intrigue and eluding to the enigmatic nature of Bulkley and the mystery of her role.

As the models reappeared in the show space and lined up in a group ready to walk around the room one last time in a synchronised strut, the exposition that runs through the collection became even more evident. Ultimately, this collection is still the Aksu that we know and love, but his exploration of femininity now moves beyond the confines of societal expectations and stereotypes to delve into what it means to be a woman in today’s world – and indeed, for one woman in Georgian society.


Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Photos: Mikayla Miller | Fashion Week Photographer | @mikaylajeanmiller