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Organic Art Sensation



International modeling sensation Amy Finlayson and fashion photographer Mick Bruzzese, have joined forces to create 13 unique artworks that will inspire, intrigue and stir the imagination.

With Mick’s exceptional eye and Amy’s solid background in fashion and art, their works have pushed the boundaries of fashion, art and photography in a visually exceptional collaboration.


Amy started modeling at the age of 14, appeared in countless Australian Vogue editorials and in 2007, moved to NY where she worked for some of the world’s best photographers for magazines such as W and Italian and French Vogue.

Whilst in NY, Amy developed a passion for the visual arts and immersed herself in NY’s colorful and cutting edge arts community. Amy returned to Australia in 2010 and completed a degree in Visual Culture.

For Amy, Organica is the perfect way to illustrate her deep appreciation and love of the arts. Amy explains in her own words; “for me, it is a natural transformation. This transformation happens both to the images, through a kind of self- appropriation, and in my own life as I start to move onto new chapters. This is the blossoming, fluid, organic way of life-moving and changing- not always beautiful but certainly intriguing”.

Mick Bruzzese has been shooting fashion and portraits for over 15 years. He’s shot portraits and reportage for GQ, Elle, Belle, InStyle and Yen and his subjects include personalities as diverse as Bernard Fanning, Clive Palmer, Ronan Keating, Miranda Kerr, Bob Brown and Ryan Kwanten. Mick is known for his ability to capture the ‘essence’ of his subject; whether it is a celebrity portrait or a ten page fashion shoot.

“Collaboration is important,” says Bruzzese,”and working with Amy has been a real eye opener in seeing how other artists approach their work and find inspiration. To me, this series of portraits captures the notion of self-perception and the changing ‘self’ that is often projected to people around us. I was lucky to have the perfect photographic muse, adding beauty and passion to the images”

“I collaborated closely with Mick over a number of weeks,” says Amy.”We emailed references and inspiration back and forth, before deciding roughly on a few ideas for a few shoots. Once we chose a number of selects, I then printed the images out on A4 paper and sketched what came into my head. I then had the task of trying to transfer an A4 image to a huge 180 x 120cm work. I literally was crouched on top if the work, crawling over the image and painting as I went. Some works were finished in 30 minutes, some took a few days. It all depends on a lot of factors- caffeine levels, music, my mood etc etc. A lot of the creative process is a ‘happy accident,’ so I had to make sure I rolled with the punches….not so easy for me, as I am a control freak, but I’m learning to give into the ride 🙂 “

Website: amy-finlayson.myshopify.com

Instagram: @organica.exhibition

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The Ashley Graham Sports Illustrated Cover – Thoughts?



By Calynn M. Lawrence

Ashley Graham is a plus sized model who has made history by becoming the first plus sized model to land the cover of a Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit edition. She is quite beautiful and looks to be in pretty great shape despite her larger dress size! Although we definitely give our props to her, this has stirred up quite a frenzy from the public with a mix of opinions on her success! This article is going to give you just a few inside looks on the thoughts of the public after a survey was conducted amongst ten women and men to get their opinions. Names have been changed for privacy.

Nancy, a working plus sized model, feels that Ashley Graham is the cookie cutter of the plus size modeling industry and that it is expected for someone like her to be the model to make history. She says “ I am a working plus size model. I can relate strongly to Ashley because I also wear a size 16. But, I do not feel that she is entirely worthy of my awe. She is what we consider, “the prototype” of plus size modeling. Yeah, she wears a larger size but look at her body. There is very little about it that screams ‘REAL woman!’ In fact, I look at her and think ‘Kim Kardashian.’ It is quite nice to be able to say that you have a wash board stomach and relatively little cellulite, but I would have appreciated it much more if they picked someone who actually represented the majority of us curvy women. We have rolls and cellulite and stretch marks. These are all things that she lacks. So, I think that she gets one thumb up but certainly not two.”

Mike, a fitness junkie, feels that Ashley is absolutely perfect for the cover and that he could not be happier with their choice. He says the following, “I think that Ashley Graham is sexy as ever and she definitely gets my stamp of approval. I get why people are upset, because of the color of her skin and because of the fact that she has an unrealistically slash uncommonly fit curvy physique. You know, ethnic women seem to be more opposed because they feel that they pioneered the full figured look and that they should be the ones to receive the glory. This is kind of understandable seeing as how you see many more ethnic women with a real deal hourglass like the model than you do non ethnic women. It’s their signature, what they are known for, their curves. But at the end of the day, you have this model Ashley who is everything that a man would want. She’s got a coke bottle shape, long silky hair, light eyes and a gorgeous face! I have no problems with her. I think the internet needs to chill and let her be.”

Lorena, a budding fashion designer, feels that Ashley is an inspiration to her and many other girls that she knows. She says “ I am a young plus sized girl who is addicted to fashion. I used to want to be a model but realized that it probably was not the career for me. Yet, even as a fashion designer I still see the struggles of being plus sized. Because, as a designer you have to be your own walking bill board and wear your works. And, sometimes if you aren’t a sample size, no matter how awesome your design is, people don’t perceive it to be as beautiful as they would if it were hanging on a size 4 frame. Thus, by someone like Ashley Graham landing that cover, it gave me hope and inspiration to continue loving my curves and accepting the fact that I am every bit of a woman.”

So, as you can see, there are a few different takes on Ashley Graham’s landing the cover of Sport’s Illustrated. No matter what the critics say, though, she should be completely proud of her accomplishments and should drown out any hate that she gets. Good job, Ashley!

MBFWA Feature – AJE



“Boasting sentiments of timelessness and eccentricities, the duo’s obsession with luxurious fabrications and embellishments, teamed with the contrast between the tough and the feminine, is central to each new collection” 

Yep, that pretty well sums it up.

Aje – the brand you go for when you want that edgy, chic, tough and feminine look all at once.

The designers Adrian & Edwina launched Aje in 2007 and since debuting at Mercedes-Benz Fashion week for the first time in 2012 they’re renowned for their effortless sense of style and direction when it comes to creating something that looks freaking amazing with the ability to take you straight from night and day and weekend to weekday.

So naturally, we were delivered that “edgy, cool – but still girly” collection this year, by the duo that we so dearly love.

Think tough and chic, where sparkling, sheer dresses are met with traditional Aussie work boots and leather biker jackets are teamed with Elizabethan and Victorian styled collars and cuffs and denim is paired with lace to create complimenting contrasts, where a “soft grunge” but yet “girly” and “pretty” look is created…I know that was a lot to take in, but it sure as hell looked amazing.

And as for the beauty side of things; it was a soft, dewy, natural face that had the rock-chic “i don’t give a f*&k, i just walked out of the house and my hair looks amazing” feel. Brilliant.


Photographer – Brooke James – @brooketjames 


Denim On Denim On Denim – The 2016 Trends



By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

While many fashionistas consider denim fashion as a trend most popular in the 80’s (think jean jacket), the truth of the matter is that designer jeans have taken the market by storm and denim has continued to debut at the spring fashion shows. The following are the trending items that you will see while out and about; and should be a part of your 2016 denim wardrobe. At the end of the day, these trends are very apparent that 90’s looks are back and very reminiscent of the skater girl and pop British band boy days – of course with a few exceptions.

1. The Long Denim Skirt

Say your goodbyes to the short denim skirt and hello to the long denim skirt which is all of the rage for 2016. Trending among the most popular is a floor length denim with a slit and the look becomes complete with a pair of heels or knee high boots. This is not to say the short denim skirts in non-traditional jean colors are not all the rage either. Skinny Jeans made a huge impact at the Spring Fashion week with a lack of pants. The Skinny jeans models were clad in 70’s style separates and sported fetching A-line skirts.

2. Print Denim

What is print denim? For the most part print denim is exactly what the description implies – trendy patterns on denim. This look is the ultimate change for the wardrobe blues, because this look can be complete with something as simple as a white tee shirt. Print denim made its appearance in the fashion shows in a variety of different colors and jean styles. The main point is that print is in.

3. Feminine

This fashion statement is all glam for lack of a better word. The feminine denim trend made a huge splash during fashion week and Alexander McQueen reigned as the Vogue favorite. The statement comes in variety of styles, but think oversized jackets with lots of bling to bring out the inner girly in you. The trend has also appeared in recent years with the ongoing blingy jean phenomenon.

4. Patchwork

No, we are not talking about grandma’s knitting here. While the look is a little bit county, the runways shows certainly made this look a trend for 2016. The patchwork look is simply exactly as stated – patches of different color denim. The trend can be found in jeans and especially jackets.

According to Vogue, the denim runway favorites for 2016 were Chanel’s printed denim (laser floral) and the chambray or feminine blue jean dress. Adam Selman debuted a stunning A-line frock, Suno offered a belted and tiered look; while Chloe’s look was off the hook and off the shoulder. Check out these designers to see the all of the fashion editors are talking about for 2016.

Casting For Friends



As a general rule, models are not friends with other models, and they definitely don’t date them. I made that mistake more than once early in my career. The problem with friends in the workplace is that the industry is so competitive. Until you have truly established your niche- that look and image you control- you are just another number, another pretty face on a snapshot or a pair of heels down the catwalk. You don’t actually matter, your look does.

And everyone knows it.

So it’s no surprise that every girl and guy is looking for a come-up in their career, and if you are not careful, you might be just another step on their ladder.

So how do you know who to be friends with? Here are some tricks I’ve learned in my days:


Don’t friend the competition.

In modeling this means avoid getting too close with other models that could be submitted to similar jobs. If you are 6’0, blond and strikingly Nordic, try and find some Mediterranean looking friends. There’s very little chance you will be lining up against them in a casting call, and you may even have the opportunity to shoot together (rather than instead of). You don’t have to be mean to every model that looks like you, but don’t be silly and expect to be BFF.

Look Elsewhere in the Industry

Wish you had friends that understood your lifestyle? Try entertainers, photographers, designers, makeup artists – even journalists are a better fit! They won’t give you a hard time about what you do, and they even enjoy the perks of having model friends. Best of all, they will never steal your shoot.

Meet Other Types of Models

Modeling is not just limited to fashion. If you need a real model friend for shopping and swapping tips, try one that doesn’t do fashion modeling. There are models that specialize in promotional modeling, regional models that do local catalogues, adult models, and alternative models. You could even go artsy and find a burlesque performer friend. The point is, you’ve got to cast a big net- one that doesn’t include the people you see waiting outside for a go-see.

Look, I’m not saying models can’t be friends. I’ve had model friends get me booked on projects, teach me some awesome camera-ready tricks, and hang out with me after events. However, these girls were not my competition (for one reason or another) and I could relax knowing they weren’t secretly plotting to take my place.

When Someone Says “You’ll Never Get Anywhere In Fashion”



By Calynn M. Lawrence

Are you someone who is chasing your dream? Are you also someone who is facing some form of discouragement from your family or friends about your career path? Well, we’re here for you! This article is meant to encourage all who are being constantly told that they will never make anything of themselves. Here’s what you need to do when someone says “You’ll never get anywhere in fashion.”


This should always be the first thing you do when you receive any type of opposition from anyone. You need to figure out first, why the person is opposed to what you are doing. Are they a parent who is simply concerned for your well being? Maybe they know that you have been pursuing this for a while and are not necessarily progressing as fast as they had hoped? In which case, try to take it with a grain of salt and just chalk it up to them being concerned for your wellbeing. Or are they simply a hater who looks to find fault in others because they did not pursue their dreams? In which case, just laugh at their misery and do not let them bring you down. If anything, you should try to help them!


If you want to look at this from a positive perspective then you can use that opposition as a catalyst for your ambition. You should let the fact that people are anticipating your failure be means for you to work that much harder with the goal of proving them wrong! It may not be the traditional cheers from the bleachers that some may be accustomed to but it still is a form of motivation. Your drive to pursue your dream should be strong as it is if you plan on success. However, how much stronger should it then be if you know that people will be that much more surprised at your valiance!


The golden rule of treating ones how you want to be treated certainly applies to this situation! If you recognize that you do not enjoy the constant opposition then make sure that you do not make anyone else feel that way. If anything, you should make sure that you provide positive reinforcement when you are speaking with other aspiring talent. Surely, you will gain the same reassurance and encouragement from them!


The worst thing that can happen to someone’s ego is for the people who opposed them to turn out right in the end. Therefore, make sure that you always have a back up plan and have multiple streams of income. This way, if for some reason your dream career does not work out you can be able to say that you are still successful in the end.

An example of this would be if you are entering college and wish to be a fashion designer. DO NOT major only in fashion design. Because fashion design is a field that you do not necessarily need a degree in, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket and then find your degree to prove useless. Instead, try double majoring in Fashion Design and a more practical study such as business or education. Perhaps, even make fashion design your minor while you study something a bit more marketable so that you can have better chances of landing a position after graduation.

Another example of this would be with entrepreneurship. I can speak from experience. ALWAYS begin your business with at least one of the following: a hefty savings account or a part time job. The savings account will allow you to focus solely on your business while still having a financial cushion so that you are not solely dependant on your business. The part time job will take away some time from your business but you will have a consistent stream of income and you will continue building your resume.

These are simply a few suggestions to apply when you are facing opposition from those you know about your career choice. Try applying these tips and let us know how they worked out for you! Hopefully, they are beneficial.

A Model On Vacation In Napili Kai



By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

While everyone certainly needs a day off, if I am going to take a break from the hustle and bustle of running around New York from runway shows to fittings to casting calls; I really like the quit and to have time to download. Napili Kai Beach resort is located approximately 35 miles from the airport and boasts the slogan “An Unhurried Way of Life”. I have to say … when I am constantly running on the go with my modeling gigs, this is exactly what I need to download and relax. The following is what I love about this place, and yes; a little bit of a trek from New York, but worth every penny.

First of all every room (and most have ocean views), offer a full-size kitchen. This is great because on the way from the airport I either stop at Safeway or Napili market and stock up on food for breakfast and lunch. This way I can make sure I have healthy food and snacks around all of the time. As most people know, it is obviously a bit more spendy purchasing food on the island; and this is a great way to save money. I think for any model who is starting out and having to repay their agency for any fees owed, this makes for an affordable vacation. The added bonus is that I love ahi tuna and the Napili market offers the greatest selection of sushi – yummy and healthy to say the least. The market is a great take-out option to take back to your own personal refrigerator.

The resort does include the amenities of a gym, but why should anyone be stuck inside a gym room when they can be out and about in this beautiful area? I recommend stopping by Bob’s snorkel shop which is located right around the corner from the resort. Napili Kai Beach resort is located on a private bay and I love to snorkel daily. One can absolutely snorkel this bay every day, but if you want a change of scenery, the bay to the left is full of turtles and the public beach to the right has great snorkeling as well. Both of these additional locations are in walking distance. This is another great reason to not go to the gym and yet bring your walking shoes at the same time.  There is a great hiking trail along the golf course across the street boasting beautiful views of the coast. After all, a model on vacation still means a model staying in shape.

While this place is wonderful to relax on the beach and on clear days you can gaze at Lanai and Molokai; there are also other activities one can take advantage of. As a model, I try to keep up with my exercise routines and switch them up which is another reason for vacationing here. There is an 18-hole golf course on site (which is fun way to get some sunshine while being on your feet and a professional course across the street}. Last but not least, the Sea House restaurant on site offers fresh healthy faire straight from the ocean and is sure to never disappoint. My vacation spot is hands down Napili Kai – model or not, you will find healthy, happiness and a view that never disappoints.

Sex Sells – The Pressures of Nudity in Fashion



By Jessica Quinn

It has been four years since supermodel, Rie Rasmussen, publicly bashed Terry Richardson during Paris Fashion Week. In case you don’t remember what went down: Rasmussen told Page Six that what Richardson does is degrading to women and younger models “are too afraid to say no, because their agency booked them on the job, and [they] are too young to stand up for themselves.” The Internet has since then been flooded with stories from dozens of models coming forth and sharing how Richardson- whom the media has branded, “King of the Creeps”- exploited them and used his industry power to get them in their birthday suits.

In the world of fashion, how far are photographers and other industry professionals willing to push models in order to stand out and obtain their creative visions?

Nudity is a prevalent theme in high-end fashion magazines, and seems to be something that is (more often than not) expected of models that want to “make it big” in the industry. Models, like Rasmussen, are becoming more and more outspoken on the issue of exploitation that some photographers are guilty of, while others continue to timidly do as they are asked, in fear of being black listed by some of the biggest names in the business. However, not all photographers are crowned creeps- most are just doing their job.

Many of the models I spoke with about stripping down for a job said that they felt pressured their first time, but quickly learned how to gage each situation with caution and have built trusting relationships with various photographers throughout their careers. Their agencies confirm that they are comfortable going nude before sending them out and the models are always conscious of the each job’s (and photographer’s) aesthetic. “I always make sure everything is covered and done tastefully. Sometimes you can tell when the shot is supposed to be sexy versus when it is more high fashion or editorial. It’s the sexy shots especially that you have to be careful with as there is always a very thin line between tasteful and tacky,” says Gabriela Bloomgarden- who has modeled for photographers like, Neave Bozorgi and Camilo Rios White.

“Fashion photography is all about the clothes. However, fashion photographers have to add a creative side to the shoot to make the photograph stand out.”– says Anneka James, the Pictures Editor at The Linc. James is right. It is the pressure from designers and brands looking to set themselves apart from competitors and captivate the consumer. The demands that society puts on the industry to produce reflections of their greatest aspirations and desires are one of the driving forces behind the pressures of nudity in fashion. Fashion is a business and sex sells.


Website: Jkaquinn.wordpress.com/

References: “Page Six”  / “Neave Bozorgi” / “Camilo Rios White” / “The Linc” / Image courtesy of Vogue Germany

10 Products a Nutritionist Wouldn’t Eat



By Jessica Sepel 







4. Canned tomatoes:

This may come as a surprise, but most canned tomatoes contain salt and sugar! The resin lining of the tins often contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic oestrogen linked to nasty issues including reproductive problems, obesity and diabetes. Instead – sauté fresh tomatoes and add herbs to make your own tomato sauce.

5. Processed Bread:

Most packaged breads bought in supermarkets are refined and processed, and packed with wheat and gluten which the body struggles to digest. Instead, choose Ezeekial bread, rye, spelt or sourdough.

6. Processed Meats:

The animals that make up these products live in horrific, disease promoting conditions, and receive growth hormones, antibiotics and other drugs to encourage growth at an unnatural pace. Additionally, these meats are filled with sodium nitrate and other chemical dyes and flavourings. Always choose grass-fed, organic meat.

7. Non- Organic Dairy:

Dairy cattle are often treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone to encourage milk production, which in turn increases udder infections and even pus in milk (yuck!). Alternatively, drink organic milk, almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk.

8. Unfermented Soy Products:

Unfermented soy products (e.g. tofu and soy milk) can mess with your hormones. Instead, make sure to choose fermented soy such as tempeh or miso.

9. Pre-packaged, frozen meals:

These meals typically contain high levels of sugar, corn syrup, salt and nasty preservatives. Rushed for time? Set aside an hour or so each Sunday to prepare healthy meals and snacks for the week. This way, if your week days are rushed you always have healthy options in the fridge.

10. Margarine:

Margarine is high in “bad fats” also known as trans fats – fats formed during hydrogenation process (which turns liquid vegetable oils into solids). Instead, choose organic butters, coconut butter, or even use avocado as a butter alternative!

Instagram: @jshealth

A Day In The Life Of A Model



By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

It’s the one question I have been asked so very often: is a model’s life glamorous? What most people don’t know is that behind the scenes, what you are looking at is pure hustle and bustle. A model (and especially one that is not a supermodel), doesn’t simply wake up, show up to a runway event and go home. I think if most people truly understand what a day in the life really means, they would consider an alternative career path. Here is glimpse of my typical day and of course they all vary across the board at the same time.

My alarm typically goes off by 6 a.m. This gives me time to squeeze in a workout in before the day begins. While I cannot afford an in-home personal trainer, I either have to head to a gym or work out at home. Either way, I always switch up the routine with a mix of cardio and weight training. I learned a long time ago, that if you do the same workout every day your body becomes immune for lack of a better word, and switching up the routine always keeps your body in shock. After my exercise routine, I have a low-carb, high protein breakfast. Typically, I like scrambled eggs and fruit, as it is a quick and a healthy breakfast.

The most important part of my day is planning ahead, because my schedule changes on a minutes notice. I pack a bag with healthy snacks (usually fruit and a salad in a refrigerated pack) and most importantly a change of shoes. While many designers like you to have a certain heel size for fittings, you always need to have something comfy for running in between appointments. This is where I say “goodbye” to the heels and “hello” to comfort. It is also key to have the transportation system in the city down pat, whether you are taking a cab, hopping on the bus or subway.

Today I start with a fitting for an upcoming runway show and it is always important to be on time. My agent typically checks in with me (or I check in with her to let her know I am at the appointment) to review the schedule for the day. This typically changes …. especially if I am asked to go to an audition. Fortunately, my agent will help me juggle my schedule accordingly. Next on today’s agenda, I head off to a magazine photo shoot and am in hair and makeup for almost an hour. During this time, I am typically checking my emails and texting back and forth with my agent. During this shoot, I was requested to audition for another upcoming runway show, so my second fitting appointment was pushed back. I rushed and made it to both of the appointments to return home around 7 p.m.

The schedule today was rather hectic, so I am forgoing the typical evening workout and am opting for a high-protein healthy dinner instead. I hydrate most of the day and am in bed by 10 p.m. – no one wants to hire a model with dark circles under their eyes.

At the end of the day though, one certainly has to ask – is this glamorous or not?