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Issue #1

Bianca santos

FASHION DESIGNER

WALTER MENDEZ

TRIPLE THREAT

TAHJ MOWRY SPRING BEAUTY ESSENTIALS


THE TABLE OF CONTENTS CELEBRITY

FASHION

BEAUTY

EDITORIALS

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Tahj Mowry

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Allison Mcatee

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Dilshad Vadsaria

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Danika Yarosh

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Michelle Defraites

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Bianca Santos

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Sheer Delight

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Designer Profile: Walter Mendez

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Showroom Profile: PRB PR

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Reduce Fizzy and Dry Hair

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Spring Beauty Essentials

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New Cleansing Tactics

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Marble Beach

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Vika In Paris

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Lisboa

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Sunday Mornings

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Midnight Soak


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Editor in Chief Fashion Editor Beauty Editor

Jane Hong Ervina Topalli Chelsea Yusuf

Photographers

Josefhaley Suzanne Teresa Viviane Mok Emily Soto David Sheldrick John Hong

Fashion Stylists

Make Up Artists

Hair Stylists

Anne Presley Chelsea Conklin Joana Paraizo Xana Lopes Alyssa Lorraine Carlos Zelaya Gellisa Fevrier Victoria Gutierrez

Writer

Mellisa Angelina

Models

Tatiane Souza, LA Models Vika M., Mademoiselle Models Ana Paula, Elite Lisbon Kianna, Next Models Stephanie Van Anarendonk, LA Models

Special Thanks

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Bruno Lima Robiat Balogun Franzy Staedter Vivian Kania Dominique Aimee Alexandra Greenhill Penny Adams

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Christine Bae Jeffrey Lin Ben Ashbrook Mona Loring, Lauren Torrez, Natalie Pirzad and Nilda Carrazana, MLC PR Cheryl McLean and Diana Tudela, Creative PR Ashton Lunceford, Platform PR Anna Kreynes and Brandi George, Persona PR Jillian Babbitt and Matt Bauer, Exclusive Artist Mgmt Walter Mendez Piera Boldwell and Jade Ikazoboh, PRBPR Jacqueline Haw and Sophie Sainz, LA Models BrandLink Communications


Cover featuring Bianca Santos Photography by John Hong & Josefhaley Creative Direction & Interview by Ervina Topalli Styling by Bruno Lima, Exclusive Artist Management Styling Assistant Jenny Zhou Make up by Chelsea Yusuf Hair Styling by Carlos Zelaya Bianca is wearing a Bebe dress with Charles Albert Jewelry Photographed at PIPR Studio, Santa Monica, California

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FROM THE EDITOR As a professional photographer for over 15 years, I consider myself fortunate to be collaborating with very talented and creative people in the industry. My work bears the responsibility of capturing photographic frames of everyone’s tireless efforts. This work encapsulates lives and dreams of creative professionals in our industry, especially when a substantial team joins together for a singular vision. Composure Magazine is an expression of that substantial teamwork. Profoundly, I am thankful for the creative people who have made this magazine possible. Composure Magazine was conceived from our hunger to create. Out of this collective hunger became an idea of Composure. Grounded in confidence, built with class, lathered in sexiness, with polished edges; all this combined, conceives a well composed magazine. We hope you enjoy this magazine as much as we love creating it. COM POS UR E M AG AZIN E. C O M

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Tahj Mowry

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN HONG STYLING & INTERVIEW BY FRANZY STAEDTER GROOMED BY CHELSEA YUSUF

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SUIT ALL SAINTS SHIRT ALL SAINTS SHOES FLORSHEIM

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T

ahj Mowry, a multi-talented actor and musician,

speaks about his love of music, and acting career. CM: Tell us about your current project! TM: Season 4 premiere of Baby Daddy opened a few weeks ago and we are almost done shooting! I am also doing my music, and I just released my song titled ‘Bossy.’ It can be found on my website along with my latest Nick Jonas cover ‘Jealous.’ CM: Tell us more about ‘Bossy’. TM: ‘Bossy’ was the first song I wrote for this project. I want to share that first because the song is edgy, funky, and different. It is a little taste of my music project. We started from scratch and made it happened here in Los Angeles! CM: Who is your biggest inspiration in terms of music? TM: Definitely Benny Crawford, Michael Jackson, Sam Sparro, and Usher. There are a lot of great musicians out there and they all inspire me. CM: Stepping aside from your music career, what is your favorite character that you have ever played? TM: I would say Tucker from Baby Daddy. I had fun with it! He is pretty much my first character that I’ve created from scratch. He is hilarious and it is fun to play Tucker! It is fun to pretend to be rude as Tucker because I am originally not a rude person at all! CM: What is your dream role? TM: I would say something that is totally opposite of who I am. Maybe someone a little bit darker, heavier, and greedier just to show my different range of acting. Definitely someone who is really different from myself.

HAT OBEY BLAZER ALL SAINTS SHIRT ALL SAINTS

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SUIT ALL SAINTS SHIRT ALL SAINTS HANDKERCHIEF POCKET SQUARE CLOTHING

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BOTH PAGES CARDIGAN ALL SAINTS SHIRT ALL SAINTS PANTS ALL SAINTS SHOES FLORSHEIM


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Marble Beach PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN HONG PHOTOGRAPHER ASSISTANT JEFFREY LIN STYLING BY VIVIAN KANIA MAKE UP BY ANNE PRESLEY MODEL TATIANE SOUZA, LA MODELS

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TOP CLEOBELLA SKIRT CLEOBELLA JEWELRY CHILD OF WILD

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THIS PAGE JUMPSUIT INDAH SURFBOARD HAYDENSHAPES MARBLE COLLECTION

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NEXT PAGE TOP CLEOBELLA BOTTOM CALIDREAMING SWIMWEAR JEWELRY CHILD OF WILD


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THIS PAGE TOP CALIDREAMING SWIMWEAR BOTTOM CALIDREAMING SWIMWEAR SURFBOARD HAYDENSHAPES MARBLE COLLECTION PREVIOUS PAGE TOP CLEOBELLA BOTTOM CLEOBELLA JEWELRY CHILD OF WILD

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SHEER DELIGHT

by Dominique Aimee

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t’s that time again. Fashion shows are showing us that one thing

is clear. Skin is in! Not in the most obvious way, but with the use of sheer fabrics. Models on the runway are literally covered from head to toe in fabric; yet the strategic use of sheer fabrics give even the most conservative look a provocative edge. Take a look at these runway looks and feel free to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe. This is a look from the Valentino Couture Spring 2015 collection. The rich color, high neckline, and a long skirt offsets the sexiness of the sheer top. Perfect from desk to dinner and creatively classy. Need a work appropriate look that incorporates this trend? This black, white, and blue ensemble is a chic, sophisticated and conservative way to take on the sheer trend! You just can’t lose! The sheer paneled top and patterend pants are great finds from TOPSHOP. A fabulous work shoe by Sam Edelman and a laser cut clutch from Clare V. take this look from day into the night seamlessly!

Valentino Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture S/S 2015

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Looking for something extra special? A bold fashionista may love this head to toe look from Chanel Couture on model Kendall Jenner! This look can easily be translated to a vivacious date night look! A sheer floral skirt like this one by Do & Be paired with a simple lace top and a bold necklace from H&M delivers just the right amounts of chic and sexiness!

Chanel Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture S/S 2015

Sometimes an outfit needs a little umph. Sometimes you want to be cute, yet comfortable and a little sporty. Believe it or not, the sheer trend can do it all. Pair an NL blue sheer sport jacket with a BCBG bold shirt and some killer Kenneth Cole sneakers and you can redefine ‘sporty chic!’

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Allison McAtee CM: What are some of the projects that you’re currently working on? AM: I’m still shooting so we’re going back soon again, which is crazy to shoot another season of “The Have and Have Nots”. That and some pilot auditions that I just read 4 scripts last night. It’s like being overload with ton of stuff, and you’re like “Ok! You have to do 4 auditions in a day.” At other times of the year you have 4 in a week or 4 in a month. It’s busy. CM: How is it working with someone like Tyler Perry -- he’s the creator of the show? AM: He’s the creator and he’s the director. He allows you be creative. I think that’s maybe because he’s an actor himself. There are certain times when he wants specific thing, but for the most part when we show up to set there’s no rehearsal, which is kind of crazy because we shoot 60 pages in a day. We usually only get 2, maybe 3 takes but really 2 takes because we shoot with multiple cameras simultaneously. So he’s really really open to whatever we bring. A lot of times all of the actors will get together at we call Actor’s Row, it’s where hair and makeup is, and just kind of play and run lines. Because when we get to set, pretty much he’ll be like, ok show me what you got. We’ll have a shot to show him and then we shoot right away. It’s very very fast. It’s nice, he’s supportive which is cool. CM: Tell me about a favorite character that you have

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played. AM: I’ve had some really fun ones. Probably my most favorite was from the TV show “Life”. Which Rand Ravich is the creator of it, Damian Lewis had done [“Life”] before he did “Homeland”. And Brent Sexton from “The Killing” was in it too; I love Brent, he’s amazing. And I played a surfer beach girl, but really I was a hit woman so it was super badass, you know? I want more roles like that where I have a duality. Right out of college I did a show off broadway that was a spoof on Wonder Woman so I was Wonder Babe, which is this alter ego superhero and then the other side of her was Wanda Windsome, who was a sad loser girl. I feel whenever


SWEATER FREE PEOPLE JEANS ONE TEASPOON RING URBAN OUTFITTERS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSEFHALEY & JOHN HONG PHOTOGRAPHER ASSISTANT JEFFREY LIN STYLING BY ROBIAT BALOGUN MAKE UP BY CHELSEA YUSUF HAIR STYLING BY CARLOS ZELAYA INTERVIEW BY JANE HONG COM POS UR E M AG AZIN E. C O M

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NEXT PAGE BEADED DRESS NEEDLE & THREAD JEWELRY MARRIN COSTELLO


there are roles that require duality, those are the things that I book and I love. I was a French spy who was really a Long Island housewife. Stuff like that. CM: What would be your dream role then? AM: Probably something like a period piece. I’m obsessed with “American Horror Story” first of all. I had actually written a web series awhile ago and worked on it with a friend. It is our baby project on the back burner. But it feels like American Horror story and what I love about that TV show is that the characters are rooted in a core that’s them, but then every season it’s something new which is so cool. And I don’t think there are more shows like that. That’s the thing about getting on a show; it’s great, it’s consistent. But you’re that person and you are continually that person. So I love the idea of a show that’s like “American Horror Story” where from season to season your story changes or your world changes and you may have some rooted connections with other actors from the former seasons but they change into something else. And I guess if I had to be specific about what kind of role or project, there’s the new Marvel show that came out, “Agent Carter”, and I like superheroes, I like spies, I like noir like very dark. I want to have a little gun in my stocking and be running some kind of underground FBI scheme. But set in the 40’s or some other really cool time period where I get to wear really great dresses and do really great hair-dos because that’s always an exciting aspect of acting.

I also paint. I oil paint, although my dad did just gifted me acrylic paint for Christmas, which don’t tell him, I don’t like them as much because they dry more quickly. It’ll be a challenge for me because I’ll start working on a painting and I’ll work on it for 8 months to a year. There’s one that I’ve been working on for even longer than that. With oil you can do that because it doesn’t dry so you can keep going back to it, but with acrylic you have to be definitive. Maybe it’s like I need to be more definitive. It’ll force me to tidy it up and accomplish this cool work of art and move on to the next one. And I cook. That’s kind of a big thing too.

CM: What do you do when you’re not working or acting? AM: I love to do hot yoga. Brikram but also hot, there’s another one -- Modo. Which is not as strict. Like, Brikram is very regimented...you only do these poses...so the Modo deviates from that a little bit. I love to hike, which it’s awesome in LA. There’s so many places to go hiking. And

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3 Home Remedies to Reduce Frizzy and Dry Hair by Gellisa Fevrier

Lemon Juice and Honey 1. This should probably be your first choice as you most likely have these ingredients in your kitchen. Honey is known as a great moisturizer, and lemon juice has vitamins and minerals essential to healthy and beautiful hair. 2. Start with a cup of hot water; add 2 tablespoons of honey and fresh lemon juice. Stir until the honey is completely melted. After your hair is shampooed and rinsed, apply the mixture, making sure each strand is coated. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before using a gentle shampoo and a final rinse. 3. You can use this treatment once a week to keep frizz under control.

Coconut Oil Treatment 1. Use on towel dried hair. 2. Add 2-4 tablespoons to the palm of your hands and apply to the areas that are the most dry or fizzy. 3. Use a gentle shampoo to your hair then rinse with cool water. Coconut oil is very hydrating and also smells amazing.

Egg and Mayo Treatment 1. Use 1 egg with 2 tablespoons of mayo. Mix it well in to a bowl. 2. Section the hair into four parts and apply to the mid strand down toward the ends. 3. Let it sit on the hair for 20 to 30 minutes. Finally, use a gentle shampoo and rinse.

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Spring Beauty Essentials by Chelsea Yusuf 1. Hand cream is a MUST have product that every girl should have in her bag. No more dry skin when applying this product every time your hands need moisturizing. 2. For playing around with eye shadow colors, this latest Too Faced Sugar Pop eye shadow palette is your best friend! This palette is very pigmented and comes with 9 different fun colors! 3. Create sexy lips with a help of this Illamasqua lipgloss. This clear lip-gloss brings shine to your lips. Perfect color for every day use.

4. Protect your skin using Hydra Veil primer from Illamasqua! This product helps to make your makeup last longer and creates a flawless face. 5. Create your beautiful spring color with this palette. These 10 subtle colors are perfect those who want to create natural eye makeup with a bit of romantic touch. 6. Eye cream is really important! Apply this product at least once a day and say good-bye to your dark under eye circle! 7. Instant perfecting mask helps to hydrate your skin! Do a mini facial 2-3 times each week by using this product. COM POS UR E M AG AZIN E. C O M

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NEW CLEANSING TACTICS by Mellisa Angelina

We’ve taken the newest cleansing routine-hypes & put it to the test!

Manuka Honey Yep. Just raw Manuka honey straight from the jar. Slap it on your face, let it sit for a couple minutes and rinse off with warm water. The logic behind it is because honey has high antibacterial and skinhealing properties. Like most honeys, Manuka honey contains natural Hydrogen Peroxide,

which is an antibacterial found also in many antiacne medications. Manuka honey’s heavy, sticky consistency also coats and protects blemishes and help regenerate dry, rashed skin. Why we love it: Its 100% au natural, smells awesome, and leaves your skin plump, hydrated and sweet! This cleansing routine is perfect for those of you with dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin. A coat of honey on your face also feels like a little facial spa-treat for yourself! What we don’t love about it: This is obvious; it is SUPER STICKY when applied on. It gets on your eyebrows and your hairline and you need to work it in real good with your fingers, and afterwards use your washcloth to get everything off. It also does not work very well in removing mascaras and heavy face makeup.

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Clay Cleansing Clay cleansers are the rage right now. There are so many different types of clay cleansers like Kaolin (white mineral clay), Bentonite (green clay), Rhassoul (Morrocan Lava clay) and so many more! Each type of clay has different benefits to the skin, but to generally address their functionality: clays are Mother Nature’s natural pore-cleaner! Clays are rich in minerals and they have magnetic properties to draw out toxins from our skin and body. Clay also has awesome anti-inflammatory properties that help with cuts, insect bites, and rashes. Why we love it:

Not only because of the million health benefits that clay has to offer, clay-based cleansers leave skin feeling velvety smooth, never-squeaky, or dry. Clay cleansers are great for removing heavy face makeup loaded with primers, caked-up foundations, and powders. It is also amazing for oily and acne-prone skin. What we don’t love about it: Clay cleansers can be a little bit too drying to our skin and it does not remove mascara and waterproof makeup very well.

Konjac Cleansing Sponge This one got us a little bit confused. Apparently it is a solid, konjac jelly-derived cleanser that is shaped like a sponge. It does not foam, nor creams, but it exfoliates makeup and grime off your skin with added lukewarm water.

hardening and aging due to glucose and sugar in our diet. The sponge is very practical and easy to use, not to mention it is also ergonomically and environmentally friendly, in addition of being a really nice gentle exfoliator.

Why we love it: Konjac jelly is just the bomb. So we expect this cleansing sponge to be as well. Scientifically speaking, the konjac plant is very rich in minerals and fibers, which helps in detoxifying and purifying our body. Konjac also has anti-glycation properties, in which our skin texture is prevented from

What we don’t love about it: It doesn’t clean as well as liquid, cream, or oil cleaners. We have to pull and tug our eye out (which is a no-no!) to get our eyeliner and mascara off and it does not give our skin that assurance of cleanliness due to its solid, and non-emulsifying form.

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BLOUSE VINTAGE PETTICOAT VIVIENNE MOK

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Vika in Paris

PHOTOGRAPHY, STYLING, MAKE UP & HAIR BY VIVIENNE MOK MODEL VIKA M., MADEMOISELLE MODELS

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DRESS VINTAGE NECKLACE UNDER THE PYRAMIDS BRACELET VINTAGE

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Dilshad Vadsaria

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN HONG & JOSEFHALEY STYLING BY ERVINA TOPALLI MAKE UP BY CHELSEA YUSUF HAIR STYLING BY GELLISA FEVRIER USING AMIKA INTERVIEWED BY JANE HONG

CM: So tell us a little bit about how you started your career in acting. DV: Well, it was always something that I’ve wanted to pursue. But, not really something that I was very open about just because there were other plans for me just in the sense of, you know, family, things like that. (chuckle). Not something I would recommend for people to do, but I snuck off to New York City and started taking lessons there. I’ve always loved storytelling. I think it’s one of the most powerful tools out there and I’m quite humbled by it. Storytelling had a huge impact in my life so it kind of made sense that I would go into acting. CM: So more like a storytelling acting approach. DV: Exactly. You know, it could be anything. It could be writing, it could be directing, it could be producing. In acting, there’s a creative aspect to what we do and I really think there’s something to be said about putting an idea on the screen that’s going to make others laugh or feel emotions that they probably hadn’t felt before; connect with another human being and their story. There’s something quite powerful and humble in that. CM: On that note, since we’re talking about the power of storytelling, we can just jump into your social involvement. I know you’re a huge supporter of young youth and women’s rights for education.

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Can you tell us more about that? DV: You know, it’s a really strange concept to me when someone says, “you can’t have an education”. Period. And then for someone to be singled out because of their gender is shocking to me and I feel as though we’re living in two different times. We’re here in the States and that’s not something that we relate to and yet it’s something that is quite relevant in other parts of the world. Sp girls are singled out and it stops them from pursuing their dreams. And it could be anyone really? Pursuing their dreams - I guess I’m left a bit speechless about it and I don’t think we can move forward, not only as a society, but as human beings if we don’t first and foremost acknowledge ourselves as human beings. Does that make sense? CM: Yeah. So how has that affected your involvement with different organizations? Is there one in particular you like to work with? DV: Well, you know it’s interesting. I’m at a place right now where I took some time and I really researched how people were being productive in humanitarian efforts. I think it’s quite easy to attach your name to an organization and then that would be it. But for me I want it to mean something quite substantial and I think for that it requires me to be educated about what’s going on. So I’m at a point right now where I’m seeking out people who are


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that was quite an eye opening. To prepare for my role, I walked through the streets of New York as a prostitute, which looking back, maybe not have been the smartest thing to do. At that time, that’s how I felt I could learn the character and there was much change in the manner in which people treated you. When walking the streets, people would move their bags away from you, you know, so they wouldn’t get dirty. I was really moved by that. I was really touched by that. Obviously for me if I go on the subways someone’s not going to move their bag away from me. I don’t smell and I don’t…I mean that’s a horrible line, but you know people aren’t going to judge me the same way they’re going to judge someone else. There’s just so much judgment that we have as people. But you never know what they’ve been through. You never know the path they’ve lead. So that was quite moving for me. And (laughs), Rebecca. Rebecca Logan. Oh Rebecca. They wrote some great stuff for me to play with so that was fun.

SHAGGY FRINGE SWEATER ENDLESS ROSE JEWELRY CHARLES ALBERT

doing amazing things and I’ve been lucky enough to come across few organizations and it’s very moving. Obviously girls’ and women’s rights are a big issue for me especially because I come from a family of school teachers and they pushed me to have a very strong education. Being educated was never a question, but what we see happening in India and Pakistan and the Middle East, education system seems to be going backwards and I want to be a part of an organization that moves it forward. A positive message for girls and women. Also homelessness is an area that I’m quite passionate about. There are a few things that are in the works right now, but perhaps too early to speak about these projects. CM: That’s really admirable. Going back to now your acting career, what would you say is one of your favorite roles that you’ve ever played? DV: (chuckles) Well, let’s see. I have to say, I’ve enjoyed a lot of different opportunities. They haven’t always necessarily been on screen. I played a prostitute once and that wasn’t for the screen, but

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CM: If you could go back in time, is there an era you would go back and revisit? DV: I love the 50’s for it’s fashion. I think they had amazing clothes for women. So classic and beautiful, right? I’m always intrigued by old pictures of cities like New York, London, Paris with cobblestone streets and people walking in their gowns. It’s quite romantic. I make it very romantic in my mind. I just sort of go, “wow, what was their life like”, and you read Dickens and you read Dumas. I get sucked into that world. The way they lived, the manner in which they spoke, carried themselves, yeah there’s just something about it. CM: If someone were to see Dilshad randomly walking on the street, what would be your style? DV: Oh it depends on my mood. It would be something like, this (points to her outfit). Or, Betsy Johnson, you know what I mean? Like her, she has these amazing throw backs. She’ll always put a little lace, just a little bit coming out. There’s just this little feminine sexiness, edginess to it. So I might feel like that one day. It’s completely dependent on my mood. But I love hats. And I wish we wore more hats! They have their own personalities, don’t they?? Just crazy personalities and I just wish we wore them more.


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LISBOA

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID SHELDRICK STYLING BY ALEXANDRA GREENHILL MODEL ANA PAULA, ELITE LISBON MAKE UP BY JOANA PARAIZO USING MAC COSMETICS COM POS UR E M AG AZIN E. C O M

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Danika Yarosh

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN HONG STYLING BY FRANZY STAEDTER MAKE UP BY CHELSEA YUSUF USING ILLAMASQUA HAIR STYLING BY CARLOS ZELAYA INTERVIEW BY JANE HONG

CM: You play a character named Holly Herkimer in “Shameless”. Can you tell us a little more about your role? DY: Holly is kind of this confident, independent, brazen teenager. She’s living and growing up in the south edge of Chicago so it’s a bit of a struggle. She has an interesting relationship with Debbie. In Season 4 she acts as a mentor and she guides Debbie and help her grow up in the, you know, grown-up world of girls and boys. But in Season 5, they have a different dynamic. They go down different paths kind of butt heads a little bit. CM: Was Holly trying to be a positive influence? DY: Oh no! She’s definitely not a great influence. She’s a little too mature for her age and she’s a bit of a troublemaker, you know. She’s guiding Debbie in the wrong direction in every aspect (laughs). CM: Do you like to play characters who are troubled and who brings different elements to your acting?

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DY: Oh yeah absolutely. I always like playing characters with depth. I mean, ya it’s a bit more of a challenge, but that’s one reason why I like doing it. I love going through the process of getting to know that person and their life and how things work in their world, so I do like playing the complex characters. People who are more troubled than others. CM: When you prepare for a character like that, what are certain things that you do for your preparation? DY: Yeah, when I get into character, I like observing other people. I take little aspects of things that they do, like the way they stride, talk, or just little gestures that they do. I’ll go walk around and look at people, watch films, or things like that. I also like getting playlists of music and that helps me to be in the mental state of my character. CM: How do you balance your school and acting?


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DY: Time management, mostly. Stress-baking of cookies, haha! But no...I try to get my school work done as quick as I can so that way I don’t have to worry about it later on if something comes up in the schedule.

into that right now. It’s a lot of fun. I’m also big into dancing as well.

CM: So looks like you have a few nicknames floating around, do you have one in particular that you really identify with?

DY: Tap. I love tap! Because I love the rhythm and I loved how it sounded you know? I’m also a drummer and so I loved how it went hand in hand... the beats and the dancing.

DY: My family calls me Neaks. I love that, it’s probably going to be my name forever. Neaks or Deaks, but Deaks comes from Neaks which is the last part of my name. And Nika, you know, things like that CM: What are some of your hobbies, things that you like to do outside of acting? DY: I love hiking, I love boxing. I’m really big into sports like lacrosse and field hockey. I really want to play ice hockey but my parents won’t let me do that. They’re too worried I’m going to get into a fight and break my face. I also do archery. I’m really big

CM: When you were doing competitive dancing, was there a particular style you loved?

CM: What is the most interesting thing that you’ve ever Googled? DY: Dogs with belly buttons. So me and my friend Emma were talking about how weird it would be if dogs had belly buttons, like we have belly buttons. So then we were thinking, oh, someone has probably photoshopped that because there are photoshops of everything! So we’re just Googling that and (shakes her head)... no, no, no, but it was very interesting what we did find!

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Michelle DeFraites PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSEFHALEY & JOHN HONG PHOTOGRAPHER ASSISTANT JEFFREY LIN STYLING BY ROBIAT BALOGUN MAKE UP BY CHELSEA YUSUF HAIR STYLING BY CARLOS ZELAYA INTERVIEW BY JANE HONG

CM: So you just wrapped up and premiered Project Almanac, how was that for you? MD: It was so amazing -- it was my first big feature film and my first big red carpet and so just getting to be a part of that and getting to have that experience is something that I’ll never forget. It was such a blessing to be a part of. And I enjoyed playing the mean girl, Sarah Nathan. It’s always fun! CM: Does that bring out a different side of you? MD: Oh of course because you don’t want to be the mean girl in real life! So you just channel it all into your character! CM: Tell me about a favorite character that you’ve played before. MD: I did this really fun spot on the show “House” and I had my arm chopped off and so that was like the coolest thing ever. I had this huge

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bandage and this green sleeve on my arm so when

MD: It’s a passion project of ours that started because

you watched it back later it’s like I had no arm. So

we were just both so in love with fashion. We were

friends and my parents were calling like “oh my

sitting around one day and I was looking at all these

God! You have an arm right?!” and I was like “yeah

fashion blogs and noticed all these blogs for guys

yeah.” But that was really cool, just the special effects

and blogs for girls, but there wasn’t one that crosses

that went into that.

over. I was like, “since we’re both so interested, would you want to do this with me?” And he was

CM: What would be a dream role for you?

like “yeah, it gives us a reason to go out and buy clothes and take pictures of ourselves!” (laughs)

MD: Oh, that’s easy. One of my favorite movies

So we did it and it’s just gotten a great response

growing up was Tomb Raider and if they ever

because you know, we just show our personal style

rebooted that I totally would want to be Lara Croft.

but we also show how you can do the current trends

I gotta work on an accent but I would do it, hands

if you’re a guy or a girl and it’s all in one place. It has

down! I love the action, all of that. I admire her so

reached a great audience so we’re really excited that

much; I would totally want to do that.

people are responding well to it.

CM: You have a fashion and style blog with T.C. Carter,

CM: On your instagram, you have the phrase “only dead

can you tell us more about that?

fish follow the stream”. What does that mean? MD: To me it’s just about being yourself and originality, and don’t get caught up in what everybody else is doing. It’s funny you said that because TC actually has that tattooed on his arm right here (points to left forearm). It’s kind of like our thing, and what our blog is based around, just being unique individual and not getting caught up in what everybody else is doing because then you just become like everybody else and float down the stream. Go against the current, go against the current and be different.

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“Perfect Imperfection” A glimpse into the life and work of one of LA’s top designers. by Ervina Topalli

W

hen it comes to fashion, people often

and chairs wobbled a bit on uneven surfaces.

envision an eternal search for perfection. The

Bare light bulbs floated above our heads,

perfect dress.

That perfect pair of shoes.

hanging by wire from the ceiling. By no means

Perfection seems to be what all the top designers

the pristine, elegant surroundings The Devil

and stylists must be striving for because it’s

Wears Prada has us believe the fashion industry

clearly what the public wants, right? Cue Walter

functions in.

Mendez- innovative and wildly talented LAbased fashion designer with a knack for causing

I leaned into it early and earnestly. I wanted

stirs in the industry. He has been featured in

to know where this journey began. I quickly

some of the most notable fashion publications,

learned that fashion was not the goal from the

his exquisite collection of sophisticated gowns

start. It wasn’t even on the radar. Woodshop,

just recently graced the runway at Mercedes-

of all things, was the early passion, and out of

Benz Fashion Week FW 2015, and World

it came the inklings towards this seemingly

Networks named him Designer of the Year in

polar opposite career. “Ironically, as opposite

2014. This guy should have perfection cornered.

as [woodshop] is, it’s still a very similar concept

But hold it right there.

of designing, developing, and creating pieces of art you come up with.”

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There was no family

I sat down with Walter and his two assistants,

member in the industry or childhood passion.

Michelle

Argentinian

No perfect path laid out for him. In fact, his

restaurant directly across the street from his

major in college was business before he decided

downtown showroom. The vibe was rustic. The

to take a couple courses in fashion a bit later

walls were made of tattered brick, a haphazard

in the game.

selection of pictures and paintings in entirely

Genesis were on their first gig, the stars still

clashing frames hung on the walls. The tables

weren’t aligned. Sitting at Subway the day of

and

Genesis

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an

Even when he, Michelle and


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ter

Wal ion

Fash

dez

Men

r Pr ofile

igne

Des


an early photo shoot, Walter responded to their concerns and uncertainty by boldly proclaiming, “Look, we’re just going to go in there and pretend like we know what we’re doing.” As it turned out, a photo from that very shoot was purchased by Sprint and was used in a national ad campaign. It was in all the biggest magazines, Vogue included. Billboards in Times Square. This work, born out of the most unlikely of scenarios, was suddenly getting international exposure and recognition. Walter Mendez was getting it. And this was all while he was still a student. In the mornings he was attending classes, the afternoons he was running a business. He did what he could with what he was given. He recalls one of his early collections that began with “a men’s shirt in a women’s print, which admittedly looked pretty weird.” But when he paired it with the right belt on the model, suddenly the whole concept was given meaning. It took on a military theme, giving the entire collection a unique appeal. It was by no means by the books, but it came to have deliberate purpose, something that is now consistent in all of Walter’s workhowever unorthodox the road to getting there may be. “Every event leads to the next step in my career and it’s sort of like a snowball effect. And from day one I’ve always told myself to just go with the flow and see what life brings you.” While some may expect a successful designer like Walter to have had ideal circumstances throughout, this just wasn’t the case.

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He took what came and made


something out of it. We got to talking about his inspiration and where it comes from. “I have come to realize that inspiration comes from emotion, and emotion comes from the life around you,” he said. “I’ve come to terms that for me, with inspiration, there’s no solid direction of where it comes from. It’s just what goes on in my life and how I react to it.” Now as most of us can agree, life is filled with uncertainty, mistake, and imperfection. But for Walter, amidst all that is the potential for brilliance- the potential for something innovative and eye opening. Walter came from very humble beginnings. Raised by a single mother who worked day and night to keep their family afloat and see that he received a good education, he gained a deep and lasting respect for women. In many ways, this has become a core motivation for his work in fashion. His way of “showing appreciation for them” as he put it, “is through fashion, through art. Making pieces that are flattering to women and to a woman’s body.” He continued, “I love when I see a client look at me and feel like a million bucks- if only I could capsule that feeling and give it to every woman in the world.” I wanted to reach across the table and give him a 30 second hug. Sitting with Walter was a deeply encouraging experience. With him, fashion was not just a way to make money or find celebrity. It wasn’t some search for perfection. When speaking to selling his designs, (which ship all over the world from Dubai to Panama, Australia to London, mind you), he claimed that, “I’m selling you an experience for you to be comfortable and proud of who you are. That feeling is priceless.” That feeling, Walter, is perfect. “I know I’m not perfect. I will never be perfect,” he said to me as we discussed him being a role model for other designers. But as Walter’s blossoming career shows, it’s in the imperfections where true perfection lies. We see it and we want more. Oh, and the Argentinan restaurant we sat in? The one with the tattered walls and uneven floors? One of the coolest places I’ve been in LA. Just perfect.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL SEELEY

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t

Bianca Santos We sit down with the LA native Bianca Santos, radiant star of the new film The Duff.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN HONG & JOSEFHALEY CREATIVE DIRECTION & INTERVIEW BY ERVINA TOPALLI STYLING BY BRUNO LIMA, EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS MANAGEMENT STYLING ASSISTANT JENNY ZHOU MAKE UP BY CHELSEA YUSUF HAIR STYLING BY CARLOS ZELAYA

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W

ho would have thought that this

the Beast I was one of the villagers in the mob.”

gorgeous Cuban-Brazilian beauty was once a

Stage acting was up her alley, but she came to

scrawny kid with pimples, braces and frizzy

find that film was more comfortable for her

hair. I sure didn’t when I sat down with Bianca

rhythm. Los Angeles was the place to be for that

Santos at PIPR studios in Santa Monica just after

endeavor. Though it wasn’t easy. “Living in Los

completing her glamorous cover shoot. “It really

Angeles” she said, “you kind of don’t see much

was a thing you guys,” she said, “I was a DUFF in

success and see a lot more of the hardship.”

school!” If you haven’t heard of the term, DUFF,

That’s a reality for so many actors, it seems. But

it stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend and is

it’s those who don’t let tha t deter them that

also the title of a film based off a young adult

seem to break through. “At some point when

novel exploring the concept of labels. Santos was

things were slow, I just said you know what, if I

cast in the role of Casey Cordero, the best friend

don’t give this a real try, then I’ll never know.”

to the lead character Bianca Piper, played by

Try she did and things began to click.

May Whitman. “The whole movie is this girl’s journey of working with this label and whether

Bianca’s first big role was when she joined the

she lets it define her or not.” Bianca explained.

cast of The Fosters where she played Lexi – “It

She went further into redeeming value of the

was absolutely incredible!” she exclaimed.

film: “What’s so great about it is that you don’t

During the first week of shooting while driving

have to be in high school to relate to this movie.

home one day, she pulled over and burst into

Often times in life you can compare yourself to

tears. She had hardly ever stepped foot on a

someone else and feel like you’re small, like you

studio lot before, let alone take on a major big

just don’t matchup. There is always going to

screen role. She was in unchartered waters and

be someone out there that you think is smarter

overcome

or richer than you but the point is that you can

actually achieved what she set out to do. “It was

surpass that all if you just be you.” This is advice

so surreal,” she said as she visibly reminisced

I can get down with.

on those early moments.

with the realization that she had

The emotion was

palpable. Bianca’s next big break was landing In high school, Bianca was always involved in

the role of Lucy Velez on MTV’s original show

theater in some way. She told us how much she

Happyland. This was a full eight episodes, giving

begged her mom to take her to acting classes,

her the opportunity to delve deeper into the role.

though she wasn’t always the show stealer. “You

She was able to connect with the character more

know what’s so funny, in high school I never got

so than others, as there was an actual transition

cast as anyone important, ever. In Beauty and

Lucy made within herself. Bianca had to make it

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with her, experience it herself even: “Lucy had to break down walls to fall in love or open herself up to new experiences, and I love that I got to tell that story through her.” As an actress, Bianca looks up to both comedic and dramatic performers and hopes to pursue both genres. While Amanda Bynes has been a source of comedic inspiration for her, roles like Angelina Jolie’s in “Girl Interrupted” have encouraged her to reach deeper into that realm as well. “You know as an actress I seek variety and being able to be funny but also play the darker role. . . I’m kind of drawn to both at the same time.” Bianca has the ability to light up a space with her presence, whether it’s a small fitting room or the red carpet. Beyond the energy of her personality and charm, I ask how much her style plays a role. “I love that you’re asking me this question because I actually take pride in styling myself.” She described a specific look she has put together for a future event as, “Mermaid Chanel surfer chic,” complete with a clamshell clutch. We’ll look out for it, Bianca! When we asked what advice she would give to aspiring actresses or just a typical high school student striving to find their way through all the labels and standards, Bianca had one point to drive home. “Love yourself. Plain and simple.” Had she known to hold true to that throughout her childhood, “things would have been a bit easier,” she said while shaking her head. Hopefully this message reaches those who need it- Leading Belle and background mob villager alike!

I just said you know what, if I don’t give this a real try, then I’ll never know.

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Composure: What does PRB stand for, and how long ago did you start PRB PR?

Composure: PRB PR has such a wide range of designers, who are some of the clients you feature?

PRB: PRB was started 25 years ago. It stands for my full name, Piera Rossi Blodwell.

PRB: I love all of the lines that I take into our fashion house and I am very particular with the clients that I take on. I have designers from all over the world including Indian designers Rajdeep Ranawat and Alpana Neeraj, Lebanese designers Ella Zahlan and Jad Ghandour, and Italian lines like Flos Floris and Lumen Et Umbra.

Composure: I know you began your fashion career back in Milan, how did styling lead into owning your fashion PR firm in Los Angeles? PRB: I started with Armani when I was sixteen and my career began from there. When I moved to the US I saw a void in the market for high end designers. I brought a slew of amazing designers from Italy with me and began placing them on celebrities like Meg Ryan, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Diane Keaton, which essentially brought celebrity PR to Los Angeles. Composure: Your showroom was first located in Beverly Hills, what made you transition into Downtown LA? PRB: Downtown Los Angeles is the next happening major city in the US. Within the next five years it will be a completely revitalized location. I’m always looking ahead to future trends and this is definitely one of them.

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Composure: If you could have any designer - fashion or otherwise in your showroom, whom would you choose and why? PRB: Olivier Theyskens, Paco Rabbane, and Capucci Composure: What advice would you give to someone looking to venture into Fashion PR? PRB: Be prepared to sweat, work very hard, and be dedicated 101% percent. It is not nearly as glamorous as it seems. PRB PUBLIC RELATIONS 120 East 8th Street Suite 212 ​Los Angeles, CA 90014 www.prbpr.com


A hidden gem located in the hustle and bustle of the Fashion District in Downtown LA, PRB PR is home to a vast catalog of designers from all over the world. With decades of experience in the ever-changing fashion industry, PRB PR has become a fashion stylists dream stop. Whether you’re working on an editorial shoot, music video, or ad campaign; PRB PR will most likely have everything you need in one spot. The founder of PRB PR chats with Composure Magazine. by Robiat Balogun

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