Fusion Mag

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Fusion Magazine is dedicated to creating a platform that highlights and celebrates the diverse world in which we live. By celebrating the work of all those in the creative arena who are impacting individuals,communities and the world through their chosen art form. By celebrating their work, we celebrate those who inspire and lead us towards a better future.

CONTACT US Dublin, Ireland

Phone : +353 87 753 6822

New York, USA

Manila, Philippines

Email : submissionfusion@gmail.com

+63995 973 0497

One Planet. One 4

e Race. One Love. 5


08 Editor’s Note 09 Team Fusion / Contributors The power of connection.

Meet team fusion and and the contributors for the September / October issue.

18 Renaissance Photographer Master photographer Dmitry sharing his well guarded secrets.

30 New York Fashion Week

Out of New York Studio and Complexion agency collaborated to bring us virtual fashion show.

46 Paris Fashion Week

An inviatation to attend Paris Fashion Show.

48 Int’l Designer John Abalz 60 Amato’s Genius Mind A peek to his new collection La Forêt De Rêves

Explore the mind of a genius in Fashion Design as he unfolds some of his visions.


JB Dondolo Judges (Music for Water) Meet CEO of the organization and two of the judges. What they will be looking for.

88 Transphobia

Police can be seen slowly driving by while the victims scream at them to stop and help. The scene is the stuff of nightmares...

94 Art to Heal in the Heart of a Pandemic More stories from Portland by Sunny September

100 The Making of a Life Coach How the path of pain leads to renewal.

104 Organic Skin Care Healthy tips for healthy skin.

108 Men’s Fashion Trend Fashion tips from Catouwear.

112 Astology (October Stars)

Mars plays a vital role in your life. It embodies your passion, determination, drive, and will power to make your goals and dreams happen...





e are all connected. This seems to be the common theme running through this months issue. It is a theme that has come up again and again in the many stories in the pages of our magazine. From the creative genius that is Amato, to the judges of the Music for Water Campaign, there is one common thread. That is, the importance of remembering our connection to each other.

Activists and artists who are tirelessly and fearlessly working towards change. Giving something of them selves every day. It is good for us find those who inspire us and remember that we too can inspire someone else. Covid has left many feeling isolated and alone, and possibly a little lost. As social beings we need to remember our connection to each other. These connections make up the very fabric of our world.

2020 has brought uncertainty to many all over the world, no matter what industry they are involved in. Many are facing hardship and struggle, mentally, physically and financially. It is a good time to remember to be kind to each other and us. We need each other now more than ever. We need to remember the indomitable strength of the human spirit to survive. I have read many stories and experienced the acts of the kindness carried out between one human being to another.

We are all connected. We are connected to nature, to families, to friends, and to community. We are connected to each other. The stories held in these pages and the artists and creatives who tell them,remind us to seek out that connection and nurture it. In a time of uncertainty and fear, our connection to each other is worth remembering. If we can help someone then lets do that.

When media and news stories that only seem to focus on what’s ugly in the world it is really refreshing to remember that there are many people out there who are working hard to hold onto and share the beauty that also exists.

Maighread Ni Mhaonghail.


Maighread Ni Manghaoil Editor-in-Chief


Benedict Salvacion Creative Director

Sunny September Writer

Adeline Berry Writer

Kristine Rodriguez-Lucas Writer

Estella Golford Writer

Stella Vegas (Astrologer) Writer

CONTRIBUTORS AMATO Art Direction/Photographer Angelo Bautista Model Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Miss Philippines Intercontinental 2019 Emma Tiglao Master Hair and Makeup Artist Ivy Kep Peralta Co Makeup Artist Anne Labay Stylist/Coordinator Vhee Co Special Thanks to Mr. v Al Refai of Garage Studio

Art to Heal in the Heart of a Pandemic Photographer/Writer Sunny September Photographer Rachel Autenrieb Photographer Nicole Lundgren Student Art by: Sa’Liyah White, 5th Grade

Harvey Cenit Photography Rozen Antonio Model Daria Balashova MUA VERA Hair: Darwin Perez & Ivy Kep Peralta

Santa Emmanuelle Photography Ben Salvacion Model Maxinne Nicole Cornejo Rangel HMUA Malick James Hilado Hair Rapsie R. Mallorca & Geremy Cabarga Barceliano Lighting Asst. Marvin Bosque & Jhermix Galiona Set Design: Tribu Garciano Produced by Eeyah Cornejo of Photographeeyah

John Ablaza Photographer Bing Mariano | Creative Director Stan Trac | Hair and make up stylist Mira’s Ambaic Artistry Yuva Rani Anne Labay | Models Kids Rhegene CabatoEnya Jade Dimaano | Kia Nili Robert Xavier Emily Bolanos Vanessa Allkurti Victoria Berndt Heidi Kittle Samantha Gavin


Photographer Lourenso Ramautar | Handler Jessica Spencer | Designers Berny Martin Jewelry Saima Chudhry Jewelry The confessional Show Room | Models Midori Amae Lauren Seals Misty Lockheart Natalia Eremenko Cyprian Kochman Jessica Shifflett Juan Pablo Figueroa Jude Joseph Patricia Drew Keema Shaw Ashley Johnson Gabriella Khan

House of Maiya Designer for NYFW Still Yung Kobi | Model Katie Leigh | MUA Alisha Thornton






Harvey Cenit






Vehmeer and Rembrandt will definitely have a second look at the award-winning Russian photographer Dmitry Usasin’s works. His command with light and unusual talent in telling his story through his images is truly worthy of a wall in a museum. His own style and love of photography resonates a master at work. The craftsmanship and his unique skills to his passion is undeniably from the ashes of an era lost in time .

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I wanted to have

I wanted some unusual photos that would make my photographs reminiscent of the paintings of great artists.

Dmitry Usasin



imitry, On behalf of our Fusion Readers I would like to thank you for taking time to share your story with us. Perhaps you can introduce yourself to our readers? I am an art family photographer. I’m from Russia. The main direction of my activity today is Fine Art children’s photography
 How long have you been into photography? I dreamed of becoming a pilot, or at least a geologist. But not enrolling in the Institute of Geology, I entered in the Aviation University. If you do not fly, then at least make the planes. If someone at that time told me that I would be a famous photographer, I would never have believed it, even despite the fact that I had the my own first camera already at 10 years of age. My camera was with me in school, in University, and when I was an adult and successful businessman. I always took a camera on vacation or on travel, I liked to shoot and I had a lot of fun. One day I was invited to be photographer on one wedding and this was the moment I realized that you can and have fun and earn money at the same time. So, gradually, my photography hobby became my profession. 
 What system do you use for your camera? Lenses? Lighting? Modifiers? My camera is Canon 1Dm4. I mainly use two lenses: Canon 24mmF1.4 and Canon 50mmF1.4. I prefer to use fixes as they give a clearer picture. I shoot all my photos with an additional light source. My flashes are GODOX AD600 and GODOX AD360-II. From modifiers I use shoeboxes with honeycombs
 I see that you have a unique approach when it comes to your craft. Can you give us an insight in your style? I didn’t really like the results of my first professional photo shoot. I wanted some unusual photos that


would make my photographs reminiscent of the paintings of great artists. I dived into the process of learning. Through studying the paintings of artists I found patterns and rules, following which you can create a photo very similar to the picture. My technical mind and my education helped me a lot. The paintings of the Renaissance, and the late part of the Baroque and Rococo had big impact on me. I especially like the French artists of the XVIII century Francois Boucher, Fragonard Jean-Honoree and Watteau Antoine. To create a picture stylistically similar to the paintings is impossible without the use of additional light sources. Strobes create similar light and shade inherent inn the paintings, postprocessing introduces changes in color shades, helping to accentuate, to emphasize the main elements and to remove the attention from the secondary parts. Perhaps the biggest challenge is posing. Creating photographs is a process similar to movie making. The photographer becomes the Director the light, posing and post processing are the three most important tasks that a photographer must solve. And if these three tasks a photographer has solved well, he will be able to get a photo that has some artistic value. 
 You mentioned you didn’t like your earlier work, how long has it taken to develop your particular style? It was a gradual and rather long process. I can’t say that my photographs 10 years ago were very similar to what I create today. But it is obvious that they have something in common. 
 What is your process when working on your renaissance inspired work? Who were your inspirations? As I said before, the paintings of the Renaissance, and the late part of the Baroque and Rococo had big impact on me. I especially like the French artists of the XVIII century Francois Boucher, Fragonard


Jean-Honoree and Watteau Antoine. I am inspired by the work of a certain artist. For example, take a look at the works of the 19th century French artist Émile Munier. Munier was a supporter of Bouguereau’s works, from which he took inspiration. He became fa-

“Girl with a Goat Flowers” has won many international photography contests and also won 35 AWARDS 2018

The photographer becomes the Director the light, posing and post processing are the three most important tasks that a photographer must solve. mous for his paintings in which he depicted children, girls. And it was his work that inspired me to create a series of photographs “Girl with Goat flowers”. I tried to understand the mood and character of the children Mounier portrayed. And speaking of processing, I decided to use the original color cast of the Munier’s paintings for my photos. This work of mine gave excellent results. My photo “Girl with a Goat Flowers” has won many international photography contests and also won 35 AWARDS 2018. An-

other inspiration for example, is the work of the Dutch artist Gerard Dow. He took pleasure in depicting genre scenes from everyday life. The main angle of his paintings is the image of people in the window. His works inspired me to create my “Young girl watering Flowers”

 Can you walk us a little bit about your preparation before a shoot? Do you have a set 
designer or a stylist? Do you follow a mood board?

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There are many factors to consider when creating a photograph that looks like a painting. Firstly there are the costumes. Second, it is a search or creation of a realistic interior. Most often it is not possible to find the right interior. Lately I have been creating my own set. I create miniature interiors using foamboard or clay. Interior design takes a very long time and if it is not created very well, then no amount of Photoshop will help make it better, so I have to imiprovise.

The technicalities in your work are super. Is it an organic photo or do you use a series of layered photos? Do you prefer to shoot in a studio? I shoot both in the studio and outdoors. I t. Therefore, I prefer to work in the studio. The studio is the perfect light! In order to create a picture, you need to combine a photo of a model from the studio and a photo of a miniature interior that I created. And of course using photoshop I create a composite image. 
 I know you have won an award recently. Can you give us a background about the winning image? Thank you so much! This series is called “The Adventures of Grump and boy”.The American illustrator and master Henry Hintermeister, inspired it. His funny illustrations can make anyone laugh. I am especially impressed when adults can remain children at heart and maintain true childish playfulness. Creating these photos, I also immersed myself with the characters in this magical atmosphere. It was a great pleasure to create props for these photos. For example, look at the photo where grandfather and grandson rush down in a homemade wooden car. I made this car with my own hands from an old baby carriage and wooden boxes. I don’t know which was more fun, shooting and processing photos, or creating a wooden car from childhood with your own hands Russia has a very rich culture of its own. How much of this is evident in your photos? To show something more beautiful than it really is not just a style, it’s a whole way of life and thinking in which was concentrated the peculiarities of national psychology. This desire for embellishment, luxury, and elegance I tend to transfer to a photo. 
 Do you have a particular dream shoot that you haven’t done yet?

There are so many plans and ideas that I want to implement. Of course you will see new photos in the near future. At the moment, I’m passionate about creating a series of photos with the boys who made a homemade raft with their own hands and float on it along by the river. As you may have guessed, I already made this raft with my own hands; you can see the first photo from the series of this series. The photo is called “two sailors”
 I’m just curious. Do you see yourself shooting a different genre of photography? Let’s say commercial for instance? I am fascinated by many genres of photography. In the recent past, I was a wedding photographer. I found that the lack of creative freedom in that genre did not allow me to work comfortably. There are no such limits for me in children’s photography, and I allow myself to be creative in full force. The most important component of creative freedom is the direction of financial flow. If the photograph is an employee, then he cannot go beyond the scope of paid work, and he must comply with the requirements and wishes of the employer. If, however the photographer himself is an employer, he himself pays for the work of models, pay for the creation of costumes, make-up, studio, transfer, then he can allow his creativity to develop. Now let’s sidetrack a little and talk a bit about your website and video tutorials. Can you tell us a little about what to expect from those? At the moment, I share my experiences with other photographers and visit different cities and countries with my author master class. The world situation at present is such that traveling between countries has become a little more difficult. So, I decided to translate my knowledge into video tutorials. In these video tutorials, I walk them through the process of creating a photo step by step. In my lessons, I

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do not ignore the process of shooting and lighting, where I describe in detail the lighting schemes. And of course you can see the entire process of photo processing with all the subtleties and secrets. Included with each lesson are original psd-files with all layers, necessary textures, brushes and actions. And you can see all this on my website www.DmitryUsaninClassroom.com

pressed many words of gratitude. I really appreciate that.

Great! But can they really reproduce such amazing photos as yours, by watching your tutorial?

Just enter promo code at checkout and get half price!

No doubt Yes. My lessons are very easy to understand and if you own the basic knowledge of Photoshop such as layers, masks, blending modes, curves, then you can easily follow all the methods that I use when creating my photos. A lot of photographers wrote to me after watching the lessons and ex-

You have been so gracious and generous to offer a discount to our readers, can you tell them what that is? Especially for Fusion Mag I give a 50% discount Promo code: FUSION

What advice would you not give to upcoming photographers who follow your work? Or
in general. Never be afraid of someone else’s opinion. Even if someone doesn’t like your photo, there are always those who like it. Notice what viewers like most about your photo and develop that. For example,

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if you notice that in one of your photos the audience liked the color the most, then you will remember this color scheme and try to repeat it in the next photo. And every time your photo will get better, and already other photographers will try to repeat your color scheme.
 What will be your best message to inspire others not to give up on what they started? “Knowledge is not enough, you must apply it. Desires are not enough, you must do!” Bruce lee said so!




Haute Couture

Santa Emmanuelle




Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Dress is the confessional Show Room, Models Jude Joseph and Midori Amae


ue to current Covid-19. Many Fashion shows around the world were forced to find an alternative ways of showcasing their designers. Lockdown has been challenging, to say the least. The need to entertain and be entertained has suddenly become more important than ever! So, following CDC guidelines, adhering to safety measures of mask wearing and social distancing. Complexion Model Management and Out of NY Studios joined in collaboration with designers from around the world. Co- coordinating with teams from Ireland and the Philippines, they put together an international virtual show. Offering their team of designers and talent the opportunity to resume creativity and share their passion for Fashion. 30 30

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virtual fa


essica Spencer and Lourenso Ramautar worked tirelessly to transform the 3,000 square foot studio into a gorgeous runway. With a team of talented individuals they put together New York Virtual Fashion Week.


he fashion show will be streaming at: www. complexion.live Make sure to follow Complexion Model Management on all social media platforms to stay up to date on more shows, work shops and talent.


n a time when there aren’t many reasons to dress up models and designers from all over the world got together to do just that. Like children with a play box they joined the crew at Out of Studio and Complexion Model Agency to don the many beautiful designs and pieces of Jewellery and for that one day, got to dress to impress.




ashion Show


OCKING RED. Pamela ( whatever) really stepped into her power in the Red Hot classic from CatouWear.




Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Misty Lockheart

Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Midori Amae, Jewelry Saima Chudhry Jewelry


Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Jessica Shifflett


Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Lauren Seals

Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Lauren Seals, Model Juan Paolo Figueroa


Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Daszon Alexander-Oquendo


Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Cyprian Kochman

Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Pamela


Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Designer Berny Martin, Model Natalia

40 Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Berny Martin, Model Natalia Eremenko

Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Berny Martin, Model Natalia


Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Berny Martin, Model Gabriella Khan


Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio The confessional Show Room, Model Jude Joseph, Jewelry Saima Chudhry Jewelry

Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Model Midori Amae, Jewelry Saima Chudhry Jewelry



Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Model Jessica Shifflett, Jewelry Saima Chudhry Jewelry

Photography by Lourenso Ramautar of Out of New York Studio Model Juan Pablo Figueroa, Jewelry Saima Chudhry Jewelry


PA R Bonjour, Fashion World! We may have had to cancel our in-person events this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue our mission of sharing the latest couture and bespoke fashion with the world. Last Tuesday, September 29th we’re launched our Spring/ Summer 20201 Virtual Paris Fashion Week. It was recorded in the famed Fashion Capital of the World–you can see it for free! We hope you’ll help us spread the word and join us for this season’s can’t miss virtual fashion event! How to Join Simply grab a glass of wine and head to MidwestFashionWeek.com/video to watch the show! In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest behind-the-scenes footage!@officialmidwestfashionweek.





La Forêt De Revês by: Maighread Ni Mhaonghail


ohn Ablaza is an internationally renowned Fashion Designer from the Philippines. Having successfully used sustainable and environmental-friendly materials for his designs including ‘Dalet” or Sig-id his collections display a perfect blend of Glamour and advocacy of giving positive impact on both the environment and peoples lives. Known for his structured designs with simple lines and defined patterns, and deriving his inspiration from nature. Blaza’s work is always changing, forever evolving. His work has been seen on catwalks and fashion shows all over the world, Manila, Taipei, Shenzhen, Bahrain, London, Brussels, Belgium, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Arizona, New York, Toronto and Zimbabwe. He is the Author of ‘Ramp Diva Filipina’ a coffee table tribute to the divas of the Philippine runway who brought honor and prestige to the Philippine modeling industry during the late 1960’s to present.

Photographer Bing Mariano | Creative Director Stan Trac | | Hair and make up stylist Mira’s Ambaic Artistry Yuva Rani Anne Labay | Models Kids Rhegene CabatoEnya Jade Dimaano | Kia Nili Robert Xavier Emily

Bolanos Vanessa Allkurti Victoria Berndt Heidi Kittle Samantha Gavin




International Fashion Designer



aving completed a commission by the Philippine National Centennial, to create a replica of the clothes of JosĂŠ Rizal in 1998, which was toured and exhibited in major cities in the US, Canada and Europe with The Rizal Travelling Museum. Such was the success of this exhibition that John was commissioned to design the costumes for the Documentary ‘The First Hero’ about Jose Rizal in 2012. John Ablaza is not just a fashion designer. He is almost as renowned for his humanitarian work as he is for his Fashion designs. This has seen him collaborate and share his expertise with many organizations around the world, Providing training and guidance in dressmaking, arts and crafts. His partnership with the Ayala Foundation working with the Mangyan tribe of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro where together they developed

over 150 aspiring designers and artisans, from major cities of Zimbabwe. Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. There is no doubt that John Ablaza is someone who cares deeply about his fellow man, and the environment he lives in. It is evident in his designs and the materials he chooses, and in his much collaboration with designers, artisans, charities and organizations around the world. His book the idea of making handmade and hand embroidered bow tie embellished natural materials. The project which was spearheaded by Dona Bea Zobel de Ayala, was intentioned to help uplift peoples lived while allowing access to basic services. His invitation by United States Ambassador Harry Thomas, to come to Zimbabwe led to another collaboration to conduct workshops and mentorship for


celebrating the models that contributed to the Filipino modeling industry is a tribute, not only to those women but also to Ablaza’s love for his country and those who are making a difference in the industry. His LE PETITE COUTURE Exhibition. A collection of small couture gowns done in collaboration with various artisans from Manila, Cebu, and Bohol in the Philippines, and artisans from Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, is further testament to his commitment to honoring those who have worked alongside him. His intention and dedication to showcasing and celebrating Filipino “ ingenuity and Artistry, at it’s finest with the world. The exhibition, which features Painstakingly handmade, embroidered and mounted on 23inch mannequins, these pieces were named “in honor of women who had journeyed with me in my 30 years in the fashion industry.” Having already been exhibited at the New York Amar Estate, and the Philippines Consulate General in 2017 the show began an international tour in 2018. The aim of the tour, he said, was “to raise funds for my favored charity – St. Martin de Porres in Cebu City, Philippines – and for my mentorship program for up and coming designers and talented Artisans”





John Ablaza is not just as an incredibly creative and thoughtful designer but is also an incredibly inspiring individual, with a philosophy of giving back. He gives back to the earth, in his quest to always find sustainable material. He gives back to society, through his charity work and mentor ship programs. One of which he has been supporting since 1981. The Canadian organization interim place which has been assisting over 38,000 abused women and children, providing support services to providing shelter, support, counseling and advocacy to help abused women and their children break the cycle of violence. He gives back to the Fashion Industry by celebrating all those who helped make the Filipino Fashion Industry what it is. He gives back by helping those who may not have a voice or just need support. John Ablaza is changing the world with his designs and his sense of connection to those who inhabit the world with him.


2020 has been a critical year but that doesn’t stop John in being hopeful,prayerful and productive. He spent those Quarantine times doing fabulous head pieces to compliment his latest elements de la nature themed collections which eventually gets to be filmed with select models in a private garden in Toronto The mini show will be featured in a virtual presentation in New York this September In 2021 He is lined up with important series of shows themed “ la foret de reves “ to be presented in Milan in February and LA and NY in April 2020 In May John will fly to Zimbabwe,Botswana,Mozambique and Zambia for his mentorship program for African designers and artisans.







orn in the creative capital of Asia – Philippines, Furne One found his muse in his mother and grandmother through their personal style. His love for the unique and inherent quintessential edginess inspired the designer to sketch dresses as early as 10 years old. Even though he didn’t train in fashion, Furne’s natural affinity for artistic design pushed him to participate in the country’s prestigious design competition: MEGA Magazine’s Young Designer of Philippines Award 1994 – in which he won. The competition was judged by international fashion players. One of whom was lingerie designer – Josie Natori. She was so impressed with Furne’s work and understanding of design that she offered him an internship in both her design studios in Paris and New York. “I went from thinking as a designer, but I emerged with a full understanding of the business of design” says Furne. Deconstruction at a time of structure, subtle style with rare texturing was the alternative signature Furne showcased When he represented Philippines in Japan 1994. He took home the prestigious Japan’s Women Wear Award; going on to be a finalist at manila’s fashion Designer Award. Having achieved this, he was returning to New York when he stopped in Dubai and fell in love with the city. “It was just a small town, with a great promise then” Furne reminisces. Making Dubai his base; he commenced his career working at a local atelier.Meeting Rashid Ali, a textile boutique owner, who shared similar design ideology and dreams, Furne teamed up his creative genius with Rashid’s in-depth knowledge of the fashion business to create Amato in2002. Furne says, “I was actually very nervous at my first fashion show “Journey to a Star” – I was determined to show everyone something different, new and unique.” When it comes to fashion, of course, I don’t like to be just like everybody else. Having my own identity is very important to me.” Paris honed his sense of style; New York tweaked his design sensibilities. Training at FIT, New York, doing several courses on design Furne’s own signature style emerged. ( https://www.amatocouture.com/)

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INSIDE THE MIND OF A GENIUS by: Maighread Ni Mhaonghail & Ben Salvacion

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“ I have a lot of weakness like many others but I always tell my team, know your weakness but focus on your strengths. Negativities will take you nowhere.� F. Where do the experiences of failures and triumphs fit into your designs? A. I always love the beauty of the opposites so I am sure that I always try to incorporate both triumphs and failures to each of my designs. F. What skills do you think are most necessary to becoming a successful Designer? Anther is ambiguity when it comes to skills and a vindicated clarity when it comes to attitude and passion. For me it is the attitude and passion alongside a set of needed skills that will take a designer to a successful path that he or she wants to take. F. Many designers utilise the tools of technology to design, is it important to marry the two for the future of fashion? A. The past can teach us some imperative lessons but nobody can escape the battlefield of the future. Fashion is Art and Technology is an Innovation and I believe that it is the balance combination of

these two that can make you more prepared to the battles of life.

F. Where do you see the fashion industry in the next ten years?

F. What kind of work ethic do you feel people need to have to work in the Fashion Industry?

A. Fashion will just keep on evolving.

A. Be responsible. For anything in your life, you have to be responsible, on your deeds, on your choices, on your actions. You cannot blame anyone for your failures as well as you cannot depend on anyone for your victories.

F. How do you describe your personal style? A. My personal style is always sticking to my DNA while being fearless to withstand the summons of change. F. How do you handle an arrogant or difficult client?

F. What else do you consider important facets of the Fashion Industry?

A. I do not. They deal with themselves.

A. For me it is honesty and authenticity. You always need to be true to your DNA.

F. Do you have any plans or ideas for improving the fashion industry?

F. What would you consider your greatest strengths and or weaknesses?

A. Feel like this is a collective approach more than a single persona or role. United we stand, divided we fall.

A. I have lots of weaknesses like many others, but I always tell my fab team, to know your weakness but focus on your strengths. Negativities will take you nowhere.

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F. What is it about the industry that excites you? A. Absolutely Everything!

is proud of it. You are the only one who can be you, and that makes you unique. F. If you were to look back and give advice to your younger self, what would that be? A. I want him to eat more, laugh more and hug more people as you know this year, we miss our friends and families and sometimes it limits us to hug them. F. How do you want to be remembered? A. I want to be remembered by my DNA, my art and someone who is never afraid of change but moreover I want to be remembered for my love and compassion to my friends and loved ones and someone who will never say a to helping someone in need.

F. Name a few of those in the industry who have particularly inspired you?

A. I am fascinated by everything that is done with dedication and artistry.

A. Alexander McQueen and Josie Nature.

F. What would you consider the biggest lesson you have learned since you began your brand?

F. How has your work evolved since you began your label? A. We have always strived to be more than a tailoring shop but a haven of couture, and fortunately with the help of my team - we took it to a place where we dreamt it to be. F. Are there any styles of clothes that you avoid wearing? A. None, I respect all my fellow designers. F. What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does that feed into your work?

A.The biggest lesson that I have learned is you are going to learn a different lesson everyday and you should welcome it with both arms. F. What would you like to achieve before the end of this year? A. Personally, I just want the pandemic to end and everyone who suffered, who was challenged, who was affected to stand up, to bounce back and to heal. F. What is your motto for life and business? A. My motto is just being you and

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F. What advice would you give to aspiring young designers & creative? A. Never stop dreaming, but real work starts when you open your eyes. Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.


he aim of AMATO is to dress the modern-day woman, a dress with texture and dimension but comfortable and light.” Said Furne One, the creative genius behind the brand AMATO Known for his dramatic and ‘heavenly bodies-inspired’ collection season after season, Furne One added: The collection is entitled ‘White Noise’ because besides it is all-white collection, all the dresses have equal intensity at different frequencies. The collection represents the characteristics of an AMATO woman; elegant, avant-garde and experimental – someone who is not afraid to defy the norms and set the trend” “I am humbled and blessed to create another milestone being the first ever designer to showcase its collection at the first ever floating fashion show in the Middle East region.

Art Direction/Photographed Angelo Bautista | Model Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental/ Miss Philippines Intercontinental 2019 Emma Tiglao | Master Hair and Makeup Artist Ivy Kep Peralta | Co Makeup Artist Anne Labay | Stylist/Coordinator Vhee Co | Special Thanks to Mr. Shadi Al Refai of Garage Studio

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by: Maighread Ni Mhaonghail & Ben Salvacion



CEO JB Dondolo

Lumbie Mlambo

by: Maighread Ni Mhaonghail & Ben Salvacion

We initially were addressing the issues of sanitation and hygiene, but our focus soon turned to trying to provide water to the community, as that was what they needed. Providing water to a community is much more complex that people realize but we did provide a water system as promised? The campaign we are running for the people of Navajo Nation is very similar.


umbie Mlumbo was born in Zimbabwe but considers herself a proud Texan. She is President and CEO of JB Dondolo Inc. an organization she set up in honor of her late father to carry on his legacy. The desire to carry on her fathers work earned her the UN Global Leadership Award from the United Nations Association. The award honored the work the organization completed towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation through installing a filtration system at a clinic in Zimbabwe. JB Dondolo Inc.’s mission is to remove barriers to accessing basic needs that underserved and impoverished communities face. JB Dondolo, Inc. firmly believes that access to clean water is a human right. The Music for Water Campaign is the initiative by the organization to provide sanitation to the Navajo Nation.

F. What kind of challenges did you find once you got there? L. Oh boy, I really didn’t understand the magnitude of what I was taking on. The clinic serves about 20,000 people which have delivery beds and one recovery. It was also difficult as the people there didn’t really know me and didn’t even know my father had a daughter so young. They didn’t really see me as someone who could solve their problems so they said, “ if you can give us water then you can leave us alone and your work will be done” I agreed that was what I would do, and then I began researching and fundraising to try to fulfill my promise. We initially were addressing the issues of sanitation and hygiene, but our focus soon turned to trying to provide water to the community, as that was what they needed. Providing water to a community is much more complex that people realize but we did provide a water system as promised?

F. Lumbie, your decision to follow on your Fathers legacy is really inspiring. Why was that important to you? L. My fathers name was Jb Dondolo. He passed away a few years ago. Before he died he asked us to finish the work he was doing at the clinic he helped build in Zimbabwe. I Promised I would finish what he started. So I went to Zimbabwe to continue his work.

The campaign we are running for the people of Navajo Nation is very similar. I was astonished when I became aware that people in the US are living without water. Listening to people’s stories was like listening to the stories of those in Zimbabwe. The situation was almost the same. I was really quite shocked to find a similar situation here in the United States in 2020

F. That was a big commitment. Did you know what that would involve? L. I honestly went there thinking it would be a small task, and underestimating the work that my father had already started. I had no idea at the beginning what I would be taking on. Just that I had promised to finish his work. I knew it involved working with people, who are in low income, impoverished and under served communities.

What was one of the hardest challenges for you with the project in Zimbabwe?


Fundraising for the project for me was one of the hardest things. It is probably the hardest part of any project. Trying to get people to support a cause they know nothing about if really difficult. I just kept going and kept pushing, building relationships and gradually growing support. The beginning was definitely a struggle but as people saw my passion for the project then eventually it became more like a movement than an organization. People have been so supportive of our project and we have an amazing team. How did you become aware of the in the Navajo nation and the challenges they were facing? Lit was all over the news. I was listening to it and I was wondering how I could help. I reached out to someone I knew to find out how we could reach out to the community. At the beginning it was difficult to establish a connection. Once we did however it was like flood gates opening. We began to receive lots of calls. F. What do you mean it was difficult to establish a connection? Initially I think the community was a little distrustful of us. I can understand that. They have been promised so much by people in the past and have been let down and I understand why they would not open up so readily to anyone or risk exposing themselves to the pain of reliving empty promises. Once we established a relationship and they had also begun to see what we had achieved in Zimbabwe. That helped them to see that we were there to help. I think the Navajo community has had people come in and take from them. I can really understand their lack of trust. For us the main thing was to build trust and to provide the small things we could before tackling the issue of water. We are providing hand sanitizers & disinfectant materials. F. So this project and campaign is much deeper than water right? L Exactly, because I do realize that relationship building is major here. If you are goanna work in the Navajo nation you have to work on the relationship building. To learn to trust each other. They have been let down so many times, by people who say they are there to help and to give but instead come in and take something from them, so I get it, but we are not there to do any harm, we are there to help.

F. What is the music for water campaign? Music for water is both a campaign and a competition. Beatrice Davis who came up with the idea Music for water started it. People submit a song for our charity, which will use for one year. The song must have a message about water. The winners would also get a onetime distribution with an international record company. Great Mountain International Records and lots of exposure. The Campaign is to raise awareness and sanitation supplies for the Navajo nation, and was launched in October, and so far it has been really well received. Our message is simple Give us music and we will try to give people water. We are trying to do something to help the Navajo nation. We hope to that people will come up with a song that inspires people to do something. F. Can people apply from outside the US? L. Yes! We are asking for entries and applications from all over the world. We don’t even mind if the song is in another language as long as it comes with an explanation of the message. It can come in any language. Once it inspires people to do something from the heart.

People can find all the guidelines on how to enter on the JB Dondolo site. F. Are all your projects focused mainly on providing water? Ln. We provide many services for those who need them but lately water has come to the forefront. It has for now become our focus. It is a basic human need and to think that in 2020 that there are people all over the world without access to clean water is just unimaginable. F. How can people become involved with your organization or specific projects or campaigns? L. Well if people want to get involved they can go to the website, or send an email. They can also call us directly and there are links on the site for people to donate. No donation is too small and we are grateful to everyone who can help. We are also open to people who might want to volunteer on any of our campaigns, we are always in need of volunteers as there is so much to do. Any thing anyone thinks they can do to help we are open to.



Amanda Abizaid

by: Maighread Ni Mhaonghail & Ben Salvacion


inger-songwriter Amanda Abizaid is a singer/ songwriter, Flautist and Pianist, originally from Lebanon. Her Album ‘Walking In Twos’ featuring the legendary Stephen Stills has won several awards from prestigious competitions such as USA songwriting competition Global Music Awards, Los Angeles Film Awards Global Film Festival Awards wclosing International Music Awards and many many more. The New York Times has thanked her for her vocals on the emmy-winning theme song a place in time for Paramount ‘The 44,000’. Amanda has had songs on Lifetime Paramount VH1 CBS and Fox she’s performed for live audiences of up to 25,000 people and been interviewed by Forbes. com and Kebabayan today. She is also a judge on the Music For Water Campaign. F. Hi Amanda. How are you? Welcome to Fusion magazine. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I know you’re a multi award-winning multifaceted multi-level thing. So could you just tell us a little bit about you A. Well, I began piano at five years old. I was classically trained in piano and voice training. I had four older sisters one of whom was an opera singer and they had formed a little band. I wanted to join in the band and my sister told me that I could only join If I Could Sing certain harmonies, so instead of allowing that to put me off. I took that as a challenge and I joined the band. So I guess that was my first experience of having to collaborate with other people and learning harmonies.

By age 15, I began to write my own songs because I felt that I had something I wanted to say. Well next thing you know, I’m a singer-songwriter. F. “ Place and time” for 44,000, was your first success. A.Yes, it was probably one of my biggest successes and it certainly led me on my journey and opened a lot of doors for me. It was an emmy-winning program and that really helped kick-start my career. F. Walking in two’s has been an even bigger success can you tell us a little about the story behind it and your collaboration with children from the Philippines?

and as he wanted to support the children in the Philippines, he said yes. So we began our collaboration. He did an amazing job. So I just really wanted that song to be heard. F. What is the new collaboration for the song? A.Well now we’re re-doing the song with people from all over the world We want to create a song that inspires people to connect. Something that reminds us we are all human beings. We all have basic needs. One of those needs is clean water. We all need water. F.Is this what made the project of music for water? So interesting to you.

A. Initially the song came about during a trip to the Philippines.When I went there to teach music & to visit schools there we went to a certain Village and we were singing songs in English to children who didn’t speak any English and I could see that it just blew their minds and they loved the music so much, watching the children and how much they enjoyed it.I was reminded of how music transcends everything. Language and culture and barriers. It was there really that the song really came alive.

A.Well, actually when I was in the Philippines, I was in a village with Ieta people and they had no water in the village. The

F. How did Steven Stills become involved?

pump wasn’t working and the children were going up and down the mountain to collect it from the river which isn’t clean. These little kids in bare feet were going up and down the mountain carrying water. So I tried to raise money with my fans and

A.Well when I came home, I felt that it was something I could really collaborate on with my friend Stephen Stills. I reached out to him and asked him


through the nonprofit’s that I’m involved with to try and get them a new pump. F.So getting involved in the music water campaign was more or less a natural transition for you and something that you’re already interested in

A.Well, I was actually contacted by the guy who used to be my PR guy. When I was doing a place in time, his name was Truman Clayton and he had been contacted by Beatrice Davis who was a friend of his and who talked to him about the campaign. So when he contacted me about the project and because of the work I do as a humanitarian. I agreed to meet with Beatrice. I just said yes to being involved and to becoming a judge. It all just came together especially after being in the Philippines. F.How surprised were you to know that people in Navajo Nation had no water. A Well, I had no knowledge at all of Navajo Nation just like I had no knowledge of what was happening with the villagers in the Philippines. But you know now I’m aware, I have a lot of fans and I made my fans aware. Of what’s happening and you know I feel that music is just such a great way to create awareness without being preachy and tychy and it just felt right to me to it seemed like the right time. And it’s a great opportunity for new songwriters. F.What do you think that contestants are really going to get from this competition besides the distribution deal A. Well, JP, Don dondelo was such a great man and a great advocate for Change and now lumbie is carrying that Legacy forward. I think it’s an honor as a songwriter to be able to write for the campaign and to write with the sense of purpose F. What should they think about why writing? A. I would say the Navajo Nation research water has nothing to do with water. Do your homework and write a song that will touch hearts? I would like to see and hear. F. Visuals of the Navajo Nation and different aspects of water. Basically, I guess tell a story from your heart about a situation. Let your song be the beginning of your journey as a songwriter and also pay attention to melody. You know, fun makes it upbeat and not teachy preachy.

A. just write and make it authentic. I want to hear the story come from your heart. I would prefer to listen to an acoustic with heart than a fully produced song with no heart.

TV and film work, but also we are recording the new version of our Walking in twos with people around the world. I want it to be the next We are the world because I think we need that right now. We need to be uplifted. Obviously this project we have some to do something. It’s just not okay that people are going through these difficult times and going without water and 2020 in America.

F.What’s your next project? What’s next for you?

F. In three words why should people get involved

A. I’m writing with my co-writer right now and pitching for more

A.now is the time. Oh, wait, that’s four words. Ha ha ha.

F. What advice do you have for people who may not have great equipment for production?


by: Maighread Ni Mhaonghail & Ben Salvacion

DJ Paolo Montagni


t the beginning of the nineties Paolo Montagni already had his own recording Studio Great Mountain International Records. Having begun his amazing career at age eleven as a dj, he progressed to working with private radio and was live on air every week for over 15 years with his own radio show, specializing in RnB and Hip Hop and live interviews with US artists. In addition, he was linked to almost all major musician broadcasters and can proudly call Curtis blow and many other celebrity Artists his close friends. As we chat with him about His role as a judge with Jb Dondolo music for water campaign. We find out about His incredible outlook on life. M. Paolo, you have had an amazing career which spans over 42 years when did you begin your journey? P. When I was small my parents had a restaurant near an army base, that’s how I became introduced to American Funk and soul in the 70s. Artists such as James Brown Commodores Really before rap music startup Then I had a little reel-toreel and I was recording the American Top 40 with Casey casein back in the day. This got me into my own little system of presenting. At that time there weren’t many DJs around and no techniques. No studios. Just really big.

F. How old were you when you began? P. I was literally 11 years old when I began D-jaying, i was hanging out at parties and just doing my own thing. By about age seventeen I was already a pro and I got picked up by a club. That kickstarted everything.

F. Age eleven is really young, how did other DJs react to you being there playing. How did you earn their respect? P. No one respected me when I began. Naturally they all thought I was too young, but I didn’t care. I just kept going. I just kept doing my own thing and eventually they began to support me because they could see my determination. There are a few army bases near where we lived and I was playing in there an American Club that was full of soldiers. I had the advantage of having a lot of insight into some of the best American music because of some friends I had in America. I was in the club 24/7 and I was passionate about what I was doing and brought that energy. My parents also really got behind me and what I wanted to do. i really wanted to live it to the fullest and i think as people recognised that then the support just grew and it evolved from there. F. So you became a radio host. Was that a natural progression from the being in the club? P. The transition to radio host was pretty organic. I worked at a couple of big


radio stations. I saved the money I made from that, and used it to create my own recording studio. Then I decided I wanted to create my own label and that’s how Grand Mountain international Records was born. At the beginning it was mostly a promotion label, but then I had a couple of really good names on there as well. People like Dante Thomas and a few Italian reggaeton artists. F. You’ve worked and collaborated with a lot of D days in artist P. Yes. I’ve collected I’ve conned collaborated with many many artists and some big names, but I don’t really focus on that. I’m not really into name dropping or anything like that. People come and go, and I have made my own little history in my own field. F. How did you become friends with Kurtis Blow, how did that relationship happen? P. I met Curtis in 1982 when he had first captured the Gold Records, he came to Germany and we just kind of collided and became friends. We’re still friends to this

day and we talk every now and again just to catch up. And particularly I was ringing him about the situation in the US because I know it’s been tough for a lot of people. Curtis and I have seen each other through some very tough times. F. So, what was it about the campaign that got you involved. P. I’m always open to supporting people. I come from an Italian family and sharing is just part of our culture. I grew up in a family that has a philosophy of, “my plate is your plate “and where everyone is important. Helping people is important to me, especially now during covid So many people are impacted by it. The music industry had been badly affected, people that I know. People are suffering everywhere, so I think in times like this we can see who is open to sharing and who isn’t. It’s important to me to know that I’m doing something good when I can and for those who may not have are those who are really finding it difficult. So, when Beatrice Davis came to me about being involved in the project I said yes immediately. It’s my way of being involved in offering someone an opportunity or just to be of support. F. Were you aware of the difficulties facing the Navajo Nation pre-during covid previous campaign? P. I wasn’t really aware to be honest. I really only became aware when Beatrice reached out and spoke to me about the campaign and the issues affecting the people of the Navajo Nation. Then I began to research further and realised the seriousness of the issues people were facing. For me this isn’t just about the Navajo nation, it’s about our connection to each other as human beings. I know this campaign won’t solve everything but it’s one step in the right direction. We really need to help each other as human beings. Today we help the Navajo nation. Tomorrow we help someone else. F. That’s a really Beautiful philosophy. Well for me, it’s that I have a very simple philosophy. I’m blessed in my life. I have everything I need, I have food I have water but not everyone has that. I feel that today. The media constantly makes us feel that we don’t have enough

and for me to think that there are people out there who don’t even have water. Well, that’s incomprehensible in 2020 in America. Any project that can help make a difference to that situation, I want to support it to the fullest. If I can help spread awareness then you know, that’s what I’m going to do. F. I respect your ideology. But where do you feel that your sense or your compassion for Humanity stems from was that like an experience of your own? P. Well, I guess the loss of my father to cancer when i was young had an impact on me. The knowledge that there is nothing you can do to change the situation and the realization of the fragility of life, teaches you a certain sense of acceptance. It also gave me an appreciation and respect for life, and gratitude for the blessings in my life. F. What benefit is there for people who enter this competition? What do they gain Paolo? P. By entering this competition people are not only getting something for themselves, but they are also doing something that benefits others. The winners get an international Distribution deal, and all the publicity that goes with that, as well as being part of the jd dondolo campaign for a year. They also are doing something important by raising awareness and funds for the Navajo nation and helping people who have been really affected during covid. Getting them much needed supplies and sanitation.

F. As a judge and the owner of a record company what are you looking for? P. I’m looking for authenticity and a message of something that touches me, a sound that no one else has, something original. If someone has a really rubbish production but a great message that really you For instance, I would much rather, you know, listen to a track that sounds like that has a garbage production but a really great message and it touches


my heart to give me goosebumps, then listen to a really polished well done production. That’s empty. F. What would a distribution deal do for a young artist Paolo? P. Well, they would get a deal for one year with an international Distribution Company. Great Mountain Records. They would be distributed on all internet, all media platforms, all streaming platforms and they would be the song for JB Don delillo nonprofit for a whole year. That’s a huge exposure for an artist. F. So if you were to say a short message to people who are entering the competition what would that be? P. My message is simple and clear. You don’t have to follow the rules. Be authentic. Be true to yourself, tell a story. Make something that really means something to you, and that’s going to touch people. Give me goosebumps.


Transphobia by Adeline Berry


ecently there were videos uploaded to the internet of three popular transgender social media influencers in Los Angeles being beaten, jeered and robbed. Onlookers stood around cheering their assailants on rather than jumping in to help. Some of the assailants and witnesses uploaded footage of the attacks to their own social media accounts.


- dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people. https://www.lexico.com/

Police can be seen slowly driving by while the victims scream at them to stop and help. The scene is the stuff of nightmares, especially for trans people for whom this presents an all too familiar reality.


n 2020 more trans people have been murdered in the United States than in any previous years. (Most of these are Black trans women or trans women of colour). Transgender individuals are under attack on every level more than ever before, so with this in mind, why have powerful voices with large platforms warning the public of the supposed dangers of the existence of transgender people gotten louder than ever before? Attacks on transgender folk are nothing new. England outlawed the Hijra, India’s 3rd gender, in 1871. In 1933 the Nazis famously destroyed Magnus Hirschfeld’s library featuring what was then the largest known collection of literature on transgender people; Pride celebrations sprung


from a riot in 1969, sparked when NYPD attempted to enforce the “three-piece-rule” at the Stonewall Inn. The three-piece-rule gave the police power to arrest anyone not wearing at least three items of clothing consistent with the gender they were assigned at birth. As a child the only trans “representation” in media I was exposed to was the surprise shock twists and slasher movies like Sleepaway Camp or as the punchline to jokes in Monty Python sketches. In 2013 this changed as we were introduced to Laverne Cox playing Sophia Burset, a very relatable and endearing beautician, in the popular Netflix show orange is the new black, imprisoned for resorting to credit card fraud to

pay for her healthcare. In 2014 Time magazine announced the trans tipping point, putting Laverne Cox on the cover. 2015 gave us Sense created by transgender siblings Lily and Lana Wachowski, featuring the character of Nomi, a gifted transgender woman in an interracial lesbian relationship. In the plot her girlfriend rescues her from a hospital where she is scheduled for a lobotomy authorized by her right-wing, religious, conservative mother. The outcome of Obergefell v Hodges in 2015, when marriage equality was legalized in the United States, led to celebration in the transgender community, even though many of us, myself included,

were allowed to get married without it. While the dust of celebration was settling there was a creeping feeling of dread for what was coming next.

The Values Voter Summit in October, 2017, saw the religious right wing unveil their strategy to undo any gains the LGBTQIA+ community had made, beginning by separating the T from LGBT in an attempt to divide and conquer. At a panel entitled “Transgender Ideology in Public Schools: Parents Fight Back,” Meg Kilgannon, an author at the Daily Signal, the media arm of conservative think

tanks the Heritage Foundation, laid out their roadmap: This included Trying to convince others that gains for transgender people would come at the expense of other groups suchs as sexual assult survivors and cisgender female athletes. Trying to reframe the conversation to portray transgender people as bullies, despite a collosal power imbalance or the growing death toll and murder rates amoungst transgender people. Dismissing offhand inconvenient truths such as intersex conditions and rely heavily instead on junk science and

Image by Rhaj



bogus statistics. Finding allies and accomplices outside of religious, right-wing circles such as Hands Across the Aisle Coalition (HATAC), where supposedly progressive, feminist activists join forces with people and organisations that might otherwise be considered enemies, united by a mutual hatred of transgender people. “Progressive feminists” willing to unite with rightwing, religious organisations famous for their unrelenting war on the actual


hermaphrodites -- those in whom sexual anatomy is ambiguous or clearly conflicts with their chromosomal make-up -- are rare, estimated by one expert as “occurring in fewer than 2 out of every 10,000 live births.” This is already incorrect and misleading. One does not have to be considered a “true hermaphrodite” (born with both ovarian and testicular tissue) to be considered intersex as intersex conditions can take many forms and tend to occur much more frequently, 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000 births. They claim “The vast majority of “transgender” individuals are not “intersexed.” While not all transgender individuals are intersex and not all intersex

rights of women (compared to the imaginary threat projected on trans people) are known as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs). TERFs attempt to justify their hatred of transgender people through the spreading of scaremongering myths like the dangers of transgender bathroom usage or that transgender women are actually men who want to win all of the awards in women’s sports because men are not content with their belief that transgender men are actually very confused lesbians, so any attempt to support transgender people might be considered homophobic lesbian erasure; and that acknowledging that transgender women are women and not men somehow leads to the erasure of women.

At the Values Voter Summit Peter Sprigg revealed the Family Research Council (FRC)’s 5-point plan to erase transgender people from the public eye. Peter Sprigg is the author of “Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows About Homosexuality” and “The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality,” wand peddles debunked junk science attempting to link homosexuality with paedophilia. In the FRC paper Sprigg and Dale O’Leary swiftly dismiss intersex conditions as irrelevant. 90

individuals are transgender, overlap exists and exact numbers are impossible to gauge as intersex individuals usually have surgeries performed on their genitalia in infancy and intersex children are commonly lied to by medical staff concerning subsequent surgeries, and told, for example, that undescended testicles are cancerous ovaries that must be removed. Experts mentioned on the FRC paper include Dr Kenneth Zucker and Dr Susan Bradley, co-authors of studies judging the attractiveness of 8-year-old transgender boys and 6-year-old transgender girls. The 5 point plan recommended fighting the ability of transgender individuals to obtain legal gender recognition; fighting attempts to obtain legal protections for transgender people in employment, housing, business transactions and education; banning transgender people from public bathrooms matching their gender identity, which effectively has the potential to stop transgender folk from safely using bathrooms at work or while using other public rest rooms, forcing transgender individuals back into the closet or out of the public eye; fighting attempts to get trans medical care paid for by the government; and fighting to stop transgender individuals serving in the military in their preferred gender.

True hermaphrodites -- those in whom sexual anatomy is ambiguous or cleawrly conflicts with their chromosomal make-up -- are rare, estimated by one expert as “occurring in fewer than 2 out of every 10,000 live births.

This year, a well-known and popular children’s author penned a missive directed at the average uninformed, well-intentioned cisgender reader rather than trans folk who easily identified litany of long-discredited, fear mongering half-truths. The author, whose nom de plume appears to reference an historical proponent of conversion therapy, assures the reader that they are somehow the authority on the subject and proceeds to dismiss intersex matters as of no concern or to have any relation to the conversation on trans rights.


The strategies laid out in Kilgannon’s playbook are easily spotted, portraying transgender people as bullies; more rights and protections for them means less for us and the peddling of junk science.

A conversation on the reasons people hate, are racist or homophobic for example, would be beneficial and applicable here. In short, it’s because we have been programmed to hate and who to hate for a very long time.




Art to Heal in the Heart of a Pandemic A Portland Art Teachers Inspiring Example by: Sunny September


s I write my heart is filled with Pandemic inspired energy. I type a sentence that starts off powerfully, eventually lost to the sound of my backspace. Just as I think I’m going someplace, I lose that thought too, feeling possible yet defeated. My head wants me to find the perfect words. Suddenly those ideas pour from my soul and as I finish my computer crashes failing to save. I decide to go take pictures. Beauty is all around me and my lens won’t focus. I’m presented with the Green Heron who falls from his branch, the Osprey who misses his fish, and the sunset that appears where I’m not. The day feels backward and that battle between trust and fear is so much of what this year has become.


the past several months all around the world, we’ve been learning to navigate new versions of daily life. We’ve become masters of trial and error. We’ve walked through sadness and new beginnings. Just as we think, “Okay, I’ve got this,” something else swoops in as we find ourselves with even bigger fears. Then as we go forward, life invites us to adapt and make it work. We begin by learning to focus on what’s happening around us and just like the Green Heron eventually did we learn to steady our feet.



his brings us to present-day Portland, Oregon where first a pandemic caused a multitude of lost lives, jobs, and housing. Then forced political agenda created brutality and chaos. Next wildfires wiped out entire towns leaving mass devastation. And now Portland has the worst Air Quality in the world, forcing many, to stay inside. All just in time for kids to go back to school, with teachers working to build a sense of security amongst the anxieties of online learning. Their process mirrors courage, tenacity, and ways to proactively face this year. So now what? What do we, as humans, still faced by so much adversity do now? Why not follow the example of those teachers who are leading the latest adventure! Then we can figure out how to teach ourselves, create possibilities, and share forward… Take Nicole Lundgren (known by her students as Ms.L), a Portland Elementary School Art Teacher who has been working to adapt as she goes. As you can imagine it’s tough for any teacher to inspire students without a classroom. Now consider the Art Teacher! Picture bringing to life the experience of being handson through a bunch of computers. Plus, you’ve got parents dealing with a time where access to supplies, or

even their homes, could become limited! As the school’s only Art Teacher, teaching K-5, with 300+ students, Ms. L organizes her time between hundreds of online assignments, emails, 13 virtual classes, and everything else in between. Going virtual last Spring she thought there was no way it would work. Like most of us she, “Couldn’t even believe what was happening in our world, country, state and

This is my time. This is what I was taught to do, I know trauma, I know pain, I know adversity, I can do this!! I can help through art. very city!” Then as time progressed, emails from fellow teachers with ideas on how to connect with kids and teach on different platforms showed up. Drawing brilliance from this community she, was inspired weekly by how many kids reached out, waited outside their homes during a car parade, waved, and messaged. Seeing the art and faces of her students became the highlight each day. Finding it heartwarming, despite exhausting, she knew she couldn’t stop teaching, asking herself, “How would any of us give up now…?” And instead deciding, “This is my time. This is what I was taught to do, I know trauma, I know pain, I know adversity, I can do this!! I can help through art.”



o it’s no surprise when faced with the task of creating a virtual classroom again this year, Ms.L fearlessly took it on, creating a trail of artistic possibilities for her students (and us) to follow! Choosing to be a student of life Ms. L learns from everything and everyone around here, including her students. Beyond this she looks for the art in all of life’s moments.

LIFE experience

Her example also reminding us that brainstorming and collaboration are forms of art, so even through a Pandemic we can draw inspiration from each other, and continue forward. Teach, create, and share are the foundations Ms. L jumped in with sharing - “Mostly I want to inspire my students that art, of any form, can be healing. Can help. It can be a tool for right now during a pandemic, but also during times of adversity in life. Breakups, death, love, births, all can be times to tap into art and connect with YOURSELF.” “If we can’t identify who we are inside, who we are when no one is around, what brings us pleasure, pain and passion, then I believe, we will suffer during adversities,” advises Ms. L. She courageously invites us to use her personal story as a frame of reference for how art can be a starting place. You can use art to help find your way. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or at what point you slow down to find it, it can become a part of your story too! Maybe its a story you are still writing? Or maybe what’s before you feels difficult? Maybe you’re already an artist or maybe you’ve never considered - either way - we can always create and explore. Growing up Nicole faced many hardships eventually becoming the reason why she wanted to become a teacher. She wanted to be the adult that helped children just like her. She didn’t have parents who sat her down and helped with homework. She walked, at 6 years old, to the school bus with her big sister and kids from their low-income complex. She went to school to play with friends and to possibly receive attention (often bad) from teachers. Although, she was smart, she didn’t understand why she needed to do what


adults told her. The adults she had trusted had hurt and let her down in significant ways. Without the knowledge of how art could help her cope Nicole struggled. She talked out, made fun of teachers, and did anything to get laugh until a moment, in 5th grade, challenged her beyond her guards and fears. An old teacher from 1st grade approached her during break…She began crying and asked “What happened to you, Nicole?” Seeing her tears, broke Nicole’s rebellious heart, as she wondered - “How did she know something had happened? What did she know? She can’t know.” Nicole cried too. As the teacher hugged her Nicole soaked her dress with tears, realizing, she couldn’t tell her what was actually happening, fearing she would be hurt more, or lose her sisters if she told her the truth. In middle school Nicole felt uncomfortable in her own skin… and while she hadn’t yet learned the power of being yourself, or the idea art could be a tool to help navigate, she knew she was different from other girls beginning to have boyfriends. She cared about softball and volleyball, adding she was a good student mostly because she was so uncomfortable speaking.

This is my time. This is what I was taught to do, I know trauma, I know pain, I know adversity, I can do this!! I can help through art.


y high school Nicole shares, “I knew I wasn’t the same as my volleyball friends. Despite the obvious difference that my parents didn’t show up or bring food to my weekend-long tournaments, friends began to notice I had no interest in boys or attracting them. I knew I was gay. My friends did not, and when I had the courage to tell them, many didn’t believe me, most concluded “I hadn’t found the one.” … “Very gay. Lesbian. I came out my Junior year of high school and became overly introverted, almost overnight.” She experienced yet another significant moment that forced her to embrace art. After almost being killed in a car accident Nicole describes how she was pinned in her car for what felt like hours. She remembers a woman holding her hand, asking questions to make sure she didn’t fall asleep before they used the “Jaws of Life.” She came home in a wheelchair. She couldn’t walk, or go to school, and ended up home with abusive parents. Due to lack of attendance, her art teacher allowed her to continue assignments at home.

If we can’t identify who we are inside, who we are when no one is around, what brings us pleasure, pain and passion, then I believe, we will suffer during adversities




he life lessons from her early experiences are exactly what she hopes to offer her students now - the idea you can use art - even in small ways daily. Then as you practice more it can become a powerful tool, even if you don’t have all the skills yet, to face whatever might happen to you. Art can be a starting place, a safe stopping place, or a way to eventually create change. As she shares more about her journey including; escaping her abusive step-father, being on her own at an early age, falling in love with a narcissist, birthing twins, finding the courage to leave an abusive relationship, and becoming a single mom, Nicole confides how she learned how to proactively deal with panic and fear. After building emotional wellness, Nicole processed her early traumas, and got an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. From there she completed her Bachelors with her babies on her lap, despite working full time. Then as her sons got older, after years of working in group homes, residential treatment schools, special ed classes as a teacher’s aid, and as a deaf/hard of hearing educator, she decided to go for her Masters. Even though it felt harder than birthing her twins, and almost killed her, she did it! She put everything she had into it, balancing between relationships and moves. Then it happened! She landed a job as an Art Teacher at a local school. Finally faced with her dream job she recalls, “I couldn’t believe my luck, that I could actually TEACH something I felt so strongly about, something I have always wanted to share with anyone who will look or listen! I felt like things were finally aligning in my life, maybe the good part of my life was beginning.” Knowing hardships might still happen, her story reminds us how we can use our past


(or even current) traumas, in to order find success. Nicole also encourages everyone (no matter their age) to become Artists during the Pandemic (and beyond). Just as she shares creative prompts with her students, to help ground them, her energy invites us all to push aside fear and explore possibilities. She recommends we consider our definitions of art, ask powerful questions, think outside the box, allow art to show us about ourselves, and to allow various artistic expressions to become our teachers and help us discover just what we need. In fact, she suggests we don’t even need to be good at art to do it, “That’s not the point. The point is focusing on something, being mindful of your surroundings, and finding beauty in the ordinary or out of ordinary. I’ve always been told that I have a special ability to turn scary/uncomfortable/unknown situations into light/beautiful/comforting spaces. I use this ability with my students. I use it in my personal life, I use it with my children. Is this my art form? I’m not sure? I’m an artist, I teach art, but art for me is so untenable, I believe its a feeling. Art evokes emotion. Art heals. Art can distract and refocus your mind, especially during difficult times.” Which is why Ms. L started the school year by asked her students, “What is art to you?” She wanted to see how they were feeling and build from there. In response, they shared what they considered art. From drawings to sewing to playing the piano for her. That’s also when Ms. L introduced them to the idea of “seeing sound.” The goal is to help them feel safe - “I want my students to feel safe with me. I want my students to have a place they can breathe. Whether that’s a place to be silly when typically

they’re shy or a place to listen to Cello pop and focus on a comic book sketch. I want kids to know there are safe people in the world and I want to provide that safe place. I feel fortunate I can teach art, art begins with you, so each student can focus on their own identity. They can connect emotions to outside influences, they can learn coping mechanisms, they can learn to communicate and advocate. Art can free a child, especially if that child needs an escape.“ Every day through passion and her own art, she models using both to master calm in the face of unknowns. She uses her classroom to teach her students kindness, acceptance, and the idea they can be authentic by being themselves. Art also creates life skills for them too, and Ms.L wants to be sure her students can use those skills for celebration and healing as they continue to grow. Ms. L encourages all of us to build those skills, to “Turn the pain into something you can use. Write it out. Photograph it. Draw it. Scream it. Splatter paint it!! Just release it.” She, reminds us again, although scary, a Pandemic, or any other event in life, can also be about using artistic mediums to find grounding, including; listening to music, photography, nature, walks, powerful quotes and positive messages, topics that build self-empowerment, new hobbies, and building new friendships. Whatever you choose, she encourages anyone reading this to “Just keep going. Always, Keep going.” She promises you it will be okay, “Look at nature, look at art, find the beauty in the disasters of life.” As she also notes when faced with future uncertainty, these tools can be used to help us pause, and find the courage to begin again.

life experiences no matter what’s being thrown at us. To heal traumas through the things we slow down to create. And to always be willing to be both the teacher and the student. For anyone reading this article saying, “I’m not an artist or creative” - or who isn’t sure where to begin Nicole invites us all to think further… When you start to think you aren’t, remember instead: “YES. You. ARE.” And if your fear still has you doubting yourself - ask yourself, “How do you know? Have you tried making pottery? Have you tried taking photos? Have you made jewellery? Also, why do you have to be good to do art? I think a good starting point for someone wanting to do art to connect with nature, or emotion, or disconnect, should first SLOWWWWW down. There is no way we can make connections and truly evolve into a better society unless we start to make authentic connections. Look at the honeybee sucking on the nectar, look at the way the leaves change, listen to the sound of water rushing over the rocks, watch a child’s face when they explain a drawing. It’s the most beautiful thing in the world.

Like many Portlanders, Nicole has been navigating her family through these past few months with the heart of an explorer. She often uses artwork, nature, and the ocean for inspiration. Paired with the philosophy of being a student of life and the willingness to make it work her attitude opens the space for new creations. Her example mirrors the importance of building forward during times of unpredictability. While her ongoing positive spirit invites us to draw from our own

Nicole Lundgren is an Artist and Portland Art Teacher to follow her on Instagram visit her @nixpixin_art and to follow her teaching page please visit her @ms.l.art

Follow Sunny September @sunny_september_photography


THE MAKING O Wisdom In Every Wound By Estella Golford

The Gift of Change


his Is the Story of how walking a path of pain led me to becoming a Life and Business Coach. How I found my mission to assist and work with groups of women or individuals to help them to open the door to change within themselves, discover and realize their untapped potential, their inherent unique qualities of greatness and brilliance for limitless living and success.

Everything in the past has always been perfect. Everything in your past has led you to this transformative moment in time. Everyone–including you–has always done the best they could with what they know at the time.

This is my path, the journey to myself and into my soul, a story of renewal. It is an insightful adventure into a past that led me to years of soul-searching and the quest for my life’s true meaning. I embarked on a journey to the most fascinating person I could ever meet. Myself! I struggled through life to come out on the other side, often carrying a swirling storm inside me, a myriad of great life lessons, which transformed me and turned my life around. Using painful childhood experiences, which had a deep and lasting impact, to become the woman I am today.

– Jack Canfield – Co-author of Chicken Soup For The Soul Book Series



The Wounded Child


y story starts and revolves around the complex relationship between my mother and I. She was” My greatest teacher”. It is a portrait of a deeply troubled child. A wounded child seared with scars. At an early age, my mother’s coldness towards me gave me the experience of feeling alone. There was so much pain and sadness in my childhood. For years, I wept in silence yearning for my mother’s love. I used to blame myself,” maybe I’m not good enough or somehow undeserving of love.” Maybe if I were perfect, the girl she wanted me to be, I would have mattered to her. Perhaps she could have been proud of me but instead, I became a child victimized by contempt, shame, and humiliation.

ing atmosphere filled with Drama, Daily fights and conflict. A hostility surrounding me, seeping into my pores, infecting me with a venomous poison. Growing up in such a dysfunctional environment impacted negatively on my view of the world around me and how I walked through that world emotionally. My toxic relationship with my mother brought forth in me the feeling of my own unworthiness and very low self-esteem. The wounds of growing up in an unloving and hostile environment ran deep and left

Our relationship was volatile and erratic, filled with arguments and fights. It was destructive, selfish, and childishly egocentric. I was never close to her; maybe this was my own choosing somehow. Never the less, the relationship played its part in molding who I became and who I have become. They say, “Family is all that matters,” that when times get rough and tough, you give each other strength. I could see that with other families but for me it was impossible. As a child, I remember a home with a dreadful, suffocat-


me feeling unworthy and unlovable. I had no self-confidence and often felt guilt for no reason at all. I was longing for those comforting motherly words of wisdom. That soft voice assuring me, “I love you my love, you’re brilliant, I’m so proud of you.” I would have excused all the cruel punishment—the belt lashes and bruises on my skin—as long as I could hear her tell me she loved me. But there was never gentleness or tenderness with her, no affection, fondness, or warmth. Those words never came. As I moved through my life I knew one thing. I needed to

change how I felt about myself.

Renewing My Mind


needed to transform my life. I knew that there would be hurdles, roadblocks, and failures but I was determined to do anything in order to change the course of what was happening. A total makeover is what I wanted. I was fed up with feeling down and sick of playing the victim, replaying my childhood again and again into adulthood. I had children and wanted to be a better example for them. Failing forward was better than staying stagnant. The journey would not be easy, but I had to start somewhere. My quest to find myself began. I had been carrying a lot of old garbage with me. Rotten, conflicting, negative emotions. They had to go. I had old negative beliefs of myself. These limiting beliefs no longer served me and I made a commitment to my own Self-discovery. I knew this would be a long process that required true patience and grit. Before moving forward, a cleansing process needed to begin. I had to rid myself of all the old belief patterns and break free from fear and mind chatter. I needed to quiet myself and listen from within. Many moments tested me and fear would try to mess with my head, but I kept going and kept clearing. Asking questions, looking for answers, and praying for solutions. I believed I deserved the proverbial happy ending. It’s a mindset, a state of mind, residing in my heart and soul. I became happy in my own momentary solitude, I got to spend more time with myself and see those who were dear to me. Slowly

but surely, my mind was shifting. Metamorphosis takes time. Time to be with yourself and time to cocoon. For a tiny silkworm to turn into a butterfly is an ar-

Creating a Life of My Own Design


y thirst and passion for knowledge became an insatiable desire. I read everything I could find that would give meaning and sense to what I saw going on around me. I questioned everything. Knowledge made all things possible–a life-altering tool that changed my life’s direction. A major turning point came for me I embarked on a journey of years of self-reflection— a search of tested and proven success


duous task, a long and solitary period. It requires hard work, determination, and acceptance if you want to change. Start to get rid of the old things in order to renew.

life principles, books, rigorous personal development, transformational courses, training, and seminars—that I finally realized that I could change my life for the better. I can create a life of my own design. Studying became my obsession Like poetry, it unlocked the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, recollected in tranquility, a sense of peace in my life— an instant remission. I began searching for a deeper meaning in my life, a greater truth, of knowing who I am. I began doing new things and shifted from my norm. I had the desire to change, the decision to

feminine nature was awe inspiring and empowering.

act, and the determination to persist until I got the results I wanted. I insisted on it. I set my standards of discipline high; to practice new behaviors until it they became natural habits. The books that I was reading were my maps to my destination, and my uncharted future. They were my personal teachers, my path out of ruins, and my road out of hell. Studying those books unleashed a huge amount of courage and hope inside me. The results felt miraculous. With it came a sense of freedom within. My sense of greater connection and relation with the world, coupled with the relevancy of the materials in my life, gave me an immediate knowing that the changes were an inspiring and positive force. I was completely dedicated and devoted to becoming my best self. As I went deeper into my self-discovery and liberated path, I felt an inward manifestation producing intense joy, inner peace, and a sense of calmness. There was something causing that feeling of pleasure and I was beginning to feel I was going through an energetic transformation. Slowly, I began understanding why things were happening in my life—a hook. I began to grasp why my relationships weren’t working and had been a painful failure. I gained awareness; an ageless knowing that the sources of all the pain in my world lay inside me rather than outside. I was blaming everyone—everybody except me. I was beginning to know myself truly—the subtle recognition and understanding of my higher self. It was the inner awakening of the Wild Woman. That AHA moment. Recognition of the depths of my soul and the emotional truth in the entirety of whom I am. A loving being. Reclaiming and rejoicing my true

My journey began as on of personal development. I was just trying to help myself, but realized I could do so much more than that. All the pieces fell into place. I no longer needed to live from my past. Past evidence I had created since my childhood, to become an angry, frustrated adult no longer held power over me. I was liberated! I had the power to change my destiny. To blaze a path to my success, happiness, fulfillment, and fortune. I always had the POWER all along! I finally realized that I could change my path, take some course of action, and honor my most important values. I was like a person trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle. In trying to solve a problem for myself I realized I could help other people solve theirs.

A Note on Forgiveness


here is no automatic switch where we automatically live in a state of forgiveness. It is not an instant process. For most, it will be a slow journey. However, once you open the path through your heart, and stick to the outcome, you will reach the freedom of forgiveness. By letting go of all judgments, condemnation and criticism. The miraculous practice of love, forgiveness, kindness and compassion can truly heal people. Forgiveness is a powerful, potent force, a daily sustenance, and the answer to problems that confronts us right now. Without love and forgiveness, we will continue to create resistance, judgment, condemnation, and hatred even those that are close to us, those we love the most. Through love and forgiveness, we can heal ourselves and heal others.

Third Person Bio


stelle Galorport is a leading light in the field of personal development and selftransformation.

A Certified Life and Business Coach. You’re Success Trainer and Mentor and a QQI Award Trainer from The Irish Institute of Training and Development. She helps ambitious, purpose-driven women succeed with online business start-ups. Women, who dream big dreams, take control of their lives and discover their passion, turn it into a lucrative business and launch it online. She teaches how to MASTER THE INNER GAME OF LIFE and live the LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS while working at a business you really love. With a FAST, POWERFUL, and DETERMINED PLAN OF ACTION will enable them to magnetize & monetize their deepest desires and manifest their DREAM LIFE with ease, certainty and on-demand.


She helps to formulate a CRYSTAL-CLEAR VISION for what they want their life and business to look like, and offers a very specific coaching process, which enables her client to translate that VISION INTO REALITY. She is also the founder of Women of Light Manifestation Club. She is a person of profound and extensive learning in several fields of study including dental medicine, psychology, quantum physics, metaphysics, and spirituality combined as a blueprint for success. She has lived out her message of “accept and love who you are and commit to a life-long learning and self-discovery and radically transform all aspects of your life — health, relationships, business, careers, and income. Estela resides in Ireland with her Irish husband, ten cats, and two dogs. She is a doting Mama to her three daughters and one son.

Organic Formulations for Skin care by: Kristine Rodrigues-Lucas


rganic skincare is a growing business today. This pandemic made more and more people become conscious of not only what they put in their mouths, but also what they apply to their skin. Although, little is written about how we can effectively use these organic skin care and cosmetics, specifically for our own skin type. Different skin types require different organic skin care solutions. It is the goal of this article to guide you in what organic ingredients you have to look for in the products that you are buying and using. Let us start by quickly discussing skin types. There are 4 basic skin types – normal, oily, dry, and combination. These types are mostly based on genes. As we age however, our exposure to the toxins of the world or diseases we may have acquired may alter the health of our skin. Normal skin type is what we consider as the most comfortable skin. When you get out of the shower, you don’t feel tight, nor grease up right away. You barely have pores, and very seldom get blemishes. Oily skin is often confused with sweaty. Sweating is related to the ability to cool our skin down. Oily skin however, is a skin type that produces too much sebum. Its alkaline is high, meaning there is not enough acid to fight bacteria, which leads to having blemishes. Pores are very visible, and the skin appears to be shiny. Oily skin is typically genetic, but hormonal issues may also produce pimple/acne problems. In contrast, dry skin lacks moisture and lipids on the surface of the skin. It needs extra care to retain

When buying your skin care, the first thing to remember is what type of formulation is good for your skin type moisture, and to protect it from external factors. Dry skin may also be sensitive, as skin is very dehydrated. Some people have some areas dry, and some areas oily; they fall under combination skin. When buying your skin care, the first thing to remember is what type of formulation is good for your skin type. Normal skin is the easiest to manage. You can use water-soluble cleansers, and a gentle regular skin care routine to keep your skin hydrated. For dry skin, oil-based products is best for that maximum moisturization. In contrast, those with oily skin should only use water-based products to ensure that no additional layer of oil is added especially on the problem areas. Nowadays, liquid or gel products are also getting more common for oily skin. As for combination skin, light weight, hydrating, and oil-free formulations may be best, (with the application of toner on the oily areas).


Common Organic Ingredients, and How Can they Help Your Skin Type: Cocoa Butter – is great for dry & Beeswax – it has hydrating, antiShea Butter – hydrator, protects against water loss by locking in moisture with linoleic, stearic, and palmitic acids. It is best for dry and sensitive skin, as it has emollient and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also great to know that shea butter has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that can help alleviate acne, as well as making it a well-rounded skin care ingredient. A famous skin care vlogger, Hyram, listed shea butter as his natural dry skin go-to.

inflammatory, and anti-bacterialproperties that are much needed in fighting pimples and problematic skin (such as eczema). Beeswax is occlusive. It seals moisture, and contains vitamin A, (which helps prevent lines and wrinkles, so it is added in a lot of organic anti-aging formulations).

sensitive skin. It is rich in fatty acids, so it has the ability to nourish the skin well. It creates a barrier on the skin to protect it, and for this reason, it is often the number one ingredient in baby skin care products. Cocoa butter is rich in phytochemicals that helps fight toxins from the environment. Theresa Buenaflor, a formulator of a successful organic cosmetic and skin care line ELLANA, swears by cocoa butter and has added it to her beauty balms for it’s all around skin moisturizing benefits.

Coconut Oil – one of the most Aloe Vera – used to soothe and heal sensitive and problematic skin. It also increases collagen production, and improves skin elasticity. It is considered an herbal remedy for a lot of topical skin conditions, like burns and wounds. Its anti-inflammatory effect is also helpful for acne.

famous organic skin care ingredients due to its variety of uses and aids. It is a protectant that fortifies skin tissues. It is a powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral fights skin diseases.

Macadamia Nut Oil – rich in essential fatty acids. It is a famous formula used to prevent premature aging. It is a moisturizer that repairs damaged skin cells and dry skin.

Argan Oil – regarded as a powerful skincare ingredient because it is very rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants. It helps in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as fighting sun damage.



hile there are a lot more natural oils that we can discuss, we have summarized below some of the most common essential oils that have skin care benefits.

Essential Oil

Promotes Skin Regeneration

Reduces scars

Reduces acne

Tones & Rejuvenates




Balances Sebum




Ylang Ylang







Clary Sage


Tea Tree Oil

As organic skin care continues to thrive, we have to continue to watch out for what works best for our skin type and condition. It may not be totally feasible to eliminate synthetic chemical in our skincare, but it will benefit you to be knowledgeable in what you put on your face.

What works for your sister or your friend may not necessarily work for you. Using the right skincare product for your specific issues, partnered with lifestyle changes (like quitting smoking for instance), can help restore your skin’s natural balance.

MINI BIO Kristine Rodrigues-Lucas recently partnered with Korea based Asia Education Association of Medical Beauty to bring in the country trainers who are PhDs in the line of Cosmetics & Medical beauty, elevating our education standard in the Philippines. Authored a book in makeup – The Essential Make-up Manual for Asian, which has been published by Amazon.




s things cool down outside, things are heating up on the runways as men’s fall fashion is popping up in stores and online. As the leaves begin to tumble from the trees, these looks are taking center stage. Soon, we’ll be having the last campfires of the season, the last trips out in the kayak, and we’ll be moving back indoors. Here are the pieces you need to have in your closet to keep the summer heat turned up through the fall and into the winter. (Catouwear)

Men’s Fall Fashion Trends Are on Fire O

versized Coats Go big or go home. When it comes to coats, this is going to be your motto this fall. Oversized coats are everything this season. To avoid looking sloppy, mind the details and tailoring. Your coat should fit you well through the shoulders. You’ll also want to streamline the rest of your outfit, so that the intent of the oversized look comes through. Fuchsia and Red Fuchsia might be an unexpected fall color, but it’s fabulous. Red is also big this season. If you want to really be on-trend, go head-to-toe in these attention-grabbing colors. If you’re feeling like head-to-toe pink or red is too much, invest in a wool blazer. Paired with slacks or a pair of dark denim, this has “signature look” appeal. Sweater Vests Sweater vests are picking up popularity again. Look for these in bold colors or with cool motifs. Nothing pulls together a button down and a pair of great-fitting jeans like a sweater vest with some cool details. The sweater vest is great through different seasons and is a spectacular way to bring color and detail to your fall layers.


FA LL 2020 The Coatigan Is it a cardigan? Is it a coat? It’s a “coatigan.” Structured cardigan sweaters made from thick yarns are here, and we’re here for them. To avoid looking like you need a pipe (unless of course you like that look), you’ll want to keep an eye on the details. This year’s coatigans have fun button details, interesting graphics, and even color-blocking.

Bold Statement Prints Bold! If there were going to be a keyword for fall 2020 fashion, that would be it. There’s nothing quiet about any of the trends happening in fall 2020. The bolder, the better – it’s true of the fall colors and it’s true of the fall prints. Motifs, plaids and checks in novel colors, tie dye, and other pops of fun are bringing it this season.

Utility The utility pants and jacket trend is continuing. Look for lots of pockets, tailored strapping detail and drawstrings. The upside to this trend is you’ll always have plenty of room for all the things you normally carry in your pockets. The downside? There is no downside. Utility styles are here to stay – if you want to veer away from khaki and olive green, there are plenty of bright options coming onto the scene.

Striped Sweaters Stripes on sweaters – especially in bright colors – are making their way to you. Whether you want something a little more classic with a blue and orange stripe or you’re looking to turn every socially-distanced head in the room and choosing blue, fuchsia, and white stripes, your closet wants a sweater with stripes in it. Puffers Puffer vests and puffer jackets are having a renaissance this fall. In line with the oversized coat trend, the bigger the better. To avoid looking like you walked out of a time machine from the 1990s, you’ll want to keep the rest of your outfit monochromatic. Let your vest or puffer jacket make the statement for your whole look. Leather & Shearling Leather is big this year, particularly leather slacks and blazers. You’ll also find some weather crewnecks, and those are definitely worth picking up. Keep your leather tones traditional. Shearling is another animal textile that is big this year. Find it on coat collars, lining denim jackets, and in a 70s style to change things up a little bit as the weather gets cooler.

Updated Corduroy Corduroy is a fall staple. Rust colors, olive colors, browns – those are the classics of corduroy. This year, corduroy is getting an update. Corduroy is available in wider wales, and fun colors. Why not rock two trends at once with a corduroy jacket in fuchsia – or, if you’d like to make a more subtle statement while still wowing people, look for a corduroy blazer suit. Ties Yeah yeah, I know, ties have been a menswear staple for as long as they’ve been around. This year’s ties are bold, and in a throwback to the 90’s they’re not just for suits. Ties are being worn with layered button-ups, sweater vests, and velvet dress shirts sans blazers. You’ll find them with blazers, too, but they’re being tacked to the inside of the lapel.


Home | A Touch Of Gems Wirral Specialising in Genuine Gemstone sterling silver jewellery, commissions, Earrings, Bracelets, Rings Necklaces & jewellery sets. Commissions in Gold And Sterling silver Made in Britain Wirral. www.atouchofgems.co.uk


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Stella Vegas



tella Vegas, Founder of Legendary Astrology and Creator of The Alchemical Astrology. She calls astrology she is practicing Alchemical because the blend between Psychological Astrology, Transformational Life Coaching, and Master NLP combines the best of these fields and provides truly powerful insights and tools for self-understanding, empowerment, transformation, and psychological and spiritual growth. Stella has been working to help people help themselves in one on one consultations since the 1990s. Her goal is to counsel you towards greater insight and help provide clarity and practical solutions. Her readings are in-depth, action-orientated, empowering, and delivered with compassion, humor, and grace. Enjoy October, dear readers! Best wishes, Stella Vegas

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Dear Reader:


ou and I made it to October! We are prevailing. You are thriving.

And so, you can celebrate with genuine joy because you have come through some tough tests in this trial filled year. 2020 was always destined to be a BIG year, both in your individual life and on the world stage. It holds some of the most significant planetary alignments we have seen in a long time, involving rare, for the first time in 500 years alignment between Saturn and Pluto in the sign of Capricorn which started in January and expanded greatly in March, as well as six Eclipses, and plenty of retrograde planets. If you felt this year was intense, you are not alone. Saturn and Pluto in com-

bination can be harsh and very demanding but they also hold the key to retrieving our own personal power and remembering just how strong, resilient, and powerful we are. If you wish to enjoy an inspiring and greatly useful practical read and skill of emotional resilience you can take with you for life, I highly recommend the book “The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday. – this is a great intro to an ancient practical Tao of Personal Empowerment. While the planets are not at the cause of our personal or world events, they do ​act as a mirror​ and can help guide us to understand what is happening on a deeper level in our own lives and in the world we live in.




plays a vital role in your life. It embodies your passion, determination, drive, and will power to make your goals and dreams

happen. Its placement in your birth chart indicates how you assert yourself and how you approach conflicts, what possible inner and outer obstacles might be in your way and how to solve and transform these obstacles in the easiest way possible. TRANSFORMATION: Being in touch with your Mars and harnessing its energy will increase your confidence and sense of power and effectiveness in the wworld. he slowly burning retrograde fire of Mars will be the dominant theme of the final quarter of the th​year. Mars retrograde has started earlier in September, from September 9​but it is of big sig-

nificance because this period will last till November 13th, 2020 and we are headed into the most important period for the next two years (2021 and 2022). This is equally important for all star signs but especially if you have a planet/point in the 15-28 deg range of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn then there is a direct impact for you. Though Mars retrograde periods can bring out frustrating blocks to motivation and obstacles, the inward focus of Mars also creates the potential of realigning with your most deeply felt desires.

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In both your personal and professional life, now is the time to contemplate and do strategic planning for your next two years.


ntil 13. November gives you time to research your options and until mid-January to make final plans and decisions. Vital questions to reflect on in the research phase are: which path is most attractive for you? What support do you have or might need for any changes you want to make? Devote some of your time to this process and you will be ready as the New Year kicks in.



reveals in your birth chart how

you make sense of your world, formulate ideas, and share them


ercury forms two very difficult aspects during this retrograde, three squares to Saturn in Capricorn from Libra, and three oppositions

to Uranus in Taurus from Scorpio. The square and op-

with others. Your speech patterns, communication style, sense of

position are challenging aspects, and it will increase the

humor, quickness of thought all these are flavored by the position

pressure felt during this retrograde. It will be important

of your Mercury. TRANSFORMATION: Being attuned to your Mer-

to unwind, focus on self-care, and ask for help when you

cury from inside out can help you understand and maximize your

need it. ​Mercury is retrograde three or four times each

learning, transformative, and awakening potential.

year and this sensitive period is perfect for reflection,


evaluations, and conclusions. Practice being patient esides Mars, Mercury is a second personal planet being

and withhold from the start anything new especially if

retrograde in October. This doubles a new project and the

you haven’t already finished the old projects. This also

importance of preparation and reflection in October even

involves launching new projects, making an important

more. Mercury is starting the retrograde journey at 11 degrees of

presentation, or making important decisions or prom-

Scorpio from October 14th and finishes on November 3. You will

ises.There is also the risk to overlook essential details,

feel this retrograde phase most intensely if you are

and above all practice clarity and ask for maximum clar-

​water sign: Cancer,S corpio, and Pisces. And most challenging if

ity from others in all your communications.

they happen to be born in fire signs: Aries, Leo, andSagittarius.


you haven’t done your birth chart reading yet or some time has passed since you had one, now might be the right time to take action as New Year is coming closer, and having an indepth reading for your next year is most beneficial in many ways. Find out a bit more on how what and when astrology guidance can help you and take an advantage now of the amazing introductory offer + extra special bonus as a reader of Fusion magazine at:


My marketing maverick says I am mad to offer a combined birth chart blueprint and predic-

tive forecast reading at such a steal (it’s a 2 hour session with a 1 hour follow up which needs to be used up within 3 months) but I always love to surprise my readers. For more details on the exact offer click the link and see what it is all about.



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