Complexd Women

A day in the life of cosmopolitan women around the world


Name: Marielle Landi

Age: 24

Place of Birth: Philippines

Current Residence: Australia

I am half Italian and half Philippino and I was brought up in Boracay in the Philippines, Rome, Bali and the Sunshine Coast in Australia. My mother is from LA and my dad lived in Rome, but they fell in love while on holiday in the Philippines. They settled there for the peace and tranquility so I spent most of my younger years in Boracay. Now I split my time between Bali and Australia but I always appreciate the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to live in four different countries. My parents took me all over the world, which taught me valuable skills about adapting to different cultures.

I would love to go to India and experience the diversity in their culture and the lifestyle. I love experiencing new traditions and immersing myself in cultures that force me out of my comfort zone.

I’m a model, actress and make-up artist. I started modelling when I was 16 and I’ve modelled for publications like MAXIM and Condé Nast Traveller and been featured in a few movies, music videos and TV shows and commercials.  I also started up a fashion agency working with a wide spectrum of creative in the fashion industry.

                                                                                            Portrait by ADW Photography

 I’ve always wanted to run my own business. I strongly believe that if you want something you should go for it, take the initiative and work hard towards it. With hard work, determination and positivity anything is possible, that is why I live by this quote, ‘If you don’t go after what you want, you will never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place’

Marielle Landi


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83 year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, has voluntarily resided in a psychiatric hospital for the past 4 decades. Now you can experience her violently happy, and silently loud creations in a large exhibition at the Tate Modern.  Each room offers a new artistic standpoint that reflects her unique portrayal of the world.  Her renowned polka dots and large-scale installations engross the viewer and transports them to a vibrant and poetic world. The words intriguing, breathtaking and magical sum up Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition at the Tate Modern.

Yayoi Kusama - Tate Modern: Exhibition - 9 February – 5 June 2012

Entry Fee – £10, concessions available

By Ashleigh Johnson-Palmer

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All About Eve – The Photography of Eve Arnold

All About Eve is a photographic exhibition showcasing the photographers work spanning over six decades shows a great deal of diversity and culture. Eve Arnold work speaks volumes and allows the spectator to be engrossed in the moment.

One of nine siblings of Jewish-Russian decent born and raised in America, Eve first discovered her interest in photography in 1946 while working in New York City for a photo-finishing company.  From there her passion for photography made her one of the most eclectic photojournalists of her time.

The exhibition highlights the true diversity of Arnold’s work, featuring photographs of the infamous Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood and West End legends including, Joan Crawford, Isabella Rossellini and Orson Welles. In her reign she also photographed political figures to her travels to China, USSR and Afghanistan where she tells a story of the vitality of the people and landscapes through her stills.

All about Eve is a must see, the last exhibition from the photographer before she passed in January 2012.

 The exhibition is on until Friday 27th April at Art Sensus, 7 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1BB

 By Ashleigh Johnson-Palmer


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For National Peotry Month Complexd Woman presents  Spoken Word artist and second generation Haitian Melissa Beauvery.

 Music was very important when I was growing up. My mother was always nostalgic about the Haiti she remembered and would play the old songs of her childhood and generations before her. She would sit in the kitchen on Saturdays with some of her friends reminiscing about the Haiti they knew and missed. It temporarily transported them back home and allowed them to forget about their strenuous working hours and the cold weather and just close their eyes and sing along with Gerard Dupervil. They had this glow on their faces I could never forget, it made me wonder what was it about their homeland that made them so teary-eyed when the song was finished. Their hearts were clearly still in Haiti and that is what fuelled my passion for learning about who I am as a child of Haiti.

My spoken word is largely influenced by the oral traditions of West Africa, the ‘Krik Krak’ traditions of Haiti and the urban rhythm of the spoken word scene in the East Coast. The different parts of me always manifest through my work, especially when I tell a story. The stories I tell open a dialogue between the different worlds of Haiti and America. There is often a misconstruction between these worlds so I strive to write stories that illustrate both countries. It is very important to me as a Haitian American for my stories to help people understand what it means to have two very different identities.

In a video filmed, directed and produced by women, Melissa Beauvery speaks about her poem, ‘My Grandmothers Tongue’ …

Directed and produced by Francesca Andre/Director of Photography Ashley Panzera

‘The feet of women are already caressing the dusty roads, before the day would have the audacity to appear’

Images titled ‘Fanm Komes’ (Business Women) by Haitian photographer Francesca Andre

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In the Woman of Strength issue female photographer Ausra Osipaviciute talks honestly about what she discovered from her travels in Cuba and the reality for some Cuban women.

‘Sex service providers in Cuba are called ‘jineteras’ and surprisingly some of the young women involved are well-educated medical students or doctors because a prostitute can earn in a week the equivalent of a doctor’s annual salary paid by the state in pesos. They call themselves ‘Cuban girlfriends’ and usually accompany lonely businessmen on tours of Cuba, escort them to dinner and sleep with them. The practice is widely accepted because the only time a Cuban woman is allowed in tourist hotel is when she is accompanying a foreign man.  Even though it is illegal, the government closes its eyes to prostitution knowing how money is made from foreigners coming for sex and entertainment‘. Read the full article on page 86-89 here

The Cuba Prostitution Documentary by a solo male traveller and his quest to find a Cuban sweetheart, shows the male perspective of ‘Cuban Girlfriends’

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When photographer Tomek Jankowski photographed model Basia Szkaluba over a year to produce the B ALBUM (featured on page 48-63), like a chameleon she adapted with the environment and season. Below is also a display of her versatility as a model on the catwalk.

Check out the full series of images taken over a year for the B ALBUM below…

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‘The book Hope with Eating Disorders does not present anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders as a life sentence. The emphasis is always on recovery and the provision of HOPE’

Complexd Woman Lynn Crilly, featured on pages 14-15 of the Woman of Strength issue, opens up about how she remained strong for her daughter when she was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. Her book Hope with Eating Disorders was written for those who are concerned about close friends and relatives with food or body issues.  Set to be a Complexd read the book aims to be understanding, insightful, unbiased and honest by including the experiences of over 200 carers, sufferers and experts. It also features a contribution from Complexd’s Editor on the topic of eating disorders and ethnicity. Most importantly it empathises that eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, race or social background.

The book is released is released on 2nd April, but is available for pre-order here 

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Founder of City Girl beauty Project Andrea D Charles (featured on page 8-9) is also a talented Make-up Artist. Andrea first contributed to our Summer issue back in 2010 with a stunning editorial photographed by Michael Rowe .

Since then Andrea and Micheal have continued to collaborate to produce strong beauty editorials, including her striking self portrait.

Look out for the official red carpet launch of City Girl Beauty Project’s “Giving Is Glamorous” charity benefit and save the date!

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This fun animation is our favourite visual representing the celebration of women around the world for International Woman’s Day. Our Women of Strength issue is Complexd’s contribution to the IWD theme “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”. On page 16-17, 21 year old Lucille Murray talks about raising her two boys with love and care and adopting her sister, so that they could have the happy family they’ve always wanted. On page 34-41 Artist, Ambassador and Activist Yewande Austin explains why she needs to be the strong voice for the young girls on her program. On page 42-47 writer Shruti Bedi expresses her concern for the girl child in India. And lastly on page 64-75 Adrian Fisk asks young women in China and India to write down their thoughts about their hopes, dreams, aspirations and how they feel about the world.

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Our Complexd cover Kim Simplis Barrow talks Chemotherapy, recovery and meeting Prince Harry.

Photographed by JC Cuellar –

How do you feel after completing your 6th and final chemotherapy session?

I couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief that I actually made it through chemotherapy. The entire time, I was receiving treatment I just kept thinking about going back to my normal life. And while it was a great milestone to achieve, my last chemotherapy infusion didn’t mark the end of my journey with breast cancer. I am now about to embark on another leg filled with surgeries, radiation and more surgeries.  I’m still adjusting to life as a breast cancer survivor. I know it will be a lot like the life I had before, but I know some things will be a new kind of normal. There are so many questions that I still have about adjusting to this ‘new normal’ life, like how to fight the lingering fatigue? And what to eat to help prevent a breast cancer recurrence? My body has been through an enormous assault and the recovery is no small feat. My doctors have told me that I’m not going to just get back to normal right away, especially since I’ve been hit while I was down so many times during the chemotherapy. Right now the two biggest side-effects I’m facing from the chemotherapy are fatigue and the well dubbed “chemo brain”, which consists of memory deficits and the inability to focus.

What was it like meeting Prince Harry and what did he think of Belize?

Prince Harry said in an interview with Janelle Chanona that ‘He was most impressed with the people of Belize, and he was really happy to be here!’ One the night of the street party, he wore a traditional Guayabera shirt that was gifted to him when he arrived. I thought it was very classy of him. He talked with locals who came out to greet him, danced with the cultural performers, tasted the local cuisine including the local liquor and beer, and even stopped to talk to children. I was extremely pleased to have been able to accompany my husband Dean in welcoming Prince Harry to Belize. It was lovely meeting him, especially because he was so easy-going and down-to-earth, he was very engaging and interested in finding out more about Belize. I am very happy he took some time to meet with some of the children with special needs. He had lunch with several of them at the Xunantunich Mayan temple and was given a Mayan calendar by a vision impaired child, while a child with Brittle Bones presented him with our 2012 Inspiration Calendar, which features artwork from children with special needs and is produced by the Special Envoy Office. It was wonderful that he had the opportunity to learn a bit about the advocacy that we do here in Belize on behalf of children with special needs. To top it all off, he said that he wants to plan another trip to Belize!

Janelle Chanona interviews Prince Harry at Xunantunich Mayan temple…

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