BIZARRE FOODS ANDREW ZIMMERN: CNN ARTICLE ON TRAVEL CHANNEL TV SHOOT IN TOKYO. BIZARRE MAGAZINE THEME RESTAURANTS FEATURE.
“Bizarre” is the only word to describe this recent press round-up. My Japanese Goth comrades and I are currently on the front page of CNNGo (CNN’s fabulous Asia travel and lifestyle site). I wrote about my experiences as a guide on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World TV show — come read the article here!
Host Andrew Zimmern kindly took the time from his busy schedule to answer my questions. Why did Travel Channel come a-knocking on my door? “It was a no-brainer. You have beauty, grace, intelligence and can speak with authority on many subjects.” (Wahh??) And what was his favorite memory of the Tokyo episode? “Eating dinner with a giant pink pussycat was about as fun as life gets.”
In my CNNGo article, I describe the three weird theme restaurants that we visited. I also blogged about the shoot: click to read about Alcatraz ER outside and inside (horror asylum monster madness), Cafe Edelstein (dreamy schoolboys), Shinto bunny maid cafe (don’t ask) and crossing Shibuya’s Center Gai.
The Tokyo episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World airs this May on the Travel Channel and in 75 countries (I’ll let you know exactly when). Hungry for more photos? Please check out the Japanese theme restaurants in my book, Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo.
The bizarre press continues… I’m in the April issue of Bizarre Magazine, a UK publication about all things outrageous. The headline: “Crazy Japanese restaurants — themed eateries you HAVE to visit!” This issue is now in stores; I will post scans once I receive my copy.
1. A.G: So, you’re a triple threat: Blogger, Author and Designer. How is it that you fell into these very extraordinary yet very different occupations?
LC: I was studying law at Yale, but more often than not, my attention drifted to Japanese street style and pop culture… I started a blog as an outlet for my thoughts. The site unexpectedly took off and led to opportunities for designing gloomy-cute clothes and writing J-pop books.
2. A.G: You’ve had three books published with a variety of interesting themes (adorably cute food, Zen eating, crazy theme restaurants, etc.). You’re obviously a foodie, what inspired you to create these books and how did you first decide that this was something you wanted to pursue?
LC: Whenever you turn on the TV in Japan, you’ll always come across hosts eating or cooking food in an exaggerated manner! Cute food (bentos decorated like Sanrio characters) and theme restaurants (where elaborate costumes and diner participation are part of the experience) are only two aspects of Japan’s fascinating food culture. To me, writing about this world is endlessly amusing.
3. A.G: What have some of your biggest challenges and obstacles been when it comes to expressing your creativity?
LC: I have the freedom to travel and work from anywhere, and get to jump from exciting project to project. However, this path lacks the stability of a normal job, so you have to hustle like crazy and convince people to let you realize your visions. No time to wait around for doors to open.
4. A.G: If you could sum up your look and your aesthetic in three words- what would they be and why?
LC: Harajuku spooky cute. I’m heavily inspired by Japanese street fashions, especially Gothic Lolita Punk. I always have a touch of the undead in me. And don’t forget a pinch of Hello Kitty “kawaii.”
5. A.G: You’re fashions are fun in an edgy ‘Alice in Wonderland’ meets ‘Gothic Lolita’ way, what inspired you to create these looks and what are some of your creative influences?
LC: I’m inspired by my ghoulish crew of friends. Every time we go on a “nightcrawl” or do something creative (a film, a photoshoot), we transform ourselves and wear wild new looks. I also love seeing the elaborate DIY costumes and makeup at Japan/Goth/cyber clubs.
6. A.G: Do you have a fashion creed that you work and live by?
LC: That there shouldn’t be one. If you’re convinced that there is, break it.
7. A.G Do you have any favorite fashion icons?
LC: Visual Kei (a genre of Japanese rock) artists. Especially Mana-sama of Malice Mizer and Moi dix Mois, Versailles, Kaya, Ali Project.
8. A.G: What would you say to someone who is trying to break into the world of blogging, publishing and or design?
LC: Work hard to create quality content and get it out there. Every day, I post a review, video, photos… it adds up, and you’ll learn fast from the constant experimentation. There’s no single path to breaking into this world, but if you practice and network, you’ll gain confidence and gradually get to where you want. (I have many more tips on the Reader Questions section of my blog.
9. A.G: Your style and blog are so fun and reflective of your style, how do you come up with ideas for the various photo shoots featured?
LC: Give me a trinket from the dollar store, a club theme, any excuse at all to dress up — and the ideas pour out! Sometimes I’ll see a friend wear lipstick in a certain way, or see a hairstyle in a Japanese video, and I’ll be itching to put my own spin on things in the next photoshoot.
10. A.G: What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever worn and why?
LC: I adore my Moi-meme-Moitie Gothic dress (photo here). I was offered $600 for it — it’s an iconic piece by designer Mana– but I’m not ready to sell.
11. A.G: What are three things about you that nobody knows?
1) I played piano from the age of four until I started college, and studied music history and composition.
2) I’m known as a wacko cat lady, but I’m actually not that fond of most cats. My Scottish Fold, Basil Farrow, is a special bear. Anyone who’s seen his videos or met him knows what I mean.
3) I used to be a mistress in a dungeon. Ok, no, I made that up.