Category Archive for Fashion
Maldives Islands Snorkeling: untouched coral reefs. Gili Lankanfushi sailing, diving & pirate boats.
The Pirate life’s for me.
While at Gili Lankanfushi resort in the Maldives Islands, my crew and I had the opportunity to snorkel. Filmmaker Eric got in the water, and capture incredible underwater footage with his GoPro camera. (Melissa and I stayed on-board, for reasons we wish not to disclose… maybe you can guess?)
The Maldives is considered one of the best snorkeling sites in the world, and for good reason. Eric was mesmerized by the wildife he saw under the sea: angel fish, parrot fish, frog fish and other technicolor varieties.
Later, we went to a presentation about local underwater species, and how to preserve the fragile environment. The Ocean Paradise Dive Centre is doing all it can to keep the coral reefs alive, and tourists informed.
I didn’t miss out on all the action: I waded in the waters near my villa, which are rich with coral. What a treat to see little, colorful fish darting through my feet. (More photos of my incredible residence in this post.)
Can’t get over the natural beauty of my surroundings. The beaches and palm trees look like illustrations from an adventure novel.
We took a meditation lesson, and the instructor guided us: “Your body… is a tree. Your body… is a tree.” (I suppose I took this to heart.)
Now here’s an activity that’s more my style… ordering Mr Friday to steer my Pirate ship, in search of treasure!
My vessel is actually a dhoni, the traditional fishing boat of the Maldives.
We sailed to One Palm Island, about five minutes from the resort’s main isle. It’s inhabited only by this tree and a commune of hermit crabs.
“Arr, there be no treasure here!”
My octopus-anchor dress is gifted by Sourpuss, and the magnificent eyepatch is made by Cat Morley of Cut Out And Keep, who previously put me on the cover of Snippets Magazine. It’ll soon be featured in her Crafter to the Stars series.
Time to sail back to Treasure Island…
… and cool down with fresh coconuts, delivered by Mr Friday!
Gili Lankanfushi assigns each guest to a loyal companion (like in the novel Robinson Crusoe), who helps with arrangements, rides, travel tips, and anything else we might need. I loved this system: we made a new friend, who made our stay much more personal.
Speaking of fruit, we got to try regional specimens like mangosteen, rambutan, dragonfruit…
I don’t mind waking up early if it means breakfast on the beach, and choosing from a selection of Ayurvedic elixirs, fresh juices, honeycomb, and “spa balanced” omelets.
Our agenda was pretty intense: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. In between, I put in some hammock time.
View of Over Water Bar and Grill, where we took our mid-day meal (photos in the upcoming post).
So excited to show you our travel video, shot professionally by my two filmmakers!
Until the editing’s finished, you can whet your appetite with my other blog posts about the Maldives…
… and read more about all of the above on Gili Lankanfushi’s homepage.
Have you gone snorkeling before? If so, where, and what was your experience like?
PS: Thank you to everyone who came to my Spooky Saturday party! The German TV show was ecstatic about your outfits and energy. Above poster by Naomiyaki — it was fun putting these up around Vancouver.
I wish I had more time to hang out, but TV shoots always run late and there are a million things going on at once… As soon as the episode airs, I’ll put up the clip and photos, so be sure to bookmark this site. More casting and event announcements soon!
Shinjuku Lumine & Ikebukuro Sunshine City: Joyrich, World Wide Love. VANCOUVER, party with me & be on TV!
How are you pirates doing today? For those in sore spirits, I hope this life-size Rilakkuma bear lifts your mood.
And here’s a treat for my fellow Vancouver-ites… I’m hosting a party, to be filmed for a German TV show, June 15! Please share the info below; I hope you can join me for Spooky Saturday.
La Carmina is hosting a German TV show, about underground culture and travel in Vancouver. With her friends DJ Pandemonium and Sin City, we’re throwing a dark alternative flash mob party for the climax scene of the episode — where she and the German host party hard, and reveal a fascinating body modification!
Come and meet La Carmina, and be part of the TV shoot. The crazier you dress (fetish, Goth, costume, bizarre), the more likely you will be featured on the show. It will air later this year on Pro Sieben Germany, to an audience of 4 million viewers. When it airs, the clip and photos will be available on my blog, so be sure to check back.
WHERE: Waldorf Hotel Tiki Bar, 1489 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC.
WHEN: Saturday June 15, 9pm to 2am
AGE: 19+ with ID
DRESSCODE: Anything goes, but bizarre – fetish – club kid – Goth – carnival is encouraged.
Now, let’s continue our Tokyo shopping journey with trips to Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City and Shinjuku’s Lumine.
Long-time readers may recall that I have an Ikebukuro map and store photos in my Tokyo shopping guide. This district is not far from Shinjuku, and contains plenty of cute fashion boutiques.
From the subway, follow signs to Sunshine City. It’s a large complex and the stores sell some of the best kawaii goods, like these cat-ball plushies and polka dot bags.
On the first floor, World Wide Love is pastel ghoul paradise.
How amazing are these French-speaking ghosts?
The poppy-Goth fashion reminds me of Peace Now (the Japan Goth brand that closed down).
I can never resist funny-faced bags like these.
The prices are pretty good – around $30 for sweaters and tops. Naomi bought the lavender cardigan with ghostly accents.
Next door is Ne-Net, the label starring a shifty-eyed black cat. I’m not sure what’s going on with these shoes — are they supposed to be bird-faced?
My Melody is a popular character these days, and is the star of this Sanrio store window.
If you’re looking for Tokyo kawaii goods, definitely stop by Ikebukuro Sunshine Doori.
Now, here’s a mall I haven’t featured before: Lumine, located above the Shinjuku subway station.
There are multiple floors of Japanese and international boutiques, like Joyrich.
The designs are slightly more mature than the girly pop of Shibuya 109. However, you can likewise find romantic gyaru fashion here.
I bought these cut-out shoes with hearts and ribbons, in the nude color. How could I not?
Some of the stores in Lumine are quite high-end, such as this avantgarde shop.
Others are trendy but reasonably priced, like Emoda.
Jeffrey Campbell shoes are a favorite among the Japanese.
Cut-outs and bows, yes and yes.
There isn’t much subculture fashion in Lumine, but I enjoyed the Amavel store, which has elements of Country Lolita, Alice in Wonderland and schoolgirls. I got my white rabbit clockwork purse here.
Lumine’s selection is not as focused as Marui One (Goth Lolita Punk) and Shibuya 109 (gyaru pop). Among the mix, I found a 1980s-loving boutique.
I enjoy browsing Lumine because of the wide variety of fashions. You can pick and choose items to create your own look. These heart creepers, for example, could work for a Pastel Goth coordinate.
What do you think of the clothing and shoes in this post? Are you enjoying these store photos?
PS: I took a video of this dancing Rilakkuma bear, using the Vine app. Add me on Vine (search for “La Carmina”) to see this and more.
PPS: I hope to party with you, Vancouver! RSVP now and share the news with your friends.
Thanks for your kind words about my appearance on Discovery & Science Channel’s Oddities! If you missed my episode (where I “purchased” this elk head), you can see the TV show clip and bonus photos here.
In the Oddities segment, I talk about my work in journalism and coolhunting worldwide. On last month’s Middle Eastern adventure, I got to fulfill a travel goal… visiting the famous sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
My film team and I started at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a cluster of restaurants and shops near the Burj Al Arab. We thought we could get some traditional food and shisha here…
… but were sorely disappointed, as this turned out to be a Disney-Vegas take on an Arabian market. (Skip this place, and visit Dubai’s gold and spice souk instead; photos and info here.)
On the bright side, we got a great “establishing shot” of the famous hotel, lit under a crescent moon.
We took a cab to one of the most expensive hotels in the world (the Royal Suite is $18,776 per night!). Inspired by the curve of a dhow (Arabian boat), the Burj Al Arab is considered the symbol of Dubai.
Regular tourists can’t simply walk onto this island. You must be a hotel guest, or have a restaurant or bar reservation, in order to make it past the security gates. We chose the cheapest option (drinks at the Skyview Bar), which requires a minimum spend of $70 per person.
But it’s worth it — this is Dubai, and the world’s only (supposed) 7-star hotel! When we entered the lobby, my filmmaker Melissa exclaimed, “It’s like Donald Trump on steroids.” Designed by Tom Wright, with interiors by Khuan Chew, the concept is Arabian Technicolor Palace Dreams.
Take the elevator next to the aquarium, and look up. Vertigo.
In Dubai, brunches are big social occasions. Fridays and Saturdays are holidays here, and since alcohol is a no-no (unless you’re in a hotel), brunch is a way to get decadent.
But we were here for cocktails. We took the elevator to the Skyview bar on the 27th floor.
“It’s like a 90s music video,” exclaimed Melissa. Circuit boards and cyber lights, and a grandiose view of the marina.
We enjoyed drinks with Barbara of Elle Magazine, and Georgina of Etoile La Boutique (I’ll show you this fashion heaven soon). The cocktails were inventive — one had wasabi inside — and the bar’s atmosphere was from another planet. (Consult the Burj Al Arab’s website for reservations and dress code.)
I leave you with a few screencaps from my Oddities TV guest spot. My Goth-Victorian hairstyle looks a bit like mouse ears.
Have you heard of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai? What do you think of the interiors, and do you think it deserves the seven-star rating?
PS: thanks Fashion Indie for interviewing me about personal branding, the reality of travel TV hosting, and how bloggers can get into television. I hope you find my advice helpful.
Watch Oddities TV show, Season 4: La Carmina guest star! Obscura Antiques, Discovery Science Channel video.
I know you’ve been waiting for this… La Carmina on Oddities! My TV show appearance premieres June 8, 9pm ET/PT on Science Channel, and then airs on repeat.
My episode is called “The Mummy Returns” (Season 4, Episode 11). Below is a short clip — watch me purchase a large, fuzzy reminder of home!
Do you like what I wore on-camera? Keep reading for outfit details, and a zillion Obscura shop photos.
Owners Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson are lovely in person. I frequented their store years ago, before the TV show came along.
They loved my custom, skeleton corset. Quite appropriately, the sign above me reads “Torture.”
For those who don’t know, the hit TV show “Oddities” is about Obscura, this little East Village shop of horrors. In each episode, the owners meet kooky customers and help them pick out items. For example, they helped the Speakeasy Dollhouse creator find a gurney for her immersive play.
The store is not for the faint of heart. Organs, skulls and animal heads abound.
Ryan, Evan and Mike are often here, manning the counter and signing autographs for fans.
It’s hard to believe that we filmed this episode last August, in New York City! My hair color by Isolde Semple; the styling is by Brandon Pope of TIGI NYC
I could have browsed for hours in Obscura Antiques.
In real life, I bought my friend a jar of chocolate-covered poison from their medicine cabinet. Somehow, I managed to take it through customs.
For the sake of the show, however, I “purchased” this gargantuan, stuffed elk head to remind me of home (Canada, not Japan as some might assume!)
The owners are passionate about their collections, and wonderfully knowledgeable. In the clip, I learn about the elk’s horns and history.
Also for sale: a box of potions…
… a bear in a hat, a laughing pig,
… and real life skulls.
Since it was summertime in NYC, I was boiling under my Victorian skirts. The crew interviewed me in the nearby East Village street, about my work in dark coolhunting and travel journalism.
Here’s the pirate hat I tried on. Arr.
“Is that a straightjacket?” Nope, but this two-headed creature is also featured in the show’s intro.
So many creepy and bizarre items in here. I fit right in.
If you’re in New York, drop by Obscura Antiques and Oddities and say hi for me. The shop address: 207 Avenue A New York, NY 10009. Phone: (212) 505-9251
I hope you’ll tune in for my appearance on Oddities! “The Mummy Returns” (Season 4 Episode 11) first airs Saturday, June 8th at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
Don’t worry if you miss it: the show will repeat multiple times on Science Channel / Discovery TV; check the schedule for dates.
Are you a fan of this TV show? What would you purchase to remind you of home?