Category Archive for Fashion

Yayoi Kusama exhibit in Sweden! Stockholm Gothic alternative travel guide, Goth fashion & bars.

grace neutral long clothing mandala tshirt

Hej from Sweden! I had a “dotty” time in Scandinavia this summer, as you probably saw on my social media.

It was my first time here, and I managed to catch the Yayoi Kusama exhibition in Stockholm. (The Moderna Museet retrospective closes September 11th, so I hope this post encourages you to visit.)

long clothing eyeball shirt

If you’re looking for an alternative Stockholm travel guide, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll take you to Swedish Goth bars, Viking restaurants, and a special place called “Cum Clubwear.”

(Are you eye-ing my oversized shirt? I’m wearing this exact Long Clothing X Mishka Keep Watch t-shirtand these black and white sandals. (Click for details and to purchase.)

yayoi kusama poster, art exhibit in infinity

I’ve long admired Yayoi Kusama, Japanese avantgarde artist and High Priestess of Dots. Finally, I got to see her works in person, at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet / ArtDes. The interactive installations also created the perfect backgrounds for photos (all these are by Joey Wong).

(I’m wearing a Long Clothing x Grace Neutral topwhich matched well with the polka dotted wall. This mandala design is also on their bomber jacket.)

yayoi kusama mannequin, japanese artist

Yayoi Kusama was born in Japan in 1929, and moved to Japan in 1957. She became part of the Swinging Sixties scene, staging experimental “happenings” and naked parties where she painted people’s bodies with dots.

Kusama’s works were far ahead of her time, and eventually returned to Japan to live in a mental hospital (where she continues to paint and sculpt, to this day). Her outsider status kept her her art from being fully recognised until recent years.

kusama dot lanterns

Dots, dots everywhere. This motif has appeared in Kusama’s works since her earliest days. She suffered from hallucinations since childhood, which made the world appear to be covered in dots and repetitive shapes.

Art became her way of working through demons, and giving form to these visions.

giant pumpkins yayoi kusama

Yayoi Kusama is known for her giant sculptures and installations that take up entire rooms. They’re always infused with her surreal, playful spirit.

I’m sure you have seen these dotted pumpkins before. They cover the landscapes of Naoshima, an art-filled island in Japan. 

Yayoi Kusama, Narcissus Garden silver balls

In one room, I stood among the silver balls of “Narcissus Garden,” her disruptive work from the 1966 Venice Biennale. Yayoi wasn’t an official artist at the event, but staged her own performance art piece and sold these globes to visitors for $2 a pop!

moderna museet stockholm, ark des kusama

Such fun to enter Yayoi Kusama’s universe for a day.

infinity room mirrors, dots

Yayoi likes to play with mirrors, and create “obliteration rooms.” She’s fascinated with the idea of dissolving the sense of self, and becoming united with one’s surroundings — like in her dotted hallucinations.

By walking through the obliteration room, visitors can similarly lose themselves in the infinite patterns.

infinity mirrors, yayoi kusama

Joey and I walked into the “Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field.” When the docent shut the door, we found ourselves in this tiny room, surrounded by an endless field of red and white phalluses.

sweden modern art exhibit yayoi kusama

The “In Infinity” exhibit included a variety of Yayoi Kusama’s works from over the years, in different mediums. Not everyone knows she created cut-out dresses (and modelled them with friends, in the 1960s), videos, and lesser-known paintings. I especially enjoyed seeing her photos from the hippie era, sprawled out in a busy street or cavorting in a kimono.

yayoi kusama dots, patterns, textures

Some snaps of the textures, forms and patterns found in Kusama’s oeuvre. The Japanese icon is 87 years old and continues to work daily in her studio, producing new pieces!

obliteration room, polka dots walls

My Long Clothing x Grace Neutral top looked like it belonged to her Obliteration Room. You can find more pieces from Long Clothing by clicking below:

dotted lanterns, yayoi kusama installation art

This “Infinity Mirrored Room – Hymn of Life” had the mood of a shrine. We entered the dim room, filled with water and hanging lanterns marked with — what else? — dots.

草間 彌生 artist

The colors shifted constantly, bouncing off the reflective pools and ceilings.

yayoi kusama selfies, pumpkin mirror

Yayoi Kusama encourages you to take snapshots and get immersed in her art. Joey took this selfie while peering into a hole, which revealed a kaleidoscope of kabochas. All hail the high priestess of polka dots!

inside moderna museet stockholm sweden

Modern Museet (Stockholm’s modern art museum) is huge and well curated. You can spend a day in here, walking through the changing and permanent exhibits. (Yayoi runs until Sept 11, so hurry on over.)

I especially loved the bizarre video art collection. “The New Human” had footage of mandalas, disco and apocalyptic death cults — some of my favorite things! (In this funny video, you can see me grooving with the images.)

cum clubewear, dominika skansen

Time for some shopping. Of course, I wanted to find Gothic, alternative and fetish fashion in Stockholm.

My evil queen Yukiro ordered me to the wonderfully named C.U.M. Clubwear!

clubbing goth fashion stockholm

I met owner and designer Dominika Skansen, who designs her own collection and also sources clothing from all around the world.

CUM is a huge, two-level store and it carries every type of subculture style: EBM, rave, pin-up, drag, you name it.

goth shop, boutique stockholm sweden

I found tutus, corsets, fishnet tops and other underground accoutrements here.

alternative gothic stores sweden

If the zombie apocalypse arrives, I’d head straight here for some Mad Max cybergoth fashion. Love the metal spikes in the goggles and gas-masks.

swedish gothic alternative rave clothing

What more can I say? “Cum” to this alt clothing store, and you won’t be disappointed!

(In the next post, I’ll show you more fashion from the hipster district of SoFo.)

buildings architecture stockholm sweden

Summer is the best time of year to visit Stockholm. The weather is ideal — warm, but not overly hot — and I enjoyed strolling over the bridges to the various districts (Old Town, Gamla Stan, Sodermalm). 

hornstull stockholm hipster district

But as always, we like to go off the beaten path. (This is an alt / Goth guide to Stockholm, after all!)

We ventured into the hipster district of Hornstull, located at the western tip of Södermalm.

hornstull mural, artists

A lot of young, artsy types live here — which is reflected in the bright murals and posters. The Pride Circus sounds like my type of event.

hip cool stockholm bars

I loved the look of Hornhuset, a popular bar / restaurant spread out over three stories of Hornstull mall. Each level has a different design and food speciality, and becomes packed with regulars at night.

hornstull market, sweden hipsters

I had a lovely walk through Hornstull Market, or Hornstulls Marknad, which takes place by the water every weekend from April to the end of October.

sweden hip edgy shops, coffee

The laid-back flea market is open to all types of vendors and food trucks — I saw everything from antiques to minimal fashion. My friend chowed down on a burger, while I got a Velo Coffee from a bicycle.

stockholm cathedrals, goth church

We wandered through Hornstull’s park, and stopped at this rather Gothic church (Högalids Kyrka) for photos in the doorways.

Högalids Kyrka, hornstull church

I’m wearing a rainbow top by Gladnews, my Sailor Moon jacket, and Ksubi sunglasses.

(You can shop my wardrobe directly from mecheck out the listings on Depop and shoot me an email!)

klubb dod, synth after work stockholm bar

Stockholm has a fun Goth nightlife, but there unfortunately weren’t any club nights while we were there. (I wish I could have gone to the post-punk Klubb Dod.)

We did stop by Synth After Work, a casual happy hour gathering at Temple Bar. The DJ plays synthwave / 80s Goth music, the crowd wears black and the drinks are cheap — what more can you ask for?

nu goth nail art, nailpolish

When you’re in the land of the Vikings, you must feast like a seafaring warrior. We pillaged through a magnificent meal at Oaxen Slip, a Nordic bistro located next to the docks. (They also have a fine dining arm, Oaxen Krog.)

We started with the “grogg”, or alcohol mixed with housemade herbal cola and ginger lemonade. The old Norse gods would have approved of this nectar!

oaxen slip krog swedish restaurant

Oaxen Slip is housed in a refurbished boatyard shed, on the green island of Djurgården.  The cool interior design stays true to its roots, with boats hanging from the ceiling and sweeping views of the harbor. Even the art has an industrial vibe.

oaxen slip swedish restaurant

The server brought out starters: cod and a plate of raw radish, with a whipped sour cream dip. A surprising combination that I’ve never seen anywhere — and it works remarkably well.

stockholm design restaurants, oaxen

Oaxen Slip delivers a modern interpretation of hearty Swedish food. I could imagine vikings gathered around a table, sharing the herring and stewed vegetables.

All the ingredients are locally sourced and seasonal, and simply prepared to let these flavors stand out.

Oaxen Krog & Slip food, menu

The blackened, cured perch with baked leek and roe was another example of traditional fare with a creative touch.

Berries are tart and fresh in Sweden. I’d love another scoop of the raspberry sorbet with lemon verbena. 

long clothing model, goth tshirts

Such a joy to dine at Oaxen Slip, amidst these Viking vessels. I’m sure Thor and Odin were there with us in spirit!

Djurgården island, boats stockholm

On the waterfront, wearing my Long Clothing x Mishka eyeball top. (Get this exact shirt here. and more from the label below):

stockholm fish restaurant

On another evening, I ate my fill of Swedish fish at B.A.R. Stockholm. This highly rated restaurant is located in the central Blasieholmen area.

I stepped up to the seafood display and learned about the catch of day. Every order is customizable: customers choose the fish and shellfish directly, and it can be prepared in all types of ways. The bartenders even made me special cocktails with local Aquavit, to suit my palate.

bar stockholm restaurant, swedish caviar

We started with the red caviar, which is simply fabulous in Sweden. Ours came with buckwheat crepes, red onion and sour cream. Don’t leave without trying this appetizer.

You can also order dishes a la carte, such as grilled sea bass tortillas, and salmon tartar with anchovies and ramson capers (above left).

B.A.R. shellfish restaurant stockholm

Then, a plate the size of my head arrived — piled high with different types of fish! I got to try wolf fish and others I had never heard of before, straight from Scandinavian waters. We added on sides of creamy risotto, garden carrots, grapefruit salad… What a meal at B.A.R. Restaurant Stockholm.

swedish blueberry pancake

The blueberry pancake was truly the best I’ve ever had. Perfectly cooked, with creamy vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. It even looks like one of Yayoi Kusama’s dot artworks! 

sunset stockholm silhouette city

More from Stockholm coming soon, including a tour of hipster SoFo, and more Viking feasts.

(If you liked what I’m wearing in these photos, check out more from Long Clothing here.)

Better Late Than Never, Hong Kong: travel TV show with William Shatner, Henry Winkler! Sydney Opera House.

better late than never hong kong episode

Thank you for your fantastic response to the Hong Kong episode of Better Late Than Never, the new NBC show travel TV show!

It was a dream come true to hang with The Fonz, Henry Winkler (of Happy Days fame)…

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

… and William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek. That is indeed me, dancing with Shatner in the streets of Mongkok, for this travel TV shoot! (Thanks to Thomas for this epic shot — full photo credits below.)

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

I’m very happy that “Better Late Than Never” has been raising lots of laughs and positive reactions! I couldn’t believe it when the producers contacted me to be part of the series. I was flown to Hong Kong and got to take part in this second episode.

This hilarious travel-reality show stars Terry Bradshaw (quarterback and broadcaster), William Shatner (Star Trek’s Capt. Kirk), Henry Winkler (The Fonz on Happy Days) and George Foreman (boxer and grill-master). Along with comedian Jeff Dye, these funny guys travel around Asia in search of adventures and Zen, with lots of mishaps along the way.  

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

Their journey throughout Asia includes Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. I was thrilled to have them be in Hong Kong with me — my friends and family even got to join the big dance scene in Mongkok.

(My dress is Spider by Natalie Lam. I’m currently selling a lot of my personal wardrobe; let me know if you’re interested in any of my fashion/accessories! Take a look at my store listings here, and email me to let me know what you’d like.)

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

The weather was a little iffy that day, but the rain and clouds cleared in time for the big dance number. Believe it or not, we took over one of the busiest streets of Hong Kong!

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

The Fab Four arrived on the scene — Henry Winkler turned his camera on us for this shot. Terry Bradshaw whipped out a microphone and burst into song!

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

Then it was time to dance, dance, dance. I was impressed by their ability to pull off a choreographed number!

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

So much fun, to dance in the streets with Captain Kirk and Fonzie! 

(All of the amazing photos above are by Thomas Sandfield of Sandfield Productions. Thank you for capturing this epic day.)

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

I was glad to have my local friends with me, to take part in the scene.

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

Chaos, color, song… that’s the spirit of Hong Kong! Can you see me dancing with William Shatner in the middle?

(Above two photos by K. Lau of Bright Production.)

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

I also filmed a scene on the minibus, where I talked about Hong Kong’s travel attractions and general awesomeness. (Love the V-fingers photobomb behind me.)

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

What a joy to joke and riff with Henry Winkler and George Foreman, for this TV scene. They’re truly kind and humble, and up for anything!

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

Here are more black and white images from Thomas Sandfield of Sandfield Productions. It was a genius idea to pair “culture and Zen” William Shatner with “let’s roughhouse and sing” Terry Bradshaw on a travel show!

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

We were dancing along to the Otis Day and the Knights song “Shout (You Make me Wanna).”

captain kirk travel tv show asia

Above shots by Arthur Rash. Thanks to everyone who supported the TV shoot, and for watching NBC’s Better Late Than Never!

travel influencers snapchat account

On that note… I never got around to posting about my travels in Sydney, Australia. But better late than never, right?

If you have me on your Snapchat (@lacarmina), then you’ll have glimpsed me taking selfies under Harbour Bridge, earlier this year. (Since many of you asked, I’m wearing Karen Walker sunglasses.)

sydney harbour bridge fashion blogger

I’m wearing a Black Milk top and skirt: this Great Wave maxi-skirt is one of my favorites (see me wearing it at New Zealand’s Hobbit Town). Blackmilk’s designs are fantastic for travel because they’re lightweight and don’t crease, and easy to pack in luggage. (And stylish, of course). My fuzzy purse is from Mercibeaucoup in Shinjuku.

sydney opera house architecture

I had never been to Australia, and had very little time to explore. However, it was worth the trip to go down under and at least see Sydney. I’ll have to come back soon to see the Gold Coast, Melbourne and more.

As a first-timer, I had to visit the Sydney Opera House. I took the subway to Circular Quay, and walked over.

harbour bridge, famoous sydney australia bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is also located here. Many travellers do the “bridge climb” where they walk on top of the structure for panoramic views. I’m not afraid of heights, but you aren’t allowed to take your own photos, and must wear a not-so-stylish jumpsuit… I’d prefer to pose below, wearing Black Milk!

sydney fashion blogging, hair

Even from “down under” the bridge, you can’t beat these views of the harbor.

(My sunglasses are Karen Walker, similar to these round ones by her. More of her styles below.)

sydney opera house tour

I don’t usually like to do “tourist” activities in cities, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Sydney Opera House tourThis guided tour lets you go inside the concert halls and see Jorn Utzon’s masterful architecture up close. 

I learned, for example, that the “white” sails of the roof are actually made over a million chevron tiles, in two shades of cream. Our guide spoke about the politics involved in the construction process, and how the Danish architect eventually left the project. (He’s never even been inside the completed structure, which opened in 1973.)

Jørn Utzon room, sydney opera house

I had the opportunity to see Jørn Utzon’s room, defined by concrete structural beams and a 14 meter long tapestry of his own design. On the opposite end, giant windows overlook the harbour waters.

circular quay, australia harbor

Our guide spoke about how Utzon solved design problems in innovative ways, such as by peeling an orange to see how the curved sails could fit together.

As you can tell, I learned so much from the multimedia Opera House tour. Anyone who is interested in modern architecture should check it out.

lunch restaurant sydney opera house

I selected the Tour and Tasting Plate, which ends with an al fresco meal underneath the sails.

opera kitchen menu, food

At Opera Kitchen, I got to try a three-tiered lunch set with a range of finger foods: sushi, mini burgers, dumplings, salad and more.

restaurant with view, sydney harbor

The perfect lunch for sharing with a friend, especially when paired with Australian pinot noir. I got to enjoy the sunshine, and bask in this uninterrupted view of the Harbour Bridge and waters. 

lion statues, royal botanic gardens sydney

From Circular Quay, it’s a short walk to the Royal Botanic Garden. This large park is filled with different themed gardens, and has a pond and Asian pavilion.

bondi beach, sydney australia

It would be tragic if went to Sydney and skipped out on Bondi beach. I rode the subway to Bondi Junction, and then hopped on the bus that runs frequently to the beach. When you see this curving cove of sand, you’ve arrived.

famous sydney beaches, bondi surfing

This 1 km long beach is classic Sydney. I watched surfers ride the waves, and walked barefoot on Bondi’s warm and soft sand. 

best sydney brunch breakfast cafe

Time to chow down. I’ve heard that Sydney is famous for its breakfasts, and found this to be true. This salmon eggs Benedict, with an almond milk flat white, was as good as it looked on my Instagram.

ceru restaurant, sydney levantine cuisine

I loved the breakfast at Ceru Restaurant so much that I came back for dinner. (I went to the Potts Point location, but the restaurant is currently moving to a new spot.)

I was accompanied by my friend Leanne, writer at Trashtastika. We were charmed by the Middle Eastern ceramics near the windows.

ceru restsaurant menu, mezze appetizers

British chef Tom Kime launched Ceru as a celebration of Levantine cuisine. He incorporates flavors and recipes from the Eastern Mediterranean, infusing them with a modern interpretation.

We started by sharing a spread of mezzes and salads. Beetroot and chickpea purees, with cucumber sticks and pita — everything is organic, and the menu is vegan and gluten free friendly.

ceru middle eastern food

Fresh pomegranate, mint, and pistachio add dimension to this lamb dish. These Levant spices pair marvellously with Ceru’s craft cocktails and cold-pressed juices.

sydney dessert house

I’m still thinking about Ceru’s honeycomb baklava ice cream… with flavors of burnt caramel and roasted nut. Possibly the tastiest and most creative dessert I’ve had all year.

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

PS – you can find out more about Better Late Than Never on their website, including viewing times and clips.

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

I leave you with a few more scenes from this huge network shoot. There were so many moving parts, but the team pulled it off.

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

“We-eee-eeel…. / You know you make me wanna (Shout!) / Kick my heels up and (Shout!) / Throw my hands up and (Shout!)”

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

For more Hong Kong adventures and travel tips, check out all my posts here. And don’t forget to take a glimpse at my wardrobe sale.

Have a happy weekend!

Guide to Visiting Angkor Wat: travel video! Siem Reap tour, Lara Croft temple & Buddha statues.

award winning travel blogs, female traveler

I’ve long been fascinated by the mysterious temples of Angkor Wat. It was a dream come true to live out my “Tomb Raider” fantasies in Siem Reap.

If this UNESCO site is on your bucket list, then I hope you’ll enjoy my latest Cambodia travel video (watch here), which includes tips on what to see and do.

siem reap cambodia ruins

I’ll also share the dramatic photos we took amidst the ancient temple ruins — inspired by Lara Croft! 

nbc better late than never hong kong episode

But first, a special announcement. I’m excited to finally reveal that I’m in a new NBC travel TV show, “Better Late than Never” — starring William Shatner (Captain Kirk) and Henry Winkler (The Fonz!) I shot this series last year in Asia, and had to keep it secret until now.

You can see me goofing off in Hong Kong on this major network program, which airs on Tuesday, August 30th at 10pm ET. (Check your listings to make sure of the exact air time, and stay tuned to my social media for previews.)

henry winkler better late than never tv show

“Better Late than Never” is basically four elder celebrities on a bucket list adventure all throughout Asia. That’s correct: I got to be on-screen with William Shatner (Star Trek), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), boxer George Foreman, and football legend Terry Bradshaw! 

Can you imagine how much fun I had with these legends? There was dancing, singing and costumes involved… Be sure to tune in this Tues, Aug 30 for a good laugh at our Hong Kong shenanigans! 

angkor wat tree roots

Outfit Details:

1990s dark floral skirt: from Pylo. Here is a similar shorter version of this skirt.

My glasses are by Oliver Goldsmith, whose styles are inspired by Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and other silver screen icons.

Please take a moment to watch our short Cambodia travel video (above and on @lacarmina YouTube). It highlights some of the best travel attractions in Siem Reap, from the circus to the temples.

cambodia fashion blog

What’s the best hotel in Siem Reap?  My vote goes to the magnificent Le Méridien Angkor hotel. They have a lush backyard garden…

le meridien angkor lobby

… and modern interiors, inspired by classic Khmer design. The location is also as good as it gets: Angkor Wat is less than a 10 minute drive away.

le meridien siem reap swimming pool

Le Meridien has one of the coolest swimming pool designs I’ve seen. The waters are framed by gardens dotted with Hindu statues.

goth pincurls hair style

In my happy place. Wearing a Michi cut out top, and blue Linda Farrow sunglasses.

michi athletic fashion, designer fitness clothes

Lotus flowers add to the feeling of peace.

tomb raider swimming pool

Posing with my travel buddy John Skeleton. We also went to Vietnam together, one of my favorite trips.

luxury art hotel siem reap

See many more photos of my outfit and Le Meridien Angkor, in this previous post

fashion blogger income, money

Thanks to Ken Yuen and Sniper Chau for the photography.

angkor wat pyramids

Now, let’s tackle the temples!

I recommend going to Angkor Wat at 5pm the day before your visit, to purchase your ticket (for one, three or seven days entry).

cambodian sunrise

This way, you can go inside to see the sunset and skip the line-up the next day.

sun rise dawn angkor

Our Le Meridien guide took us to a prime photo-taking position by the second reflective pool.

I am not a morning person, but it was worth waking up at 5am to see the sunrise over the towers of Angkor Wat.

big tree roots cambodian jungle

After dawn breaks, many tourists go on to explore the main buildings of Angkor Wat. However, to avoid the crowd, I suggest seeing other temples in the morning (there are over a thousand in this large complex).

Walking through the humid jungle can be a challenge, but you’ll get to see powerful trees with roots like this. 

demon statues, angkor wat

Some tourists ride tuk-tuks or bikes, but my team and I had a driver and guide, which made it easier to get around.

The left side of this pathway over the water had Buddha statues. We preferred to take photos of the right side, which was lined with scowling demons.

elephant wall carving cambodia

Our guide showed us the Terrace of the Elephants. It was the site of public ceremonies for the Khmer king and his troops.

bayon buddha heads

One can’t help but smile when you come across these beaming Buddha faces, peeping out from the trees.

angkor wat carvings

I was mesmerized by this long wall of carvings, which depict Hindu devas.

hindu deva bas relief

Some of the faces have been worn down by the elements and time, adding to the feeling of mystery.

tomb raider photoshoot cosplay

Words can’t capture the feeling of standing right in the doorway of century-old ruins. The Cambodian architecture stands the test of time.

climbing angkor thom

Anyone can get up close to the structures, and even climb them. Just watch out for the slippery moss.

angkor temple ruins

Feeling like I’ve entered a lost world. There were no other tourists around us, since our guide helped us avoid the crowds.

travel blogger siem reap

Imagining that I am Lara Croft for a day. I even wore a braid in my hair.

lara croft cosplay angkor wat

The fallen bricks are as beautiful as the standing structures, in their own way.

ta prohm tree roots

If you only have one day, be sure to visit Bayon with its smiling Buddha faces. You also can’t miss Ta Prohm, the “Tomb Raider” temple with tree roots converging into the ancient architecture.

reflecting pond angkor temple

In the afternoon, I suggest returning to the main Angkor Wat temple. The lighting conditions are best at this time, letting you capture dramatic light and shadows.

angkor wat photography sunlight

A big thank you to HK Express for making this epic journey possible. This short-haul airline goes directly from Hong Kong to Siem Reap, and the service is phenomenal. They fly to Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul and other destinations in Asia as well.

cambodia lotus pond

In addition to the temples, you can experience a wide range of nightlife, restaurants and entertainment in the city center. Be sure to check out my Siem Reap travel guide for food and bar tips.

angkor wat temple silhouette

If these photos caught your attention, then come see my Angkor Wat Cambodia video (click to play).  I hope you find my recommendations helpful.

And don’t forget to tune in on Tuesday, August 30th — NBC channel — to watch me on “Better Late Than Never” with Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Henry Foreman and Terry Bradshaw! Life can be full of amazement, wouldn’t you agree?

Sailing with BC Ferries from Vancouver to Victoria! Chinti & Parker Miffy, Vysen Eyewear, Devilish 666.

black white striped sailor shirt outfit

Ahoy from British Columbia, Canada! 

Although I’ve been to beautiful destinations around the world, it’s hard to surpass my home province in the summertime. Vancouver and its surrounding islands are paradise this time of the year: the perfect weather for whale watching and lazing on the beach.

I’ve been feeling the urge to sail away… So I booked a weekend getaway to Victoria, on BC FerriesThis popular ferry runs between various points on the coast and Vancouver Island.

chinti and parker miffy fashion, top

The BC ferry deck is open to all passengers, and turned out to be the ideal location to shoot my new Chinti and Parker x Miffy striped shirt! (My “radiation rings” choker is by Devil666ish.)

As you know, I’m mad about Miffy, and even made a journey to her Nijntje Museum in the Netherlands. Chinti and Parker (the luxury ready to wear label) teamed up with Miffy on a capsule line. They’ve released the softest cotton shirts and cashmere sweaters, emblazoned with the X-mouthed bunny.

I’ve long been a fan of Chinti and Parker’s designs, such as their sweet star sweater and similar striped top with a cat-face pocket. More favorites from this brand are below; click for info…

bc ferries boat, victoria

BC Ferries has frequent sailings between Vancouver to Victoria (and other parts of the island). I recommend making a reservation on their website so that you can walk or drive your car right on board.

Then, you can relax and enjoy the peaceful 1.5 hour ride, with some of the best scenery on the planet.

vysen eyewear, lavender sunglasses

The ferry ride is pure enjoyment. Many passengers grabbed coffee and sandwiches from the on-board cafe (including selections from the much-loved restaurant White Spot). Then they stepped out onto the long wrap-around deck, and basked in the sun and Pacific Ocean views.

For the occasion, I dressed in Goth sailor style. My sunglasses are from Vysen Eyewear, a young label that creates modern-meets-retro designs with Italian craftsmanship. I’m wearing the Aviva Polarized frames: these lavender shades match my hair.

goth sailor fashion blogger

● My nautical stripes matched with the “Spirit of British Columbia: Victoria” lifesaver.

● The black pencil skirt is by my friend Erbert Chong, a talented young designer on the rise.  He’s showing his collection at Paris Fashion Week on September 24.

● My black hat is by Lack of Color Australia. I’m actually selling it here on my Depop shop now, in case you’d like to have it!

skeleton anklet, devilish666

● These unique high-heeled sandals are by Le Babe of Italy.

● Is there a ghost pirate ship in the waters? It looks like a bony skeleton hand grabbing my leg! This spook-tacular clear anklet is from Devilish 666. They carry devilishly dark chokers, harnesses and other nu Goth accessories.

seawest lounge, bc ferries vip

Back inside the vessel, I relaxed in the BC Ferries Seawest Lounge.  For $12, you get unlimited drinks and snacks, and can choose from a selection of newspapers and magazines. Best of all, you can enjoy the coastal views in a private, quiet space. 

bc ferry vancouver island

I curled up in my lounge chair, and watched Pacific Northwest islands float by. An announcement came over the speakers: there were whales outside! I didn’t manage to get a photo of the creatures, but saw them playing in these waters.

sailing fashion, fetish choker

More close-ups of my purple sunglasses from Vysen Eyewear, and metal rings choker from Devil666ish

(If you enjoy my outfits, I welcome you to check out my wardrobe sale here.  I’m selling a lot of my clothes at low prices!)

chinti and parker loves miffy shirt

My Chinti and Parker x Miffy top has a Sailor Moon meets nautical vibe. How cute is the bunny, resting on a yellow crescent moon and surrounded by stars?

This label has a cat and stripes version of this shirt too, and more adorable fashion below:

cordova bay, victoria bc

In an hour and a half, the ferry docked in Swartz Bay. Time to explore Victoria, the capital of British Columbia and largest city on the island.

Tourists tend to see Butchart Gardens and the Parliament buildings (I went to all these places as a child). However, my friends and I prefer to enjoy the beaches and natural beauty of Victoria. There’s a hippie, laid-back feeling here that reminds me of northern California.

cordova bay beach, vancouver island

I headed south to Cordova Bay, located less than a 20 minutes drive from the ferry terminal.

I arrived at a warm, sand and pebble beach framed by cottages and cute restaurants. This is a local’s destination; you won’t find it crowded with tourists.

monster zombie eye bow hair

I tied back my hair with this “monstrous” black bow with a zombie eye, by Devilish 666.

nu goth choker, devil666ish

Devilish makes this fetish-style Gothic choker as well, which is my current favorite. My berry lip gloss is this one by Anastasia Beverly Hills. 

swartz bay, bc

Grab some ice cream, go for a canoe ride, get drinks on the patio… this is how Vancouver Island shines in the summer.

If you’re in Vancouver, don’t miss out on Victoria and its surroundings. You can even ride BC Ferries to/from the mainland on the same day, for an easy getaway.

vysen eyewear, lack of color hat

A sailor’s salute to BC Ferries for the joyful experience. Their fleet is spacious and reliable, and there’s so much to see and do that you might not want the ride to end!

(I recommend booking in advance on the BC Ferries website, which also has plenty of helpful travel info, packages and even gift certificates).

powell street festival japanese vancouver

I’ll end with some bonus summer photos from Vancouver. I met up with my friend Mujitsu to explore the Powell Street Festival, which celebrates Japanese food and heritage.

We’re both wearing dresses by Gladnews, the Japanese alternative brand. My jacket is Sailor Moon and my shoes are these exact Sorel sandals. My white cat-eye sunglasses are by Dolce and Gabbana.

big maneki neko statue

Did you know there were summer attractions like these in Vancouver and Victoria? I hope you’ll visit BC, and pose with this fortune cat for yourself! (Above two photos by Daniel Wennerholm.)

girls love travel instagram, tourism influencers

Have you been enjoying the summer months? Did you travel anywhere, or do something special?

PS: I’ve been adding more videos to my Instagram, which are found nowhere else. You can see them at username @lacarmina.

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