Category Archive for Fashion

Eero Aarnio furniture exhibition in Helsinki, Finland! Moomin stores, Loyly sauna restaurant, Design Museo.

nu goth fashion blogger style

A dark, cute welcome from Helsinki, Finland! Land of death metal and modern interior design. I think I’ll fit in quite nicely, don’t you agree?

On my first day in Finlandia, I went to the Design District and saw a groovy Eero Aarnio exhibit (he’s the inventor of the Ball Chair). I stopped by the Moomin and Marimekko shops, and ended up at a restaurant/sauna overlooking the waters, sipping herbal gin and tonics.

strega witch occult tumblr, pentagram dress

But first, coffee… and the outfit of the day. The “Noir” sign behind me happened to match my look.

– I’m wearing a pentagram dress by Black Milk (who also make this Game of Thrones dress).
– My striped platform shoes are by Le Babe, who also makes these black pumps. My kawaii bag looks like a Totoro sprite, but it’s by Mini Cream in Hong Kong.

disturbia spider bomber jacket

I love this spider jacket so much. It’s this exact Disturbia Black Widow bomber. The brand also makes a jacket with a skull on the back, and one with a rainbow Lucifer.

Click below for these clothes and more from Disturbia:

brown line friends small lamp

And who is this cutie? It’s the Brown (Line friends bear) lamp, which just arrived from my friends MrMaria

This kawaii character gives you a hint at my next destination… To find out where I’ll be, read on to the end of this post.

pentagram dress, dollskill model

From our suite at Scandic Hotels, it was a easy walk to the major districts of Helsinki. I found a park with tall tombstones under grey skies. This city seems to be made for Goths!

block by dylan, helsinki design restaurant

The Finns are known for their modern interior design and architecture. My filmmakers and I had brunch at Block by Dylan, a perfect example of the hip, minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic that we saw all over the city.

We sat by the huge windows that overlook the harbor and Old Market Hall. I smiled at the graphic artwork that peeked out from the layered woodblock walls.

finland minimalist modern design cafe

Block by Dylan serves breakfast, lunch and brunch buffet-style. This gave me a chance to try a bite of everything. I am still dreaming of the Finnish berries, tiny and rich in antioxidants, which I ate on top of mango quark. Nordic Europe’s dark breads and smoked salmon are also beyond compare.

napue gin tonic cocktail, finland

The friendly manager surprised us fizzy glasses of gin and tonics. I’m holding one of the best (and prettiest) G&Ts you’ll ever get to try. The cocktail is made with Napue, a world-famous local gin infused with botanicals, and garnished with cranberries.

eero aarnio design museo retrospective, museum

Our good mood got even better when we arived at DesignMuseo, Helsinki’s design museum. They’ve gathered the most extensive collection of Eero Aarnio works, and put them on display in a playful space. (The exhibit ends on til Sept 25, so I hope you’ll catch it if you’re in town.)

I’m a longtime fan of Eero Aarnio, a Finnish designer known for his mod furniture designs from the 1960s onward. Above, I’m sure you have seen his Puppy chair design.

eero aarnio pastil chair, tomato

To fit the “Swinging Sixties” feeling, DesignMuseo put his works on giant Roombas! These platforms spin around and move across the room, reacting to your movements. (You’ve got to see this in action, so here’s a video of me walking through the exhibit.)

Thanks to the rotating disks, I got to see Eero Aarnio’s Tomato Chair and Pastil Chair from every angle.

eero aarnio mod furniture exhibit helsinki

Do you recognize the space-age Ball Chair above? It also comes in a swing version (which I later got to sit in).

Eero Aarnio became an international sensation with the release of the Ball chair, in the mid 1960s. I personally always wanted one of his Pony Chairs, which kind of looks like a bear. 

60s eero aarnio posters, design

Eero Aarnio broke conventions about how furniture should look and feel. His mod designs are all about curves, fun and imagination.

For the first time, I got to see his rare original sketches, and retro images such as this girl sitting in his Pastil Chair.

pony chair, eero aarnio design district

One of the rooms highlighted the production process,  and how he molds materials into geometric forms. To this day, Eero Aarnio continues to create new designs from his studio, including toys and furniture for children. 

(I’d go on a ride on his Pony Chair, any day!)

artek eero aarnio interior design

I walked through the other floors of the Design Museo: there was a feature on innovative interiors, and a permanent gallery of Scandinavian furniture and home objects throughout the years.

The gift shop is a must-see. Eero Aarnio brings his signature aesthetic to everything from licorice boxes to watering cans. (His furniture is available for sale worldwide; browse below to learn more.)

marimekko store, esplanade park

The museum is located in Helsinki’s Design District, which is a joy to explore. I encourage you to walk around and pop into the various local stores, to admire the avantgarde furniture.

And you can’t miss Marimekko, the famous Finnish designer with locations all over the city.

marimekko shop, helsinki finland

This large Marimekko store is in Esplanadi, a central esplanade and park.

Like Eero Aarnio, this Finnish home furnishings and fashion company made waves in the 1960s. Marimekko’s bright, simple designs — often featuring stripes and flowers — are recognizable worldwide.

cute moomin stores, helsinki

But Finland’s cutest character… is beloved Moomin! Finnish illustrator/writer Tove Jansson created the Mumintroll, a white hippo-like creature that lives in the Moominvalley with equally adorable friends.

moomin gift shops, finland

When I saw this pastel-colored store near Esplanadi, I couldn’t resist going in and giving Moomin a hug. I later visited the mascot’s store in the Forum shopping complex, and picked up some souvenirs.

(You can find the addresses of the Moomin stores worldwide, on their site. There’s a Moomin cafe in Japan, too — remember when I went?)

Moomin Shop Forum helsinki

The Moomin store in Helsinki’s Forum Mall has a wide selection of goods, guarded by the mischevious Mymble’s daughter.

(My favorites are these Moomin bowls, cute mugs and these colorful wallets.)

Don’t worry — if you aren’t anywhere near Scandinavia, you can still get Mumintroll goods online. Check it out below:

loyly restaurant bar sauna, helsinki

We were in Finland in August, meaning that the sun didn’t set until 10pm!

This gave us plenty of time to relax over dinner at Löyly, a recently-opened restaurant and sauna. There’s a huge patio, giving an Viking view of the waters.

Löyly sauna, wood architecture

Saunas are big in Finland. It’s part of the culture and lifestyle: a way to unwind, with family and friends.

Loyly is an all-in-one destination, encased in this contemporary geometric wood structure. You can sweat it out in a traditional smoke or wood-burning sauna, and cool off by diving into the waters below. Then, head to the restaurant section for a hearty meal and drinks.

finland sauna design, modern patio loyly

The cocktails once again specialize in gin and herbal mixtures. Loyly’s menu takes an environmentally-conscious approach: all the meats are local, and free-range or game. We tried the reindeer meatballs with lingonberry jam, and a creamy salmon soup: magnificent.

goth spider bomber jacket, disturbia widow

At Loyly, it’s easy to pretend you are a Viking, with these epic views from the terrace that stretches out over the sea.

(I’m wearing this exact Disturbia spider bomber jacket. This label also has a skull version, and a Lucifer jacket.)

pentagram dress, witch nu goth fashion

What did you think of my “noir” adventures in Helsinki so far? (All photos by Borderless Media.)

brown mrmaria line bear lamp

Finally, here’s a peek-a-boo from my new Line Friends Brown bear lamp, by the Dutch designers MrMaria!

They also make the Miffy lamp that I own, as well as other cute animal and character lights (see the full collection on Mr Maria’s site).

brown bear children's lamp

As you know, I’m a long time fan of Brown, the poker-faced bear from the Line Friends app. (Remember when I visited the giant Brown in the Harajuku store?)

mr maria cute bear lamp

I can’t help but smile when I look at MrMaria’s latest lamp. They’re a playful design studio based in the Netherlands, specialising in modern, minimal and kawaii home decor. (It’s no surprise that I love their works.)

The small Brown lamp is perfect for my side table, and will match well with my XL Miffy Lamp.

modern minimal kawaii lamps

As you can see, the perfectly round head and details are impeccable. This is top craftsmanship, with safe and warm dimmable LED lights, and options for international power connectors (so it can plug into any type of socket).

Brown comes in a large size as well. He’d look great in a child’s bedroom, or a minimal-modern apartment like mine.

Cheers to MrMaria for producing such delightful works, filled with heart and imagination! This new release is magnificent, and I can’t wait to see what they create next.

brown line friends mrmaria lamp

Line Friends originated in Japan… and you guessed it, that’s where I will be next! I’m so excited to travel all around Japan, with JRailPass. I have unlimited access to trains, so I’ll be in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, Koyasan (Buddhist temple retreat!) and Osaka.

tokyo japan gothic club night poster

If you’re in Tokyo on Saturday, Sept 24 — I invite you to party with me at Midnight Mess, Tokyo’s longest running Goth night! Mistress Maya throws the best Goth parties in the city — as you may remember from past blog posts. The crowd is wonderfully inclusive, and you’ll recognize a lot of familiar faces from this blog.

Dance with me to EBM, Gothic, Industrial music at Bar Shifty in Shibuya, from 10:30pm to dawn. Find out more about the “Nightmare before the 14th Anniversary” event here, and hope to see you at Midnight Mess on Sept 24!

Stay tuned to my social media @lacarmina to see my train travels in Japan!

occult leather jacket, gothic tumblr

And more from Hell-Sinki to come… steampunk bars and pirate cafes await…

(If you enjoyed the fashion and design in this post, you can shop it below.)

Auckland’s alternative shops & clubs! K Road New Zealand drag queen show, Caluzzi Cabaret.

gothic black cape cloak

Now that I’ve been to New Zealand, I understand why travel bloggers consistently put the country on their “top destinations” lists. The photo above sums it up: dramatic nature and oceans, Lord of the Rings vibes. And Auckland has a fabulous underground culture as well, which I’ll show you in this final post.

As you’ll recall, I joined the Contiki Sun and Steam tour (with a fun group of fellow young travellers). The trip began and ended in Auckland, NZ’s largest urban area.

caluzzi bar cabaret, auckland nz

I’ll take you inside the fierce and funny world of Caluzzi Cabaret — a drag queen extravaganza located on the infamous nightlife strip, K Road.

pentagram dress, occult witch clothes

Outfit details: I’m wearing a pentagram occult dress and cape by Black Milk Clothing. They also have a Game of Thrones map print dress that I love, and it’s in the same style as the one I’m wearing.

I’m never going to part with this fluffy monster bag… but I do have other kawaii and Goth Japanese fashion available, on my fashion blogger shop (come browse).

blackmilk cape, goth dresses

Contiki group tours are catered to 18-35 year old travellers, meaning that we had a lot of free time to enjoy nightlife, and explore Auckland on our own.

At the same time, our tour leader Monique and driver Dyson made sure we had a superb overview of the city’s top attractions. They were always glad to give us recommendations, and join in on the fun.

contiki tour auckland

We stopped at Bastion Point to take in the gorgeous views of Waitemata Harbour and the city of Auckland. The wind added drama to my Black Milk cape!

(Photos by Salima Remtulla, who joined me on my Contiki journey)

auckland new zealand viewpoint

I found this epic view of the Sky Tower, which rises like a spaceship in the distance.

We walked around the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park. It’s a tribute to the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand, known for his progressive welfare policies.

new zealand gardens

Savage is revered as one of NZ’s greatest prime ministers. His tomb lies by a reflecting pond and these beautiful gardens.

Contiki gave us a free day to explore Auckland, so I browsed the chic local fashion in Britomart (see more). But when dusk falls, it’s time to party…

caluzzi drag queen show

… And these ladies really know how to put on a show!

I was thrilled to see the famous drag queens of Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret, located on the famous K Road (the gritty, alternative nightlife strip of Auckland.) Address: 461 Karangahape Rd, Eden Terrace, Auckland 1010.

auckland gay clubs, bars, nightlife

I was welcomed by the friendliest bartenders and queens, who made sure I always had full glass of local Matawhero wine.

Caluzzi is a drag queen cabaret with a wonderfully inclusive atmosphere. The tables were packed with groups of friends, bachelorette / hen parties, and lots of locals.

auckland bachelorettes hen night

The gals put on a fierce floor show, with a funny air stewardess theme. They dazzled us with their choreographed dancing and singing, working the floor in their glittering stilettos.

drag queen performer portrait

Established in 1996, Caluzzi has become known as one of the best nightlife venues in the city. The drag performers are top-notch: makeup, wigs and outfits are all on point.

new zealand lgbt, drag queens

These ladies went around the room, chit-chatting and posing with the guests. Such a welcoming atmosphere, and I couldn’t stop smiling at their wicked, campy remarks. 

gay club auckland new zealand

Between the song-and-dance hilarity, the drag queens played the part of the perfect stewardesses, and took our meal orders. We got to choose from a variety of tasty main courses, and everyone got garlic bread and soup to start.

drag queens performing

While we dined, the ladies put on decadent costumes, and entertained us with a variety of routines. In this group number, they went outside and performed in the street, while we watched from the window!

You’ve got to see this short video of them in action. Just another night on K Road…

lion king drag queen dance

Everyone got up and cheered during this Lion King inspired number. She spread her wings and lip synced to “The Circle of Life.”

k road, caluzzi cabaret

Other acts involved audience participation, dance-offs, and even a Maori-inspired performance.

Caluzzi Cabaret in Auckland is pure fabulosity. Be sure to reserve a space in advance, as the seats fill up fast. Check out their website for upcoming showtimes and bookings, and say “hiiii” to the gals for me.

Karangahape Road streets

K Road, the nickname for Karangahape Road, is known for its colorful and grungy nightlife. You’ll find dive bars, strip clubs and tattoo shops here (but don’t worry, Auckland is not at all dangerous).

cockroach sculpture, kafka art

I spotted plenty of weird art installations and street art on K Road, such as this pentacle-eyed emoji. I guess Gregor Samsa (the cockroach man from Kafka’s Metamorphosis) somehow wound up in New Zealand…

cute hipster fox pillows

There are also lots of cute, hipster boutiques. These fox pillows caught my eye. 

new zealand fashion store

K Road is one of the best places to shop for NZ made fashion, and independent designers.

blue hair blue lipstick girl

Come during the day-time, so that you can shop the alternative design stores. 

k road auckland new zealand

You’ll never be bored on K Road. At night, it comes alive with bars, performances, ethnic restaurants, you nae it.

teen skater boys

I ran into a group of teenage skater boys. When the stores are closed, they use the smooth floors for practising tricks.

k road clubbing, nightlife

Ghosts of K-Road. If you’re into subcultures and alt nightclubs, you can’t miss this district (and Caluzzi’s drag queen cabaret, which is located here.)

contiki youtube vlogger trip

Kia Ora to Contiki for the once-in-a-lifetime journey! I also wrote about the experience on Business Insider Travel, and you can see all my New Zealand posts here, in this blog category.

auckland botanical garden

And now, it’s time to fly away to my next destination. I still have lots of Slovenia and Scandinavia posts to share with you, and I’ll be somewhere both old and new in the upcoming weeks. 

kawaii model hong kong

If you could hop on a plane to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Hmm…


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!