Category Archive for Fashion
How is your week going? I’m getting ready for my upcoming trip to Asia… I’ll announce it in the next post!
When I was in Hong Kong this summer, I did a photoshoot with the same talented team that created my Dark Beauty cover look. These are published today in M.Bellish magazine, along with an interview and front page feature.
Finally, I can reveal these images to you. The concept is inspired by fairies of Chinese mythology — but with my signature kawaii twist.
My long, romantic dress is by the Japanese label “Comme l’un.” The crown and shawl are handmade.
Let me tell you — this shot took some time to achieve. Photographer Ken threw the gauzy scarves in the air, and then ran back to fire away with the camera. In some shots, you could still see his body in the frame!
We did the photoshoot with a studio setup. After, Ken added the full moon effects in the background.
Photographer and post-production: Ken Yuen
Assistant photographer: Jacqueline Kwok (noircorner)
Even my nail art matched the lavender color scheme. This is one of my favorites to date — Sanrio’s Kuromi and skulls — by Glam Nail Studio.
Jacqueline Kwok (noircorner) took behind-the-scenes images throughout the day. Close-up on the back of my dress, and purple-red curls.
Funny enough, we set up the equipment in… a dog-grooming and training studio. Hence the funny posters of pups in top hats and monocles.
What do you think of our Chinese fairy photoshoot? Thanks to M.Bellish for interviewing me about my career and style; you can read the feature and see more photos on their site.
More professional shoots to be revealed soon; can’t believe I’ll be on two magazine covers in December-January. One of these is focused on Asia travel, and the other is about alternative fashion.
If you enjoyed these images, also check out my Hong Kong street style shoot with Ken and Jacky.
For more travel and fashion articles about Hong Kong, take a look around this category. Topics include cute Causeway Bay boutiques (like Izzue Hyoma above), molecular cocktails, Alice in Wonderland bars and more. I love this city.
There is more Hong Kong coverage on the way… including a video and report from a HK cat cafe that houses several Scottish Folds.
Have you added me and Basil Farrow on Facebook yet? We promise to post more cute photos like the one above!
Why am I dressed like a retro film star? Because I had a dramatic day in Zagreb, Croatia with my travel film team — involving broken hearts and a Mask of Shame.
Read on, to see how our Eurail.com “emo day” unfolded!
We were lucky to have Andrea as our local guide – she graciously hosted us in her cute Zagreb flat (available via AirBNB). She knows the city by heart, and has connections to the coolest people and places in town.
Sadly, we didn’t have time to go to Dubrovnik and the Croatian coast, as it’s quite a few hours away from the railway line. But we’re eager to come back and stay in Andrea’s gorgeous beach-side apartment, which you can rent from her via Airbnb (tell her we sent you!)
Outfit details: I’m wearing striped top sent by Sourpuss Clothing, similar to this shirt with stripes. My black and white hat is almost exactly like this one sold online. The scallop shorts are KiLaRa Hello Kitty, from Hong Kong.
The city center had so many cute boutiques, including this Illamasqua makeup shop, one of the only stand-alone Illamasquas in the world.
We also enjoyed this twee basement, filled with sailor paintings and clothes. Next door was a necktie shop because… the tie is a Croatian invention.
We passed by few alternative fashion boutiques like Boudoir. They sell antique-inspired meets avant garde corsets and bustiers, which I could see on Lady Gaga.
I told Andrea that we wanted to see what was cool and upcoming in Zagreb. She took us to Kino Europa (Varšavska ulica 3), a 1920s cinema that endures as a home for indie films.
Kino Europa has an outdoor cafe and gift shop, with goodies like this Pink Flamingos artwork of Divine.
Here, I met Professor Balthazar! This bespectacled character is from a popular Croatian / Yugoslavian cartoon that ran in the 1960s and 70s.
This store is a movie-lover’s dream. I did my best impression of Charlie Chaplin.
I was tempted to get this sushi-cat game.
And one of these Diana cameras. (Have you played around with vintage or toy cameras?)
I’ve never seen a small screening room as well-decorated as this one. Each of these chairs was rescued and reupholstered in rainbow colors.
Locals meet here to watch films that aren’t shown in mainstream theaters. This is also home to festivals and special events.
The main room is an ornate 1920s marvel, with a red carpet entrance flanked by these white statues. Kino Europa is looked after by a gentleman who has been here since the beginning. Once you get him started on his favorite films and meeting old-time stars, he can reminiscence for hours!
Like many of the cities we visited on our Eurail-Vision journey, Zagreb is filled with young, poppy street art. This mermaid holding a cat-balloon was one of my favorites.
Time for lunch. We got a lift from Matija Nikolić, a winner of TV’s Masterchef.
He offers free cycle-rickshaw rides from the city center to his young restaurant, Wok by Matija. (Varšavska 16) The concept is Asian street food fusion, with mostly organic ingredients from his family’s farm.
The place has a charming pop-up feel, as if he invited his friends for an impromptu outdoor meal. Matija chatted with us while cooking, and customized the Thai noodles for those of us with peanut allergies. (Remember the no-nuts travel sign from the Budapest food post?)
The fresh, sustainable ingredients and relaxing atmosphere were pure win. Thank you, Matija and friends, for this perfect lunch; Wok is a restaurant to look out for.
Now, for some tears… at the Museum of Broken Relationships (Ćirilometodska ulica 2).
This is one of the quirkiest and most fascinating exhibits I’ve ever visited. There’s a permanent museum in Zagreb, but the displays rotate and go on tour overseas.
In a nutshell, people from around the world send mementos of personal heart-break, and the most compelling ones go on display. Every object comes with a story, such as a first encounter gone wrong or a tragedy that pulled the couple apart. Above is one of the more disturbing entries: a woman was forced to wear these “jugs” to please her partner.
There had to be something here that struck a note with your own experiences, from handcuffs to boots left behind. But the Museum of Broken Relationships isn’t all about pain…
… there was also plenty of humor in the tales, and the gift store had lighthearted mementos (like a zippered “love pillow”).
The day wasn’t over yet. We rode the Zagreb Funicular (or inclined tram) to the top of the hill. This is one of the shortest and steepest funiculars in the world. And no, I didn’t know what a “funicular” was until I rode it.
The trip was fun (ha ha) and gave a terrific view of the red rooftops.
Andrea knows I have a spooky side, so she arranged for us to go on a Upper Town Witches Tour. We began in front of the Gothic St. Mark’s Church, famous for its colorful tiled roof. This is where 14-16th century women, accused of being witches, had to publicly march…
… while wearing this iron Mask of Shame! It’s on display at the Zagreb City Museum, along with other torture devices.
As part of the tour, we got to make a mask like this one, out of black construction paper.
Our guide also took us to the building where witches were unjustly put on trial, and locked away in a tall tower. Every place has a dark side…
We walked past historic sites where witches were killed, and ended up at Zagreb Cathedral, another striking example of Gothic architecture. (Travel photography by Melissa Rundle.)
Wow, that’s a lot in one post — and I still have more stories from Zagreb. Thanks to Andrea and everyone who took care of us, including our friends at Eurail.com. If you come to Zagreb, you can get the same royal treatment by booking Andrea’s rental apartment.
Do you like my black and white stripey coordinate? If you could add an item to the Broken Relationships museum, what would it be?
PS: Thanks to Riss of Fashion Vandals for interviewing me on “life lessons, staying true to yourself, and where you can find the hottest goth party in Japan.”
If you’re an acid-Buddha party type, you’ll want to stay at Jupiter Hotel (800 E Burnside St, Portland, OR) in the Southeast district. Avoid downtown PDX. The coolest joints orbit around this planet, such as the Lovecraft Bar.
With a push of a button, the helmet lights blink in several colors! There are pulsing pin-lights in the legwarmers as well, activated with a twist. From the space cadet patches to the spongy hood, J Valentine’s attention to detail is beyond this world. They’re simply the best wink-wink women’s costumes on Earth.
The fuzzy legwarmers and long-sleeved bodysuit carry enough warmth for October nights. I added star tights and a Gladnews skirt for more coverage, although you can wear this as a romper.
The hotel staff went all-out with dressing up. Pretty much everyone here was young and easy-going.
The lobby doubles as an art gallery. My kitty-cat filmmaker Melissa Rundle did the photography in this post.
Right outside is the Doug Fir bar, a favorite hangout for PDX locals.
Each Jupiter room is spacious and has unique decor — one has a Marilyn Monroe mural. Guests are encouraged to get creative, and make chalk drawings on their doors.
Naomiyaki transformed the blank canvas into a deep space battle. That’s La Carmina, fighting aliens in a pirate suit. (Do you think I’ll be the first intergalactic travel TV host?)
One day, I’ll have my own space-disco robot.
You know you’re in a hipster hotel when your welcome packet includes…
The art lobby carries the two necessities, devil wine and green apples.
The mannequin, “Lily,” is a mascot who sometimes appears in random places around town.
Voyagers who love quirky art and nightlife, The Jupiter’s the place for you — as long as you don’t mind running into Harajuku kitty-girls outside.
What do you think of my astronaut Halloween costume? Better than the ones in the Gravity movie?
The designer, J Valentine, has an imaginative catalog of original costumes and clubwear. Be sure to check out their site.
Did you dress up this year? Got photos?
A Gothic Fairy Halloween! The Lovecraft Bar Brickbat club, Lincoln Restaurant Portland, Argus Car Hire.
The Old Ones have woken in Oregon… and I’m about to have my spookiest Halloween yet!
Thanks to Travel Portland, my film team and I got to dance with monsters at Lovecraft Bar, and dine at Andrew Zimmern’s beloved Lincoln Restaurant. Plus, I got to debut my new blue-green hair. Perhaps you’ve already glimpsed it on my social networks, linked on the sidebar –>
I had navy hair in my mid-late teens, but products were weak back then and it faded quickly to a murky green. But now, it’s possible to get salon-quality dyes in rainbow colors.
My amazing stylist Stephanie Hoy at Avant Garde Hair Vancouver bleached my hair, and layered on turquoise, blue and dark purple. She stayed away from yellow-green tones, in order to complement my skin. What do you think of this big change?
The romantic hair flower clips were custom-made for me by Angelica Brigade. I love her detailed work and delicate fabrics. She takes requests through her site, so you can have her create accessories to perfectly match your outfits.
I had three Halloween costumes this year; here’s Look #1. The Goth Fairy dress, wings and star tights are from my friends at Lip Service, the popular Gothic brand that also makes Victorian and Steampunk garments. My cut-out boots are Yosuke, bought in Shinjuku Marui One in Tokyo.
Although I look ready to party, I’m really here to make travel videos and articles with my hard-working film team. On these shoots, timing is key: we need to get around to a lot of locations during our short stay.
If you’re travelling to Portland, I highly recommend renting a car. Having this rental from Argus Car Hire helped us enormously — each day, we shot at up to six locations all over the city!
I’m notorious for complaining about my vehicles (“There’s no suspension! The wheel is jerky!”) but with Argus, the experience was 100% smooth, no pun intended. We got a spotless Subaru Legacy with less than 2000 miles on it. Enough legroom for our 4-person pirate team, and the color even matched my outfit.
Since I travel so much, I’m going to make Argus Car Rentals my go-to. They work with multiple companies, so they have a much larger selection of vehicles and options — 30,000 locations worldwide including USA, Canada, Europe.
Now, time to fly away and eat! We drove about 15 minutes to North Portland, to try one of the most talked-about restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
When I had dinner with Andrew Zimmern in Vancouver, he told me I had to meet his talented friend, chef Jenn Louis. She kindly invited us to her flagship Lincoln Restaurant (3808 N Williams Ave, Portland OR).
Filmmaker Melissa shoots a collection of Jenn’s accolades, including Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine. Jenn built up her resume in kitchens around the US, but fell in love with PDX’s foodie culture and local ingredients. She opened Lincoln and then Sunshine Tavern, and recently appeared on Top Chef Masters.
After filming an interview with Jenn, we sat down to beautiful cocktails: “The Stone Fence” with Bourbon and apple cider, “Double Agent” with bourbon, Aperol and peach bitters. Perhaps our favorite is the one not pictured: a mix of mint-citrus syrup and Prosecco.
We started with appetizers: two hen eggs, pure local flavor. Then apple fritters with pickled chili aioli, and grilled octopus with olives. These seemingly incongruous ingredients are magic together; the flavors are surprising, thoughtful, balanced.
Same goes for the panna cotta with caramelized popcorn sauce (top right image). Imagine the taste of the movie theater without the crunch, paired with silky cream.
And here’s the money shot: sea urchin gnocchi. The bokeh really expresses the “choir of angels” feeling I had on my first taste. I usually find this type of pasta too chewy and starchy, and “uni” too rich and briney. But this is a completely different experience: melt-in-your-mouth bites of potato and ricotta, with a brush of sea urchin, Italian cayenne, mint and bottarga (cured fish roe).
I’m still reflecting on this meal; it’s honestly one of my favorites from this entire year. Thank you Andrew Zimmern for introducing us to your talented friends at Lincoln Restaurant. Can’t wait to show you the video footage we took with Jenn Louis.
Later, we went nightcrawling at The Lovecraft Bar (421 SE Grand Ave, Portland OR). It’s named after horror author HP Lovecraft, best known for his Cthulhu Mythos. I’m a fan of his writings, and have wanted to cross this venue off my “Goth bucket list” for some time.
Inside the (appropriately) small and dark club, his portraits and book covers line the wall. I was convinced that Lovecraft’s eyes would follow me, like in “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.”
The decor is a tribute to his universe. Tentacles represent Cthulhu, an Old God who looks like an octopus with claws and wings (much like my own). Lovecraftian symbols are everywhere, like this pentagram-like Necronomicon gate. Note the cute “No Entry” sign and my ever-present glass of absinthe.
Every first Friday of the month is a no-cover Goth night, called Brickbat Mansion. The DJs played highly danceable darkwave, post-punk, classic Gothic and shoegaze.
I won’t go into detail, but let’s say we had a bit too much fun on the dance floor. Portland locals are a friendly, kooky bunch. (My makeup is from Annabelle Cosmetics — love their creamy eyeshadows that match my new hair, and TwistUp lipstick crayons.)
Things got scandalous, when we got our hands on the balloons… We may or may not have left with a giant eyeball or two.
It doesn’t get better than this: celebrating Halloween in a sci-fi Goth party with my Pirate film crew. I’m lucky to be able to work with my friends, and glad that we can travel worldwide and shoot the topics we love. (Outfit and restaurant photography by Melissa Rundle; food closeups by me; Lovecraft images by First Mate Naomi.)
Much more Halloween shenanigans on the way, along with a video. I still have two costumes to show you!
PS: I’ve updated my travel TV hosting reel. Watch it above and on YouTube. The clips include Food Network, Today Show, Travel Channel, Discovery, National Geographic, CNN… How fun to see my hair change over time.
How do you like Portland’s spooky side? Thoughts on my new mermaid-colored hair?
PPS: If you’ve read H.P. Lovecraft and want to chat with me about his weird tales, I invite you to comment in this post or on my Facebook. “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!”