Category Archive for Hong Kong + Macau

To Africa and Asia! Traveling to Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Cape Town in South Africa.

jpop weird japan, shibuya colorful fashion

There’s no other way to put it: the next month will be cray-cray. Here’s the huge travel news… I’m off to five countries in two continents, including Africa for the first time!

My filmmakers and I are thrilled to be shooting a travel episode in Cape Town, South Africa. And as the ambassador of a trip-planning startup, Odigo, I’ll be going all over Asia: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei and Seoul.

Want to know more, and meet me in Japan on June 25? Read on for the exciting details. (Above image by Jesse Winter Heading for our Vanity Magazine cover shoot.)

baby liger, lion cub

As you know, my filmmakers and I travel around the world, making shows for my series published in Business Insider. (Previous episodes are on my YouTube.) We’ve shot in the Maldives, Dubai, Budapest, Jordan and more.

This time, we’ve teamed up with Cape Town Tourism. They’re bringing us to South Africa to explore the local design, fashion, nightlife, restaurants…

south africa safari lions

… and animal safari, my very first one! Can’t wait to hang out with Basil Farrow’s lion cousins, in their natural environment. If you have any requests for Cape Town coverage, please let us know in the comments. (Pic by Meraj Chhaya)

tokyo pecha kucha, super deluxe pechakucha

But first, I’ll be in Tokyo, as the ambassador of Odigo! This new site introduces travelers to little-known local hotspots in Tokyo and other cities. In a nutshell, you can plan a Japan trip tailored to your interests (such as Goth culture, otaku, or temples), and Odigo will link everything up in the best possible schedule.

Exciting news: I’ll be speaking at Pecha Kucha Tokyo on the evening of Weds, June 25! I’m making a 7 min presentation (20 slides, for 20 seconds each) about my passion for Tokyo underground travel: how I got started, adventures in TV hosting, and funny stories involving mistresses and whips. It’s an honor and challenge to present at this worldwide speakers’ event. I hope you’ll stop by to watch me, it’s free.

WHAT: PechaKucha 20×20 Tokyo (La Carmina is speaking)
WHERE: SuperDeluxe 西麻布3-1-25 2F, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 106-0031
WHEN: Wednesday June 25, 8:20 to 11pm
RSVP: Facebook e-vite

jpop weird japan, strange fashion

And on Sun, June 22nd, I’ll be partying with the Harajuku kids at Heavy Pop. Join the party for visual fashion, alternative music, cake, and a drag queen performance by Yukiro’s dark persona, Die Schwarze Frau.

WHAT: Heavy Pop, Tokyo club night
WHERE: Hell’s Bar, 2-12-1 Dime Tower 2F, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
WHEN: Sunday June 22, 5pm to 10:30pm
RSVP: on their Facebook page

tokyo blue hair girl, street snaps

The event is run by Ray Ochiai, who took street-style photos of me during my last visit to Tokyo. (Here are more of our Tokyo street snaps). We hope to see you there!

kpop singers, seoul cute girls

Then, I’ll be traveling around Asia with my photographers, capturing local spots and meeting with influencers. We’ll be in Seoul, Korea — I haven’t been here for over 10 years! Can’t wait to experience K-pop madness in the flesh.

hello kitty lattes, cafe taipei

And I’m excited to be in Taipei, Taiwan – home to some of the most bizarre theme restaurants, including cafes dedicated to Hello Kitty, Barbie and more. (Above two images via Wikicommons.)

hong kong street fashion, hair

I’ll also be hitting Hong Kong with Yukiro and John Skeleton. There are photoshoots in the works… and a lot of shopping and eating during our down-time!

(Image by Ken Yuen and Jacqueline Kwok, for Dark Beauty Magazine cover and spread).

japanese girl tokyo fashion snaps

I’m passionate about my Odigo partnership, and believe in their mission to encourage meaningful travel in Asia. I hope you’ll enjoy my upcoming adventures — to stay in the loop, you can sign up for updates on their site.

(Above and below pics by Said Karlsson from our Adone Magazine cover and shoot.)

tokyo video arcade game center

La Carmina is at your service! Do you have suggestions for places to visit in Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Africa? Any must-see locations or topics to cover? Please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook letting me know, and I’ll do my best to fulfill your wishes.

I’ll do my best to update this blog during this crazy time, but for the most current coverage — including outfits and travel previews — please add my social networks below. Hugs and kisses!

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Miami to Maldives, Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong: Travel blogger’s year in review, pt 1.

shinjuku hanazono shrine torii, red shinto gates

Ready to ring in the New Year?

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know it’s time for my annual Year in Review. This gives me a chance to reflect on the past 12 months, and share some bonus photos with you. So let’s head straight (or gaily forward, as my friends would say) to the first half.

art deco girl, 1930s hair curls

My site’s focus and projects grew significantly in 2013. At this point, I’m traveling at least once a month to a far-off place, usually with my film team or a TV show. It’s my passion to report first-hand on alternative cultures around the world.

Last January, I escaped the cold at Miami Art Deco Weekend. I caught up with friends and did this retro 1920s photoshoot with Mayleen G. Enjoy the Florida posts, including a Bettie Page runway show, in this category.

david bowie theme restaurant cafe

I’ll never tire of going to Tokyo. I continue to be in Japan several times a year for television hosting and arranging jobs. Each time, there’s something new to experience, like the David Bowie cafe, Alphonse Mucha exhibit…

pirate themed restaurant japan

… and King of the Pirates theme restaurant. Best of all, I get to have fun with my friends. (Interested in hiring us? Learn about our TV production and consulting services.)

maldives boat ride

Next, my filmmakers and I were invited to a very special place: the Maldives. We fell in love with eco-luxury resort Gili Lankanfushi, and I got to live out my Treasure Island fantasies. Here’s our Maldives video and all the sunny photos.

abu dhabi head covering mosque

We also landed in the Middle East for the first time. Dubai was a sci-fi wonderland, and I loved walking through the egg-like Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi. Discover the Arabian peninsula’s grandeur in these blog posts.

montreal bagel shops

There’s no need to jet to far-off places to have an adventure. I featured my home country – Canada – in a series about Montreal’s Goth culture and Kinetik Festival. One of the highlights was bagel-tasting with Aesthetic Perfection’s Daniel Graves.

hong kong model, fashion blogger

It appears a lot of people read my site for the Hong Kong travel guides, which makes me happy. This city is full of energy and pop culture oddities, like cute food and giant floating ducks. (Intrigued? Then see my Hong Kong tips.)

japanese prayer cards, shinto ema

I leave you with an image from Shinjuku’s Hanazono Shrine. Shinto worshipers write wishes on these little wood plaques (called ema), and leave them for the kami to hopefully deliver.

On that note, do you have any New Years resolutions? What do you hope to achieve or improve in 2014?

british shorthair coupari fold

I think we can all resolve to take care of ourselves, do meaningful work, and treat our furry companions like the kings they are! I’m shooting everything with DSLR now, so you can expect more images like the one above.

Coming up next: part II of my annual reflections.

Chinese Fairy photoshoot: fashion modeling in Hong Kong. Long Japanese dress & purple red hair.

chinese fairy, fairie magazine modeling

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.

asian fairy dress, chinese fairies mythology

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.

long purple dress, scarves

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!

chinese princess tiara, fairy crown

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)

japanese false eyelashes, bottom lashes

Shadow effects, from my bottom false lashes. My hair color and style are by Stephanie Hoy of Avant Garde Hair Studio. She also did my recent turquoise colored hairstyle.

skull nail art, pastel goth nails

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.

purple and red hair, dyed hair

Jacqueline Kwok (noircorner) took behind-the-scenes images throughout the day. Close-up on the back of my dress, and purple-red curls.

dog wearing top hat, monocle

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.

dog poster, hong kong dogs

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.

photographer reviewing photos on laptop

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.

hong kong street style, gothic lolita

If you enjoyed these images, also check out my Hong Kong street style shoot with Ken and Jacky.

pastel cute fashion, pastel gothic

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.

ronan farrow cat, pet scottish fold cat

There is more Hong Kong coverage on the way… including a video and report from a HK cat cafe that houses several Scottish Folds.

mia farrow scottish fold, ronan farrow's cat

Have you added me and Basil Farrow on Facebook yet? We promise to post more cute photos like the one above!

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My favorite Hong Kong designer fashion & streetwear boutiques: I.T Izzue, Minnie Mouse, Miffy, Hyoma.

miffy twopercent, miffy clothing store

I’ve been traveling so much (on a travel video shoot in Eastern Europe) that I forgot it was my birthday (Aug 17). Woke up to a bunch of well-wishes — thank you! I read and appreciate all your messages.

In June, I did some pre-birthday shopping in Hong Kong, especially at two of my favorite stores: Miffy TwoPercent, and I.T / Izzue. What makes these shops so special?

Nijntje statue, tshirts, clothing

Let’s start with Miffy, who is one of my favorite cute characters. I like her no-frills design: all white, two dots for eyes, and an X mouth.

Miffy purses, hong kong world trade center

Likewise, the fashion collection is sleek and of-the-moment. The bunny face doesn’t overpower the design.

miffy bunny shirt, chinese girls fashion

You can compare these Miffy store photos to the ones I took last year.

hyoma shirt, izzue clothes, pastel goth purses

My other must-see brand is Hyoma, found in the bigger Izzue stores like this one in Causeway Bay. (I.T / Izzue is a chain, but not all carry Hyoma.)

skeleton leggings, tie dye crop top

The picture above says it all. Those cute-face skeleton leggings are now in my possession.

watermelon skirt, fruit top, street style harajuku

The “Harajuku Fruits” style is taken at face value… with this watermelon skirt and top.

minnie mouse fashion, disney clothing line hong kong

Izzue carries a variety of young women’s and men’s brands. Right now, Minnie Mouse has a line with b+ab (last year, they did one with Hello Kitty).

i.t store, it stores, causeway bay hong kong

I.T is the “wishful thinking” section of the store. In other words: gorgeous designer clothes that you likely can’t afford.

chalayan fashion, Hussein Chalayan dresses

Case in point: Hussein Chalayan avantgarde dresses.

goth designer clothing, high fashion

You can find Alexander McQueen and other haute-Gothic favorites.

bros products, a bros, lion purse

On the opposite spectrum, I leave you with these colorful accessories from Bros Products. (Remember when Seby and I visited their design studio?)

What’s your opinion on Chinese streetwear? Do you prefer Miffy, Minnie or Hyoma? Off to celebrate my birthday with friends… at karaoke!

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