Category Archive for Press
Thanks for your kind words about my appearance on Discovery & Science Channel’s Oddities! If you missed my episode (where I “purchased” this elk head), you can see the TV show clip and bonus photos here.
In the Oddities segment, I talk about my work in journalism and coolhunting worldwide. On last month’s Middle Eastern adventure, I got to fulfill a travel goal… visiting the famous sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
My film team and I started at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a cluster of restaurants and shops near the Burj Al Arab. We thought we could get some traditional food and shisha here…
… but were sorely disappointed, as this turned out to be a Disney-Vegas take on an Arabian market. (Skip this place, and visit Dubai’s gold and spice souk instead; photos and info here.)
On the bright side, we got a great “establishing shot” of the famous hotel, lit under a crescent moon.
We took a cab to one of the most expensive hotels in the world (the Royal Suite is $18,776 per night!). Inspired by the curve of a dhow (Arabian boat), the Burj Al Arab is considered the symbol of Dubai.
Regular tourists can’t simply walk onto this island. You must be a hotel guest, or have a restaurant or bar reservation, in order to make it past the security gates. We chose the cheapest option (drinks at the Skyview Bar), which requires a minimum spend of $70 per person.
But it’s worth it — this is Dubai, and the world’s only (supposed) 7-star hotel! When we entered the lobby, my filmmaker Melissa exclaimed, “It’s like Donald Trump on steroids.” Designed by Tom Wright, with interiors by Khuan Chew, the concept is Arabian Technicolor Palace Dreams.
Take the elevator next to the aquarium, and look up. Vertigo.
In Dubai, brunches are big social occasions. Fridays and Saturdays are holidays here, and since alcohol is a no-no (unless you’re in a hotel), brunch is a way to get decadent.
But we were here for cocktails. We took the elevator to the Skyview bar on the 27th floor.
“It’s like a 90s music video,” exclaimed Melissa. Circuit boards and cyber lights, and a grandiose view of the marina.
We enjoyed drinks with Barbara of Elle Magazine, and Georgina of Etoile La Boutique (I’ll show you this fashion heaven soon). The cocktails were inventive — one had wasabi inside — and the bar’s atmosphere was from another planet. (Consult the Burj Al Arab’s website for reservations and dress code.)
I leave you with a few screencaps from my Oddities TV guest spot. My Goth-Victorian hairstyle looks a bit like mouse ears.
Have you heard of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai? What do you think of the interiors, and do you think it deserves the seven-star rating?
PS: thanks Fashion Indie for interviewing me about personal branding, the reality of travel TV hosting, and how bloggers can get into television. I hope you find my advice helpful.
Watch Oddities TV show, Season 4: La Carmina guest star! Obscura Antiques, Discovery Science Channel video.
I know you’ve been waiting for this… La Carmina on Oddities! My TV show appearance premieres June 8, 9pm ET/PT on Science Channel, and then airs on repeat.
My episode is called “The Mummy Returns” (Season 4, Episode 11). Below is a short clip — watch me purchase a large, fuzzy reminder of home!
Do you like what I wore on-camera? Keep reading for outfit details, and a zillion Obscura shop photos.
Owners Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson are lovely in person. I frequented their store years ago, before the TV show came along.
They loved my custom, skeleton corset. Quite appropriately, the sign above me reads “Torture.”
For those who don’t know, the hit TV show “Oddities” is about Obscura, this little East Village shop of horrors. In each episode, the owners meet kooky customers and help them pick out items. For example, they helped the Speakeasy Dollhouse creator find a gurney for her immersive play.
The store is not for the faint of heart. Organs, skulls and animal heads abound.
Ryan, Evan and Mike are often here, manning the counter and signing autographs for fans.
It’s hard to believe that we filmed this episode last August, in New York City! My hair color by Isolde Semple; the styling is by Brandon Pope of TIGI NYC
I could have browsed for hours in Obscura Antiques.
In real life, I bought my friend a jar of chocolate-covered poison from their medicine cabinet. Somehow, I managed to take it through customs.
For the sake of the show, however, I “purchased” this gargantuan, stuffed elk head to remind me of home (Canada, not Japan as some might assume!)
The owners are passionate about their collections, and wonderfully knowledgeable. In the clip, I learn about the elk’s horns and history.
Also for sale: a box of potions…
… a bear in a hat, a laughing pig,
… and real life skulls.
Since it was summertime in NYC, I was boiling under my Victorian skirts. The crew interviewed me in the nearby East Village street, about my work in dark coolhunting and travel journalism.
Here’s the pirate hat I tried on. Arr.
“Is that a straightjacket?” Nope, but this two-headed creature is also featured in the show’s intro.
So many creepy and bizarre items in here. I fit right in.
If you’re in New York, drop by Obscura Antiques and Oddities and say hi for me. The shop address: 207 Avenue A New York, NY 10009. Phone: (212) 505-9251
I hope you’ll tune in for my appearance on Oddities! “The Mummy Returns” (Season 4 Episode 11) first airs Saturday, June 8th at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
Don’t worry if you miss it: the show will repeat multiple times on Science Channel / Discovery TV; check the schedule for dates.
Are you a fan of this TV show? What would you purchase to remind you of home?
I’ve adored Steampunk for years, and have exciting news to share. Today, the latest issue of Ladies of Steampunk Magazine is out, with devil-haired Carmina on the cover!
The magazine does a wonderful job of capturing this unique subculture and its fashion. In a six-page feature, they interviewed me about the colorful Japan Steampunk scene, including the groundbreaking party Steam Garden. You can get a digital or print copy here, and see more on their Facebook.
Octopus corset: gifted by Dracula Clothing (remember when I visited their steampunk-Victorian showroom in Prague?)
Skull and crossbones necklace: gifted by Ghostlove
Long lace skirt: gifted by Corset Chick
We enjoyed putting a Japan-anime twist on traditional Steampunk style. Do you like my two-horned hair?
My blue and purple hair extensions are the masterwork of Lulu Kukukachoo, Tokyo-based stylist. She used an ingenious method to create the cone shapes, then twisted and pinned these acrylic hues into place. She’s available for everything from avantgarde styling to basic haircuts, via Hair by Kukukachoo.
It was fun to look for Victorian-esque backdrops around Nakano. This curving gate was a great find.
As was the wooden front of a Japanese restaurant.
Brown, beige and black graffiti. I like how my hair flips up at the ends.
Photographer Said is wonderful to work with; he’s easygoing and has a great feel for shots and lighting. He also runs Tokyo Faces, a street fashion photo-blog with daily photos.
In my Q&A, I talk about the emerging scene in Japan, led by my friends Kenny Creation and Luke Chaos, who organized the party Steam Garden. Soon, I’ll post photos from their most recent event, which shows the spectrum of steam-punk fashion in Japan (including Lolita versions).
Want to see and learn more? Pick up a copy of the magazine. Thanks to Ladies of Steampunk for the grand honor.
Do you like how I added inspiration from Harajuku style tribes into this outfit? How do you like Steampunk culture and clothing?
Off to the Maldives, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Montreal Kinetik Festival! United Arab Emirates & South Asia travels.
All right, here’s the big news. In May, I’ll be traveling to four international destinations: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the Maldives Islands, and Montreal for Kinetik Festival! What will I be doing, how, and why? Keep reading.
You know I’m all about being a Pirate, and I’ve daydreamed of visiting the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Eco-friendly luxury resort Gili Lankanfushi is making this a reality… my filmmaking crew and I will be staying with them and sharing our “Treasure Island” adventure with you!
Can’t wait to explore this five star eco-resort, accessible only by speedboat. I’ll be staying in my own tropical villa, surrounded entirely by water, with a Mr Friday to assist me. Be sure to add my social networks (on the right sidebar) for a glimpse of the pirate life.
After the Maldives, my crew and I are jetting to Dubai, a destination that’s been on my bucket list for some time. We’ll be guests of The Fairmont Palm Jumeirah, located on the swank, man-made Palm Islands. This video and article coverage will be published on Huffington Post / AOL.
I’m fascinated by Dubai, a city of lavish imagination — home to the world’s largest mall and artificial island, 7-star hotel Burj Al Arab, and outrageous developments like a World-shaped archipelago. I hope I don’t fall off a camel when I ride it for the first time. (Above image from Wikipedia)
And then, we’ll be filming travel videos at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi, a classical Middle Eastern city home to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Funny enough, I first heard of the United Arab Emirates though Garfield’s Abu Dhabi song (where he threatens to mail Nermal away). Now, I’ll be seeing the UAE with my own eyes.
And that’s not the end. In late May, Montreal Tourism Board is sending me to Kinetik Festival, a four-day celebration of Electro-Industrial-Noise. I’m certain you’ll enjoy my video coverage, since performance artist Lauren (from Death Cookbook days) and Daniel Graves of Aesthetic Perfection will be my co-hosts!
Super grateful to all of you for supporting my writing and presenting work, which makes these trips possible. My film team and I are going to work hard, and bring you the best possible coverage of these international destinations.
Do you have UAE, Maldives, and Montreal travel tips for us? Is there anything you’d like us to feature? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best. (I’ve never been to any of these places, except Montreal as a kid.)
PS: Thank you to Atlas Obscura for interviewing me about my “subculture nomad” life. You can also read my Adone street style and South China Morning Post features online (photo above from their Encounters travel magazine).
PPS: My June and July plans are already in motion… where do you think I’ll be? Hint, the continent is Asia…