INTERVIEW with La Carmina, Japan fashion blogger and TV host
If you’re a big fan of Japanese and gothic culture, or just fashion in general you may have heard about Lacarmina. Starting all the way back in 2007 with a small fashion blog, she is now an author to popular books such as, Cute Yummy Time (how to make meals look adorable) and Crazy,Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo. She also became an experienced TV fixer/producer, working on shows like World’s Weirdest Restaurants for the Food Network. Lacarmina has her own TV fixer company called Lacarmina & The Pirates that focuses on consulting, guiding, translating, connecting, scheduling, and any other ways they can assist you with your travels. I have been a follower of hers for years, so this was an exciting opportunity for me to get to know more about her.
1. Who are your major fashion inspirations? Were you always into Alternative style?
Growing up, I was always drawn to the alternative side of things, and was inspired by the edgy street styles I saw in Japan as a child. I started experimenting with these alt fashions as a teenager. This scene remains one of my biggest fashion inspirations, although I like to mix and match a number of different looks, from Jpop to the 1920s.
2. Did you see yourself having an exciting job like yours when you were younger?
Even though I loved visiting Japan and wearing Jpop fashion, I never imagined it was possible to have a career like mine, let alone travel to so many places. I went to Columbia University, and then Yale Law School – but my heart lay in the experimental scene in Harajuku. I needed a creative escape, so I started my La Carmina blog in 2007. Every day, I posted about the hidden spots I loved in Japan: such as the Butler Cafe where anime-styled waiters treated you like a princess, or fairy kei boutiques where the fashion is inspired by the 1980s. I did this all out of love, and didn’t imagine that my La Carmina site would lead anywhere. But then some of my posts about theme restaurants and cute food became popular… and long story short, it led to publishing books, hosting TV shows, traveling the world, and all the dream projects that make up my life today.
3. Your first few books were a big success for you, do you plan to write more in the future?
I had a lot of fun writing these books, and definitely will be publishing more in the future. At the moment, though, I am most interested in travel and TV hosting work, and pursuing this path most actively.
4. I see you’re obsessed with Italo Disco! It’s one of my favorite genres. What are some of your favorite tunes?
Where do I start? Nothing peps me up like Italo Disco / Hi NRG songs! Some favorites are Yoko Oginome’s Dancing Hero, Let The Night Take The Blame by Lorraine Mckane, Patty Ryan – “You’re My Love, You’re My Life”, Savage -Don’t Cry Tonight, Marc Fruttero – Disco Silva and way more.
5. What is the strangest location you have visited recently?
The Rainbow Village in Taichung, Taiwan was rather trippy. This old village consists of several old buildings and paths, with every surface coated in vivid, primitive, colorful strokes. The images range from pandas to demented ghosts, and is all the work of a 90-something year old grandpa. I love discovering eccentric and inspiring places like these, during my travels.
6. Has there ever been a destination that you’ve visited that was dangerous or questionable at the time that made you nervous?
Ironically, I’ve felt the most unsafe in the USA. I unknowingly wound up in some unsafe parts of Chicago and St Louis years ago (before starting the blog). If it weren’t for police cars around to warn me and give me a ride to safety, I might have gotten in trouble. On the flip side, my experiences in Jerusalem and Cape Town’s townships were positive, and I felt safe.
6. How’s your adorable Scottish Fold cat, Basil?
He’s as soft and sweet as ever. Scottish Folds are an incredible breed: they are unbelievably gentle and cuddly, and love being around people. Basil Farrow is irresistible when he sits like a Buddha, stands up on his hind legs, or lies upside-down. You can see his daily antics on my Twitter –http://www.twitter.com/lacarmina and Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/lacarmina)
7. Can you give us a hint about your upcoming destinations or projects?
I have a big TV appearance coming up in the next few weeks, which you’ll be able to watch on a major US network. This job is taking me to two destinations before the end of the year. I’ve been dreaming of visiting one of these cities for years, and it’s known as one of the world’s most Gothic places. And I’m embarking on an interior design and hotel ambassador project, which are new for me. Finally, I hope to visit more of my “bucket list” travel destinations in 2015. Stay tuned to my La Carmina social networks (@lacarmina) and my blog to see where I end up next! g
(Lacarmina in Seoul)
You can find her on her social sites:
*all photos are credit to La Carmina of http://www.lacarmina.com
***This interview and more will be in the winter issue of Carpe Nocturne magazine!