Posts Tagged: ‘punk’

Cherry Blossoms and Subway Station Discount Shopping

April 9, 2014 Posted by rissvandal

Thanks to anime and a love of melodramatic Asian films, I’ve always idealized the idea of walking among cherry blossoms trees, especially in Korea or Japan. In my mind, to be among a sea of cherry blossoms was to no doubt have an experience brimming with drama, tranquility, and romance. Living right by Seokchon Lake, an area that prides itself on its scenic atmosphere and annual cherry blossom display, I finally got to have my overseas cherry blossom experience, and find out for myself if it was grand and profound as I’d dreamed…

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Seoul’s cherry blossom display is exceptionally beautiful, but a rather fleeting beauty at that. Due to an abundance of stormy weather and unexpectedly warm temperatures, the blooming of the cherry blossoms came and went in a flash. By the time the Cherry Blossom Festival came around, which is where I snapped these shots, the blooms were already just about on their way out.

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Seoul Punk Rock, Photo Cafes, Fake Hair, and Beauty Product Reviews

March 19, 2014 Posted by rissvandal

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I’d been going a mile a minute, exploring everything I could the moment I got here, but this weekend my body told me it’s time to slow down. I’ve been combating a combo of laryngitis, possibly bronchitis for almost two weeks now. If you’re going overseas, don’t ever just take it for granted that you can just pop into any drugstore and easily  pick up any medication you got at home. I’ve had to go to a Korean friend, explain my symptoms, have them write it out in Korean, and hand a pharmacist the paper like a child with a permission slip. The chance of me ever needing medication for an embarrassing ailment is reason alone to encourage me to master Korean sooner rather than later.

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WIG TIMES

Illness aside, I’ve done my fair share of shopping, seeking out any and all things cute, and I’ve been trying my hardest to resist post-White Day chocolate sales (In Korea, Valentine’s Day is for the men, White Day is for the women). Subway stations and sidewalk sales are quickly becoming my go-to for good discount purchases, but one unique place my friend and I treated ourselves was at Pinkage in Hongdae–a wig and hair extension boutique with an in-house salon. My friend opted for a full head of hair, while I just went with a small set of fake bangs. Wigs range from about $80-140 and fake bangs start in the $20 range for simple front clip ins, while $40 will get you a set of bangs and fringe to cover the entire top of your hair, for a much more natural, seamlessly blended look.

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5 Brands to Get on Your Radar in 2014

January 29, 2014 Posted by rissvandal

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We haven’t even made it more than a month into 2014, but I already have my list–my list of new and/or fast developing brands and designers I’ll be keeping an eye on in the coming year. In other words, here’s a look at who’ll be getting most of my money in 2014… This is going to be a year full of bold snapbacks, sophisticated casualwear, edgy otaku swag, and not to mention, some lolita sweetness. Take a look at five brands it’s time to get on your radar.

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Mickey’s Back: Fitting Disney Back into my Life and Wardrobe

January 21, 2014 Posted by rissvandal

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I first noticed it from Hot Topic, and if you shop there or live anywhere within 10 miles of a mall you must have noticed it too. Like a wave that crashed down out of nowhere–suddenly everything was coming up Disney. I’m not talking your usual pint-size Disney princess costume wear, I mean playful, sometimes edgy, sometimes sexy Disney fashion apparel for full grown people. Automatically, my gut reaction was “oh come on, how cheesy! Let’s stop trying to make this somehow look cool.”  Cute and nostalgic, yeah, but I just didn’t really get why Disney was relevant or attractive to anyone over the age of 12.

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Interview with La Carmina: Travel Host, Fashion Blogger, Mermaid-Haired Goth Globetrotter

November 14, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

SONY DSCAnthony Bourdain may be considered the punk rock rebel of travel hosting, but he’s certainly not alone, and it’s safe to say he has some stiff competition. Has Bourdain ever encountered aliens at a Tokyo fetish club, posed with Lolitas in Austria, or explored lip sewing body modification in Vancouver? No…not quite, but let me introduce you to someone who has…

Meet La Carmina–a gothic globetrotter with her finger on the pulse of all things dark and alternative. She blogs, hosts travel shows, writes books, and goes on countless underground adventures across the world. And while La devotes herself to a career that is unconventional, and not to mention, often unpredictable, she originally dedicated herself to a far more structured path–attending Yale Law School.

So how exactly does one make the leap from the world of law to a world of fetish bars, exotic restaurants, and international goth clubbing? And what are some of the obstacles to be faced and points to consider when making such an unexpected life transition? Here’s what La had to say about it all.

Gothic Style Blogger, La Carmina

FV: As your fans see on your website and TV appearances, these days you travel the world–from Tokyo to Budapest–highlighting underground culture and chronicling your unique travel experiences, but ultimately, it all began with your blog. If you were to go back to 2007, when you first started your blog, did you ever imagine that this was the direction your life was heading? What you did envision for your future?

La: Never in a million years. In 2007, very few people had blogs, and the social network landscape was very different (remember Myspace’s dominance?). With a few early exceptions, there was no precedent for blogging being a path to something larger, such as doing books, TV and worldwide travel. Because of this, I had no expectations when I started — but I quickly found that I truly enjoyed blogging. (And not everyone does.) To this day, I get excited to create new posts and share my passion for alt fashion and culture. At the time, I hoped I would eventually find a creative career where I was my own boss, but I didn’t think blogging would be the key to opening so many doors.

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Lying to Myself, Finding True Love, And Getting Older and Weirder

September 18, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

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A lot of people tell you to follow your passion and pursue the things you love. But what if you can’t actually figure out what the heck that is?

I pondered that question a couple months ago while searching for pictures of “bad” prom dresses for a Dos and Don’ts of Prom article I was assigned to write while interning for a stylist in NY (ooh, doesn’t that sound all fancy?). When the article was done I went back and removed my name from the byline, preferring it just be credited to some enigmatic ghost blogger, as opposed to me. I’m the girl who’s supposed to be the almighty cheerleader of alternative fashion, and firmly believes that fashion “don’ts” dont actually exist. Afterward I pushed my computer aside and took a moment to ask myself What are you doing? Like seriously, what are you doing?

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Bloody Burlesque and Twilight Lullabies

August 1, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

I haven’t been updating enough lately, I know. I’m gearing up for a move  so I’ve been spending the last few weeks doing fun things like sorting through all my crap, finding good homes for my unwanted stuff (I needed to make sure my tutus and spiked bras found homes with fabulous people), and trying to consolidate my large costume and prop collection so it can be moved with little to no hassle.

Those boring details aside, I have been up to other stuff. One of the things I’ve been doing, besides not updating the blog, is practicing with the band Astorian Stigmata, since I signed on as their live show keyboardist a couple of months back. You’ve seen the dudes before–they pop up in a lot of posts and photoshoots, so you might already be familiar with the fact that their general aesthetic is sort of like…dark Neo-Victorian gone mad…or maybe romantic goth meets visual kei. Either way, when they asked me to be part of a lyric video for their song “Twilight Lullaby” I rolled with those general ideas. I had just a day to put an outfit together so I blasted some Emilie Autumn, gathered every bit of black, red, and tattered fabric I could find, and got to work.

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These are casual outfit shots we took prior to filming, as opposed to a preplanned thematic photo set, but I think there is a cool, kind of chaotic quality to them [Photos by Dennis Condusta]. The outfit somewhat resembles what I wore for this previous shoot, but way more amped up and crazed.
The hat comes from FanplusFriend Garden, the corset Heavy Red, and the boots Dr. Martens. The wig comes from my go-to shop, Gothic Lolita Wigs, the gloves are from Hot Topic, and the lipstick is Lime Crime.

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Dark Style in the Summertime: Don’t be a Melty Goth

July 1, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

I bring it up because I’m guilty of it myself, but more importantly, because I care. Last year I was stubborn. I didn’t care to conform to the changing weather–I decided that the sun should somehow conform to me. I worn tight black bustiers in the sweltering heat, black tights under shorts with knee-high boots, and I refused to stop layering. But my friends, you deserve more than constant discomfort. You don’t deserve sweat pooling down your back or forced smiles to prevent those around you from saying “I told you so”. Instead of fighting summertime, embrace it and learn to work with, not against it.

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Dress: h. Naoto / Hat: Payless / Sandals: Offbrand

As I say all of this, realize that I have a primarily black wardrobe, and have no intentions of changing that. What you need to rethink in the summertime is not necessarily colors, but fabrics and fits. Think breathability, movement, and if you’re going to wear something fitted take advantage of light fabrics, cutouts, and short hems. And c’mon, if the temperature exceeds 80 degrees, take some time to seriously reconsider anything involving boning, pvc, lace sleeves, latex, or shoes that lace up beyond the knee…

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AnimeNext 2013: The Cosplay, The Fashion, The Antics

June 11, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

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It’s hard to know where to start. If I didn’t have a blog, I’d be tempted to say “what happens at an AnimeNext, stays at an AnimeNext,” or “the first rule of anime cons: don’t talk about anime cons.” But I won’t cop out, especially since I took so many pics of my adventures. Though even with a full con recap, there are still some things that can’t truly be explained, and you had to see for yourself. For example, watching Link and Hello Kitty have a krump off while two young vocaloids squeeled with glee from the sidelines is the kind of stuff dreams are made of. And cosplay burlesque–I definitely didn’t expect to see Richter Belmont whipping the clothes off of sexy vampires, or April O’ Neil gyrating in turtle pasties…

Atmosphere, Events, and Antics

I take it for granted that people reading this already know what an anime con is, but if not, it’s basically a con for all things relating to Japanese animation, manga (Japanese comics), gaming, and even branching out to include Japanese music, fashion, and some Korean pop culture. I’ve been to regular comic conventions in the past, but this is not the same, with the glaring difference being the amount of cosplay. If you don’t show up in costume, you’re in the minority.

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4 Simple Steps To Create A Faux Undercut

May 28, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

My two greatest loves these days, style-wise, are skeletal accessories and rockin a faux undercut. Well, the skeleton accessories–nothing new there, but it wasn’t until just recently that I realized how damn easy it is to fake the dramatic hairstyle. There are four basic steps: Part, Tuck, Spray, Pin. Continue on for more details…

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