Category: ‘Interviews’

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.

SONY DSCla_carmina_travel_blog_top_blogger_fashion_sunglasses
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Interview with Bink from Pearls & Swine

November 1, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

I recently interviewed Bink, the designer and visionary behind Pearls & Swine—a brand that specializes in hats, fascinators, masks, eyepatches, and hair accessories that seems to have been plucked straight out of a surreal dream, and often appear to defy gravity. Bink also developed a sister brand, Temptress of Waikiki,  where she produces custom burlesque accessories. Bink works nonstop (she currently has over 150 items in her shop!), and her selection caters to tastes across the board—glam rock, steampunk, pop culture kawaii, rockabilly, and delicate bridalwear. In our interview, Bink explains the “mistake” that spawned her business, her inspiration, and offers a bit of advice and insight to artists and creatives who struggle with self-doubt and the pressure to lead a “conventional” career path.

Q: On your website you say that you “always intended to be sensible” but could never really settle on a conventional career path. When you decided to devote your life to your artwork, were there people in your life that discouraged you or lead you to question your decision? If so, how did you deal with those negative outside forces?

A: I was the only real block that stopped myself from being allowed to be creative. I did have some friends who questioned whether or not anyone would really be interested in unconventional headwear, but on the whole I have been extremely fortunate in mostly having support in my business. My partner Trafford Parsons is an artist and has been there for me every step of the way, even when my doubts crept back (and they do, even after years of being in business).

Q: What advice would you give to young creatives who are pressured to take a more “conventional” path in life, or who are surrounded by people who may not “get” their work?

A: Looking back I realize that, had I allowed me to be myself, a creative, instead of fighting it till I was 30, my life would be very different now. However, I do believe that everything we endure is for a reason…perhaps I had to take the journey I did to get to where I am now.

My advice to anyone is always to know you are going to make it if you want something enough. Many creatives aren’t very driven or confident in their art. The secret of confidence is pretend–one day it will come but you have to have determination and a disregard for wealth…. just go for it!

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Model of the Week Revisited: An Interview with Lady Noctis

September 19, 2011 Posted by fashionvandals

A number of months ago I introduced you to Lady Noctis, the petite alt-model and visual artist from the U.K. who’ s often found in Bizarre Magazine and has modeled for quite a few dark fashion and fetish clothing companies, such as Jane Doe Latex and Artifice Clothing. Recently I got a chance to know Lady Noctis a little better, and she  told me about early interest in fetish clothing, her inspirations, and the challenges she faces due to her height (she’s 4’11”).

I read that in your teens you became interested in waist training and fetish clothing. Tell me a bit about your teen years and growing up…did you have access to subcultures or communities that shared your interests?

My first taste of corsetry and latex was introduced to me when I was an adolescent. It was apparent within all art forms and movies that I love and adore; the aesthetics of them and the way they transformed the human body as well as their personality just fascinated me. When I was about 16 I purchased my first waist training corset, which I saved up for for quite some time. The instant I put it on, I felt a change within myself; not only within my figure but in the way I held myself. I could not afford any latex until I was 19 and with that I bought myself a custom-made Harley Quinn costume (Catsuit and Headpiece). There is not that much of a fetish scene in Wales so I never got any idea of it until 20. This was from discovering the Torture Garden, as well as some smaller clubs that seemed more suited to my attire…  (more…)

Model of the Week: Keycifer Black, revisited

June 20, 2011 Posted by fashionvandals

Recently I talked to one of our previous Models of the Week, Keycifer Black. Key is a model and burlesque performer who tours with the troupe, The Peek-A-Boo Review. She’s no stranger to the public eye, as she’s been dancing for years and modeling since she was about 15. I might also mention that Key’s acted in a number of music videos and films, and has a former Miss Catwalk Tragedy title under her belt.

 

And with that being said, it’s time for Key to enlighten us about the world of burlesque…

What originally got you interested in burlesque?

Cabaret and the circus have always been of interest, so of course it was expected. Independent, strong-willed, “I do what I want and I do it well” women are my idols. It was time to be set free.

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Meet Inked and Up-and-Coming Model, Dani B.

May 31, 2011 Posted by fashionvandals

Meet Dani Bathory: alternative model, writer, music composer, and hip hop artist. You might know Dani from her previous work with the death metal band, The Funeral Pyre, or else maybe you saw her recently featured on MTV’s Fine Ink series, or as Inked Magazine’s Inked Girl of the Day. While certain aspects of Dani’s career are still in the early stages, a lot of things came together for her this year. She released her first single “Your Favorite Bitch,” became a music columnist for Tattoo Hodge Podge, and you can spot her as the star of this year’s Aggrolite’s video, “Complicated Girl.” And, yknow, she also fits a day job in there somewhere…

FV: You told me that your first modeling gig was only about eight months ago, for Tattoo Hodge Podge. When you started out, was modeling something that came naturally to you, or did it take a while to build up a level of comfort?

DB: It did take a little while to get comfortable in front of the camera because that is when you feel most vulnerable. My coworker at the time had been modeling for years and he told me the most important thing to do was just relax…and all the photographers I worked with kept telling me I was a natural, so that definitely gave me a boost of confidence. (more…)

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