Today we're interviewing Carmina, the Japanese Goth/alternative fashion blogger behind La Carmina Blog. In addition to style blogging, Carmina is now a fashion designer, author of 3 books about pop culture and has co-hosted TV shows on CNN and Travel Channel.
Tell us about yourself and how you started blogging.
Pirate. Harajuku girl. Absinthe addict. La Carmina Blog chronicles my flamboyant adventures in… Japanese Goth Punk fashion, young Visual Kei boys, cosplay and fetish balls, maid and robot cafes, scandal, drama, and the cutest Scottish Fold cat in the world.
When I began my blog in September 2007, I was Yale Law student at crossroads -- I needed to be in a more creative field. Blogging was the perfect way to share my love of Harajuku fashion and alt subcultures. Upon graduation, I had books and other projects in the works, so I decided to pursue this road instead. And never turned back. I grew up in Vancouver with no media/entertainment connections whatsoever, so my blog let me break into tight-knit industries such as TV hosting. Every day, I’m amazed at the opportunities that arrive in my inbox; my adventures keep getting weirder, and I'm excited for what the future holds.
Tell us more about the La Carmina Blog.
La Carmina Blog is a peek into “Spookyville,” my Tim Burton universe. Readers get to know me and my “pirate friends” through our colorful photos and ridiculous videos. My crew has a well-defined aesthetic and lifestyle -- Japan Visual Gothic. Regular readers know our lingo and obsessions, like “nightcrawling” and infomercials and pumpkin pizza. And who can forget my earless cat, Basil Farrow?
Our haunted world's addictive; many people have flown to Tokyo for a taste. Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods) and Antoine de Caunes (Eurotrash) even brought along their TV crews to see how we party. And I invite you to join the fun. Don’t worry: we may look scary, but we don’t bite. Maybe…
How did you discover Polyvore? And what do you like most about it?
A few years ago, I noticed Polyvore sets on websites. I assumed they were painstakingly made using Photoshop. But then I created a Polyvore account, and realized how easy and intuitive the program is to use.
Polyvore gets my creativity flowing. I love how one can assemble dream outfits and create inspirational mood boards. All without taking out a credit card or scissors!
What are your favorite brands/designers?
I love Japanese Gothic Lolita and Punk underground brands; I have a long list of favorites on my blog. In a recent set, I included an h.NAOTO Sixh parasol, Moi-meme-Moitie blue/black Gothic bell skirt, and silver crucifix jewelry.
What's your trend forecast for the coming season?
All I know is my own spooky world. My friends and I are currently fond of dramatic doll eyelashes, Visual Kei hair, and anything Pirate.
How would you like to impact the fashion world and can Polyvore help you?
I think the essence of underground fashion is freedom and DIY creativity -- and I try to express this in my La Carmina Blog. Polyvore is brilliant because it encourages personal experimentation. Be as wild as you want. You can even make fashion combinations that aren’t possible in real life!
Got any feature requests for the Polyvore team?
I’m big on backgrounds and decorative flourishes -- I think they add mood and narrative to the outfits. Perhaps there could be an easier way to search for backgrounds, or a collection filed by category (Halloween, Rococo, etc). I can't wait to continue collaborating with Polyvore!