Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson: Lobby Girl movie costume! Odigo Japan startup launch party.

grand budapest hotel costume, lobby girl

I’ve taken on a new job in the travel industry… located in the imagination of filmmaker Wes Anderson. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve become a Lobby Girl!

grand budapest hotel logo

My costume is inspired by the “Lobby Boy” character in The Grand Budapest Hotel,  which recently won four Oscar awards. Can you believe I’ve watched this movie about 10 times? It’s witty, charming, funny and stylish — Wes Anderson at his best.

moov magazine cover, wes anderson

I couldn’t resist doing a “Lobby Girl” cosplay, in tribute to the Grand Budapest Hotel. Shutterbug James photographed me in character… and it made the cover of Moov Magazine‘s “Best Of” issue!

Later in this post, I’ll share more photos from our shoot. But first, the Lobby Girl had a gala to host… in Tokyo, Japan. 

tokyo tech travel startup

Last month, I flew to Tokyo for the launch of travel start-up, Odigo. We threw a phenomenal party — thanks to my friends who celebrated with me!

japanese demon masks

What went down? Demon masks, an open bar, Italo Disco music, and a photobooth by ROMP.

jrock style fashion

Are we doing the “X Japan” Jrock sign, or “dame-ee” (which means forbidden, in Japanese)? Probably a bit of both.

tokyo party photobooth

I’m happy to officially unveil Odigo to you. The English-language site is for you guys: people who want to travel to Japan, and see all things offbeat and authentic. 

Readers tell me it’s hard to figure out Japanese addresses, and how to get around. With Odigo, you can easily plan a trip that’s tailored to your interests –– where it’s sushi or Sailor Moon.

keroppy maeda, bagelheads japan

Perhaps you’re intrigued by body modifications, such as bagelheads in Japan? Odigo can show you where to find them. (Hint: look for the man behind the bagel, Keroppy Maeda, above.)

japanese punks goths designers

Odigo also helps you discover underground designers like Ako of Blablahospital (far right). Remember I wore her punk fashions in New Orleans?

tokyo club party photos

It was wonderful to reunite with old friends, and meet new ones. We grooved to DJ Swiftt Edits’ Italo Disco playlist…

colorful hor d'oeuvres

… and nibbled on colorful hor d’oeuvres. Despite the rainy day, our party was packed!

odigo travel startup japan

Several attendees got prizes through the lucky draw. (My lace cape is from Black Milk Clothing.)

Streamer Coffee Company meguro

The event was at Streamers Meguro, a coffee house that brewed probably the best latte I’ve ever had in Japan.

Kilo Shop Tokyo meguro

Upstairs is Kilo Shop Tokyo, which has a large selection of vintage designs.

tokyo vintage dresses shop

Payment is by the kilo, rather than per item.

blue purple hair color

The whole team has been working day and night on the launch, and it’s paid off.

takamasa kawasaki, red horse, embracing diversity

How does my Lobby Girl outfit fit with the site’s mission? In my speech, I explained it represents Odigo’s personalized approach to helping travelers plan “an extraordinary journey” to Japan.

(Above, I’m with founder Takamasa Kawasaki, who wrote a book called “The Power of Embracing Diversity.”)

japan cross dress

Like the concierges of the Grand Budapest Hotel, we’re passionate about sharing the best spots and creating a seamless itinerary, which you can download to a mobile phone and simply follow along.

la carmina and friends

Anyone can contribute travel tips to the site, and build upon previous journeys. I encourage you to check out Odigo and add their Facebook to find out more.

lobby boy costume halloween

Now, let me share the photoshoot we did for Moov Magazine’s cover and spread! Funny enough, I actually stayed in a grand hotel in Budapest, in 2013. This setting, however, is the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

wes anderson oscars best costumes

This movie truly is a must see (here’s a link to the digital download). The cinematography, set design and costumes are outstanding: look at the colors! Those military buttons!

grand budapest hotel, hair makeup

We wanted to re-create this feeling, in our images. Huge kudos to my photographer Shutterbug James, assisted by Amy Kay. My crimped hair is the magnificent work of Stephanie Hoy, of Stratosphere Salon in Vancouver, Canada.

concierge, lobby boy outfit

The Lobby Boy’s hat is integral to his look. I DIY-ed a “Lobby Girl” version of the cap — using felt, fabric and letters, which I painted with gold sparkly nail polish.

lobby boy hat, clothing design

My dress is by Spider, the Hong Kong Gothic Lolita / alternative / cosplay fashion brand by Natalie Lam.
These gold-flecked tights are by Gal Stern.

crimped hairstyle

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver was the ideal setting, with its gilded interiors that date back to the early 20th century.

lobby boy hat, jacket

The interior is full of symmetry and decadent shapes, which would please Mr Anderson. I’ll gladly help guests plan a fun trip…

grand budapest hotel exterior car

… but I’ll let the lobby boys do the heavy lifting. (Above is the hotel exterior, in The Republic of Zubrowka.)

wes anderson halloween costumes

If you haven’t already, you must see the Grand Budapest Hotel (available online!). It’s become my favorite Wes Anderson movie.

lobby boy character costume

The soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat is also wonderfully evocative. The CD is available here; it won the 2015 Oscar for best original score.

goth doll modeling shoot

Cheers to Shutterbug James for the fun photoshoot.

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver lobby

Do you think we capture the feeling and aesthetics of the movie?

mendl's bakery box

I even made a Mendl’s Bakery box, and we shot this at a nearby patisserie!

wes anderson fans costumes

Thanks to Moov Magazine for putting this Lobby Girl on the cover.

odigo travel launch event

And gratitude to my friends who came to the Odigo launch event.

streamers coffee shop japan

Fashion One wrote an article about my “Tokyo takeover” — soon, you can watch my “day in the life” TV segment with this style network.

tokyo photo booth photographer

And there’s a lot more Japan coverage coming up, including an DecabarZ 80s club night, and a peek inside the Pokemon theme cafe.

trip planning japan tours

If you’re interested in traveling to Japan, check out Odigo. You can plan trips, submit your own spots, and be part of the fun.

What do you think of my Grand Budapest Hotel costume? Are you a Wes Anderson fan like I am?


  1. MelissaR
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Best lobby girl ever!! Love this!!

    • lacarmina
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      haha I still make the lobby boys carry my suitcases :P

  2. Didymus
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Love that outfit! I’d say it could be a Halloween costume, but you know me, it won’t wait for Halloween.

  3. WIA
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink


  4. Angelcake
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    woooooo I loved this movie toooo!

  5. Randal
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Cute outfit, crimped hair wowz

  6. Liana
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:47 pm | Permalink


  7. yukiro
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Love your Lobby outfit! :D

  8. Verity
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


  9. Karl
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Wes Anderson forever <3 <3

  10. PAT
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    thank you very much!!!

  11. Barbarella
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    so cute! It suits you…. hahah.

  12. Twinkie
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Aaaahhhhh that dress is fantastic!!!

  13. Ki
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink


  14. Suka
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    like a doll <3 i love it :3

  15. IREN
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:04 am | Permalink


  16. Katerina
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:04 am | Permalink


  17. lus
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:04 am | Permalink


  18. Carlie
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    awesome! Congratulations ♡

  19. Elias
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    the prefect costume!!!!

  20. Aimee
    Posted March 16, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I cannot like this enough!!!!!

  21. Raivyn dK
    Posted March 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! You look super-cute in that costume, it’s like it was made for you! As always looks like a fun event overall, and I’m looking forward to reading more! <3

  22. Fye
    Posted March 23, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    aw //v//< ~

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