Category Archive for People + Pets

I custom-designed MySwear shoes on Farfetch! Seoul, Korea dog cafe & Myeongdong Kpop shops.

farfetch fashion blogger ambassador

Happy holidays! Tis the season to see friends and family, but don’t forget to take a moment to treat yourself too.

I got an early “me to me” gift… these show-stopping MySwear shoes, which I designed myself! 

myswear custom bespoke sneakers

Farfetch has a neat new service that lets you customize your own sneakers online, using 3D modeling. I’ll show you how I did it, in this outfit post…

카페개네 seoul dogs

… and take you inside the dog cafe in Seoul, Korea: where you can pet puppies of all breeds. Be sure to read until the end, for some Kpop shopping tips too.

monogramed designer shoes

I’m thrilled with how my metallic bespoke shoes turned out. I got to choose from 16 unisex silhouettes, and then customize every single aspect: color, materials, laces, and more.

There’s even the option to add a personal monogram. I think these shiny, retro, red-purple Wizard of Oz shoes can only belong to  “L.C.” (La Carmina)!

kpop style blogger outfit post

I picked the metallic fuchsia color because it matches my hair color.

These designer shoes are a way to add color and fun to a black-and-white outfit. (I’m wearing a combination of old favorites: a leather jacket from Canada, top from Japan, and leggings from Hong Kong.)

myswear farfetch celebrity shoes

I love how these MySwear shoes are “100% me”, thanks to the complete customization.

3d sneaker customization, bespoke shoes

My mouse-friend and I had a lot of fun designing my shoes. We went to the MySwear site, and selected a footwear style.

(I went with the minimalist, pointed-toe Hoxton — but you can select platform sneakers, creepers and more).

farfetch myswear custom sneakers

Right on the screen, you can play around with different materials (python, suede, ostrich), color combinations (side, front, panel), soles, and decorations (a metal toe cap, velvet stripe, monogram).

customizing designer shoes

When you make a choice, the 3D image updates so you’ll know what the finished result will look like.

farfetch hoxton derby sneakers

After you send in your design, the shoes are handmade in Portugal with the finest craftsmanship. The turnaround takes about 4-6 weeks, since every order is an original.

skeleton print leggings

I’m so happy with how the MySwear Hoxton sneakers turned out! They’re one of a kind, and really make an outfit stand out.

metallic fuchsia red purple shoes

The shoes are beautifully made, with artisan techniques and luxury finishes.

metallic creeper sneakers

I enjoyed seeing how other creators let their personalities show, through their bespoke designs. You can see more examples on social media under the hashtags #farfetch and #farfetchfind.

I’m curious to know — how would you customize your own MySwear shoes?

bulldog, seoul dog cafe

Since we’re wrapping up 2015, I figured it was time to publish my last photos from Seoul, Korea (I went there last year, but never got around to sharing these).

I spent an afternoon in the Myeongdong shopping district, which is packed with Kpop shops. I also went to the dog themed cafe, where you can drink coffee and pet dozens of puppies! 

korean dog petting cafe

Seoul has a few “dog cafes” where you can enjoy the company of canines, of all breeds and sizes. How many can you count in this photo?

I planned on visiting the original dog cafe, Bau House, in Hongdae. However, it moved locations (Bau House is now found near Hapjeong Station — the address is Jeil Bldg. 1F, 394-44 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul).

Instead, I wound up at Gaene, a dog-petting cafe in the busy district of Myeongdong.  (Address: 22-2, Chungmuro 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul. Nearest station: Myeongdong or Euljiro)

great Pyrenees white big dog

I found myself in a room filled with dozens of adorable dogs! I went straight to the big white Great Pyrenees and gave him a hug.

cafe Gaene, myeongdong

Entrance at Gaene costs about 8000 won ($8 per person) and includes a drink, plus unlimited time to pet the pups. Before the staff sets you loose, you must sanitize your hands, and turn over any chocolate that you might be carrying (as it’s poison to both cats and dogs).

There’s a breed for everyone: terrier, bulldog, collie, Afghan hound. Non-flash photography and video are allowed, and many Korean girls took selfies with the animals.

bau house hongdae dog cafe

I saw children sitting on the floor, with blankets provided by Cafe Gaene. They combed the lapdogs and arranged ribbons in their fur.

bulldog puppy portrait

The cafe is extremely well maintained, with no lingering “dog smell.”

As you know, I’m a cat-mom but I love dogs too. It was fantastic to be able to play with so many breeds, in a single space.

korean dogs, dog restaurants

All of the dogs were well-behaved, and seem healthy and happy. A few got into “barking matches” and scuffled on the floor, but for the most part, everyone seems to live together in harmony.

korea dog cafe, bau house

Seoul’s Cafe Gaene is a unique “only in Asia” experience, and good times for dog lovers of all ages.

(Note: Tokyo has a Deco dog cafe, but it’s a hangout for owners and their pets. You can’t just go and play with dogs, like at Gaene.)

rainbow hanbok, korean traditional dresses

Let’s end with a look at fashion in Seoul. All over the city, you can find stores selling hanbok: traditional silk and satin dresses, with tiers of rainbow colors.

korea hanbok stores

These doll-like hanbok are still striking, centuries after they were first designed. But if you’re looking for modern garments…

korean street style shops

Myeongdong is the neighborhood for you. The streets are filled with bright Kpop and streetwear boutiques, in addition to big-name international brands.

km play market myeongdong

I said hello to a Batman-dog, outside the KM Play / K.Design+ mart.

k design mart, kpop store

These cheeky statues hint at the eccentric clothing and accessories inside.

kpop clothing store seoul

K-pop style has become popular worldwide now. One of the hottest places to get dressed is at KM Play. I saw Simpsons-print tops, studded ankle boots, oversized sporty shirts, glitter skirts and other K-idol favorites.

k-pop fashion boutique shop

Both prices and quality are mid-range (about 30,000 won or $30 US for a top), and items are mostly unique to the store. Give yourself at least an hour to browse, since the racks seem to go on forever.

kpop makeup models seoul

Myeongdong is also filled with Korean makeup and cosmetics shops, including the girly favorite Etude House. I saw big posters of Dara and Sohee, showing the Kpop beauty standard (white skin, flat eyebrows, slim face with a V-shaped jaw).

seoul plastic surgery ads subway

Speaking of plastic surgery — yes, it’s prevalent in Seoul, especially in districts like Myeongdong, Gangnam and Apgujeong (which has a whole street of clinics). Advertisements are everywhere, sometimes showing “before” and “after” faces.

teddy bear museum myeongdong

Hongdae remains the indie, artsy center — and my favorite district of Seoul.

However, I came across some quirky places in Myeongdong, like this Teteru Teddy Bear Museum.

teteru teddy bear museum seoul

Anyone can go into the cafe and gift shop for free, and pose with the giant, laughing teddy bears. There’s a small charge if you want to see the full displays of Teteru bears in the museum.

bibimbap restaurant seoul

Another must-do: eat Jeonju bibimbap at Gogung. (Address: 37, Myeongdong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul). This restaurant has been around since the early 1970s, doling out this delicious spicy dish — a big bowl of spices, veggies, egg and rice that you mix together. Gogung also has glass noodles, seafood pancakes and other Korean dishes. Now I’m craving it again…

weird korean street food

On the streets, you’ll find strange street food. Unlike in places like Thailand and China, I’m not talking about organ meats and bugs on a stick. Seoul will serve you deep-friend potato chips on a stick, and ice cream in a vaguely phallic cone with a double-opening.

Cheonggye Stream, Cheonggyecheon

I leave you with a snap from a public fashion show at Cheonggyecheon. This is a 7-mile long open stream and urban space, where people stroll and hang out. Quite funny to see children playing in the waters, while models strut on the catwalk.

seoul street musicians

I hope these photos convey the pop culture energy of Seoul. Would you visit a dog cafe, or Korean makeup shops?

my swear customizable designer shoes

I think my MySwear derby shoes would fit right in with the Kpop fashion here!

PS: here are all my Seoul alternative travel tips, to help you plan a trip to Korea.


Hong Kong’s natural, healthy pet food retailer: Pet Sensei! Cat & dog supplies with a cause.

custom cat mascot suit, big cat head mask

Animal-lovers, you will love this story. Above, as you can see… my Scottish Fold cat has become a life-size mascot!

We’re thrilled to support a new Hong Kong pets service — Pet Sensei. This online store sells healthy products for dogs and cats, and supports animal charities. 

scottish fold cat cute face ears

Basil gladly “lent a paw” to the company, knowing that they only sell the best brands of food, litter and more — at affordable prices. Plus, Pet Sensei donates funds from every item sold to animals in need.

(Read on for more, as well as a Chinese Gothic Lolita modeling shoot!)

Pet 師父, petsshk

These days, having a pet is like having a family member. We want to provide our furry friends with the best possible food and care. (What a baby — Basil Farrow loves to be carried!)

However, in China and Hong Kong, it’s expensive and difficult to purchase high-quality pet food. Respected international labels (such as Orijen and Wellness) aren’t found in most local pet stores, and online prices are astronomical. Locals told me they feel stuck and frustrated by the situation.

pet sensei hong kong cat and dog food

Basil to the rescue! My plump cat is the face of Pet Sensei, a site that makes these top-quality products easily available in Hong Kong. The company imports pet foods and supplies directly, and sell them at lower prices than other sources. They’ll also deliver right to you.

buy healthy pet food online, hong kong

Pet Sensei has created an entire community around their mission of helping animals. On their Facebook page (Pet 師父), you can share cute stories about your pets, learn about animal care, and play games to win prizes.

In Hong Kong, it’s hard to find pet foods without by-products and potentially toxic ingredients. Pet Sensei, on the other hand, sells top-rated international brands including Orijen, Wellness, Oven Baked, Natural Balance, Artemis.

natural cat dog food retailer, hong kong

The staff illustrator does a fantastic job at turning Basil (the maoo) and Tiny (the dog) into cartoon characters. Above is a comic from Halloween — you can see the latest ones on the Petsshk Facebook page.

hong kong dog rescue, pet charity

In addition to donating funds to charities, the staff of Pet Sensei takes direct action to help animals in need. 

Recently, they rescued Pi — a dog who was constantly being mistreated, underfed, and thrown into the sea. When the owner found out Pi had cancer and needed urgent surgery, he abandoned him. Pet Sensei stepped in and paid for the surgery. They are giving updates on the Facebook page: “Pi is now recovering slowly. We will continue to fund the clinic expenses until we can find someone who can take good care of him and love him for the last stage of his life.”

scottish fold cat basil, pet sensei

Not all pets are as lucky as Basil… That’s why we wanted to lend our support to Pet Sensei and their animal rescue work.

We hope Hong Kong pet owners can feel great about buying quality goods from a company that cherishes animals, and helps them speak out.

buying pet food litter hong kong store

And to top it off — the prices are pretty fabulous. Right now, they are holding a week-long Pet Carnival that is offering discounts, lucky draws, games and more fun.

The site is available in both Chinese and English. Customer service is very responsive and fluent in English, so if you’re an ex-pat in Hong Kong, you won’t have any trouble ordering from them.

hong kong pet store, english language chinese supplier

I hope you’ll check out Pet Sensei — and please tell your Hong Kong friends who have pets! Basil sends a snuggle in return.

chinese gothic lolita dresses, spider hong kong

What else have I been up to in Hong Kong?

I recently did a photoshoot with my friends. Above, I’m modeling with Natalie Lam, designer of the local Gothic Lolita brand SpiderThese enigmatic photos are by Thomas Sandfield, who shoots fashion editorials and music videos in Hong Kong and worldwide.

hong kong rooftop fashion photoshoot

We snuck up onto a rooftop to shoot these images. Thomas has a magnificent eye for capturing the mood of the city.

chinese goths, gothic lolita models

Above, I’m with my rainbow-haired friend — Mim Lai Sandfield of Sandfield Productions, a talented illustrator who also edited these photos. We’re all wearing Spider Gothic & Lolita fashion.

chinese girl makeup portrait

K. Lau of Bright Production took part in the shoot too (we met in Cebu, Philippines). He captured the above portrait of me, and the behind-the-scenes below.

fashion photographer hong kong, street style

Natalie and I look pleased with the shots Thomas took!


We are obsessed with Miffy the X-mouthed bunny. I got this purse from the Miffy store in Shanghai (there are branches in Hong Kong too).

hong kong fashion bloggers photography

Hong Kong’s gritty buildings formed the perfect backdrop for a squad of Goths. 

hong kong goth lolita fashion

A peek at what goes on behind the lens. Thanks also to photographer Arthur Rash (far right) who joined our adventure.

corset lace victorian goth dress

Good thing I’m not afraid of heights… as we were up high on the roof, without a barrier!

Thanks to my Hong Kong friends for the fun shoot.

goth bathrobe, silk kimono

Finally, on the topic of Gothic fashion… thought I’d give you a head’s up. Shopbop is having a big sale here until Nov 30 — a great time to pick up winter items, or presents for friends. I’m personally loving this silk kimono robe, top with collar and bow, and fuzzy black gloves.

What do you think of my Scottish Fold being a pet mascot? Enjoy more cat cuteness on the Pet Sensei site.