Chances are you don't recognise the person in the picture accompanying this article. Yes, there's a woman behind the Medusa headgear, sparkles and the real-live cobra slung across her neck. It's one of many guises of the 32-year-old Charlot K, the former so called 'Door Bitch' at Dragon-i and all-round Hong Kong 'personality'.
Funnily enough, she's been here for only four years and worked as guardian to the celebrity nightclub for a mere five months or so. But she has been tagged as the sharp-tongued and tattooed grand diva for longer than she cares. 'It does annoy me to think that people know me only as the 'Door Bitch'. I do have a real job and I do work in the day, that was just something I did for a short while,' she says.
I recall one particular snub from the Vienna-born, London- and Australia-raised designer/stylist, when she told me: 'You're not on the list, honey, and you don't look important.' 'I did not say that to you, you little bitch!' she exclaims, throwing her head back in laughter and revealing - yet another trademark - a wicked tongue-ring.
'I did not get a power trip from that job, believe me. I obviously had to let all the models and celebrities sail by - because Gilbert [Yeung, the owner] knew everyone personally and we just had to keep the paparazzi at bay. I just did it because I didn't have a stable income at the time. But it wasn't a challenge and I felt I wasn't being creative and eventually I did leave.'
She didn't just leave the club, she scooted out of Hong Kong for nearly six months, leaving behind speculative whispers about just why she had gone. So what is the real story behind the mysterious Miss K? Her surname for a start? 'It's Kryza, it's Polish, my father was a runner in the Polish Olympic team and ran away from his homeland when he was in his early 20s. Communism, the iron curtain and all that, he had to get away but because he did run away there is a huge part of my family I've never met. But leaving did mean he met my mother, a dressmaker, in Europe later on.'
The eclectic mix - Polish and Viennese - brought about a self-professed nomad who confesses to a rather conservative hobby as a girl. 'From my mother I obviously picked up many things, and when I was young, around 12, I used to make these Victorian dresses, poring over old books, Queen Victoria's diaries, books on elaborate period costumes, and I made them. I just love to do it. I did design in school, graphic design. After a while, I just hated sitting in front of a computer all the time, so I left that.'
How did Hong Kong figure in the scheme of things? 'I didn't really plan to move here, I was just visiting a friend, stayed for a while, then I was in a relationship so I stayed on.'
Gently I broach the subject on why she left. 'It is a myth that I am this major party girl who likes to go out every weekend. I worked in a nightclub, I work with fashion, work behind the scenes at parties but I'm not the 'party girl'. I'm very happy lying in bed watching DVDs so for a while I wasn't seen in all the right places. My jobs had dried up because of Sars and I wasn't being challenged in Hong Kong, so I left for Bangkok. I went around showing my book - tear sheets of the designs I've done - to all the photographers, magazine folks and creative heads of companies. I got a great response, in fact, people showed more interest in my work there but there weren't any paying jobs on offer. So I came back. There are more events now, things have picked up and it's great to be working.'