Skip to Content

Ofrendas 2008: Calavera Fashion Show and Walking Altars

Founder and co-director of Tropico de Nopal Gallery-Art Space, Reyes Rodriguez explains that he was first inspired to have a Dia de los Muertos inspired fashion show after seeing people in the Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights celebrating Dia de los Muertos and dressing up in home made outfits.
“I would always see people getting decked out [for Dia de los Muertos.]
“It was never an attempt to recreate a calavera (skull) or specific image, it was always very contemporary, it was always very East L.A. and Chicano and I would say, that stuff belongs on a run way.”

However, when Rodriguez first came up with the concept for the show, he knew that there were certain boundaries and issues he had to address in planning the fashion because of the traditions that are involved with Dia de los Muertos.
He knew that even though he never wanted to limit artist in terms of their creativity in designing outfits, he knew he still had to set some guide lines to make sure no one ventured to far from the main idea and concept of the show.
Rodriguez said that altars don’t always have to be on ancestry, they can also be about current events.
He wanted artist to focus their ideas on what the traditions for Dia de los Muertos are and to make their designs an offering to a specific person, an idea or even cause.
Everything from the fabrics used to the music chosen for the model must be incorporated and have a meaning and that's what Rodriguez says is an integral part of the show.

“It’s not about creating couture or something that looks sharp or anything like that.
“I know that if I put a fashion person in the context of the fashion show, they’re no necessarily going to get it because they might not understand [the traditions].
“Artist get an opportunity to create a different piece of art in a different medium that they’re not use to using and I thinks that’s part of the challenge,” said Rodriguez.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Protester Whose Testicle Exploded After LAPD Officer Shot Him with ‘Less Lethal’ Firearm Receives $1.5 Million Settlement

Benjamin Montemayor had been protesting on Hollywood Boulevard for several hours on June 2, 2020, when at least 50 police officers descended upon his group and began firing munitions at the crowd, according to his civil rights lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court.

May 17, 2024

Westlake’s Oldest Gay Bar Set to be Demolished

Opened in the early 1960s, the Silver Platter has long been known as a safe space for immigrant gay and transgender communities in Westlake. The building dates back to the 1920s.

May 17, 2024

What To Eat This Weekend Around L.A.: Salvadoran Fried Chicken Sandwiches, 48-Hour Pho, and Tacos Placeros

Plus, a new Enrique Olvera-approved monthly "mercadito" in D.T.L.A., a new arepa spot with patacon burgers that use fried plaintains for buns, and more in this week's roundup.

May 17, 2024

The 13 Best Tacos In Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights is arguably the city’s most important local taco galaxy in the larger taco universe that is Los Angeles. Remember, this is Boyle Heights! It's not East L.A., and it is most definitely not just some vague place known as “the Eastside.”

May 16, 2024

Here Are All the Restaurants (and the One Taquería In the Entire Country That Got a Star) On Michelin’s First Ever Mexico Guide

Europe's Michelin Guide recognized both Baja Californias, Quintana Roo, Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Nuevo Léon. Most of the usual nice restaurants got stars, but there were some questionable omissions. Also, in a country teeming with life-changing street food, only one taquería in the entire country was awarded "1 star."

May 15, 2024
See all posts