Skip to Content

Ofrendas 2008: Calavera Fashion Show and Walking Altars

2:15 PM PST on November 12, 2008

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.

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

Become a Member

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Ski-Masked Suspect Who Fatally Shot Man at L.A. Live Restaurant Last Night Is Sought By Police

A male suspect left the scene of the shooting in a white Honda, possibly an SUV. According to on-scene reports, the suspect was wearing an all-black sweat suit and ski mask.

November 29, 2023

Fake Police Donation Scam Warning Goes Out To Manhattan Beach Residents

The public is being advised to verify callers' identities by asking the person for their name, badge number, and purpose of the call, then hanging up and verifying their identity by calling the official phone number for the MBPD.

November 28, 2023

The Eight Best Tacos On Metro’s 207 Line, For Pastrami Burritos and Mole Negro On Western Ave.

You’ll discover an epic taco crawl along this epic bus route, a passage to pastrami burritos, beautifully battered fish tacos, Oaxacan cecina and mole negro, and the city's most widely discussed pescado zarandeado.

November 28, 2023

A Former Mexican Federal Cop Opened L.A.’s First Restaurant Dedicated to Comida Chiapaneca in La Puente

Without an extensive Chiapaneca population in L.A., former federavle Francisco Reyes was understandably hesitant to be one of few, and especially the first, to feature food from Chiapas. So he made his menu accessible.

November 27, 2023

First Look: Limited-Edition Maná Screen Print By Ernesto Yerena to Support L.A. Street Vendors

Proceeds from these prints will be donated to L.A. street vendors. Print goes on sale on Friday Nov, 24th at 10am PST at

November 22, 2023
See all posts