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Drop Dead Gorgeous

Fashion Photography

As November nears each year, Phoenix becomes glutted with decorations and costumes centered around the Mexican holiday known as “The Day of the Dead,” or “Dia de los Muertos” in Spanish. Corresponding celebrations and expressions often look eccentric, if not a bit startling, to the uninitiated. In an effort to participate in the cultural phenomenon, we put together a Vogue-inspired shoot – tapping all local talent for models, artists, and stylists involved with the project. Emerging models Sydney, Maureen, and Eddene were outfitted with contemporary garb and maquillage.

The essence of the holiday is to honor the deceased and, more specifically, to celebrate the spirits of one’s ancestors. In Phoenix, observances often closely mimic what’s seen in Mexico. Private shrines are built, ghoulish sugar skulls are ubiquitous, and Aztec marigolds are often in hand as descendants make their way to the graves of their ancestors. There, graveside, the favorite foods and beverages of the passed are laid out of respect. The common denominator in all of the activity surrounding the day is a belief that death is a natural transition in life. As such, all Phoenicians can observe the day in unity, whether or not they possess Mexican heritage.

Our specific expression sought to extract the colorful, time-honored tenets of the holiday, utilizing an expertise in design and a vision for high fashion photography.