Magnificent Macabre: Styling the Day of the Dead

For this styled shoot, Lesley of LB Floral and Chastidyi of Star Noir Studio wanted to channel the seasonal aesthetic of Halloween, but with a cross-cultural twist. Instead focusing strictly on the tradition of Dia De Los Muertos, the team sought to create a vignette that was both beautiful and inspiring, embedding historical roots in a modern design sensibility.


Of the holiday’s history, Frances Ann Day notes, “On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.” Therefore, in this shoot, we sought to incorporate elements of these details while creating a scene that can stand on its own or in a larger cultural context.


Against the natural beauty of Ijams Nature Center, Amanda of Southern Sirens opted for an understated look, choosing Calavera-inspired tonal makeup and a graceful updo so that the jewel-encrusted column dress from The Gilded Gown could truly make a statement.


Accenting the scene were Custom Love Gifts, Events, and Prints’ beautiful, Calavera-themed invitations, along with the pops of rich color in LB Floral’s flowers, and a dark, patterned tablescape. At its heart, this shoot serves as a reminder that even the macabre can be magnificent.



Event & Floral Design: LB Floral
Photography: Star Noir Studio
Venue: Ijams Nature Center
Hair & Makeup: Southern Sirens
Dress: The Gilded Gown
Invitations: Custom Love Gifts, Events, and Prints