Celebrity and royal weddings are internationally celebrated events, planned to the tee with no expense spared–and their funerals are just as fabulous, full of rich floral arrangements, parade send-offs and superstar appearances. While the over-the-top wedding trend has certainly caught on, with more elaborate ceremonies and receptions than ever before, real-life funerals have taken a back seat. The ladies of Going Out in Style, a new, innovative business that celebrates life with a chic and meticulously planned send-off, is poised to change that.
Naomi DeManana, Cassidy Iwersen, Erin Furey and Colleen Banks have been stylists in the weddings and editorial worlds for years—and have recently turned their attention to the actual ‘most important day of your life’ in their recent venture. According to their site, “Going Out In Style was founded on the belief that life at its ending deserves a grand exit. A phenomenal send-off. That one’s final celebration should be an expression of their individuality and honor all that they held sacred and loved in life.” We couldn’t agree more and found their not-so-morbid take on funerals refreshing—so much so that we sent our fashion and style test-runner, and host of BAZAAR’s new series WTFashion?!, William Graper, to investigate.
What’s it like to plan your funeral with the support of not one, but four professional stylists with expertise in design, stationary, flowers, fashion, catering and more? Apparently it results in details like a matte black casket adorned in shades-of-pink roses, a La Croix fountain, a Dolce & Gabbana ‘finale look,’ a gilded happy meal from Shake Shack, gummy bears galore, favors that include a T-shirt branded with your best photo for your loved ones to remember you by, and endless Instagram-worthy moments.
“People tend to plan for their financials when considering their death, but nothing about the aesthetics,” explains the founding members of GOIS. “These services take the guess work out of planning for your family members and loved ones,” co-founder Cassidy Iwersen explained. “I would never want my siblings or parents to have to look through photos of mine—or anything I saved throughout my life—and speculate what I would have wanted,” adds Colleen Banks. The founders also mentioned that the grim subject of death being so taboo is the main reason for its usually stale aesthetic. “You go to a wake and look at the floral arrangements. It’s almost always a wreath or roses stapled to a big heart–and they’re really expensive. This is just an industry that’s so ripe for reinvention and re-imagination.”
Reinvent the modular world of funerals they did—with funeral styling services that help those in any stage of planning, be it in pre-planning or at the last moments. GOIS works with their clients to select everything from invitations and programs, to booking a mortuary beautician to handling your final look when you’re laid to rest. Flowers, food, decor and favors are all part of the process, with unexpected requests for obituary writing, funeral playlists and outside-the-box reception planning included.
“Our brand aesthetics and our help guide you in a good direction, but we want it to be about that person and a celebration of them,” explained Naomi DeManana. “A funeral should really be about what that person loved. If he or she liked a certain drink, type of music, food, whatever that thing may be– let’s do what that person loved. Let’s really celebrate who they were and at least feel happy that we are doing the things that our loved one enjoyed the most in life. We want to create moments that the person who passed would love to see–like all of their friends, gathered around and sharing warm memories of them and drinking their favorite scotch.”
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US