Larcev lives in Moscow where he works as a sound producer and designer.
The Queen's love affair with Pembroke Welsh Corgis began as a young girl in 1933 when "Dookie" was given as a birthday gift from her parents. On her 18th birthday she received a new corgi puppy she named Susan. So beloved was the Princess' pup, that Susan accompanied the newly minted Queen on her honeymoon.
Historically, the dogs dine on filet and chicken prepared by a chef and ladled with gravy by the Queen herself. Non-corgis are not allowed at Christmas (where each corgi gets their own stocking), and they have their own room at Buckingham Palace.
So... it comes as no surprise that a quiet corner of Sandringham estate in Norfolk is dedicated as the final resting place of the royal corgis. Marked by tiny headstones that read "The Faithful Companion of The Queen," Susan, Sugar, and Heather all rest. They are in good company amongst other canine members of the royal family such as black lab Sandringham Brae "a gentleman amongst dogs," and cocker spaniel Sandringham Fern, a "tireless worker and mischevious charachter. "
Many of us have a vision for how our loved ones will grieve us- some more specific and uncommon than others. At Going Out In Style, we can help you both craft that vision, and make sure it is set into action no matter how simple or bizarre.
Ritual and tradition in grieving takes many forms, and for the architect/surfer/inventor Harry Gesner, it will be beautifully simple.
Go out to sea and drink my wine
Gesner is an artist now in his 80s who loves sun, water, and invention. He grew his own grapes on the hillside near his Malibu home that he "smashed" and turned into wine decades ago. The sole purpose of these bottles is for his children to enjoy upon his death, out at sea where Gesner feels most at home, bobbing on a hand-made surfboard.
To learn more about the beautiful vision and dream-like houses of Harry Gesner, Vanity Fair wrote a lovely piece.
Bring a blanket and make like a Victorian to your nearest rural cemetery to spend some time with the dead. At Going Out In Style, we definitely plan to.
We fell in love with this Atlas Obscura article, "The 10 Iconic Cemeteries That Made Death Beautiful." The 19th century marked a departure from doom-and-gloom Victorian Era cemeteries to lush, garden-like havens that showcase the beauty of death. From Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, the article highlights the 10 most reputable cemeteries known for their rich beauty that started the "rural cemetery" movement. Check out the article for the full story.
If you are a regular reader of the New York Times obituaries, you’ve probably noticed (and they’ll readily admit) that the majority of featured subjects are (mostly white) males. Seeking to balance the scales, on International Women’s Day, The Times announced the addition of a new regular column called “Overlooked.” Beginning with the stories of 15 incredible women (including Charlotte Bronte, Sylvia Plath, and Diane Arbus, as well as some perhaps lesser known, but no less interesting ladies) it promises to catch us up on the “obituaries for [those] who left indelible marks but were nonetheless overlooked.”
An extinguished black candle, three tortured skulls, playing cards... Max Beckmann creates a landscape of mememto moris in Still Life with Three Skulls to tell a dark refugee story. Matthew Rose says it best.
Max Beckmann’s Still Life with Three Skulls (1945) is more of a damning paean to the death culture of Nazi Germany than a reminder of the artist’s own death. The artist had fled Germany in 1937 for Amsterdam and the thick black outlines round the trio of cartoonish skulls, playing cards and an extinguished candle on a table echo a darkness war refugees fully understand. According to The Museum of Fine Art in Boston where this work hangs, the still life was produced during the final months of World War II. Beckmann said it was “a truly grotesque time, full to the brim with work, Nazi persecutions, bombs, hunger.” -Matthew Rose
It was with great admiration that we sat down and discussed our favorite topics with Laura Flook. Laura is the designer of an evolving collection of clothing, accessories, three dimensional objects, and illustrative and written narratives. Her work is inspired not only by her love and knowledge of literature, music, the Victorian era, and the memorial arts, but also by her early career in the funeral industry where she literally learned to sew by suturing incisions on the bodies of the deceased.
After graduating from New York City's McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in August of 1999, Laura began working in the funeral industry which led her to realize her true calling as an embalmer. Post-Mortem Cosmetology and Restorative Art spoke to her many talents both artistic and scientific. She found the work to be rewarding, meaningful, and creatively fulfilling. After a growing discontent with the industry she had found such a profound connection with, in 2006 Laura made the choice to indefinitely leave the world of death-care.
She now prevails in the realm of fashion, art, and beyond.
Explore her collection, story, and poetic vision at lauraflook.com
We asked Laura to describe her "Dream Funeral" her answers are here:
I, laura Flook, of Somewhere OVer yonder, being of adequate blood sugar, sound mind and erratic memory, do hereby claim all of the former and following grammatical, spelling and typographical errors to be of my own.
Location of funeral service
I actually do not want a funeral service. When i was a teenager, I always declared “i want to be propped up in a chair in the corner of my apartment with a drink and a cigarette.. surrounded by friends.." but that was before i knew what exactly that would physically entail~ and at the time, i did not even have enough friends to visibly surround me, so in retrospect, had i died years ago and my last wishes were legally approved and miraculously respected, i imagine that might have been somewhat awkward… two or three people feeling obligated to spend time in a close-quartered, music-filled, party-themed room with my ACTION-POSED corpse. . though primARily, it’s the embalming and heavy leak-proofing measures that would be required to entertain such a display that made me quickly dismiss the idea altogether.
I don’t like being physically handled by people i don’t know. A lot of people argue - “BUT what does it matter? You’ll be dead!”.. the same could be reasoned by a necropheliac. It still doesn’t make the thought of being touched by a stranger any more comforting—THAT Said, i SHOULD clarify - i do NOT anticipate anyone’s remote desire to roger my remains. ALSO-The proliferation of camera-phones and instant publishing access to the INTERNET does not put me at ease. Despite the illegality of the matter, dignity and respect for the deceased (along with their families) goes beYONd concealing their eyes in an instagram photo with a black rectangle. Sadly, There are a few, truly despicable types within the medical and funerary professions who sacrifice the privacy of others to promote their "brand" and social media stardom with shocking images-all under the weak-justification of "education" and "science". It's awful, but that's reality.
Buried or cremated
Direct Cremation. The faster i am no longer whole, the better.
Open or closed casket or__
I will be wearing__
Bacteria.. and depending on the amount of time I was dead before my body was discovered and where i died, possibly larvae/maggots and/or dental impressions.
Music will be playing
In the event that i AM mentally present after death, for safe measure - i would like to request Cristina’s recorded perversion of Peggy Lee’s “Is that All there Is?” playing for me on the way to the Crematory..on a loop.. Hopefully the ride will not be long, but at least the person driving me there will have a laugh.
I would like __type of flowers
Flowers are forbidden.
My prized possession __goes to__
My will is a surprise and subject to change.
My ultimate sendoff
If i have the ability, energy and timely-foresight to plan ahead, i would ultimately prefer a “FUNERAL SHOWER” to an actual Funeral. or..A “GOING OUT” Party, if you like. Funerals are for the living - not the dead. I hate the idea of people gathering and discussing me when i’m not around-IN LIFE - why in Washington Square would i want to arrange such an event that FEATURES the very things i detest - in death?
I want to be alert and preseNt for my sendoff so i can actually enjoy it. Instead of people showering me with gifts and cards, I can be Santa Claus for a day and bequeath my possessions IN PERSON-to my guests, enjoy the company of my friends, share memories AND allow me a definitive opportunity to tell those i care for how much i appreciate them and how they have personally impacted my life -It will also give my friends the chance to say anything they wish and not have any regret later over words unspoken. As for aesthetic, it will be a smallish, dimly-lit, invite-only (NO entry for opportunistic acquaintances and faux-friends) gathering at my home. There WILL be LOTS Of alcohol. A self-curated play-list of songs and sounds will be amplified. A photo-slideshow i’ve pre-prepared of images i fancy will be projected on a large screen or wall. There will be a buffet comprised of various snacks i became addicted to in life for periods of time. If i have no corporally-present animal companions at the time, i desire a gaggle of comfort-raccoons to join us and I want the room to smell like Fruity Pebbles.
How I would like to be__memorialized
By those i love? Fondly, i hope!.. but it’s okay if they stand around a burning effigy and curse me for ever prowling the planet. i really don’t expect a blessed thing, but I WOULD like to arrange some sort of SCAVENger hunt -to be carried out in my absence - when/AFTER I actually die - in LIEU of a traditional funeral. I am a big fan of Scooby Doo, cold case files and crime documentaries. I would give a list of clues to each guest at my Funeral Shower and they can make a night of it together once i’m dead and have a jolly mystery adventure!
I’d like to be remembered for__
Being AMAZING. i’m kidding. i don’t know. for TRYING my best, maybe? Yeah. THat sounds more reasonable.
If you have the Viking desire for your body to be open-air cremated on a funeral pyre, hopefully you are lucky enough to live in Crestone, Colorado. Though the death ritual dates back to ancient times and is still practiced today by Buddhist and Hindu religions, it is considered taboo in the United States.
The only funeral pyre in the US is located at the foot of the the Sangre De Cristo mountain range as part of the Crestone End-of-Life Project. CEOLP cares for the bodies of community members and their families regardless of religion. They see death as a gate and work with families, honoring their experience. They claim no knowledge of death and "simply serve the mystery."
Finding the site is not difficult in the small town of Crestone. A metal sign (made by a local potato farmer that also happens to be the coroner) with a flame and the word "PYRE" leads the way . The pyre itself- a grate that rests atop two slabs of white concrete- sits on a bed of sand and is circled by bamboo wall.
At the ceremony, the body of the deceased is wrapped in a linen sheet and surrounded by juniper branches family and friends place around the shrouded body. The torch lights the fire and the sweet smell of juniper fills the air as community circle the fire, sometimes in silence and sometimes in song.
The CEOLP is part of Informed Final Choices, a group that believes that death is a sacred celebration. Their description of the funeral pyre ceremony: Imagine the community gathering to see the body of the beloved, wrapped in a chosen shroud, as it is placed on a pyre and covered with boughs, and with candles and items from the life of the deceased with sweets and wishes spoken or silent, a family member lighting the pyre as flames reach skyward to return the covering of the spirit to the realm of spirit, as all things return to their essence, just as rain nourishes the earth and then rises in evaporation.
Floral Arrangements at John Gotti's FuneralRead More
The natural burial movement is not just for humans!
If you have suffered the loss of a pet you may have gone through the often unpleasant experience of pet cremation and remains disposal. From mass cremation to plastic baggies of ashes... the process can feel impersonal and undignified. Not what your furry (or scaled or feathered) best bud deserved.
For those that would prefer to bury a pet naturally, Paw Pods are a 100% green, sustainable and biodegradable option. Their natural boxes and urns are made from bamboo powder and rice husk and come in lots of different sizes- even fish pods.
Paint a memory or pet's name in black Japanese ink, add a favorite toy inside, and bury in a meaningful place. Each pod comes with a seeded wildflower leaf that can be buried with it to serve as a living memorial.
Paw Pods' founder Ben Riggins had a mission to provide a better way for pets to come home, whether they will be buried or cremated. “Unlike so many ‘pet caskets,’ I wanted sturdy, strong construction – not flimsy paper.”
Paw Pods offers six pod sizes and range in price from $10 to $200 depending on size.
For more natural pet burial pods see The Forever Spot for all natural, plantable burial shrouds that help to cleanse your pet's body of environmental toxins and generate new life around the burial site.
Professional pallbearers can be hired to dance your loved one's casket to the grave, an uplifting service that exemplifies the celebration of that person's life. This movement started in Africa, primarily in Ghana, where funerals are big events that span at least three days long but has recently made its way into the US. It is a true celebration of a loved one’s life.
This isn't just a few guys busting out any old dance moves. These dances are choreographed to specific songs and the pallbearers are typically dressed in chic attire with top hats, gloves... the works. In fact, in the US this has become what an article on ABC News calls it “The White Glove Service” and “demonstrates the highest level of respect for the deceased." It brings joy to families in a time of sadness and makes mourning more of a celebratory event. A BBC News article said, “Families are increasingly paying for their services to send their loved ones off in style," a trend that is right up our alley here at Going Out In Style.
Memento mori (Latin: "remember that you have to die") is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. In art, the memento mori is used to remind the viewer of their mortality and of the shortness and fragility of human life.
Below, a handful of Paul Cézanne's gorgeous paintings containing the classic memento mori- the skull.
Unsurprisingly, the objects and colors of Cézanne's studio reflect his canvases.
The study of gray is not something we often think about in the works of most modern artists. Perhaps the pointillists were the last to study the ways in which color aggregated to form grays in the shadows beneath tables, under sun bonnets, in the dappled light of trellises or on city pavements. As I walked around Cézanne’s studio, I noticed that light bouncing up from the warm wooden flooring tinted the gray nearest it with rose and that under the shelves the light caromed back and forth between wall and shelf, carrying the subtle tones of whatever was nearby. These extremely delicate gradations were everywhere visible to me in the overall grayness and made me realize that we too often simply accept a generalized idea about the colors in our visual surround.
-Excerpted from Cézanne’s Objects by Joel Meyerowitz. Copyright © 2017. Reprinted with the permission of Damiani. All rights reserved.
For more information on Paul Cézanne, Artsy's page provides visitors with Cézanne's bio, over 170 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Cézanne exhibition listings.
Avril Furness asks women of all ages what they want to be buried in in her video for Nowness while traveling through the oven rooms at Mortlake Crematorium, the hearse garages at Harrison Funeral Home, and a fresh grave site at Green Acres Natural Burial Ground.
A black jumpsuit, some Prada leopard killer heels, and some gold cuffs for my wrists
Relinquish entire control- give it up to someone else to decide
I want to look good. I think we all go to some crazy party and I want to be looking my best
What do you choose for your final look?
If you don’t want your ashes spread along a favorite location or stored for decades on a relatives mantel, then why not be memorialized in a truly unique and timeless way… as a diamond! Cremation ash can now be turned into high-quality diamonds. Yes, the 4 Cs still apply, you can choose the cut, carat, color and clarity of this special gem. You can even choose to be a brilliant diamond in different colors. I MEAN, who doesn’t want to be a 5 carat, flawless, vivid yellow diamond? This service isn’t only reserved for people, you can turn your pet's ashes into diamonds as well.
According to Eterneva, the process “starts with a tiny, crystallized diamond seed, a purified carbon source, and a metal growth catalyst. They place these ingredients between the anvils of our powerful hydraulic press, and apply over 1,200 degrees C of heat and over 50,000 atmospheres of pressure. As the temperature and pressure mount, the metal catalyst melts into a molten solution, and the carbon dissolves into it. With great care and control, they cool the solution, and one by one, the carbon atoms build on top of the crystal diamond seed, growing it into a jewelry-grade diamond.”
You can also plan ahead through sites like LifeGem and create unique diamonds for each person in your family. What better way to celebrate a loved ones life than to become a family heirloom that can be passed from generation to generation—a truly special diamond.
Each tiny blue glowing Buddha covering the walls of Bansho-ji Temple's third floor represents one of the deceased. Visitors located their passed loved one with an electronic ID card which turns the blue buddha to gold. The effect is a chillingly beautiful tribute to an increasingly solitary population.
These innovative temples are becoming more popular in Japan where low fertility rates leave fewer young people to care for the aging and fund a traditional burials (which can cost thousands more).
Not only are handmade willow caskets beautiful, they are an ecologically beneficial alternative to the traditional casket.
Woven caskets are traditionally made in the UK where natural burials are more common, but the desire for natural burials and biodegradable caskets in the US are growing in popularity. Currently, they are allowed only at a handful of cemeteries in states such as California, South Carolina, Florida, Texas and New York.
So why willow?
Willow integrates with its surrounding land exceptionally well, providing a natural habitat for many species of wetland birds and animals. It is used as a natural engineering solution—biofiltration, constructed wetlands, ecological wastewater treatment, hedges, land reclamation, bio engineering, soil erosion control... just to name a few! Willow is even a great flood-defense, consuming much more water than agricultural crops. Planing willow in flood-prone zones takes pressure off the natural landscape.
Willow decomposes much more quickly than conventional coffin materials such as MDF, hardwood, and metal.
The plants themselves—Salix Triandra—last 60 years before needing to be re-planted. Even the harvesting of the willow plants uses minimal machinery, and the plants are often hand-sowed.
At companies like Somerset Willow, you can choose colors, handle style, and shape on their website, and their experienced artisans will hand-weave a gorgeous willow casket (or urn!) to your taste. Once harvested, the willow is boiled and the bark is stripped. The willow is soaked for pliability and the hand-weaving begins. Each artisan must train for a minimum of five years at Somerset to perfect their skills. The caskets are finished with a natural cotton liner and oak name plate.
The fascinating story of Somerset Willow and their founder Edward Hill is worth a look.
You can even learn to weave your own willow coffin!
Roses provided by Harvest Wholesale
Performance by Well Strung
Going Out In Style Jewelry by Oscar de la Renta
Gloves provided by Wing and Weft Gloves
Furniture provided by Michele Varian
Gift Bag - Black Edge Matt Paper Carrier Bag
Going Out In Style makeup by Susie Sobol Makeup
And thank you Green-Wood Cemetery
Walter Kuhlman (1918 – 2009) was an abstract expressionist painter based in San Francisco. The image of the human skull has appeared in several of Kuhlman's paintings. Here, a hunched skull-headed figure stares at a floating flower garland. Death yearning for life.
At Going Out in Style we think that death and loss can be celebrated many ways... with beauty, style, and even joy. That's why we so admire the work of I&S BBDO for funeral home Nishinihon Tenrei in Japan.
It is traditional that Japanese funerals be dark, somber, and colorless and any deviation is considered taboo. But after the devastating 2011 Tohoki earthquake and tsunami, Nishinihon Tenrei decided it was time to celebrate the cycle of life with color. The result was this beautiful and award-winning campaign.
And may all of our skeletons dissolve into flowers...
(via Spoon & Tamago)