The evening might have been a tribute to the dead, but El Museo del Barrio’s annual Día de los Muertos party Thursday night was very much alive. The scene was like a high school reunion: Melissa George and her date, Bibhu Mohapatra (left), exchanged hugs with guests like model Liliana Dominguez, artist Gabriel Orozco, and makeup artist Alexa Rodulfo. It was the kickoff to what’s looking like a three-day Halloween weekend—and Mohapatra, for one, was excited. “My friend has a glass house that is very James Bond and there are a bunch of us going there,” he said. But for his costume, he’s channeling a slightly less suave film hero. “I am going to be Freddy Krueger going Bollywood.” (And George? She hadn’t planned on much—”I might go to Abracadabra tomorrow,” she conceded.)
The evening may have been Mexico-centric—Día de los Muertos is a Mexican tradition, after all—but there were two ambassadors from the wider world: Miss USA, Rima Fakih, and Miss Universe, Ximena Navarrete, representing their respective constituencies. They danced amid traditional day of the dead decor: skulls, candles, and framed photos of the dead, including one of our most-mourned recently departed—Michael Jackson.