Category Archives: Venetian Masquerade Masks
Venetian masquerade masks transport you back into a world of brave knights and pretty damsels who were almost always in distress. These masks reignite those long-forgotten memories of magnificent balls and slivers of caviar in silver platters. Perhaps, nostalgia is one of the reasons that have rekindled the popularity of masquerade balls amongst the young and the old.
Rules to Follow
Whether you are a student or professional, at some point in your life you may be invited for one of these high-end balls. Naturally, your costume, no matter how pretty it may be, will not have the desired effect without a Venetian carnival mask, which is a must in these balls. So, how does one choose amongst those zillions of Venetian masquerade masks? Simply, by following some ground rules.
The first aspect to consider is the occasion. Is it a wedding or a prom or an event as big as the Mardi Gras? In case of a wedding, it is a good idea to inquire beforehand about the kind of mask you need to wear. You can check out the wedding card or ask an organiser. Generally, people prefer wearing white Venetian masquerade masks since these look classy. If you are a lady and are wary of messing up your make-up you can opt for a mask on a stick. Men can wear half masks that look elegant and highlight their facial structures.
In case of a prom, there are a lot of options available. Most prefer masks that compliment their costumes. However, if you don’t find what you are looking for, a black and white mask works just fine with any kind of costume.
Flaunt the Flashy Masks
If you are attending a Mardi Gras event, then it is advisable to choose an elaborate and flashy Venetian carnival mask. Invest in a hard-crafted mask, which will make you look mysterious and alluring. No doubt, hand crafted masks don’t come cheap, but they are a class-apart and will last you for a long time.
There are a number of stores online that sell cheap masks. However, these masks lack the look and elegance of a high-quality mask. Some can even give you pretty nasty allergies, so it’s advisable that you opt for high quality carnival masks.
Remember to choose a mask which is a comfortable fit. It is obviously not a good idea to choose a mask is stifling or is too big or too small. Instead, opt for something which fits comfortably.
Most people prefer masks made from lightweight materials such as feather or paper mache. Though they look trendy, leather masks can make you sweat and are generally heavy. However, they are perfect for winter events.
If chosen rightly, masquerade masks can add that much needed allure and mystery to your ensemble which can earn you loads of admirers!
Venetian masks come in various shapes, colours and style. They often have quite dazzling designs and decorations. Of course, there are some toned down ones too for people with simpler preferences. Though masks were used to hide the wearer’s identity in ancient times, nowadays they’re use more for pleasure and to bring life to parties and other celebratory events.
Masks range from the full face ones, to the ones that partially cover the face, to ones covering the eyes only. The possibilities are endless. Innumerable designs and styles are available in each category. Options offered include plain black, gold or silver macrem, white deco and many more. Masks can be scary enough to be used at Halloween parties as well as dignified enough for events like masquerade balls.
A mask popular with people who prefer a slightly flashy appearance is the Full Face Feather Mask. Such masks can be truly creations of art. They can give an impression of mystery, romance, intrigue and secrecy all at once. Now isn’t that something! The feathers of different birds such as ostriches, peacocks, turkeys and even eagles are used. Artificial fibres are sometimes used to create a colourful feathery appearance. Some styles have multi-coloured fans along with feathers to give the masks a more unique appearance.
Full face feather masks sometimes have artistically painted faces, complete with delicate features, curvy lips and well-proportioned eye holes. The face is beautifully framed by feathers which give the appearance of a wig. The upper part of the mask may be covered by a small glittering silver or gold eye mask. This gives an appearance of two masks in one and it’ll be hard to resist picking up something like this.
Some masks are fully handmade and make you look almost regal. So if you want to look like a price, princess or even a Red Indian, full face feather masks are just the thing for you. These masks are so detailed and elaborate; you may not even recognize the face looking back at you in the mirror!
Masquerade balls, Prom Parties, May Balls and many such events offer a great change to enjoy using state-of-the-art masks. A popular theme for these parties is ‘Black & White’. If you’ve received an invite to such a do, you have a great chance to go in for pretty white masks or masks with a combination of black and white adornments. White masquerade masks are a big hit with people of all ages. Plain white leather masks are a good idea if you want a ghostly or phantom like appearance.
Venetian masks symbolize intrigue and beauty. In addition to being worn at various events, they can be used as wall hangings and decoration pieces to add a rich look to the décor of homes, offices, hotels and other places needing a beautiful ambience.
A well-crafted Venetian mask that has been exquisitely designed is an asset you’ll want to preserve for a lifetime. These masks can be passed down the years as heirlooms and treasured by many generations.
In ancient times, Venetian masks were used to protect the wearer’s identity in the city of Venice. Nowadays Venetian masks are mainly used at parties and during carnivals around the world. People enjoy real fun times wearing all types of crazy masks.
Normally, the base of a mask is made out of clay. Masks can also be made from papier-mâché, layered over with plaster to give a firm feel. They are designed using vibrant coloured sequins and feathers and a variety of other decorations.
Types of Venetian Masks
You’ll find a wide array of Venetian Masks types. The Bauta is a traditional mask which is quite grotesque looking. It includes a long, prominent nose, a jutting out chin and no mouth. The wearer can use the beak like chin to speak, eat and drink. This mask is normally worn with a dark red or black cape and a tri-cornered hat.
The Columbina, essentially a mask for women, is a half-mask covering the wearer’s upper cheeks, nose and eyes. This creation is often decorated with feathers, crystals, gold and silver. It can be tied with ribbons like most other Venetian masks or held in front of the face by a baton.
Harlequin masks normally have large, hooked noses and have patterns of white and black checkered diamonds on them including bright painted lips.
The Medico della peste mask or Plague Doctor mask has a long beak and is one of the most unusual and easily recognizable Venetian masks. Interestingly, it was not created as a carnival mask, but as a method of preventing disease from spreading. The mask is normally white with a hollow beak and eyeholes covered with round crystal discs which create a bespectacled appearance. Those who wear this mask sometimes also wear the associated clothing of a doctor.
The Jolly Venetian Mask depicts a joker and covers either the full face or half of it. The mask includes curly hair and a bell much like the quintessential circus clown. It has a slightly more aesthetic design than a clown’s face which includes colourful materials that normally adorn carnival masks.
The Cat Venetian Mask, also known as the gatto mask, looks much like the face of a cat with small ears at the top. This mask covers the top half of the face, leaving the mouth and tip of the nose exposed. This mask can introduce a fun element to a party and is quite effective in hiding the identity of the wearer.
There are various types of Venetian masquerade masks that you can go in for if you want to be the centre of attraction at a masquerade ball or party. Half masks adorned with bejewelled butterflies, crystals and graceful feathers in numerous shades are a hit with the ladies. Other petite masks specially designed to show a greater area of the face offer additional options.
If you’re looking for majestic flair, you could go in for Baroque eye masks. These normally consist of soft form bases and can be made resplendent with gold and silver filigree. Some exclusive designs make use of fine beads, metalwork, embroidery and sequins for a truly sparkling finish.
Using such masks, you’re sure to make a great impression whether it’s a Venetian masquerade ball, a ladies night, a fancy dress party or any other event. The red carpet welcomes you……
Masquerade connotes to concealing your appearance and persona to make it intriguing and mysterious with the help of a veil or mask. The masquerade masks have been significant right from the twelfth century era. They were initially used in Venetian carnivals to conceal a person’s appearance.
Let’s discuss the evolution of these masks:
Used for disguising
They were used by wealthy and the affluent for disguising and to get liberated from their own personality traits in the parties. It was a medium to evade the glaring social eyes, due to the stigma attached with wealthy socials, socializing with the commoners at a party. In the era of Italian Renaissance, the festivities marked a touch of elegancy, luxuriance, and regality; the masquerade masks were used in social balls, grand parties, and festive celebrations.
People from highly affluent social strata and congregations joined these carnivals. It gave them freedom of speech inside their social circle, as the masked person could not easily be recognized in the circuit. They had the liberty to vent out their truest feelings, wildest emotions, and controversial opinions, just about anything without being worried about the consequence.
The Real disguise
At the backdrop of these parties, all kinds of human emotions and characters were being displayed and enacted. These included secret or illegal financial interactions, undue sexual favors, and anonymous transactions.
There were two types of base masks over which ornamentation and designing was done as per the theme to decorate these pieces.
Men and women folks wore these deliberately designed masks and highlighted the theme of the party or carnival. There were many types of designs to select from and gradually these masks and masquerade party got trendy with the work of art put in them.
The main types of masks included:
- The mass with a stick: The stick styled mask was used for casual occasions when masquerade was just a theme and the party did not entail hiding the identity. These could be easily removed but it was cumbersome for eating, drinking, and dancing with them. Now, these masks are merely used as decorative pieces at homes or as a welcome souvenir for masquerade.
- The head mask: The head design masks bore resemblance to a helmet. The designs for head masks were graceful and accessorized elaborately to give the real camouflaged look. On the hindsight, these masks were colossal and intricate, difficult to open and not flexible for the users. It caused hindrances in eating and drinking.
- The full-face mask: The full faced black or white masquerade masks were ostentatiously accessorized and bejeweled heavily. These were used more conveniently for a real veiled appearance. The real authentic Venetian masks can be collectible pieces for generations!
- The half face mask: The most practical and trendy out of all mask designs were the half faced white or black masquerade masks to give a cloaked facade. The base masks were embellished in a myriad of styles and designs to reveal an ethnic, regal persona.
In the modern times, masquerade parties are a rage. They are presently available in a wide variety of designs, types, colors, and prices to select for the occasion.
So you’ve got a big masquerade party coming up and you want to look classy and elegant at the same time. A great idea is to attend the event wearing beautiful Venetian masks for masquerade ball along with an elegant Italian outfit to complete the attire and make you look like a million bucks. Venetian masks for masquerade ball are not like your everyday masks that you can pick up at any local dress up shop. These are beautiful and exquisite works of art that have a rich cultural history associated with them. Some of the most popular varieties are:
- The Dama: The Dama of simply ‘The Lady’ is one of the most simple yet elegant of all Venetian masks. This mask symbolises quite simply, the face of a beautiful woman, with big doe-shaped eyes, a narrow tipped nose and full lips. Since the mask itself is quite simple, one can really use ones imagination to complete the outfit- one can dress up as any kind of lady with the right kind of outfit and jewellery and wear black masquerade masks to complete the look.
- The Dottor Peste: The Dottor Peste literally translated means ‘The Doctor Plague’ and this mask carries a story with it. Worn by doctors in the days of the plague in order to shield themselves from germs and bacteria while tending to the sick and diseased. A rather sordid design, it looks a bit like an evil bird out of the middle ages with a long beak and glasses covering the eyes. The mask covers the whole face and neck and can be work with a large hat or hood for an utterly sinister look!
- The Bauta: The Bauta carries a social significance as well with it- it was used inVenice by the ordinary people to hide their identities and symbolised this feature. The mask itself is designed as a square face with a rather flat nose and no mouth, along with eye slots in various shapes. Since the mask really doesn’t have much shape, it is gender-neutral and can be worn by men and women alike. Another great mask to experiment different looks with as it’s quite neutral in and of itself, and one can transform oneself into any character they desire by teaming it with the right outfit.
These are some of the most popular varieties of Venetian masks that are worn by millions of people around the world. You can find black masquerade masks and thousands of other different shapes of Venetian masks; and depending upon what character you are planning to portray through your outfit, you can surely find a mask to match.