Dazzling Masquerade Costumes at the Carinval of Venice

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Next week is Mardi Gras which marks an occasion of parties and parades before Christians the world over take part in their 6 week sacrifice over the course of Lent. And while most Americans think New Orleans whenever they hear about Mardi Gras, it’s actually celebrated the world over. One of the best known Mardi Gras celebrations is Carnival which can last at least a week prior to Fat Tuesday or longer. One of the most famous is the Carnival of Venice, best known for its elaborate masks and costumes. It was said that this festival in the city of singing gondolas and canals was first celebrated in 1162 for the victory of  a victory of the “Serenissima Repubblica” against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven with people gathering and dancing at San Marco Square. Venice would make their Carnival official during the Renaissance and would achieve great renown and notoriety. In the 17th century, the Carnival of Venice was a way to save the city’s prestigious image while it attracted notoriety in the 18th as encouraging license and pleasure and protecting Venetians from present and future anguish. Nevertheless, the King of Austria would outlaw the festival entirely in 1797 while the use of masks was strictly forbidden. But that didn’t stop the famous carnival from gradually reappearing in the 19th century, but only for short periods and above all for private feasts where it became an occasion for works of art. The Carnival would officially return in 1979 thanks to the Italian government making it a centerpiece wanting to bring back Venice’s history and culture. College students redeveloped some of the masks to sell to tourists. And since then, the Carnival of Venice attracts about 3 million visitors each year. They even have a mask beauty contest to boot that’s judged by international costume and fashion designers. At any rate, the Carnival of Venice is well known for its style of gorgeous costumes and masks. So for your reading pleasure, I give you a glimpse into the colorful world of the Venice Carnival.

  1. At the masquerade, it always pays to dress in blue.
For some reason, a lot of couples wear similar colored costumes. And they seem to come straight from the Cavalier Years.

For some reason, a lot of couples wear similar colored costumes. And they seem to come straight from the Renaissance and Cavalier Years.

2. Floral motifs can be customary for spring time.

And I see she's dressed in pink and purple with flowers to boot. She even has a matching tri corner hat.

And I see she’s dressed in pink and purple with flowers to boot. She even has a matching tri corner hat.

3. A fancy hat can sometimes make all the difference.

Well, this one is quite fancy. Love the gold embroidery and skirt.

Well, this one is quite fancy. Love the gold embroidery and skirt.

4. A lady jester should always have a matching hat and dress.

Yes, she may look like a 16th century Harley Quinn. But jesters are common in Venetian Carnival celebrations.

Yes, she may look like a 16th century Harley Quinn. But jesters are common in Venetian Carnival celebrations.

5. Yet, while some go all out, others prefer to dress in black.

Yes, that may resemble Big Bird's evil twin. But he's dressed as a plague doctor who wore a mask like that protect himself against getting sick from his patients. Unfortunately, this wasn't very effective.

Yes, that may resemble Big Bird’s evil twin. But he’s dressed as a plague doctor who wore a mask like that protect himself against getting sick from his patients. Unfortunately, this wasn’t very effective.

6. There’s nothing that brings out the chic like silver.

Yeah, you tend to find a lot of costumes consisting of one color like these two. Still, you might think their outfits would be great for a haunted house. If they weren't incredibly fancy.

Yeah, you tend to find a lot of costumes consisting of one color like these two. Still, you might think their outfits would be great for a haunted house. If they weren’t incredibly fancy.

7. A white snow queen should always make a grand entrance.

Had Frozen taken place in a place like Venice, it might've been way creepier. And there would be no doubt Lady Gaga would play Queen Elsa in the live-action remake.

Had Frozen taken place in a place like Venice, it might’ve been way creepier. And there would be no doubt Lady Gaga would play Queen Elsa in the live-action remake.

8. With these two, their heads are bursting with flowers.

Well, spring won't be long so they might as well wear hats like that. Though their outfits are quite stunning to behold.

Well, spring won’t be long so they might as well wear hats like that. Though their outfits are quite stunning to behold.

9. A dress of hot pink makes one really stand out.

Though the elaborate headdress doesn't do that outfit wonders. But I like the gold trim.

Though the elaborate headdress doesn’t do that outfit wonders. But I like the gold trim.

10. So I guess we have a couple of visitors from Candy Land.

According to their 18th century pastel attire, they seem to be. Though I think the skirts are supposed to mimic a carousel top.

According to their 18th century pastel attire, they seem to be. Though I think the skirts are supposed to mimic a carousel top.

11. A dress of lavender always makes a classy look.

Here we see her with a purple parasol and hat along with an ornate mask mirror. All in all, I think this is try gorgeous.

Here we see her with a purple parasol and hat along with an ornate mask mirror. All in all, I think this is try gorgeous.

12. An orange dress should have floral decor to match.

Apparently, the two seem t resemble very elaborate traffic cones. Though that just might be for the hoops skirts.

Apparently, the two seem t resemble very elaborate traffic cones. Though that just might be for the hoops skirts.

13. Is that a detached boat figurehead or a living statue?

Certainly looks like a golden girl to me. But not in the tradition of Betty White per se.

Certainly looks like a golden girl to me. But not in the tradition of Betty White per se. Also, What’s with the hat?

14. At times, it can be easy to go all out with feathers.

Yes, these costumes could get very elaborate. No, I'm not sure what Lady Gaga would wear to this. Though this is not a bad guess.

Yes, these costumes could get very elaborate. No, I’m not sure what Lady Gaga would wear to this. Though this is not a bad guess.

15. Neon green can always make a presence in small quantities.

Though it works better as an accent color as seen here. Not sure about the veil.

Though it works better as an accent color as seen here. Not sure about the veil.

16. If you’re a traveling minstrel, a short skirt is sometimes necessary.

Though it's just as elaborate with a headdress and lyre to match. Though the headdress contains wild feathers.

Though it’s just as elaborate with a headdress and lyre to match. Though the headdress contains wild feathers.

17. Even Egyptian royals want to get into the festivities.

I'm sure you might see these pop up quite a bit. Though they're both decked in blue and gold.

I’m sure you might see these pop up quite a bit. Though they’re both decked in blue and gold.

18. Sometimes you’ll have to dress to impress.

This woman has puffed sleeves, a hoop skirt, and a fancy headdress. How she keeps her head up, I don't know.

This woman has puffed sleeves, a hoop skirt, and a fancy headdress. How she keeps her head up, I don’t know.

19. To dress in purple is to show a certain degree of grace.

Though this is more of a later 19th century garb than anything which is quite unusual. Though just as lovely.

Though this is more of a later 19th century garb than anything which is quite unusual. Though just as lovely.

20. Golden attire can always shimmer at San Marco Square.

She even holds a rose in her golden dress. Though her headdress sports a golden veil.

She even holds a rose in her golden dress. Though her headdress sports a golden veil.

21. Even men occasionally want to shine like the sun.

Though an outfit like this makes it seem rather ridiculous. Though it all seems to match.

Though an outfit like this makes it seem rather ridiculous. Though it all seems to match.

22. For some couples, it pays to accentuate the shoulders.

Though I'd sure hate to stand behind these two. Like their outfits though.

Though I’d sure hate to stand behind these two. Like their outfits though.

23. To welcome spring, a dress in green is sometimes appreciated.

Though this isn't as bad as the lime green you'd see on PennDOT workers. However, you'd think she'd create a neon impression.

Though this isn’t as bad as the lime green you’d see on PennDOT workers. However, you’d think she’d create a neon impression.

24. A pink dress makes you a darling around the Venetian canals.

Well, she certainly resembles an 18th century beauty. Like the pink hat and flowers.

Well, she certainly resembles an 18th century beauty. Like the pink hat and flowers.

25. A noble lady may occasionally go for a conniving knave.

I can see that both are dressed in black and purple. Love the woman's hat.

I can see that both are dressed in black and purple. Love the woman’s hat.

26. A couple of jesters can enliven the festivities.

Like I said, there are a lot of jesters at the Venice Carnival. Though I think these two really stand out for me.

Like I said, there are a lot of jesters at the Venice Carnival. Though I think these two really stand out for me.

27. With these two, it’s always for the birds.

Sure their outfits might not be period accurate. But you have to admit they have some charm.

Sure their outfits might not be period accurate. But you have to admit they have some charm.

28. Sometimes the more elaborate the robe the better.

You should get the idea this is a guy. But you have to admire his golden staff.

You should get the idea this is a guy. But you have to admire his golden staff.

29. At the Carnival of Venice, there’s no such ting as too much gold embroidery.

Though you might say these two come quite close. Though at least their outfits match.

Though you might say these two come quite close. Though at least their outfits match.

30. Even a radiant beauty needs some shade now and then.

Though how she could get through doorways is the question. Nevertheless, she looks like a queen.

Though how she could get through doorways is the question. Nevertheless, she looks like a queen.

31. Any fair lady can look ravishing in red.

So simple, yet so elegant. Not showy, but just as ornate as some of the others.

So simple, yet so elegant. Not showy, but just as ornate as some of the others.

32. These two apparently have a flowery disposition.

And decked in flowers these two sure are. Like their hats.

And decked in flowers these two sure are. Like their hats.

33. There are some Venice Carnival costumes that can range from the regal to the outlandish.

She may dress fancy but she looks like a queen or fairy princess. The guy on the other hand, well, he kind of puts Lady Gaga to shame.

She may dress fancy but she looks like a queen or fairy princess. The guy on the other hand, well, he kind of puts Lady Gaga to shame.

34. Seems her dress is filled with nothing but hot air.

Okay, she's wearing a hot air balloon skirt. And a hot air balloon headdress. Don't ask.

Okay, she’s wearing a hot air balloon skirt. And a hot air balloon headdress. Don’t ask.

35. These two always go together like the sun and the moon.

Though they may not be out at the same time, they respect each other's personal space. Still, got to admire their costumes.

Though they may not be out at the same time, they respect each other’s personal space. Still, got to admire their costumes.

36. Sometimes it helps to stick to a pattern.

However, I'm not so sure about her choice. Though she does know how to make it work.

However, I’m not so sure about her choice. Though she does know how to make it work.

37. For a simple pattern, perhaps white will suit your fancy.

Not sure if those tall hats go with the outfits. But they surely know how to coordinate with each other.

Not sure if those tall hats go with the outfits. But they surely know how to coordinate with each other.

38. Seems like the clowns love playing on her hoop skirt.

Though you have to admit, the clowns are quite creepy. But this is quite an inventive costume if you think about it.

Though you have to admit, the clowns are quite creepy. But this is quite an inventive costume if you think about it.

39. Occasionally, you might come across a masked Little Red Riding Hood.

Because how else could you explain the red dress and cape? Still, I doubt Little Red would wear such a thing in the woods.

Because how else could you explain the red dress and cape? Still, I doubt Little Red would wear such a thing in the woods.

40. When your costume isn’t up to snuff, perhaps a cool cape might help.

Though I'm not so sure if it goes great with the elaborate headdress. But this guy seems to think so.

Though I’m not so sure if it goes great with the elaborate headdress. But this guy seems to think so.

41. When you’re with a group of friends, it helps if your costumes match.

Well, purple and black are good colors for these 4. Love their hats.

Well, purple and black are good colors for these 4. Love their hats.

42. Near the railings, purple will surely dazzle.

Sure you may not see much of her dress. But her headdress is truly sensational.

Sure you may not see much of her dress. But her headdress is truly sensational.

43. You can’t go to a masquerade ball without donning peacock blue.

Though they both wear wigs for good measure. The woman's coiffe is especially high.

Though they both wear wigs for good measure. The woman’s coiffe is especially high.

44. Sometimes all it takes is an elaborate headdress.

Yeah, I know he looks a bit strange. But you get costumes like this at the Carnival of Venice.

Yeah, I know he looks a bit strange. But you get costumes like this at the Carnival of Venice.

45. When in doubt, it’s best to start simple.

On the bright side, at least they won't be uncomfortable in their outfits all the time. Nice how they use lanterns as accessories.

On the bright side, at least they won’t be uncomfortable in their outfits all the time. Nice how they use lanterns as accessories.

46. A Venice Carnival costume should always be encrusted with jewels.

Doesn't hurt if it's topped with a feather headdress mask. Love it.

Doesn’t hurt if it’s topped with a feather headdress mask. Love it.

47. A pink dress should always come with frills.

And frills this dress surely has. Reminds you of a princess, doesn't she?

And frills this dress surely has. Reminds you of a princess, doesn’t she?

48. Purple Venice hats are all the rage these days.

Well, at least they match in their outfits. Love the lady's hat with all the feathers sticking out.

Well, at least they match in their outfits. Love the lady’s hat with all the feathers sticking out.

49. When in doubt, wear a very fancy hat.

Hers seems all blinged up as far as I could tell. Her dress and fan are no different.

Hers seems all blinged up as far as I could tell. Her dress and fan are no different.

50. The Venice Carnival is always a place for pagentry.

Well, these two are certainly dressed in medieval styles. And in such vibrant colors, too. Still, tights aren't pants.

Well, these two are certainly dressed in medieval styles. And in such vibrant colors, too. Still, tights aren’t pants.

51. This orange explorer is very hard to miss.

And he even has a telescope which was invented in the 1600s. How they didn't come up with it earlier, I'll never know.

And he even has a telescope which was invented in the 1600s. How they didn’t come up with it earlier, I’ll never know.

52. The Carnival of Venice brings endless fun to the whole family.

After all, these 3 are dressed in similar garb. And are wearing similar masks. Love how they're decked in purple.

After all, these 3 are dressed in similar garb. And are wearing similar masks. Love how they’re decked in purple.

53. Here we have an 18th century Vegas like showgirl.

Okay, maybe not. But she's in a rather skimpy outfit with feathers.

Okay, maybe not. But she’s in a rather skimpy outfit with feathers.

54. With these two it’s nothing but butterflies.

They even wear wings to show for it. Even on their masks as you can see.

They even wear wings to show for it. Even on their masks as you can see.

55. With these two women, spring has certainly sprung.

Doesn't hurt if they're dressed in springly attire. And sport flowery headdresses.

Doesn’t hurt if they’re dressed in springly attire. And sport flowery headdresses.

56. Apparently, this couple came straight from the sea.

Well, Venice is a seaside town of canals. So it's only fair. Though I do like the staff with the oyster.

Well, Venice is a seaside town of canals. So it’s only fair. Though I do like the staff with the oyster.

57. With this family, it’s always silver and blue.

The woman's costume is especially stunning. The boy's outfit is very similar to his dads like he's a miniature version of his old man.

The woman’s costume is especially stunning. The boy’s outfit is very similar to his dads like he’s a miniature version of his old man.

58. Sometimes the right costume is as simple as black and white.

Well, this is a lovey dress. Like the hat that goes with it. Seems like she has a fancy feather accessory.

Well, this is a lovey dress. Like the hat that goes with it. Seems like she has a fancy feather accessory.

59. A yellow dress brings out a sunny disposition.

And she certainly stands out in her fantastically large hat and fan. Not want to wear that outfit.

And she certainly stands out in her fantastically large hat and fan. Not want to wear that outfit.

60. Speaking of black and white, these 4 make a haunting scene.

Though to be fair, they all match. Their hats are really something else as well.

Though to be fair, they all match. Their hats are really something else as well.

61. These guys really like to strut like peacocks.

And they have tall feather headdresses to show it. Yet, I'm not sure about the lime green robes.

And they have tall feather headdresses to show it. Yet, I’m not sure about the lime green robes.

62. Orange and black is where it’s at.

Sure they might seem like they're going to a Halloween party. But this is for the Venice Carnival which is in February or March.

Sure they might seem like they’re going to a Halloween party. But this is for the Venice Carnival which is in February or March.

63. A gentleman would like to kiss a lady’s hand.

Though I don't think their brown is a great color. But it's a sweet scene I had to include.

Though I don’t think their brown is a great color. But it’s a sweet scene I had to include.

64. A lady should never forget her fan before leaving her house.

Wouldn't want to wear a dress like this. Because 18th century dresses might be pretty. But they were also pretty uncomfortable.

Wouldn’t want to wear a dress like this. Because 18th century dresses might be pretty. But they were also pretty uncomfortable.

65. Now here we come across a real snow queen.

Even her fan has some semblance of winter. Lovely dress and mask.

Even her fan has some semblance of winter. Lovely dress and mask.

66. Nothing beats a stroll at San Marco Square than being dressed in green.

They can also wear these outfits for Saint Patrick's Day if they wanted to. But it's not a big holiday in Italy.

They can also wear these outfits for Saint Patrick’s Day if they wanted to. But it’s not a big holiday in Italy.

67. Here we come to a woman holding a golden cornucopia.

Though the costumes at the Carnival of Venice are comparable Capitol fashions. I mean both can become quite outlandish at times.

Though the costumes at the Carnival of Venice are comparable Capitol fashions. I mean both can become quite outlandish at times.

68. You can almost call these two a winter king and queen.

Yet, you can guess that they'll leave a trail of feathers in their midst. And those headdresses certainly didn't come cheap.

Yet, you can guess that they’ll leave a trail of feathers in their midst. And those headdresses certainly didn’t come cheap.

69. Say what you want, but these guys are about as different as night and day.

After all, they're dressed to reflect that. And they each have the sun and the moon on their heads.

After all, they’re dressed to reflect that. And they each have the sun and the moon on their heads.

70. A lady always prepares for a fancy dress ball this time of year.

Well, she does seem like she could be from the 18th century. Love the beautiful headdress and flowers.

Well, she does seem like she could be from the 18th century. Love the beautiful headdress and flowers.

71. Gold and red always glisten in the sunset.

She has a lovely hat and a fan of lace and gold roses. Quite mysterious as her mask gives a haunting impression.

She has a lovely hat and a fan of lace and gold roses. Quite mysterious as her mask gives a haunting impression.

72. You an be quite regal wearing a jester hat.

Helps if you have a veil of red and gold. Love the dress, by the way.

Helps if you have a veil of red and gold. Love the dress, by the way.

73. A jester in a tutu knows how to frolic.

Well, female jesters anyway. Still, she looks quite sad for a clown in this picture.

Well, female jesters anyway. Still, she looks quite sad for a clown in this picture.

74. A black cape always goes well with an orange suit.

However, you might want to reconsider if you don't want to stand out. Though it does give a creepy vibe with the mask.

However, you might want to reconsider if you don’t want to stand out. Though it does give a creepy vibe with the mask.

75. A silver dress can be very chic.

Now that's very classy. Makes me think of a painting. Love the cross on her skirt.

Now that’s very classy. Makes me think of a painting. Love the cross on her skirt.

76. Could he be a jester or an evil sorcerer?

Either way is a mystery. But yes, some do wear partial masks at the Venice Carnival. And some not at all.

Either way is a mystery. But yes, some do wear partial masks at the Venice Carnival. And some not at all.

77. Even the crazy cat lady dresses for the festivities.

Okay, she may not be that crazy since she only has a couple. But her outfit is obviously cat themed.

Okay, she may not be that crazy since she only has a couple. But her outfit is obviously cat themed.

78. These two women are two halves of the same sun.

Yes, they do group costumes, too as you see here. I know it's crazy but they do make a pretty picture.

Yes, they do group costumes, too as you see here. I know it’s crazy but they do make a pretty picture.

79. In black and gold, these two make a lovely pair.

Sure they may not be Steelers or Saints fans. But their costumes are resplendent to behold. Love the hats.

Sure they may not be Steelers or Saints fans. But their costumes are resplendent to behold. Love the hats.

80. Sometimes a headdress can almost take your breath away.

Yes, you might wonder how these women keep such large headdresses on their heads. But you have to love how they go with their resplendent costumes.

Yes, you might wonder how these women keep such large headdresses on their heads. But you have to love how they go with their resplendent costumes.

81. These two can enter a room like a real king and queen.

They even have some back flames behind them for further enhancement. Love their golden outfits.

They even have some back flames behind them for further enhancement. Love their golden outfits.

82. This woman always has to admire her own reflection.

Yet, she surely shimmers in her creamy white dress. Her headdress isn't that bad either.

Yet, she surely shimmers in her creamy white dress. Her headdress isn’t that bad either.

83. A sorceress has to don the finest gown and cape for the festivities.

She also has to have an elaborate headdress to boot. Because anyone with magical powers has to at least conform to a style akin to Lady Gaga.

She also has to have an elaborate headdress to boot. Because anyone with magical powers has to at least conform to a style akin to Lady Gaga.

84. Queen or knave? You decide.

Either way, her costume is truly an ornate sight to see. Love the mask and dress.

Either way, her costume is truly an ornate sight to see. Love the mask and dress.

85. Nothing makes you stand out in front of the gondolas like a bright red dress.

Since Venice is a canal city, gondolas are a major form of transport. Nevertheless, she looks pretty.

Since Venice is a canal city, gondolas are a major form of transport. Nevertheless, she looks pretty.

86. The Venice Carnival is always an occasion to sparkle.

This woman wears a costume with a jewel encrusted headdress. Is surely a sight from a fairy tale.

This woman wears a costume with a jewel encrusted headdress. Is surely a sight from a fairy tale.

87. Here I present to you the Queen of Hearts.

Well, I call her the Queen of Hearts because of her costume. Hope she doesn't call me for my heading for this.

Well, I call her the Queen of Hearts because of her costume. Hope she doesn’t call me for my heading for this.

88. These clowns always know how to hang out.

Though they might freak out you and your kids in some instances. Like the parasols.

Though they might freak out you and your kids in some instances. Like the parasols.

89. A Venetian Carnival dress should radiate in orange splendor.

That one dress reminds me of what Katniss Everdeen wore in the Hunger Games. Seriously, they don't call her the "Girl on Fire" for nothing.

That one dress reminds me of what Katniss Everdeen wore in the Hunger Games. Seriously, they don’t call her the “Girl on Fire” for nothing.

90. Sometimes it helps to take a mask to spare.

You will find that many of these outfits come with more than one mask. Though only one is used for the face.

You will find that many of these outfits come with more than one mask. Though only one is used for the face.

91. Good friends always wear matching dresses.

And these two are no exception. But their masks are as different as can be.

And these two are no exception. But their masks are as different as can be.

92. Sometimes a headdress must come with a long white veil.

Well, this is quite stunning. Love the peacock blue dress. But the headdress really makes the costume.

Well, this is quite stunning. Love the peacock blue dress. But the headdress really makes the costume.

93. Nothing like parading at San Marco Square decked in a peacock dress.

And of these sure look rather resplendent. Each has a fleur de lis purse.

And of these sure look rather resplendent. Each has a fleur de lis purse and peacock feather fan.

94. These two women are certifiable snow beauties.

Well, you have to like them in their blue dresses and fur trimmed muffs and hats. Lovely.

Well, you have to like them in their blue dresses and fur trimmed muffs and hats. Lovely.

95. Occasionally you might come across a jester wearing a crown.

Well, who says a king needs to look regal? Still, he has a nice black ruff on his neck.

Well, who says a king needs to look regal? Still, he has a nice black ruff on his neck.

96. These 3 beauties would like to do a dance in blue.

Well, this makes for a rather haunting trio. If their costumes weren't so festive and colorful.

Well, this makes for a rather haunting trio. If their costumes weren’t so festive and colorful.

97. There’s a certain kind of elegance having a king and queen in green.

Though you might not see them in this outfit on St. Patrick's Day. Still, like how they match.

Though you might not see them in this outfit on St. Patrick’s Day. Still, like how they match.

98. A feathered mask must always be worn with a purple dress.

Well, you don't see much of the dress. But it sure looks sensational. Beautiful.

Well, you don’t see much of the dress. But it sure looks sensational. Beautiful.

99. A dress like this will make you a belle at a masquerade ball.

Well, the creamy white really goes with the black. Love the feather headdress.

Well, the creamy white really goes with the black. Love the feather headdress.

100. With a dress like this, you can radiate with the sun.

Yes, her headdress is huge. But without it, she can't shine like a queen. And I'm sure she'll cause a sensation.

Yes, her headdress is huge. But without it, she can’t shine like a queen. And I’m sure she’ll cause a sensation.

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