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Life is a stage! Everyone, get masked!

Mask inspired: From World-Famous Festivals to Fashion Runways, the Masquerade Ball is Catching On!

Life is a stage! Everyone, get masked!

Anyone who has ever been to the great 'Carnevale Veneziano' is unlikely to forget it in a hurry:, once a year, impressive masks, opulent costumes and elaborately designed parties and balls transform this lagoon city into something truly magical. But Venice isn’t the only place you can go to get masked: in recent years, the idea of the carnival - be it in Venice or Rio - has taken the fashion world by storm, leading to elaborate and dazzling masks on the runways and at fashion events. Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, has been known to throw her own masquerade balls, and models are often seen parading down the catwalks in sleek, ultra-modern masks decorated with sequins, crystals and feathers. We’ve really caught the costume fever, and have spent the past few weeks planning our very own masquerade party – as soon as the freezing cold February temperatures abate, that is, and the sun puts in an appearance.

 

We’ve been feverishly researching the best and the boldest masks out there, and we’re happy to share them with you here. Time to get masked!

 

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Credit: Maison Margiela, Fall 2012 Couture Show // Valentino, Fall 2009 Couture. All images by Style.com

 

A long-running and world-renowned annual event, the 'Carnevale Veneziano' inspires its own crop of artists-mask-designers from all around the world who want to make their mark in an age-old profession. We profile three of them, and just so you know, there’s a fourth one: you! Read on to find out how.

 

Steve Wintercroft – aesthetic DIY design
Emphasizing the importance of aesthetic design and environmentally conscious alternatives to plastic, this UK-based designer’s mission is truly ‘Do-It-Yourself’! With a keen eye for geometric details, his templates give you the possibility to create your own gorgeous mask to turn people's heads. Simply download a PDF file, print it, cut it out, colour it and design it at will - there are no limits to your creativity! From animals and skulls to storm troopers and faces - the range of Wintercroft's cool collection of sturdy and brilliant 3-D paper masks is inventive and multi-faceted, making it easy for anyone to create a Venetian-worthy disguise. 

 

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Credit: Wintercroft

 

 

Phillip Valdez – the transformation man
It was actually his wife Elisa who launched the career of this New Mexico native. During the late 1990s, Elisa, a passionate photographer, needed the right accessory for one of her photo-shoots and asked her husband Phillip Valdez, a qualified designer and illustrator, to make her a paper mask. Which he did – quite well, in fact. He enjoyed it and made more elaborate paper masks for himself and his wife, which they wore to the Seattle Art Museum Masquerade Ball in 1996, instantly winning the two first places at the costume competition held there. His works have since been featured in magazines and exhibitions. Though he now makes masks only as a side project, he still does so with great passion: all his work is made from heavy paper and glue, with Phillip's natural engineering abilities transforming these simple materials into amazing works of art. 

 

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Credit: Phillip Valdez

 

 

Mario Belloni – classically unique
While still a student in the 1980s, this Venetian and a few of his friends began designing their own masks and selling some of them at the carnival. Initially, they used old paintings and documents from the 16th century as templates and produced replicas. Over time, however, their masks became ever more well-known and popular. Mario has made a name for himself with his label Ca'Macana, and has now become an insider tip in many city guides. The walls of his little shop in the Dorsoduro quarter are covered with masks of every conceivable shape and colour – yet each one is a hand-finished and unique product. Even Stanley Kubrick purchased masks from Mario for his film "Eyes Wide Shut", starring Tom Cruise.
  

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Credit: Ca'Macana

26 / 02 / 2015 // by LigaStudios Team

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