Good morning! It’s a very snowy Saturday morning here, which seems as good a time as any to blog about my next vintage Dawn project. A Venice Carnival (or Carnevale de Venezia) Dawn! Here’s why I’m so looking forward to this one….
Above photo by Sam Abell
Some of the best photographs of the beautiful costumes worn for Carnival have been captured by Silvano Candeo, a photographer based in Italy. His work is gorgeous and how could you not be inspired! His photographs can be seen HERE I have written to ask if I may embed a couple of his fabulous photos to show you why I’m so psyched about this next project. For now though, click the link above to see his work.
I never seem to do more than one of any idea, but I think in this case I may have to do a series of Carnival dolls. There is so much variety, so many colourways…… The mind boggles!
Many of the costumes for Carnevale de Venezia are inspired by Commedia dell’Atre (Commedia Italiana) which apparently is a uniquely Italian form of improv theater. Going way back, stock characters, easily recognizable to the audience despite minor differences from troupe to troupe, would perform basic stories that they would add to and embellish with some prepared scenes,Â complicated insults, dance, song and other performance talents. The actors would improvise whatever was needed and take cues from the audience. No two performances were the same! In this art form, they could satirize and poke fun at all parts of society. Even the ruling clergy! Isn’t art GREAT!
The masks worn at Carnival have a long and semi sordid history. In the long distant past, masks were worn from the 26th of December (Feast of St . Stephen ) all the way to Shrove Tuesday. Masks were also worn during Ascension and also from October 5th (don’t know why it’s the 5th of October) to Christmas. So pretty much all the time :o)Â Some inscrutable characters would take advantage of this anonymity to commit illegal and immoral acts. As a result of the decline in morality (in the minds of the religious leaders anyway) many laws were enacted, and mask wearing was restricted as to when and where it was permitted.
With all of this mask wearing, the mask makers, Mascherari were important in society and had their own guild. There are three types of masks. The Bauta, the Moretta and the Larva (or Volto).Â The Bauta is usually a full face mask with no mouth and lots of decoration (although there are many that only cover the top of face and the cheeks allowing the wearer to eat and drink), the Moretta is a black velvet oval invented in France. Ususally worn by women visiting convents, it was held by a bit in the wearers mouth and secured with a veil. The Larva is the one that is mainly white and traditionally Venetian. They were also quite light and were also often open enough to allow the wearer to eat and drink while wearing preserving their anonymity.
Here is the girl I will be using. I have chosen her because her skin colour is poor and her face mask will not be removeable. A perfect use for a gal with blue pallor!
She does have pretty nice hair and lashes, but her face colour is really not good! I considered dying her, but her greenish tinge is not uniform and dying would then be uneven. So no, this is better imho.
Here is the colour palette that I’ll be using…..
Black, grey, cream,Â gold, white…… Silk, cotton, mesh and various beads, feathers and other findings will all find their way into this costuming!
That’s it for today. Have a wonderful weekend everybody. Thanks for reading!