Masquerade masks originated in the 16th century, in Venice. They were used to hide people’s identities when attending parties and social events. By wearing a disguise, attendees were able to have the best time regardless of their rank. Nowadays, people wear masks and costumes at all sorts of parties – Mardi Gras events, Halloweens, themed parties and social gatherings. Certain types of masks invented centuries ago have managed to preserve their historic significance, allure and even controversial aspect. Here are 5 ideas for a masquerade mask to match with your costume.
Pair a bauta mask with a suit (if you’re a guy) or striking medieval gown (if you’re a girl), and you’ll certainly make an impression. This type of mask features an imposing square-inch jawbone line and wide chin. It covers the entire face (although there are half-face variants, too) and it is crafted from solid materials, such as steel, aluminum or brass. The Bauta was a special type of mask worn at major political events a few centuries ago. As opposite to other Venetian masks, this one doesn’t have any embellishments. Pair your Bauta with a classic black suit, and you have high chances of awakening the curiosity of other attendees at the party.
Playful and colorful, the Colombina is ideal for women. The mask made its debut in the 17th century, and it is a half-mask heavily adorned with embellishments, feathers, and lots of glitter. The mask covers the eye area entirely, and it was named after a servant from “Commedia dell’arte”, the female equivalent of the above mentioned Bauta mask. Women who are not afraid of letting their personalities shine should pair this disguise with an equally striking costume. Medieval dresses go perfectly with a Colombina; and since your only visible face feature will be the lips, you might want to paint them in a striking nuance.
Medico della Peste
Paired with a head-to-toe costume, the medico della peste masquerade mask has the most interesting history. This striking disguise was invented in 18th century by physicians who were treating plague patients. Because they wanted to preserve their health, they wore this costume to protect themselves from the airborne disease. The costume has remained one of the most common yet striking in the history of masquerade masks, and it is usually adopted by men. The disguise itself is a white mask with a bird-like beak, a long black coat and gloves.
Featuring simple, clean lines, the Volto mask was once known by the name “citizen mask” because many common people were wearing it throughout various celebrations such as Senda Feast Day or St. Marco’s Day. The original disguise came is sheer white; however, over the years many other styles have materialized. The Volto was worn by both men and women in 18th century Venice. It covers the entire face and it depicts conventional features of the face, such as lips and nose. Today’s modern disguise has striking patterns and interesting color palettes that go well with costumes, as well as official attire.
Gatto mask & costume
Also known as the cat mask, this sensual disguise is more suitable for women. It features the most interesting cat-inspired shape and it is conventionally adorned with a button nose, pointer ears, and narrow eyes. A couple of centuries ago, there were barely any cats in Venice, and those who own one were royalties. These felines were appreciated for their beauty, so people started wearing cat-inspired costumes and masks at parties. Whether you’re attending a corporate event that requires a disguise, or an opulent Halloween bash, you can’t go wrong with a cat mask.
Finding a mask to match your costume can be tough. Many people are puzzled by the variety, and they usually end making bad choices. If you don’t want buy a masquerade mask or you haven’t found the best one to go with your disguise, you can always make your own mask. The web is packed with interesting tutorials that are so easy to follow. Regardless of your choices, don’t forget that masked parties are meant to be fun. Wear your costume with great pride and have the best time.