Dressing up is all part of the enjoyment of Venice carnival. But for some it’s more than just about being seen and photographed, it’s a creative challenge to produce THE most beautiful mask or costume.
This year competition was fierce with 2 ultimate awards on offer – one for the most beautiful mask on the carnival theme of food and one for the most beautiful overall mask.
Daily heats, open to anyone and everyone, took place in the Grand Theatre, St Mark’s Square. The public voted, sending their two favourites (one from the morning heat, one from the afternoon) through to the semi-finals at the end of the week and then the carnival judges took over.
The panel of designers, the carnival director and creative designer plus a Venetian atelier, studied the semi-finalists with a professional eye, looking for originality, creative skill and that ultimate X factor. One judge explained that she was looking to have her mind blown by the competitors’ creations and I don’t think she was disappointed.
In fact, the standard of some entries was frankly staggering. Weeks and weeks of work must have gone into many of them. And ultimately even the judges were stumped deciding to inaugurate a third prize for originality at the last minute during the actual final as they couldn’t decide the ultimate winner between two!
So, do you agree with their choices? I’ve picked out some of the favourites from the day along with the eventual winners so you can see how difficult the judges’ job was. Leave me a comment below and let me know which ones you would have chosen!
And the winners are……
The Most Beautiful Mask 2015 (La Maschera più bella) was awarded to “Le Stelle dell’Amore: Marte Venere e Cupido” (The stars of love : Mars, Venus and Cupid) by Patris Angel Horstraak e Jochen Schlüter di Bielfeld from Germany, who also won in 2014.
The Most Beautiful Mask on the theme of Food (La Maschera più a tema) was awarded to “La Cucina Veneziana” (The Venetian Kitchen) by Monica Tognato and Leopoldo Lazzarin from Vicenza.
And the new award for the Most Original Mask (La Maschera più originale) was awarded to “Monsieur Sofà and Mademoiselle Coco” (Mister Sofa and Miss Coco), a homage to Coco Chanel, by Lorenzo Marconi da Senigallia, whose sister won 2 years ago.
Carnevale 2015 in Venice runs from Saturday 31st January to Tuesday 17th February 2015. (Dates will differ from year to year depending on when Lent and Easter fall so check calendars before you plan travel.)
The official website is: http://www.carnevale.venezia.it/en/events-list/
!!!Carnevale 2016 in Venice runs from Saturday 23rd January to 9th February 2016!!!
Venice Carnival 2015: Program of the main events
Saturday 31st January – 6pm Opening of the Carnival with the first showing of “The Magic Banquet – A Gourmet’s fairytale in Venice” water show along the Rio of Cannaregio with an encore at 8pm
Sunday 1st February – 11am Boat procession along the Grand Canal from Punta della Dogana to the Rio di Cannaregio. Organised by the Associazioni Remiere di Voga alla Veneta in partnership with Associazione Esercenti Pubblici Esercizi (AEPE) and Coordinamento Associazioni Remiere di Voga alla Veneta.
Sunday 1st February – Piano concert at Punta della Dogana. This guys often performs outside from concert halls in the street for free. For this concert, though, his piano is suspended above water!
Saturday 7th February – Carnival Parade of Marie, inauguration of the Gran Theatre of St Mark’s Square, inauguration of the parties at the Arsenale
Sunday 8th February – Flight of the Angel
Tuesday 17th February – Flight of the Lion, proclamation of the Mary of Carnival 2015.
In addition, the carnival program includes the “Most beautiful mask competition” and touring shows in St Mark’s Square during the day plus a range of musical events at the Arsenale every night from Saturday 7th to Tuesday 17th February.