How to Convince Someone to Wear a Mask to a Ball

20 May 2019

wearing a mask

Why you should wear a mask, even when you don't want to !                    

Masquerade balls are bursting with mystery, romance, drama, and true 15th century glamour. But let’s be honest here… they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. For those who prefer a simpler, down-to-earth party, trying to convince them to fully embrace the colourful Venetian carnival atmosphere isn’t always easy… but it can be done!

So what’s the secret?

Take a look at the history

There’s a common misconception that masquerade balls are just costume parties; that they’re just about playing dress up. The truth is that there’s actually a lot more to the concept of masquerade than meets the eye, and delving through this rich, exciting history could be just what it takes to convince your friends and family to don their masks and get dancing. Traditionally, early masquerade balls in the 14th century were massive public events designed to mask the boring, mundane aspects of everyday life and celebrate the elaborate. We could all do with a bit of that every now and then, right?

Click here to find out more about the history of the Venice Carnival and Venetian Characters

Highlight the flexibility in masquerading

Another misconception that may be off-putting to some people is the idea that masquerade masks are these huge, ornate masks adorned with all sorts of bells and whistles. While these fantastic, jaw dropping designs do exist, like the Tabitha Gold with incredible feathering and fretwork detail, there are actually plenty of masks that are much more subtle and understated, like the simple yet stunning Larga Fiore mask. Masquerade balls allow for more flexibility than many people think, so highlighting the fact that you don’t need to be larger-than-life to take part is a good way to convince.

Make it a game

When masquerade balls first started to take off in Europe, the masks were largely designed to express emotion, opinion, and personality. However, when the trend began to later spread to colonial America, there was much more of a game element that was introduced to the events, and the masks became just as much about concealing identity as they were about celebrating passion and excitement. This element is something that’s been carried through to modern masquerading, so anyone who loves playing games will love participating in a little detective work at the ball.

The modern face of masquerade

Much of the reluctance to don a mask and join in the fun really does stem from the connotations of masquerade balls of the past. The recent modern revival of the event is remarkably different, with much less formality and much more of a focus on the party atmosphere. Colour, costumes, and clowning around… how can anyone say no?

Tracy Chandler Blog profile picture

By: Tracy Chandler

Tracy has been in the masquerade industry for over 15 years.

As an expert crafter, she spends her time sourcing, and buying, Posh Masks designs from the Venetian artisans in Venice, along with researching, and compiling, news, views, ideas, and advice on Venetian mask history and design, Commedia dell’arte characters and masks, the modern day masquerade party and the fancy dress world of Cosplay

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