Saturday, March 7, 2015

Grokking Carnevale

I am only now beginning to understand what I was walking into, when I arrived in Venice during Carnevale.

Arriving in Venice at any time makes you go, woah. You walk out of the train station and the street outside is a river. You know this about Venice, but you can't really imagine it. Then there it is.

But in February, when you get on a ferry, people stream past you wearing the most amazing costumes. It's like you're in a Disneyland and the characters are from movies that haven't been made yet. 

Emperor or Monkey God?

I am such a FAN of this dress!

Carnevale in Venezia is high holy days for an international community of artists who come just to stand around on the piazza and pose for photographs. I didn't have a great camera, or enough time to gawk (less than 24 hours from arrival to flight out), but a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend on Facebook posted an incredible album of these human mannequins, if you would like to have a gawk...

They see each other once a year, and attend outrageously lavish private parties every night, and meet at Caffe Florian, which has been serving coffee to the beautiful people for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. Rubber neckers like me press their faces to the windows...
...and wonder what it is like to be one of the magical people inside.

How lucky I was to personally know some of these lovelies!

Erin Mahoney, a designer, artist, former DecoBelle and (I have recently learned) famous international beauty, is the one who insisted that if I were to be in Venice, I must come to a ball.

Erin—and Stephanie, with whom I share a BFF (Alexa!)—come to Carnevale each year with enough outfits for a dozen or more parties. Look! At! These! Hats!!!!!
Would you like to wear the Rialto Bridge on your head?

Their Facebook feeds will keep me boggled for many months after this adventure is over. Stephanie, a professional costume historian, and her mind-bendingly glamorous friends out-lavish each other over and over each night, extravagantly imaginative, beyond what I ever thought was possible outside the movies. Erin is a camera magnet for some of the best photographers.

And me, I could die of happiness, heading for another mountaintop experience. With a better outfit.

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