Planning for Carnevale!

I’m just a wee bit excited about the idea of going to Carnevale.  I’m going with the lovely Elizabeth from CA, and Kim is flying up from Australia!  After we see all there is to see in Venice, we are going down to Florence and we are going to geek out in our Eleonora costumes.  Then Elizabeth and I (and possibly Kim) are heading down to Rome to see the sights and eat All the Gelato in All the Land.  Elizabeth and I are then heading home, but Kim is taking the opportunity to see more of Europe while she is there.

What this means is a LOT OF COSTUMES.  The Steampunk Clown will have to be shipped because of the mechanicals and how heavy it is.  I am debating on shipping the others or taking them with me on the plane.

In discussing the costumes we want to bring with us, we decided that 7 would be a good number.  It will be 8 nights in Venice, probably 2 in Florence and 2 in Rome, and an additional day for travel.

I am feeling a strong urge to make these costumes Very Grand and Ostentatious.  I mean, it’s CARNEVALE!  Demure doesn’t exactly cut it there.

So this is what I have for my tentative list of costumes:

1.  Steampunk Clown:

What is our favorite kind of costuming?  DONE!

What is our favorite kind of costuming? DONE!

Since I only have the umbrella and a few tweaks left to do with this costume, I am going to consider this one done as of mid-May.  Also – there is going to be an International Clown Festival during Carnevale.  I may have inadvertently convinced my traveling companions that they should also be clowns…

2.  Salome:

Salome with the head of John the Baptist, 16th century, Andrea Solario.  Kunsthistorisches Museum

Salome with the head of John the Baptist, 16th century, Andrea Solario. Kunsthistorisches Museum

I have loved this outfit for a long time.  It is a mix of Italian, German and fantasy elements and it has a lot of beadwork, which I enjoy.  To get it exactly right I need time to work on it, and with a simple gold mask I think it would look great in Venice.

3.  The Chocolate Outfit:

Candy Box Hat.

Candy Box Hat.

There is an event that takes place during Carnevale that is a chocolate event.  You get drinks, chocolate and get to admire everyone else there.  Pretty basic, but sounds relaxing and fun.  I had already destroyed the Valentine’s Day redingote in an effort to turn it into a Dr. Who redingote, but I left the hat intact.  I think I am going to make a new brim for it, and turn it into an 18th century huge court style gown.  Originally there was discussion of a heart shaped farthingale with heart-shaped ruff, but this particular hat wouldn’t lend itself to any of that, and I love the hat and want to incorporate it.

I am looking at various fabrics done by Bonnie at Spoonflower in her food series for some of the main fabrics.  I would love to have swagging that looks like frosting, and lots of frothy fabric.  Something like this would be hugely fun:

Phantom of the Opera film, Minnie Driver.  2004

Phantom of the Opera film, Minnie Driver. 2004

I am thinking this one is going to be more about affect, lol.  With a crazy pink wig.

4.  Shepherdess costume:

Boston Ballet's Nutcracker 2012 - Shepherdess.

Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker 2012 – Shepherdess.

For some reason I am drawn to these ballet dresses with their poufy skirts and charming hats.  There are many Victorian Fancy Dresses that are much like these, and lots of historical ballet photographs feature similar designs.  The skirt I really like is from this one, by The Laced Angel:

Mixing the two ideas could be very fun and very cupcake-looking.

5.  Traditional Carnevale Mask Outfit

I wanted to do an outfit that is more traditional to what you see in Venice for Carnevale – the big white or black masks with bright colors and fabrics.  Then I saw this:

Circus Panniere ~ by Nancy Wilson - limited edition doll, Oil painted paper clay

Circus Panniere ~ by Nancy Wilson – limited edition doll, Oil painted paper clay

The theatricality of this is so amazing.  The puppets, the hat, the skirt as a stage, etc.  This might be rather complicated to bring along with me to Venice (says the person planning on bringing a very cumbersome clown costume), but if the undergarments could collapse flat, it could work.  I already have some really cool fabric that I purchased in the L.A. Garment district for the purple portion of the outfit:

Photo stolen from Lis Kester's blog because she and I bought the same fabric and she has a better photo.  Thanks Lis!

Photo stolen from Lis Kester’s blog because she and I bought the same fabric and she has a better photo. Thanks Lis!

I believe Lis is doing a bright green behind her fabric, and I have a bright teal blue that I am putting behind mine.  It is really outrageously gaudy when you see it in person.  She also bought the last gorgeous rhinestone mask that was in the only store in the L.A. Garment district that sold them, and don’t think I didn’t plan several different times to sneak into her room at Gallifrey and liberate it from her…

6.  My Over-the-Top Renaissance costume

I was looking through photos for fun looking Renaissance style outfits and came across this one:

Carnevale Costumes from veniceexplorer.net.

Carnevale Costumes from veniceexplorer.net.

HOW AWESOME IS THIS????  While I love the Elizabethan style, I am already bringing the clown with me.  The idea of doing a German with a ginormous pizza hat and multicolored feathers is HUGELY appealing.  I have a whole bin of trim that could lend itself to this idea.

7.  Snow/Ice Queen Costume:

This whole idea started from these boots:

Alexander McQueen (of course), Runway 2004.

Alexander McQueen (of course), Runway 2004.

Then I started thinking about an outfit dripping in rhinestones and beads and deliciousness.  Then I found this on Pinterest:

Costume by Gilbert Adrian for The Great Ziegfeld directed by Robert Z Leonard, 1936

Costume by Gilbert Adrian for The Great Ziegfeld directed by Robert Z Leonard, 1936

Probably a bit much to wear and ship, but SO VERY COOL.  And as I went looking through Google Images for White Queen or Ice Queen costumes, I came across this:

Queen of the Fairies Theatre costume | Santini, Bruno | 1977

Queen of the Fairies Theatre costume | Santini, Bruno | 1977

Which convinced me that I was on the right track in terms of crazy and fantastic and sheer WOW effect.  Finally I came to this dress and decided I had found The One:

c. 1986 JUNE ANDERSON Stage Worn Opera Gown with Original Massive Slip.

c. 1986 JUNE ANDERSON Stage Worn Opera Gown with Original Massive Slip.

It is very fairy princess, with a hint of late 1890′s and early 1900′s to it.  Since I am a huge fan of Charles Worth and everything he (and pretty much everyone else) did in the 1890′s, this silhouette appealed to me.  It is not of course true to the time period, but it has a lot of details, and seems like an odd late Victorian and Elizabethan hybrid mix.  Considering the opera itself takes place during the reign of Charlemagne (800-814), I figure I can label it whatever the heck I want.

I particularly love the waistline:

JUNE ANDERSON Stage Worn Opera Gown in Handel's "ORLANDO"

JUNE ANDERSON Stage Worn Opera Gown in Handel’s “ORLANDO”

I can see icicles replacing the tassels, and the whole thing covered in glittering snowflakes, rhinestones, etc.  “Icy” make-up, a huge wig and tiara and a fabulous rhinestone mask would complete the ensemble.  A staff would be very cool, but unless I could collapse the whole thing there would be no way to transport it to Italy.

I am more excited about this particular outfit than any other one on the list.  It appeals to the theatrical costumer in me very strongly.  I think the wig is going to be made of the roving I purchased in SF, and will be another knitted and designed wig.  That way I can make it EXACTLY the way I see it in my head, it will collapse for easy packing, and I can decorate the heck out of it.

8.  Other costumes:

As for other costumes (what, isn’t 7 enough?) I may wind up bringing an Italian gown along in case this all gets to be too heavy and cumbersome.  I am also bringing my Eleonora, because Kim and I are going to have our pictures taken ALL OVER Florence.  If Eleonora walked there, lived there, or touched something there, we will have our photo taken.  By the time we get done we will be sick of looking at ourselves in photos, hee.

Considering I can start on these outfits in earnest after Convergence (early July) and then concentrate completely on them as of September, I feel confident that I can get a number of them done by February 2014 (knock on wood).  I am going to try to keep better dress diaries of these outfits, as I have the Steampunk Clown.

I hate it when I get so excited about a new project and still have a number of other things to work on before I can start on the thing I am most interested in RIGHT NOW.  Sometimes it is hard being grown-up and responsible.

I did make a board on Pinterest for the other things that have inspired me for Carnevale.  These plans above might change and evolve as I purchase fabrics, find new ideas, discover that my idea can’t possibly be shipped for less than $100, etc.  You can see the latest pins here.

I can’t believe I am actually going to Carnevale.  There have been many impromptu dance parties of one around the sewing room lately…

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Planning for Carnevale!

  1. Hahaha!!! YES!!! We will EAT ALL THE GELATO!!!! And wear great clothes while doing so!! If you make the Orlando costume as an Ice Queen, I’ll do Fire!!

    • Thank you so much! How cool! I have been on vacation in New York and just got back. I am very honored and will make sure to follow through with the nominating others!

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