What could be a better setting for shopping for beautiful Venetian carnival costumes than a pop up store held in a converted Venetian palazzo? The pop up store was the outpost of a Milanese atelier which creates one of a kind costumes for the elaborate Venetian balls held during February for Carnival. We heard about the pop up from our hotel where the atelier had a small selection of outfits in a hotel lounge. The lady in charge told us to go to the Venetian palazzo to see more of the outfits.
Curiosity piqued, off we went. With kids in tow, we were not in a position to go to a Venetian ball during this trip. Not only are the balls expensive (costing hundreds of Euros per ticket) but they also do not allow entry for children. So, we were just looky-Lous ready to gawk at beautiful craftsmanship and a beautiful Venetian palazzo just for the sake of it. Luckily, the owner and her husband were charming even though it was clear that we were just looking.
While we were browsing, several ladies were trying on outfits – each one seemed more regal than the other. It really did feel like you were stepping back in time as you listened to the rustle of silks and clatter of heels on the wooden floor.
The Palazzo Tiepolo Passi is usually the home of the Countess Passi. It is opened to the public for this pop-up for Arrigo Costumi. As part of the full Venetian carnival experience, you can have a photoshoot at the Palazzo too. What an incredible experience that would be!
The Atelier had carnival outfits for both men and women. They have been holding this pop-up in Venice since 2014. I can assure you that the outfits for men were just as elaborate and made with fine materials. No boring dark blue suit material for the Renaissance fashion plate.
These outfits seemed a bargain to rent at €250 per day. I can’t imagine the amount of craftsmanship that went into each outfit – each of which was unique.
Arrigo Costumi has been making costumes for ballets and theatre for around the world. That sense of theatrics has gone into these Carnival outfits as well. The artisanal costumes are handmade and reproductions based on outfits from the 17th Century.