by Chantal

image taken from "the venetian collection" - London

image taken from "The Venetian Collection" - London

I was talking with a friend the other day about masks and was thinking later about how wonderfully evocative they are of mystery and seduction. Think of the exquisite European masked balls or the infamous intrigue of the masked highwayman.

leather venetian mask from

leather venetian mask from

I think people see the appeal of masks as the freedom to play out a role and be out of character but I wonder if its more the case that the mask gives us freedom to actually express true aspects of ourselves that we long to expose but feel too restricted or frightened to in our “normal” lives. After all how often is our true identity hidden under the invisible masks we wear for different people and situations. Are we all dancing a formal dance together with our masks safely in place?

The Venetian Collection based in London sell amazing masks that are designed and made in workshops in Venice. They supplied a number of the masks used in the film Eyes Wide Shut where men in black cloaks wandered between decadent, dreamlike rooms containing masked women.  As well as their London stores they have an online shop if you fancy sampling a little mystique of your own.