A masquerade party is a fun chance for people to socialize while hiding behind playful disguises. Masquerade costumes differ from other costumes because they require a mask to cover all or part of the face. Masks can be fixed to one's head or carried on a stick that the party-goer holds up to his face. Halloween, Carnival, and Mardi Gras are known for masquerade parties, but you can have your own masquerade any time of year.
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The Phantom, from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera," is one of the most recognizable and traditional masquerade costumes. Throughout the play, the phantom wears a white mask over most of his face; he is usually dressed in a suit with a cape. The opera even features a ball and the musical number "Masquerade," in which all cast members wear masquerade costumes.
Mardi Gras masks are fun and beautiful. They come in a variety of styles but usually play on a harlequin theme. Feathers, jesters and diamond prints are traditional Mardi Gras themes. The Mardi Gras colors--green, purple, gold and black--are incorporated into many designs.
Butterflies or Birds
Winged creatures make good masquerade costumes, perhaps because of the whimsical associations made with wings and flying. A colorful, butterfly-shape mask is perfect for a butterfly costume, accented beautifully by color-coordinated hair streaks. Wear a flowing skirt and top and matching wings to complete the ensemble. For a bird costume, choose a mask with a beak and feathers, and coordinate the rest of your clothing around the colors and style of the mask. Your clothing need only be suggestive of a bird or butterfly. The mask will provide the most clues to your alternate identity.