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Double Winner 2021!!!

I am the DOUBLE WINNER of the international contest of the “Best mask of the Venetian carnival 2021/digital edition on Instagram”!!!

The jury decided to give both of my costumes 

“La Medichessa della Peste” and 

“Gioia di vivere a Venezia” 

the shared first main prize as best costume.

I wasn’t able to decide which one would be more appropriate and represent these strange times we live in currently and the jury thought the same.

It was fun (and very convenient cause less cold) streaming the presentation from our bedroom and livingroom, together with my son, who gave me company with his costume the “Lion of the Venetian carnival” and my dear costume friend who gave me company for many years, Daniela P. Marino, who brought the “Medichessa” to elegant life. And thank you to my husband for filming and technical support.

We are invited to be present on stage for the upcoming carnevale. And we all hope it will take place and not be cancelled again. So, if you happen to be in Venice then, please come and meet me at the stage! I plan to be in Venice for both weeks of carnival and am working on a VERY SPECIAL, AMAZING project for 2022.

La Medichessa della Peste, winning costume 2021

The Medichessa was built in 2015, was in the finale of the contest in that year, but worn again and again for different occasions. When the Covid-plague hit us all in 2020, I knew her time had come even stronger. I added a stick with a virus she pinched her weapon through and her glorious triumph became real at the digital edition of the contest 2021.

The sculpturesc skirt in shape of a skull I built on a gymnast ball. 10 Layers of carta pesta, 1 kilo of hot glue and strong wire were needed to give it a stable structure. To cut all ornaments out with a knife almost killed my hands, but the effort was worth it. Usually the fabric is the grand show, here it is the skirt itself. The lace mask with black and gold lace gives a spooky but elegant tough to the classical mask of the Dottore della peste. The wig was entirely built from black hair, also the tricorno and the Campanile. Sexy and photogenic and so a point with the theme. I have to admit, it is one of my all time favourites.

La Gioia di vivere a Venezia

Venice and it’s carnival has always also in the historical carnival centuries ago lived the Lust for Life to the fullest. Also my son added his youthful, innocent joy of life to this already voluptuous costume with his jumping around throwing confetti- called coriandoli in Italian – through our whole bedroom. I still find some in corners and lampshades almost a year after. He was so proud to be part of the winning team and it helped him a lot comping with the sadness of covid-lockdown. And Venice is also well known for its gorgeous, secretly hidden gardens. So I built this costume in 2018, initially to bring a bit of Venice to the Venetian fair in Ludwigsburg (bi-annual celebrations) where this costume had its premiere and was also very well received. People told me how much they loved the many details like the doll with music that turned on the top of my almost 1m tall wig. And the stunning shoes. And the watering can as handbag…and the very special hidden feature unter the rain of my costume…my buttocks that b(e)ared a tattoo that says: A life less ordinary. I also made lashes with flower leaves, an extra special make up. This costume is pure eye candy and celebrates the joy of life! And this is what we all need most in these sad, depressing times of social distancing and reduced opportunities to celebrate life. This dress is a remedy for the eye and soul, even if not to wear…. cause this is a real challenge with a wig of that size.

I personally think to have them both on the throne of the competition side by side is a perfect choice of the jury because it represents all that the Venetian carnival stands for and gives us hope, we will continue sharing creativity to the max. Worldwide and not just in Venice.

Viva carnevale, viva la gente, viva Venezia!

For 2022:

I am currently working on two stunning costumes. One for me personally and the other is a fantastic project that is still secret, so I cannot tell by now. Please follow me on facebook under my name “Tanja Schulz-Hess” and Instagram “I_am_worldofcostumes” for up dates. It will be amazing! 

Since I am fully vaccinated I am planning to be in Venice for carnival and my project most likely the two weeks before ash wednesday, starting for me at St. Valentin and ends on March 3rd.

Hope to see you all there, vaccinated, safe and with lots of joy of life! 

Sincerely, Tanja  

Ausstellungs 12.-26.2.2020 in der Elbschlossresidenz Hamburg Blankenese

Liebe Freunde, ich würde mich freuen, Euch zu meiner großen Ausstellung mit verschiedenen Events (Vortrag, Maskenworkshop und Cioccolata) in Hamburg begrüßen zu dürfen.

Es werden viele meiner textilen Skulpturen (auch gern Kostüme genannt) so wie viele Accessoires, Fotos und Bücher aus meinem Werk zu sehen sein.
Schuhe, Fächer, Masken, Geschichten, Leckereien. Es wird ein Fest des Carnevale, während des Carnevale, aber in meiner Heimatstadt an einem sehr edlen Ort, der wunderschönen Elbschlossresidenz in Blankenese.

Falls Ihr es schaffen könnt, vorbei zu kommen, schickt mir doch kurz eine Nachricht, vielleicht bin ich dann sogar vor Ort.

Carnevale 2017

Carnevale 2017…. der Countdown läuft

Liebe Freunde,
ich stecke noch kopfüber in den neuen Kostümen…deshalb hier nur kurz:

Dieses Jahr werden sechs neue Kostüme von mir die Straßen und Bälle Venedigs dekorieren. Lasst Euch überraschen!!! Ich werde sie diesmal sogar vorher posten, denn ich werde dieses Jahr nicht am Wettbewerb teilnehmen. In den nächsten Tagen (wenn ich fertig bin und alles eingepackt und verschickt habe) gibts hier auf der Seite und bei Facebook die frischen Bilder.

Mit beiden kleinen Kindern (die dieses Mal leider – und zu ihrem Unmut – mangels passender Schulferien nicht mitkommen können) wird es immer schwerer, alles rechtzeitig fertig zu kriegen. Aber mein lieber Mann lässt mich kommendes Wochenende noch einmal richtig Gas geben und die wandelnden Kunstwerke vollenden.

Heute, Freitag, den 10. Februar, bin ich in zwei vielgelesenen Zeitschriften Deutschlands, der HörZu und der Fernsehwoche, mit Bildern und Texten zum Karnevale und meinen Kostümen zu sehen.

Ich hoffe, wir sehen uns in Venedig! Ich bin vom 20.2.-1.3. dort. Bitte sprecht mich auf der Straße ruhig an, auch wenn ich grade fotografiert werde. Ich freue mich immer Euch zu treffen.

Alles Liebe aus Hamburg, Eure Tanja


Dear friends,

I am head over heels still deep in costume making!!! Thus just a short message:

This year there will be six new costumes of mine on display in the streets and banquets of Venice.

Be curious to see them, they are magnificent again!

And this time I will post them even before I go to Venice since I will not take part in the competition. During the next days (after I have finished and packed everything) there will be fresh pictures here on the website and on facebook.

With my two small kids attached it gets (whom this year won’t come with me to carnevale – they are very angry about that – since we don’t have matching school holidays) harder to get everything done in time. But my beloved husband gives me the next weekend hands free to give full throttle to finish the walking textile sculptures.

Today I am featured in two of the most read magazines in Germany, the “HörZu” and “Fernsehwoche” with pictures and stories about my costumes.

I hope to meet you in Venice, I will be there from Febuary 20th to 1st of March. Don’t hesitate to talk to me when you see me somewhere. I love to meet you!

Saluti da Amburgo, Tanja


Carnevale 2016

Dear friends all over the world!

my 17th carnevale is over and here is a brief (haha….) review and some films and pictures of it. Enjoy!

I was in Venice from January 26th to Febuary 10th, accompanied for some days by my children, husband and some friends. The second week I was free to do photoshootings, banquets, parades and other events.

For my little son it was his first carnevale and he had lots of fun with his sister and parents, as well as meeting with photographers and even a TV crew from German TV ZDF. The little “Bob the builder in the 18th century” was our king and had the choice to decide at any point when we would stop walking in costume. But he was really brave and had three long strolls through the city with us, waving at people, charming them in his cute outfit. Same as his lovely sister as the “Lagoon of Venice” (which by her request resembled the dress of Elsa – but sorry, I don’t do Disney, so we agreed on a stunningly beautiful dress in the same colour. It was her idea to add some shells (now silver plated) from mussels that we bought on Rialto market last summer. I am happy that my kids are already “helping” me to design an work on the costumes and have so much joy wearing them.

The theme of our this years main costume was – in honour of the carnivals theme “Arts, craftsmenship and traditions of Venice” “Venezia – the most beautiful construction site of the world”. I did a lot of research on old Venetian architecture like Palladio and famous buildings and talked about construction sites like the “Fondaco dei Tedeschi” the old trading house of the Germans that Benetton is currently remodeling (it was on my upper part of the dress, fenced in, with little Lego and Playmobil figurines as the craftsmen who do the construction in Venice). My wig was Palazzo Papadopoli, now one of Venice’s top hotels and right next to the place where I stay for ten years now. It had a 80cm crane built in which made a lot of people laugh.

[metaslider id=18386]

In general the reception of the people in the streets was phenomenal. Everybody got the little ironic idea in a second and could totally relate to the topic, since Venice is covered by construction sites which gave tons of photo opportunities. Unfortunately or ironically we had a night construction site in front of our house which kept me awake from 2 – 6 a.m… Maybe I should not have “asked” for it.

One Italian said in the TV film we made, that he especially loved our costume, cause it told the truth how it really is in Venice and that it was so close to reality. Unfortunately the jury did not agree in the finale of the competition. We were under the last five contestants and some friends of mine from Senigallia won with their beautiful creation about “bathing people in Senigallia” and two men in red velvet frocks from Sicily dressed as “Coaches from Sicily” got the price for best costume in the theme of the carnival. Well, one cannot win every year. But I was very happy that the audience appreciated my detailed and dedicated to Venice work.

I also have to give a huge THANK YOU to my friend Adam, a carpenter who lives in Venice (and does food tours there – don’t miss “Venice Bites”) and who helped me to protect my dress from the constant rain on competition day. Since it fitted the look of my costume, I decided to dare to go out (I never did it before and never will again ruin a dress in the rain, that was a first and last in 17 years) and built a long Venetian umbrella with plasticfoil-tent that Adam – strong as a tree as he is – wearing his craftsmen gear and 20kg-tool-belt !!!! – carried all the way through the contest. But it did not help, the dress was soaked and many parts have to be replaced now. But we got a lot of funny photos of us standing in the rain. As I said: once in a lifetime.

After this experience I also decided to not participate in the competition anymore. I won four times, that is enough for a lifetime. My little son and daughter enjoyed staying up there on the catwalk and when they were with us, we won the daily award on the first Saturday which was very exciting for them and fortunately not as long, wet and strenuous as the finale. Maybe in a few years they might decide to want to compete. But that they will have to decide later when they are bigger. I am very sure they will ponder it “The view from stage is so nice” as my daughter pointed out. But at any point of time it was their choice and will be in the future to go up or stay down.

But don’t be afraid that I will stop doing more stunning costumes. I cannot live without that and will still continue doing carnevale but definitely without the show. There are so many more things to celebrate. Like the by my friends the “Assoziazione dei Maschereri” revoked “Hunt of the Bull” a traditional mask parade that goes back to the 11th century (see “History of the Carnevale”) where I had the honour to walk behind the 12 beautiful Maries of the quasi “pageant” of the carnevale. I had the chance to talk to some of the girls while we walked through the whole city. Great to see this traditional event take place again.

Also the Maschereri invited me to an event in the Goldoni house in honour of the famous writer of the Commedia dell’Arte. To this I wore a special historical dress of a “Venetian Lady in the 15th century” I made. I did research in the famous book of Grevembroch (original lies in Museo Correr at Piazza S. Marco) about the traditional way of dressing of the Venetians. It was a pretty, petite dress with a little typical Venetian wig. For the dress I used fabric from Rubelli (one of the oldest and most expensive fabric makers in Venice), real Murano glass from my friend’s Ferro Lorenzo shop (highly recommended if you are interested in real Venetian craftsmenship and artisan production), on the neckless I wore “Fritelle” and “Castagnole” and “Galani” cookies/cakes like they were diamonds from my favourite bakery “Rizzardini”. I also had real Venetian lace and about 40 drawings of various arts and crafts of Venice from the famous book mounted on the dress. The whole set was completed by a traditional black Moretta mask from my friend Gualtieros shop “Tragicomica” (Gualtiero is one of the students who started the new carnevale in the late 70s and has a nice traditional mask shop with handcrafted masks), held by a knob in my mouth.

My third dress, a small but very funny victorian peacock with peacock shoes, make up and huge wig was my banquet ensemble. I was honoured to have three fotoshootings with all three dresses in my favourite and most stunning Hotel Danieli. Hard to get in but this year they let me in and  I had fantastic photographers like Jason Pavalonis, Robin Yong, Joachim Plump who took stunning photos there and out and about town. The fotos will roll in during the next weeks. So keep checking this website for new pictures.

I also had a visit at the Fortuny fabric factory on the Giudecca. I was in paradise!!!! And immediately started dreaming of colaborating with this tradition house of Venetian fabric. I am really very attached to Venice, its history and craftsmenship! They are the real artists!!! I hope they like my creations and maybe give me a hand. Another dream in Venice to fulfill! But definitly a high set one. But to have a long train of Fortuny fabric attached to my next year’s 18th century dress in glamouros red and gold (OOOOOHHHH yes, I DO already have a vision!!!) rolling down the mainstaircase stairs of the Danieli would be an epic foto!!!

The banquets and parties I attended this year would fill a whole book… so I will skip the stories here and save them for the book I am currently writing about the Venetian Carnival or write them later in the blog. I want to have the book done by the end of summer and get it printed and sent out to the readers by xmas 2016. For this I could need some help doing a Kickstarter campaign, get fotos from this and the last years from all of YOU out there, etc. (please read blog chapter about this).

Well, my friends, there would be so much more to write, it was a long, exciting carnevale!!!

But that’s it for today.

Now I need to unpack 60 kgs of costumes, get my house in order and cuddle the kids and hubby, detox my brain from this information overload. And after a while I will write some more blog chapters here and chapters for the book!


Because: After the carnevale is before the carnevale!

If you have any particular questions or comments, please write me!!!

Grande bacio (kiss), Tanja

News from Venice

We have won the first daily price on Saturday 30th Jan 2016. Kids had fun on stage and are very proud that they had won. Shame they cannot be here for the finally.

We also filmed for German TV ZDF. It is aired on Thursday 4th Feb. 2016 around 1 pm.

We also did a photo shooting in the royal suite at the wonderful and most beautiful Hotel Danieli. One of the photos you can see above. Family pictures will follow. Thanks to Jason Pavalonis from Warm Desert Wind Photography for the shooting.


Photo by Jason Pavalonis

Time to pack the crates for Carnevale 2016

Dear friends from all over the world!

It is time to pack for Venice. Crates are not closed…but it looks like more than 60 kilos for 6 costumes this year.

We, my two small kids, husband and I will walk in a bright, colourful, very funny and entertaining group costume – dedicated to my little son, who was the inspiration for the theme, since it is his first Carnevale – in the first week. I will stay from January 26th to Febuary 10th.

If you see me/us in the streets, say hello, we can take a picture together.

I would also like to announce another big project for 2016: I will finally make a beautiful costume/story book you can buy for Christmas 2016!!! About 150 pages filled with stunning fotos of 17 years of my costume art and portraits also of other protagonists of the Venetian carnival. I did some deep research with famous historians on the historic and modern carnival and will also tell stories from behind the scenes of how passionate costume people experience the carnival.

It will be a beautiful book and project that cannot be done without a little help from my friends – YOU!!! I will start a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign, most likely in April, to raise the funds to print a really good book you will like to have in your hands & shelves.

Please support me on this with the Kickstarter campaign (I promise to offer good, personal and interesting  deals !!!) or also by sending in fotos from my costumes you might have from years back or even this year. Just send them to me and your work might be printed on nice paper in the book, too. Please send to this address:

So, that’s it for now, see you in Venice!!!! Buon carnevale a tutti! Tanja

Preview of Cercle art magazine online now

In October I was visited by the team of the circle of the innovative French art magazine Cercle. We spent a day in my atelier and an evening on a costume party with interviews and photo shooting. In April the magazine will be available worldwide with about 7.000 copies. They now published a teaser trailer which gives a glimpse of their artwork of this year’s theme “costumes”. Have a look.