Carnival in Venice Italy | Carnival 2019 | Costume Contest

Carnival in Venice is both elegant and mysterious. It’s the highlight of the year for Horst Raack
and Jochen Schlüter. In their hotel room, the couple make sure
their fragile costumes survived the trip unharmed. They hope to win the official costume competition
again this year. Raack designed the costumes and then spent
hours making them. “I think that’s the most beautiful one you’ve
ever made for me.” “The main theme for me this year was “the
children of light” — and that’s why I used a lot of lights, including fibre optic lights.” It all starts in the small town of Enger,
in northwestern Germany. It often takes years for an idea to become
a finished design. „Would you wear that for me?” “Welcome to our ‘castle room.’ Looks like something out of the 18th century. But it’s also my studio.” The judges in Venice award points for creative
design, extensive detail, and craftsmanship. “I’m a creative person by nature — and I’m
at my best when I’m doing this. I have to express all this creativity. It just comes pouring out.” They first took part in the Venice compeition
ten years ago — and won first place. They’ve taken the top spot another four times
since then. Raack is a goldsmith by profession. He designs and makes the costumes in his spare
time. “I’ll put one in every corner. It’s the Venice carnival, after all:” He pays close attention to the fabrics and
other materials. A plastic placemat is turned into a headdress. “The whole thing should look like a Marie
Antoinette hairstyle — but made of glass. I bought some of the materials at hardware
stores and discount stores. Simple stuff, really.” “I think it’s great that the whole product,
from the design to completion, is done by one person. Fabulous. And I enjoy wearing these costumes, because
they’re so beautiful.” Back in Venice the couple are just about to
make their first public appearance with their new costumes. “I’m excited, and I’m curious to see what
sort of reaction we get — and if we can move around OK.” The very first door presents a bit of a challenge. And it’s not easy to walk around on the city
streets. Jochen’s costume weighs around ten kilos. But the first reactions seem positive. “We’re quite pleased. But it’s tough to get through alleys, up stairs,
and across bridges. The headdress is pretty heavy. But now we know where the problems are, and
we can fix them.” They arrive at St Mark’s Square. This is where the costume competition will
take place. There are postive reactions from the crowd. „Perfect!“ „The costumes are so elaborate and so carefully
put together. And so many people seem to be involved in
it. I´ve never seen anything like it anywhere
else. It´s amazing.” “They are so cool. It´s amazing. Like superstar!” But the highpoint of the evening will come
after sunset — when Horst Raack’s costumes really come into their own And it seems they
stand a good chance to of winning the competition again this year.

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