From The Masque of the Red Death to Eyes Wide Shut, the masked ball has been a fixture of our collective imaginations since the late medieval period, waxing and waning in popularity throughout Carnival celebrations in the 15th century, Renaissance Italy in the 16th century, and in mainland Europe and Colonial America in the 17th and 18th centuries. In modern times, masked celebrations have often been associated with New Year’s Eve festivities, conferring the same sense of luxuriant mystery to their anonymous revelers as they first did 600 years ago. If you are considering fancy dress for your own New Year Eve celebration, why not let this collection of vintage masked beauties inspire your holiday party look? You can visit our costume archive for tutorials on creating your own mask and for applying dramatic makeup to complement any masked look. Happy celebrating!