Tuesday, May 24, 2011

in detail: Rare Dirndl Fashion Show

Last Weekend was my first fashion show. I was approached by Marianne Strumberger of the Chicago Donauschwaben Frauengruppe and asked if I would be interested in doing a fashion show at their clubhouse... my answer, uh duh YES! She was very willing to work with me and try to make it as close to what I imagined as possible. She said that she would take care of the luncheon and I would take care of the show... deal! From the very beginning, I was determined to make the show as professional as possible even though the audience was used to more informal lunchtime shows, I was ready to give them something new! That started with my flyer. I titled the show, "in detail" because this would be one of the first times that people would get to take a real close up look at what I have been doing. I wanted to keep the flyer intense and a little dark because... thats just how I like to do things!
Then came the planning. I asked some of my good friends as well as some other girls from chicago donau to model in the show, knowing that they would be a good fit for my samples. I also had to ask some boys to model my new menswear pieces. Arranging the line up was a long and tedious process, but I eventually found a good flow for the show.
I Love Lucy Dirndl - New 2011 Summer collection ended the show.

Next came the music. I wanted the music to go with the inspiration of each collection, but at the same time, not offending any of the Omas in the crowd. I chose a mix of strong beats and soft tunes for the show, but didn't let the audience dictate my choices too much. I also picked out some music for the background music for the luncheon (which I knew would be controversial) I heard (through the grape vine) that many omas were not pleased with my instrumental choice for the lunch music, but I thought... and still believe... that if I had the typical donau Deutsche music during lunch... the runway music would have been a complete shock and someone was gunna start shakin in their salamanders! I have 100% no regrets about my music choices!

Practice on Friday was crucial! Since most of my friends had not walked in a runway show before they had no idea how hectic the backstage would be. Luckily we were given the opportunity to practice and it turned out to be a great way to get everyone in the mood for the show.

One of the Classrooms turned into a dressing room!

On Saturday, my mom and I met Marianne and a few others at the hall to set up. From 1:30-6:00 we were setting up the dressing rooms, the buffet table, the seating and the runway. When I left, I wasn't nervous anymore. I was happy and confident that the show was going to be a success! That night, with the help of my sister, Monika, we finished making the little favors and prepping the last minute things over some wine and an Extreme Couponers marathon!
The hall set up and ready for the show

The models all arrived on Sunday at 10am to start hair and makeup. The hair and makeup was another thing that I wanted to be over the top because I knew that that was something that many of the attendees would not be expecting, but would be impressed with. I was not about to have a runway show without a dramatic runway look. I needed to keep it pretty neutral because they would be modeling 5 different collections, so I chose darker eyes with some pops of color and big hair, semi messy, asymmetrical, with braids. I was so happy with every look, and I was ready to show off my designs on my beautiful models!

Ingrid, Ali, Nikki, Monika and Ingrid with their hair and makeup ready

I started the show with all of the one of a kind pieces I had designed for women in the area. It was a great way to start and everyone got to see the variety of pieces that I have worked on in the past year!
Dana Young in her custom dirndl. The first Very Rare custom piece!

Following the custom pieces was cafe und kuchen and then on to the main event! I started the show with a bang... super strong, loud music and the Rainforest Couture Dirndl. The show lasted about 30 minutes and featured 31 pieces!
#5 of the show. The Poison Dart Dirndl

Overall, I heard all great feedback! (except some whining about the lunch music... NOT concerned) I was so proud of all the models, all the dressers, all the set up, everything! I can't wait to do another show and I'm so grateful to the Chicago Donau, Marianne and everyone else who made the show a success!
Ancient Galaxy Skirt and Vest

Plus my dad was the star of the show... he got the most applause for his un-model face! Love him to pieces!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here