Thursday, February 14, 2013

München Here I Come... with lots o leatha!

This month is flying by and our trip to Germany is right around the corner! I've been working like crazy to get everything ready for the big debut of Rare Dirndl in Germany at the Münchener Trachtentage March 16 and 17!

One of the items I knew I had to bring back is the Lederhosen purses! As of early this week I'm all stocked up with all three of the styles we had around the holidays as well as the newest addition, the clutch!

All of the bags are made from genuine goat skin leather, fully lined and up-cycled from old pairs of un-worn lederhosen.

Along the same lines... I'm very excited to meet with the folks from Herzhirsch! They have got an über cute product that I absolutely love, the Hirschbandl! Its perfect for family gatherings when everyone has a beer stein and then 10 minutes later you don't know who's glass is who's. Each is handmade in Munich from traditional tanned deerskin and is such a fabulous way to make sure you don't drink any of ol' cousin Stefan's backwash! I'm pretty sure that each member of my family is going to need one of these.

T minus 26 days until the Rare Dirndl team boards a plane for Bavaria!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Costumes: Dirndls and Beyond

Many people refer to my work as costume. I much prefer "fashion forward traditional dress" but if it helps people understand what I create then go for it. But this past weekend... I did show off some costumes!
Fasnacht in Basel
Every year, the Rheinischer Verein Chicago, or Chicago Mardi Gras Society puts together an event called Fasching. What is Fasching? or Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasnacht, Fastelabend? They are all the same thing... the pre-Lenten festivies celebrated by the predominantly catholic regions of the German-speaking countries. The Rheinland has it's Karneval... Austria, Bavaria, and Berlin call it Fasching, and the German-Swiss celebrate Fastnacht. My boyfriend's Dad is from Basel, Switzerland and every year he goes back for a month to prepare and celebrate Fasnacht! Big costumes, large floats, parades and partying... its a fun time of year!

 In Chicago, we also dress up in costume and the Rheinischer Verein Fanfarhen play music, the Amanzonen dance and the Prince and Princess watch from the stage. There is also the costume contest.  This year I worked together with a few of my girlfriends to go after the always coveted 1st place prize for the group costume. We went as Dia de los muertos, Day of the Dead, sugar skulls. I made all the skirts for the girls and they got their own bodices and hair pieces. We all worked on our makeup together... but Erik Lisauskas and his amazing airbrushing skills really added the extra punch of amazing to our makeup. In the end, we WON! We had all been working so hard on the outfits and makeup and it was all worth it!

 I had part of designing other fabulous costumes, like the 3 blind mice and PacMan! Although they didn't win, its really all about having fun with family and friends! Thanks Rheinischer Verein for another amazing Fasching!

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