The dirndl: a dress for past and present

The dirndl: a dress for past and present

The humble Alpine “dirndl” dress, with its distinctive white blouse, full skirt and apron, has won new fans among Austrians and foreign fashionistas alike in recent years. Its folksy appeal has now made the historic dirndl and other traditional outfits a key part of Austria’s clothing industry, about 70 percent of which is exported, according to the Chamber of Commerce. Even British style icon Vivienne Westwood, better known for her provocative punk designs, has been charmed by the dirndl, which also features a close-fitting bodice. Now the enduring garment is the star of a new exhibition which traces its journey through the years from the countryside to the catwalk. The show is being held in the Austrian spa town of Bad Ischl, the former summer residence of Emperor Franz Josef and his wife Elisabeth, known popularly as Sissi.
The humble Alpine “dirndl” dress, with its distinctive white blouse, full skirt and apron, has won new fans among Austrians and foreign fashionistas alike in recent years. Its folksy appeal has now made the historic dirndl and other traditional outfits a key part of Austria’s clothing industry, about 70 percent of which is exported, according to the Chamber of Commerce. Even British style icon Vivienne Westwood, better known for her provocative punk designs, has been charmed by the dirndl, which also features a close-fitting bodice. Now the enduring garment is the star of a new exhibition which traces its journey through the years from the countryside to the catwalk. The show is being held in the Austrian spa town of Bad Ischl, the former summer residence of Emperor Franz Josef and his wife Elisabeth, known popularly as Sissi.