Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Traditional Bavarian Lederhosen, Dirndl Becoming Hip in Germany

Traditional lederhosen and dirndl
are becoming hip in Germany

Several years back I was at a thrift store on Western Avenue and on the rack amidst the second hand Brooks Brothers and Jos. A. Banks mens' suits, I spied a lone lodenjanker.

That's a traditional country sport jacket indigenous to Bavaria and the other Southern regions of Germany and the odds of that showing up in a Chicago thrift store are something like 1 in a million. I'm sure my ancestors wore them, but I'm sure no one in my line has worn one in well over 100 years.

It fit me and I was tempted to buy it. But then better sense prevailed. When, after all, would I actually wear the damned thing? Maybe once a year at Maifest Chicago or possibly at an occasional Dank Haus stammtisch.

And I would feel like a damned fool being seen in it on the streets of Chicago going to and from those events.

Well, it seems I might have passed up a great bargain, because now, word comes from Der Spiegel that traditional Bavarian couture is becoming the hottest thing in Germany today -- not just in Bavaria but everywhere.
Helene Fischer and Florian Silbereisen
in dirndl and lederhosen

Sort of like as in Huey Lewis' 1985 song, "It's hip to be square", it's apparently becoming so hip to don lederhosen or a dirndl in many parts of Germany - at least for parties and special events - that manufacturers of the traditional apparel can't keep pace with demand and prices are soaring.

Helene Fischer, Francine Jordi and Andrea Berg among many other schlager songstresses have been photographed wearing dirndl, to very good effect.

I should have bought that lodenjanker when I had the chance.

(Reprinted from the Chicago Schlager Music Review, with permission)