Sailing along the Danube River, you will discover traditional garments, or tracht in german-speaking regions, common and unique, that tell their own story through the details in the needlework.
A Slavic Tale of Style
Two aprons, multi-colored embroidery and decorative textiles — all distinct characteristics of the soukman dress. As a common garment in the Danubian Plain, the saya is a tunic-like dress with one apron. The detailed embroidery is the focal point for the traditional costumes of Bulgaria. Symbols and motifs can be found through the needlework of the ornamental designs. A common ancient symbol is the double cross known as "Elbetitsa." Resembling the sun, the Elbetitsa design shows eight directions of the world along with the four seasons which connect at the center — all to show the union of life.
The Universal Garment
French culottes, or historical knee-length breeches, from the 16th century inspired many countries, particularly Germany. Germans designed the classic lederhosen — essentially culottes made of leather. Originally intended for the working class, lederhosen eventually rose to be a universal garment for just about any societal class during the 18th century. Thriving as one of the most popular traditional garments in Bavarian regions, these embroidered leather trousers are often accompanied with suspenders, woven shirts and alpine hats — a perfect ensemble for our Oktoberfest celebration in Vilshofen, Germany.
From Casual Blouse to Haute-Couture
Romania made its own national fashion statement with a single blouse, the ie (pronounced ee-eh). Dating to the Antiquity era, the ie offers more than its adorned floral embroidery and rich colors. It inspired two prominent figures to promote Romanian folklore to the world. French artist Henri Matisse dedicated an entire painting series to the blouse. Fashion icon Yves Saint-Laurent designed a haute couture collection, which led to the revival of the Romanian blouse in the fashion industry and the development of a Romanian national identity.
A Loden that Lasts a Lifetime
First introduced in the Middle Ages in Austria, the loden cloth became known as one of the thickest and most water- resistant wool materials that can face extreme weather conditions. From the early 19th century, Habsburg Archduke Johann, brother of Emperor Franz II, established the Alpine fashion trend by bringing the loden clothing style to Vienna. Made by the wool from mountain sheep in the Alpine region, this fabric effortlessly captivated royalty, who set a trend that’s lasted for centuries.