The tale of each garment connects to the charm of each culture along the Danube River.

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.

The Dirndl Culture

This Bavarian and Austrian pride of traditional garments emerged from the 18th century. The iconic features of the dirndl are its full, wide skirt and apron. The final touch of the apron knot symbolizes a woman’s relationship status. Tied to the right, it shows a woman is married, while tied to the left, it hints that a woman is single. From simple to extravagant, there’s a dirndl fit for every personality and occasion.

Where to Buy:

Germany and Austria - Dirndls, lederhosen and loden cloth

Buy them at AmaMagna’s boutique while sailing the Danube on one of our European river cruises, as well as in many shops throughout Germany and Austria. Prices can vary, from approximately 80 to 800 euros (US$90 to $900).

Vilshofen, Germany:
Gudrun Zitzelsperger Trachtenmoden Ortenburger Str. 7, 94474, Vilshofen an der Donau

Bulgaria - Soukman and Saya

Buy them during our Gems of Southeast Europe itinerary. Soukman prices are approximately 300 levs (US$170) and Saya prices are approximately 700 levs (US$400).

Ruse, Bulgaria:
Ruschuk, Rajko Daskalov Street 22

Romania - “Ie” Blouse

Buy them during our Gems of Southeast Europe itinerary. Averagely priced around 100 to 150 euros (US$110 to $170), but less expensive versions are also available.

Bucharest, Romania:
Artizanat Bucuresti Bulevardul Magheru, nr. 8-10 (near Hotel Ambasador)

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