• Austria's news in English

Graz designer pushes the boundaries of Tracht

The Local · 24 Sep 2014, 11:30

Published: 24 Sep 2014 11:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

However, these old-fashioned peasant outfits are not to everyone’s taste, and a young designer from Graz is setting a fashion-trend of her own by introducing contemporary Tracht.

The new brand called Wülde-Hoamat, which means Fierce Homeland, takes the traditional outfits and combines them with eccentric skull designs. Alexandra Schuster and her boyfriend Bernd Wippel opened the business to make Tracht fun and wearable for young people.

Schuster (29) told The Local how the idea was born: “Bernd is part of a club in the south of Graz where traditionally men wear Lederhosen. It has always angered him, as he has a lot of tattoos, that there weren’t appropriate lederhosen for him – something he would feel comfortable in. So we just decided if it doesn’t exist, let’s create it. Let’s do something individual that will appeal to younger people.”

Alexandra always dreamed of having a creative job but decided to become a primary school teacher instead. She is just about to graduate but is finally living her dream and now compares herself to one of the most eccentric and creative designers of our time.

“I’m following in the footsteps of Vivienne Westwood. I know this sounds very pompous but Vivienne also started as a teacher and look where she is now,” she said, laughing.

Rockabilly and skulls

Although Tracht in the traditional sense is booming at the moment in Austria and Germany, it seems unlikely that the rest of the world will catch on to this fashion trend.

But Wülde-Hoamat, with a strong social media following and over 6,000 fans on Facebook, is trying to change that by putting a twist on the style.

All garments have a characteristic tattoo style with fabrics imported from the United Kingdom. In addition, all Dirndls (which historically used to be a maid's outfit), are cut in a rockabilly style to add a modern touch.

“We use this type of design so that young people all over the world can understand and relate to our pieces - not just people here in German speaking countries,” Alexandra said. 

In America and Britain Dirndls tend to only be worn on Halloween or to a The Sound of Music fancy dress party, as a homage to the character Maria.

“Putting skulls on our Dirndl aprons is fun because the nationalist origin, which may be offputting to some people, is completely challenged,” Alexandra explained. 

The most rewarding part of the couple’s business is to see satisfied customers, most of whom are young couples, raving about their designs online.

Only time will tell if the trend will catch on overseas and if the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian will be showcasing the Wülde-Hoamat designs at next year’s Oktoberfest.

By Hannah Brandstaetter

Photo: Mario Zach

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available