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Austrian and German Native Trachten Clothing History

The History of Trachten in Austria and Germany - Dirndl History

Trachten: Up to the 20th century, tracht (plural trachten) was, in the German-speaking countries, the general term for the kind or style of clothing and adornment (hairstyle, beard etc.) prescribed to identify a person as belonging to a particular group in terms of legal status (married, single), denomination, social standing or trade (miners, craftsmen). As the urban bourgeoisie and aristocrats discovered nature and the charms of rural customs and living in the 19th and early 20th centuries ( Heimatkunst Movement), Lederhosen Trachtthey triggered interest in preserving and cultivating the rural or regional styles of dress ( Heimatwerk); today, the term tracht denotes any form of supposedly timeless traditional rustic dress. The trachten known today emerged through a combination of special regional dress features and the fashion of the day. The traditions of secluded regions and villages, proximity of major urban settlements, seasonal labour, hawking and the emergence of tourism all contributed to the preservation and further development of the concept of trachten. Since the 19th century researchers have distinguished numerous Austrian trachten regions, especially in the Alpine area. Basic common features were due to the availability of specific materials, such as linen, wool and leather, and of the facilities needed for processing them, and fashion trends of the 18th and early 19th centuries (once the authorities had relaxed the dress codes imposed on persons of different status). The basic types include the "leibkittel" (a close-fitting sleeveless bodice with a full, gathered or pleated skirt) Dirndl) with an apron, short or knee-length trousers made of deer or chamois leather, men's suits made of grey or brown cloth or loden with lapels in a different colour ( Steireranzug), ceremonial women's bonnets made of fur and bonnets or coronets of gold or silver filigree ( Goldhaube). At present, there are numerous societies and clubs dedicated to the preservation and revival of trachten, with the result that most local costumes are of fairly recent origin. In addition, Austrian fashion designers have adopted various rustic elements and have thus considerably affected the way large parts of Austrian society dress. Since the late 19th century, trachten have been exploited as a characteristic feature of Austria and the Austrians in advertising (tourism, foodstuffs). Important collections of historical popular costumes are found in the Austrian Folklore Museum in Vienna, in the Styrian Folklore Museum in Graz and in the Tirolean Museum of Folk Art in Innsbruck; smaller collections in numerous provincial and regional museums.i )

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