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Endangered Lederhosen?

The 2008 Oktoberfest in Bavaria featured its own "wardrobe malfunction" of sorts, as it's becoming increasingly easy to purchase lederhosen and dirndl dresses throughout Munich at a fraction of the former cost.

Unlike traditional garments, these less-expensive duds are made in China, Eastern Europe, or India, or anywhere that charges less for labor and uses cheaper (and certainly not authentic) fabrics and leather.  In essence, a massive market for cheap, tacky versions of traditional Bavarian attire has popped up region-wide.

Heavily discounted imports have driven prices down so low that many Bavarian tailors have faced bankruptcy.  Today, the number of regional, traditional tailors has been whittled down to fewer than 100 who are still in business.

Are authentic folk costumes worth saving?

via Ashley Thompson, Intelligent Travel

Photo:  Shutterfool

Link

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Marilyn Terrell.


It's a tough issue, but protectionism isn't the answer. If there's no market for high quality (and therefore more expensive) traditional garments, no amount of protection will save the makers ...
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I'm not sure as protectionism may be the answer seeing as tourism makes up the majority of their income. Remember, one of the main reasons folks like to visit Germany is for their culture. Now if that degrades because of unfair "freetrade" then I don't see a problem if their Government spots a need to govern.
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I was at Oktoberfest this past year. It was great. I wanted to buy some Lederhosen...well I was drunk. All the ones I saw were really expensive. Also....hot German girls in dirndls (the dresses)...huge thumbs up!
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I hate to admit this, but I own a dirndl. When I was in 4th grade my entire family went to Germany. Mom bought my sisters and I (we're triplets) dirndls. Not fake Chinese ones, really honest to god German dirndls. I think we wore them to a street dance and party, details are hazy but I know Mom and Dad have the pics. Now that I am 25, I know that when I have kids, that dirndl is still going to be able to worn. And I fully intend to have pics of my kids in it, because by god I had to do it, so do they!
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"Are authentic folk costumes worth saving?"
Yes because it is part of what identifies a culture.
Maybe they should bring back Volkstrachtenvereine.

I guess the market for quality manufactured clothing/garments is falling to the wayside because of the "disposable society". Why purchase something that may last a long time and is a little more pricey, than something that "if it rips, just go buy a new one because it is cheap."

I would rather have a well made authentic item. They last longer. They can be "let in" or "out" depending on how much you overindulged. And natural fabircs last far much longer and hold up well to everyday use.
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My mother, a German ex-pat, owns a dirndl that she bought back in the 70s, and OH how I loved it. The matching blouse had great big swirls of chocolate-hued embroidery and the bodice didn't sag or bunch in the slightest.

It was made by one of the big authentic folk costume suppliers in Nuremberg, and quite the breathtaking souvenir in it's day.

But *authentic*? Hardly. The embroidery floss was polyester, the blouse's neck and cuffs were elasticized, and the dress itself was cotton (trying to evoke homespun wool). Oh, did I mention that it closed with a nylon/plastic zipper?

If you want authenticity, it's a DIY hobbyist thing and has been since the 50s, if not earlier. Nobody wants authenticity on a commercial scale anymore; they want plastic zippers.

Prepare to do a lot of guesswork too-- these peasant fashions didn't work off of standardized patterns, and your fabric-greedy Simplicity patterns are almost certainly dead wrong.
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At least the cheaper outfits are bought to be worn, so the image of traditional outfits is being kept alive.
If there were only expensively tailored costumes, hardly anyone would wear them anymore, I suppose.

Es ist die Wirtschaft, Dummkopf!
(It's the economy, stupid!)
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There's a similar issue under debate here in Scotland. You can get a cheap acrylic kilt for about £30, but a real proper wool kilt costs about £300. So a lot of the old traditional kilt shops are being driven out of business by the tourist shops selling the cheap kilts.
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A Lederhosen is a Kilt, is a Sarong, is a suit.
(What about traditional Chinese costumes? All made in China these days!)

*If you're so smart, why aren't you wearing Lederhosen?*
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First of all, I think it's just great that people from all over the world are interested in Lederhosen. Being born and raised in the middle of Bavaria I think Chinese replicas are only an option for tourists comming to Munich once a year. If you live here and participate in the traditional events than you want to make sure to have an original, because
1. everyone can see if its a fake or not
and 2. real Lederhosen are indestructable. When you're grown up, you need a maximum of 2 Lederhosen for the rest of your life.
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