Fashionistas: Don't delay, put a dirndl on today!

Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:31am EDT
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By Michelle Martin

BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Every year Bavarian women don their "dirndl" to celebrate the Oktoberfest, but in the beer festival's 200th year the traditional Bavarian dress is becoming something of a national and international fashion item.

In Germany the popularity of the dirndl has spread from Bavaria, where it was traditionally worn, to Berlin and Cologne, whilst new African and Indian-themed designs lend an international touch to the regional clothing.

The dirndl -- a dress worn with a blouse, bodice, full skirt and apron -- has also become popular with celebrities such as socialite Peaches Geldof, who was spotted wearing one on holiday in the Bavarian capital Munich this summer.

Other trendsetters like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Salma Hayek have sported dirndls made by Munich fashion designer Lola Paltinger in recent years.

Paltinger said her dirndls were popular because they combined tradition with glamour and fashion.

"They still have traditional elements but younger women can identify with them and don't feel like they are wearing fancy dress," she said, adding that around 30 percent of her clients were foreigners.

"Lots of foreigners order dirndls for the Oktoberfest, but I have a lot of American clients who buy them at other times of the year too," she said. "My dirndls can be also be worn without aprons as summer dresses."

The dirndl is even proving popular in Berlin, despite the German capital's view of itself as hip and progressive, and its desire to distance itself from Bavarian conservatism.   Continued...

<p>File photo of model posing in a traditional Dirndl dress made of African cloth in a shop in Munich September 8, 2010. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle</p>