Salzburg's Traditional Costumes:
The Alpine Way of Fashion

The global capital city of Tracht

Salzburg is the global capital city of Tracht! It is home to 26 Tracht tailors’ and dressmakers’, numerous traders, and the location of the world’s number one Tracht trade fair. People on the lookout for ‘stylish threads’ are sure to find what they are looking for in the old part of town. There are young and trendy new designers alongside long-established business, and both offer great opportunities to spot celebrities searching for that special something.


The history of Tracht in Salzburg

The ‘Dirndlkleid’ dress, ‘Lederhosen’ and the ‘Joppe’ jacket used to be traditional items of clothing for Salzburg’s rural population. A simple everyday cotton Dirndl was often worn to work. On public and religious holidays there was a special ‘Dirndl’ made of brocade, silk or velvet. As tourism in the region grew in popularity in the mid-19th century, many of the guests also began to show an interest in Tracht clothing. Emperor Franz Josef was also a lover of Tracht and the manufacturers Jahn-Markl of Residenzplatz 3 were contracted with the creation of ‘Altschwarz’ (old black) especially for his majesty.


The Salzburg Festival and Tracht

A visit to the Salzburg Festival in a formal Dirndl is a sign of style and good taste, and in this respect nothing has changed since the 1920s. International artists and festival guests often wore Dirndls and Lederhosen, thus helping Tracht styles to become popular early on. In Salzburg it was and is seen as a fashion statement without any ideological bias. Tracht in Salzburg is not merely reserved for special occasions, it’s just as commonly be seen on people enjoying a casual walk around the shops or sipping at a cup of coffee.


Vivienne Westwood ‘recommends’ the Dirndl dress

Members of Europe’s royal houses, actors, artists and politicians all love to be pictured in Tracht. The British punk designer Vivienne Westwood once even said: "If every woman wore a Dirndl there would be no such thing as ugliness". She also said; “No woman has the perfect figure, and those women in particular who don’t have a perfect figure would look so much better in a Dirndl!"


Shopping fun at the heart of old Salzburg

There is no place on earth with a higher density of Tracht manufacturers than the historic part of Salzburg. Many of them, such as Jahn-Markl, the Heimatwerk on Residenzplatz square, Madl at the Grünmarkt in Getreidegasse, and Trachtenmoden Lanz in Schwarzstraße, have been in business for many generations. The list of celebrities that have dressed up all in ‘Lanz’, or indeed still do, is a long one that can be viewed on the company’s website. Clients have included Marlene Dietrich, Queen Elizabeth II and Caroline of Monaco.


Traditional or ultramodern

Tracht clothing has always been subject to fashion trends, and the materials, patterns and colours change with the seasons. Nevertheless, the popularity of traditional cuts, classic prints and timeless elegance is well justified. The broad array of materials in use ranges from cotton, silk and brocade, felt, loden and blue dye printing to a number of other exotic and unconventional fabrics. What the Dirndl is for women, the Lederhose is for men – combined with a waistcoat or Joppe jacket. The Salzburg suit is best known in the classic grey and green combination. However, customers can always order their own personalised and customised colours and cuts to ensure they are guaranteed a genuine ‘one off’.


Tracht loves streetwear

Rather than wear a complete Tracht outfit, there are also people who prefer to spice up their casual or formal looks with a special item of Tracht. Attractive accessories are available such as knitted jackets, hats, frayed-fringe scarves and buckskin ballet-style shoes. The rule is: If it looks good – everything goes! Tracht jewellery and bags can also be used to add a touch of ‘Salzburg-Style’ to every jeans-based outfit.

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