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Krampus Collection Look of the Day #3 and Where to Wear it

Over the past 2 days we’ve been looking at some of my newest designs and what to pair them with, but more importantly, where to wear the outfit other than¬†Oktoberfest!

Today’s look is the Black Dirndl Vest with Alligator Vinyl.


What’s in the look? Black Dirndl Vest with Alligator Vinyl | Sweetheart Blouse with Draped Sleeves | Ultimate Hirsch Necklace | Beer Stein Earrings in Black | Upstate Sweater ¬†|¬†710 Skinny Jeans from Levi’s¬†| Dirty Laundry Riotgirl Boot¬†| “Don’t Pretzel My Buttons Nail Polish” from¬†OPI.

Put all these pieces together and you have a great outfit for a Christkindlmarkt or any Holiday Market (especially Krampusfest here in Chicago). Layers for extra warmth is key, but this particular vest is pretty warm! The alligator vinyl is a heavy duty fabric which is perfect for cooler weather.


Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

Krampus Collection Look of the Day #2 and Where to Wear it

Yesterday we looked at a collection of pieces that would make a great fall/winter look utilizing a dirndl from the newest collection: Gr√ľ√ü vom Krampus. Today’s look is a very elegant one and can be worn¬†to more occasions than just a German Club function or Oktoberfest.


What’s in the look:¬†Black Suede Dirndl with Fur | Sweetheart Blouse with Draped Sleeves | Hirsch Antler Necklace | Lederhosen Clutch | Simple Sweetness Cardigan¬†| TOMS Leila Bootie¬†| “Every Month is Oktoberfest” Nail Polish from¬†OPI.

Put all these pieces together and you are dressed elegantly enough for a wedding. Someone from your family getting married? Maybe someone from your German Club? Why not wear your elegant dirndl to their nuptials. A dirndl is a great why to share the love of your heritage with those around you and love is always in the air at a wedding!

wear your dirndl to a wedding

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

Krampus Collection Look of the Day #1 and Where to Wear it

Many people have said to me over the years, “but where else would you wear a dirndl besides Oktoberfest?” Um… Anywhere!!!

In all seriousness, I understand that wearing a dirndl outside of a German function is not typical. Do I like this fact of life… No, but it is what it is. However, I do believe that there are many places that you can wear your dirndl during this time of year (Fall/Winter) that is completely acceptable and you should try it!

Let’s start with the Look of the Day: White & Raspberry Dirndl with Skulls

where to wear a dirndl in winter

What’s in the look?¬†White & Raspberry Dirndl with Skulls | Collared Blouse | Industrial Edelweiss Necklace | Black/Grey Edelweiss Wrap Bracelet | Cropped Cardigan from ModCloth‚Äč | Witty Giddy Fringe Boot from Zappos.com‚Äč | “Nein, Nein, Nein, Ok Fine!” Nail Polish from OPI‚Äč.

Wear your dirndl at a german barPut it all together and you have an edgy look that is perfect for making a statement at¬†a German Bar! Here in Chicago, bars like Laschet’s Inn, Prost, Hofbrauhaus Chicago, Resi’s Beirstube, Brauhaus, Schnitzelplatz etc. all welcome girls¬†dressed in dirndls. At the Old German Beer Hall in Milwaukee, you even get a discount on liters of beer if you wear a dirndl.

Krampus is Coming – Inspiration for Holiday Collection

Since this year’s Fall/Winter Collection is coming a little later than usual, it’s more of a Holiday Collection… but it’s not your Oma’s Holiday Dirndl Collection! My inspiration for this one comes from the dark and eerie legend of Krampus, St. Nicholas’s counterpart that comes to visit the homes of naughty children on the eve of December 6th and either leaves them a stick¬†in their shoe or if they were really “wicked”¬†take them away to his lair.

krampus mood board

I used darker colors with a pop of bright red-raspberry to bring Krampus to life in the dirndl styles.


I also incorporated fur, spikes & chains into the trimming and then some very unusual fabrics such as alligator vinyl, black suede, and knits to give the collection a truly unique and high fashion look.


Check out the behind the scenes video here to see a sneak peek at the looks and how we turned an unseasonable warm and sunny fall afternoon into a dark and cold winter scene

The collection will be released on November 17, 2015. But if you can’t wait until then, be¬†sure to join¬†the Rare Dirndl – First Looks Club on Facebook to get exclusive sneak peeks and early bird specials.

liebe gruss vom krampus

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

Legend of Krampus – Who is Krampus

who is krampus

The past few years I have been more and more intrigued by the Legend of Krampus and how such an ugly, nasty and scary beast is such a prominent part of German Christmas tradition. When I talk about Krampus, people often ask, “Isn’t he the German Christmas Devil?” or “Is it Santa’s evil twin?” …. mmm… not quite. Here is a great little article from National Geographic that clearly explains the legend of Krampus.


Who Is Krampus? Explaining the Horrific Christmas Devil

The mythical Krampus is meant to whip children into being nice. By Tanya Basu, National Geographic

Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. The legendary beast also shares characteristics with other scary, demonic creatures in Greek mythology, including satyrs and fauns.

The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December.

Krampus was created as a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, would swat “wicked” children and take them away to his lair.

According to folklore, Krampus purportedly shows up in towns the night before December 6, known as¬†Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. December 6 also happens to be¬†Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when German children look outside their door to see if the¬†shoe or boot they’d left out the night before¬†contains either presents (a reward for good behavior) or a rod (bad behavior).

A more modern take on the tradition in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic involves drunken men dressed as devils, who take over the streets for a¬†Krampuslauf‚ÄĒa Krampus Run of sorts, when people are chased through the streets by the “devils.”


Why scare children with a demonic, pagan monster? Maybe it’s a way for humans to get in touch with their animalistic side.

Such impulses may be about assuming “a dual personality,” according to Ant√≥nio Carneiro, who spoke to¬†National Geographic¬†magazine earlier this year about¬†revitalized pagan traditions. The person dressed as the beast “becomes mysterious,” he said.

Lump of Coal Preferred?

Krampus’s frightening presence was suppressed for many years‚ÄĒthe Catholic Church forbade the raucous celebrations, and fascists in World War II Europe found Krampus despicable because it was considered a creation of the Social Democrats

But Krampus is making a comeback now, thanks partly to a “bah, humbug” attitude in pop culture, with people searching for ways to celebrate the yuletide season in non-traditional ways. National Geographic has even¬†published a book in German¬†about the devilish Christmas beast.

Krampus is indeed making a comeback!! There is a movie coming out this year (it looks ridiculous, but I think I’ll have to see it anyway) and I even spotted this on American Horror Story: Freakshow! AHS krampus

Krampus fever has hit Chicago hardcore and I’m all about it. I’ll be a vendor at 2 Krampus themed Markets this year: the 3rd Annual Marytr’s Krampusfest¬†in North Center and Krampus Mart at Township in Logan Square.

3rd Annual Krampus Fest

I’d also like to introduce you to our new¬†holiday buddy, Baby Krampus! A gift from one of my best friends she said, “I saw him in the store and just had to get him for you”. It was love at first sight ‚̧ Follow along with him on our Instagram page @raredirndl and #BabyKrampus to see what kind of trouble he gets into this season… Elf on a Shelf ain’t got nothin’ on Baby Krampus.

baby krampus

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

Why do German Wines Have a Bad Rap?

When most people hear German wine, the first thing that comes to mind is a Riesling. The second thing that comes to mind is “meh… let’s try something else.” Why do German wines have such a bad rap? I’ve asked myself this many times and I think it’s because historically Germans have produced primarily sweet wines which are not to many people’s liking.

why do german wines have a bad rap

However, Germany is one of the top wine producers in the world! According to germanwineusa.com, “Germany is the home of the world’s third largest producer of Pinot Noir, after France and the U.S., and Pinot Gris, after Italy and the U.S. As dry wines have surged in popularity in Germany, acreage of Pinot Gris, also known as Grauburgunder, has expanded as well – there are currently over 4,800 hectares under vine.


The wide range of grape varieties cultivated in Germany is impressive, from  Albalonga to Zweigeltrebe. Data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Statistics lists some 140 grape varieties grown in Germany!


Riesling and M√ľller-Thurgau, which account for some 35.4% of Germany’s 102,000 hectares of vineyards, have the most commercial importance. Over 11% of the vineyard area is planted with Sp√§tburgunder, or Pinot Noir, making it the most important red wine grape in Germany.”

So if Germany has such a knack for growing grapes and making & exporting wines, why do we still not love German wines? The following info is from Wine Enthusiast Magazine which describes the “classic” German wine styles… and you’ll notice that they all have something in common, the word sweet.

The least ripe of the prädikat levels, and typically the lightest of a grower’s offerings. With their low alcohol levels and touch of sweetness, these wines make ideal picnic quaffs and mouth-watering apéritifs. Most often consumed in their youth, they can last for ten years or more.

Literally, ‚Äúlate picked.‚ÄĚ These grapes are generally only late-picked with respect to those grapes that go into Kabinett or QbA wines. If vinified dry (an increasingly popular style), they can still seem less than optimally ripe. Traditionally made, with some residual sugar left in, they are extremely food friendly. Try them with anything from Asian food to baked ham and roast fowl. Most should be consumed before age twenty.

Made from select bunches of grapes left on the vine until they achieve high sugar readings, these wines often carry a hint or more of botrytis. While some are sweet enough to serve with simple fruit desserts, others are best sipped alone. With age, some of the sugar seems to melt away, yielding wines that can ably partner with roast pork or goose. Thirty-year-old auslesen can smell heavenly, but sometimes fall flat on the palate. Enjoy them on release for their luscious sweet fruit, or cellar for ten to twenty years.

‚ÄúBerry select‚ÄĚ wines are harvested berry by berry, taking only botrytis-affected fruit. While auslesen are usually sweet, this level of ripeness elevates the wine to the dessert-only category. Hold up to fifty years.

These ‚Äúdried berry select‚ÄĚ wines are made from individually harvested, shriveled grapes that have been heavily affected by botrytis. Profoundly sweet and honeyed, their over-the-top viscosity and sweetness can turn off some tasters, while others revel in the complex aromas and flavors.

Made from frozen grapes that are at least equivalent in sugar levels to beerenauslese, but which produce wines with much racier levels of acidity. The intense sugars and acids enable these wines to easily endure for decades.

If these styles are what you think of when you think of German wines, and you don’t have a sweet tooth, then your first thought about classic German wines would be… yuck!¬†

Weinarten, Weißwein

Weinarten, Weißwein

But Germans can make some pretty delicious dry wines as well! Although Sauvignon Blanc is associated with the south of France, there are now some 600 hectacres of Sauvignon Blanc vines in Germany, primarily in the Pfalz, Rheinhessen, and Baden. To the surprise of some, a number of these wines have received high marks at international tastings in recent years. Also, a relative newcomer, bred in 1955, Dornfelder is already considered a German red wine classic and has been in great demand for years.*

So,¬†let’s drop our preconceived notions about German wines and try some new styles and modern German wine brands! What are your favorite German Wines? Do you feel like German wines get a bad rap, or do you feel like German wines are indeed not worth drinking? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Sources: *http://www.germanwineusa.com/press-trade/german-grape-varieties.html