- The edelweiss’s scientific name is Leontopodium alpinum.
- It can be found at high altitudes in the mountains of Europe, Asia and South America. The original home of the edelweiss is in the high plateau of the Himalayas and Siberia, but the plant “migrated” to Europe during the Quaternary ice ages.
- The edelweiss is a perennial, which means it will flower year after year but must reseed itself. Continuous picking of the flowers from the same plant will cause it to die off. In other words, look, but don’t touch!
- The edelweiss is about 6 inches tall with 5-15 woolly-white velvety floral leaves and 500 to a thousand tiny florets grouped in several yellow disk-like heads (between 2 and 10 of them) surrounded by silvery, greenisy, kinda seafoamy colored bracts. (A bract is a typically small modified leaf or scale).
- The edelweiss is fertilized by flies.
- Despite its inconspicuous appearance it is esteemed (chiefly by the Swiss) as a symbol of purity and inaccessibility.
- In Switzerland the edelweiss is protected by law.
- During WWI and WWII Alpine soldiers carried a sprig of edelweiss to remind them of home. It was traditionally given to them by a female friend, or sister.
- The movie, The Sound of Music, almost caused the flower to become extinct because so many tourists were picking them. But It can no longer be regarded as an endangered species.
- At the 2015, Lady Gaga sang a melody of songs from The Sound of Music, including the iconic song, Edelweiss and killed it! (She didn’t kill the flower, she killed the performance… you know what I mean)
- Towards the end of the Second World War, the Edelweiss became the symbol of the German resistance against Nazism. The “Edelweiss pirates” were groups of young workers who had turned against Nazism and were active as a kind of urban guerrillas against the regime.
- The edelweiss isn’t really the prettiest flower in the world… It’s probably one of the farthest from pretty! But that is why we love it. Because it has more charm, history and meaning behind it than out right beauty. (and it looks great illustrated! Or as a Clip!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it has me thinking about my Mom and how awesome she is. Then it has me thinking about how all the moms in my life are pretty awesome! And now I see my friends having children and becoming moms and that’s awesome too. So this blog post is simply a collection of pictures that I love that feature the fabulous Moms in my life, so Prost to all you Moms out there! And to celebrate I’d love to see pictures on Facebook and Instagram, of you and your Mom or people we know are Moms using the hashtag #MomandMeDirndl. I can’t wait to spend Mother’s Day (this coming Sunday, May 10th) looking at all the great pics you post with your Mommy!
Side Note: If you want to give your mom a fabulous gift that says, “Thanks for being awesome”… I would recommend an Edelweiss Wrap Bracelet or an Edelweiss Clip! Both very popular among Moms and both very fashionably German.
Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!
Last week released our newest accessory, the Edelweiss Wrap Bracelet and at first I thought maybe it was just me who thought they were fabulous, but apparently not, because they are the talk of the town.
Available in 8 colors they can easily be mixed and matched and layered and I could go on and on! They make great gifts at $20 each and as a bonus, you can get 2 for $30 in select colors!
There have been a few questions surrounding the new bracelets, so I made a quick video to explain a little bit more about them!
Candice asked yesterday “Erika… What is the best way to wash my Edelweiss Cut-Out Tee?” That’s a fabulous question and I’m sure other people have that question too, so here is the answer for all to see!
It’s a super comfortable shirt for over a bright tank, bathing suit or nothing at all (if your feeling bold)! It is a delicate shirt since it has a bunch of strategically placed holes, so you might be nervous to wash it, but not to fear, I’ve written it out step-by-step care instructions for your Edelweiss Cut-Out Tee.
- Put your shirt into a mesh delicates bag that you would usually use for fancy schmancy undies, bras or stuffed animals (I’m not the only one that washes stuffed animals right?)
- Wash on a regular cycle with like colors, or on a delicate cycle if you can.
- Either lay it flat to dry, or you can put it in the dryer on the low/delicate setting.
- Once it comes out of the dryer, you might think it looks stretched out, but it’s not… it’s perfectly fine. You might want to considering ironing it since the cut edges of the shirt will curl a bit. However, it’s not necessary (depends on your personal style and if your super German and have an unnatural love for ironing)
Mother’s Day is right around the corner and usually I’m a big fan of the gift that never fails… a Big HUG! But this year I felt that all the women in my family have been extra supportive and extra fabulous and deserving of more than just a good ol’ fashioned hug. I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve honestly decided to give them all an Edelweiss Clip!
Check out this quick video of how I make these fab little accessories as well as all the unique ways to wear it!
I decided to give the clips to my mom and grandmothers this year, not because I make them, but because it’s a simple gift that goes a long way! Here are just a few ways you could wear the clip:
- On a scarf (like I did pretty much all winter)
- On a bouquet of flowers
- On a teddy bear
- On a hat
- On a grumpy cat
- On a purse
- On shoes
- On a bottle of wine
- As a ring
- On your coat
- In your hair
Click HERE to get your own Edelweiss Clip or to order one for your Mom, Oma, Aunt, Cousin, Sister or any other mother in your life! They’re going to love it! I can’t wait to see my Oma’s face when I give her the clip. I hope she likes it as much as my boyfriends Great Aunt did when I gave it to her while we were in Basel, Switzerland.
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here
|Chicago at 6:30am|
On Tuesday morning I woke up bright and early to catch a flight to NYC for the dg Expo, a fabric and trim show held in the heart of the garment district. I decided to go because, as much as I love woking int my studio and sourcing here in Chicago, I just knew that if I explored what this expo had to offer I would be able to find things that would simply make Rare Dirndls better… and I was right!
I found a great source for zippers, took wonderful seminars about costing, sourcing and marketing, ordered a beautiful knit for a summer sweater, met a digital printer who would be able to get the Rare Dirndl Edelweiss Icon printed onto fabric, found a source for beautiful beading for bridal dirndls, but probably the most exciting was meeting Warren Brand, president of M&S Schmalberg, who specialized in custom fabric flowers.
|Awesome presentation from Jane Hamill of Fashion Brain Academy. Love her!|
|M&S Schmalberg Showroom|
I was simply walking around the show and I had on my Loose Knit Scarf on with the Edelweiss Clip and he says to me “Where did you get that?” I replied, “I made it,” And that started a conversation that led to, “Erika, why don’t you come by the booth tomorrow morning and I’ll take you over to our warehouse/workshop and you can see the place for yourself. Maybe we can help you make those flowers!”
I was over the moon! Soooooo excited!! The next morning Pam, (a lovely woman who works for M&S Schmalberg) took me to the warehouse, which was only 3 blocks away. I was blown away by the old school feel, the genuine artwork that was taking place. They showed me how the fabric is starched, cut into the petals and then pressed to shape the petals to look like real flowers!
We searched through their vast array of die cuts and tools to find a shape that would work for an edelweiss. Some had too many petals, some had too little, too fat, too round… until all of a sudden, the lovely man who worked the cutting machine pulls out a perfect shape! A little uneven, some petals longer than others, it was perfect! I couldn’t believe it!
|The flower shape I picked for the Edelweiss (unpressed and then pressed)|
When I showed the girls who were putting the flowers together the edelweiss that I made, and they were most impressed with the fuzzy center. They said right away that those tiny details were something they would not do, but just having the petals cut for me is a blessing! Not having to take apart a bunch of lilies from Michaels Craft Store would save me so much time… and these are much better quality!
Then I found some fabric that they had laying around and they said I could use that as my flower petals for no extra charge. And believe it or not, they made the petals that day and I took them home with me! I also bought some beautiful white leather at the expo that they are going to create into leather edelweiss petals for me and I can’t wait to see how they turn out.
Overall, I am so glad that I went because I met some amazing people who are doing amazing things in beautiful US of A and I got to hang out with other wonderful designers that I have been working with over the past year. I have to thank my coach and mentor, Jane Hamill, for convincing me to get out from behind my computer and “go get it, girl!!”
|Heidi Kelly from HKelly Designs, Adeline Olmer from French-Secrets, Jane Hamill from FBA, and ME!|
From the well-known song, to it’s iconic and unique beauty, the Edelweiss flower is regarded in Switzerland as a national symbol and a common theme on Bavarian and Austrian trachten. This wonderful flower has a unique history.
Edelweiss is not really a flower as such, but a set of 500 to a thousand tiny florets grouped in several heads (between 2 and 10 of them) surrounded by 5 to 15 white velvety leaves, that’s fertilized by flies.
“The Edelweiss was adopted as a national symbol in the 19th century to give back some lustre to a nation that was looking a bit washed out,” says Didier Roguet, project head and keeper of the Botanical Garden in Geneva “but no-one knew that this little silvery and hairy flower would become a real alpine celebrity.”
Over the years the edelweiss has been used to decorate a large number of products made in Switzerland, from postcards to chocolate bars, from folk costumes to sun lotions, and from penknives to purses.
The plant “migrated” to Europe during the Quaternary ice ages. Today it is found in the alpine region of Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Spain, and the Balkans at an altitude between 1,500 and 3,000 metros.
“The star of the snows” as the Edelweiss is sometimes called, is also a reminder of a dark past. “The Edelweiss was the favorite flower of Adolf Hitler. For that reason it was used as a symbol by the Nazis,” says the curator of the “Edelweiss – Myths and Paradoxes” national exhibition, which was on display in 2011 in Geneva.
In 1935, the German Wehrmacht formed an alpine unit which used the flower as part of the insignia on its uniforms. Towards the end of the Second World War, however, the Edelweiss became the symbol of the German resistance against Nazism.
The “Edelweiss pirates” were groups of young workers who had turned against Nazism and were active as a kind of urban guerrillas against the regime. For English-speaking people, the famous “Edelweiss” song in The Sound of Music is also associated with patriotic resistance to Nazism.
|The Rare Dirndl Edelweiss Icon
(designed by Sydney Musselman)
|The Edelweiss Clip on one of our Loose Knit Scarves!|
Do you love the Edelweiss flower as much as I do?