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.


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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: Grüß 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​ | Witty Giddy Fringe Boot from​ | “Nein, Nein, Nein, Ok Fine!” Nail Polish from OPI​.

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—a 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 António 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—the 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

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100 Years of Beauty in Germany

100 years of beauty in Germany

My assistant Samantha found these videos from and brought them to my attention. The stylists, researchers and model go through 100 years of beauty styles in 1:35 minutes. It’s 100% worth the watch! I can’t decide what my favorite look is… I loved the 1920s and 1940s looks, but I also have to say the 2010s look is great too.

Ok… now that you’ve watched the 100 years of Beauty: Germany produced by, now you need to watch the 2 videos that explain the research behind the looks. I found these videos even more fascinating. The researcher, Christopher Chan explains why he chose certain looks for each decade. In this first video, he describes the looks from the 1910s to the 1940s and I think the most interesting is the reasoning behind the 1930s look, the pigtail braids.

In part II of the video series, he goes through the beauty looks from 1950-today. Again revealing what political, cultural and social trends led him to choose the looks. The best part of this video is seeing the differences in the looks between East and West Germany from the 1950s-1980s (and the 1980s is the most interesting of all!).

So now let’s hear from you! What was your favorite look? Did you think that there is a different look that would better represent a certain decade? Let’s get the conversation going in the comments!

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

Simple, Yet Beautiful: Rare Dirndl Summer 2015 Collection

0001-26523447 This summer I decided to do a collection featuring 2 of my favorite things, Art Nouveau and Poppies. art nouveau poppyMy love for Art Nouveau started in college when I took an art history class and that period of art spoke to me in a way that other eras in the art world did not. Maybe it’s because I could just stare at some of the works for nouveau My love for Poppies started after my trip to Hungary in 2011. We took a day trip to visit Krushival, Serbia. It was once a town that the communist regime turned into a starvation camp and it was the place where my Oma and her mother were taken after the World War II. I had heard that the Poppy fields were a thing of wonder in the region and when I saw a poppy field for myself I felt more in touch with my heritage and my family. It is a powerful symbol for me and I was so excited to create a collection combining both Poppies and Art Nouveau.poppy-hummel poppyI found a fabric collection that featured Poppies of all shapes and sizes and I had to use it! Beyond the obvious inspiration behind the printed fabric choice. I also used more playful silhouettes and soft lines to subtly reference the Art Nouveau era and then utilized some bright pops of lime green to make the collection modern. Another detail about this collection that I love is the setting for the photo shoot. I decided that I wanted to shoot this fun, flirty, pretty, soft, feminine collection in places that are usually overlooked for not having any beauty. Back alleys of the north side of Chicago are typically home to rats, garbage and some unidentified things, but I think the Chicago alleys are wonderful. They are a place were we can put our garbage (not on the street) and in our neighborhood, in the summertime its a place were children play basketball and ride their bikes. There are even those who do some good ol’ “Garage sittze” (as Schmidt Oma used to say). There is hidden beauties in the alleys of Chicago and I thought it would a great place to have a shoot (my mom was not so enthused “your gonna take pics with those rat signs??” haha!! So we took this shot just for her!) IMG_9130_2 I’m so excited about this new collection and I hope you enjoyed the inspiration pictures. Also, here is a sneak peek/behind the scenes video from the photo shoot. BIG thanks to VKB Photography for doing another fantastic job!!!

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