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.

Krampus-Dirndl-#2

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! 

Arrival of the Dumpster and the Hole in the Floor!

Yesterday was the arrival of the dumpster! It looks super fetch in front on Lincoln and I cannot wait to find out how much it costs! But it is very necessary considering there is way too much garbage and they’ve already started tearing up the facade. 
No more ugly siding, just ugly bricks!

The newest addition

 They have also been busy framing out the new walls and bringing in the electric. We still need to get ComEd to come in and bump up the service to 400amp service, but its starting to take shape and my mom can finally get a betting vision of what I have been talking about for the past 4 months.

But of course, there has got to be something unexpected, and that would be the rotten bathroom floor. Its getting re-framed so no one ends up in the basement while doing their business, which is a very good thing… but also a bonus expense.

New hole in the floor!

What will the rest of this week bring… probably new surprises, but I’m in a better state of mind and I’m ready for anything (well almost anything)

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here  

More coming down than going up!

I kinda figured this would happen and yesterday, I was proven correct. After going over all the plans with my contractor Paul from Service Construction of Illinois, Inc I left my studio in their hands. Upon my return I saw this:
WHA?!?

Turns out… It would be easier to take down the other walls and rebuild them, than try to add to them. And then theres the toilet room and sink. Something by the sink must have been leaking for a long time because the floor is rotted nearly all the way through to the basement! So theres a large gaping hole in the floor. But no worries… best to get all this taken care of so when customers need to pee they don’t fall through the floor, you know?!

I can’t wait to go back today and see whats going on and see how much the city is going to charge me for a dumpster! 
Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here  

Happy Christmas


“So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun.”

as these words by John Lennon come from my ipod dock in my parents dining room this past week, I began thinking… what have I done this year? Looking back… I’ve been a busy girl!

At this time last year, I was sketching out and planning the start of my business. Now I’m sewing up my 4th collection and looking for subcontractors. I’ve sewn well over 50 dirndls this year and had over 65 customers! I’m so excited to see where this new year will take Rare.

This time of year is also a time to be with family and friends and so I am going to take this opportunity to thank the people that have made this year a success.

Vanessa Buholzer, Maggie Zawislak, Katherine Rally, Nikki Bappert, Aimee Duddles and Balance Healing Center, Shanti Yoga, Grandma Rosina and Grandma Kathi, Jamie Mazur, Monika Neumayer, Christian Ehrat, all my customers and most importantly: my parents.

My dad has never doubted me… when I have good news, he is the first to pop open a bottle of champagne to toast to my success. He would wear his Rare t-shirt everywhere if he could. So Dad… I would not be where I am today without you. I know sometimes I may not be the best at showing it, but I love you with all my heart and really appreciate everything you have done for me

My mom is my rock. She is the one that cheers me up when I don’t think I can continue. She has been with me through this ride of ups and downs and has helped me make some big decisions. Mom… I love you and I’ll continue to make you dirndls as long as you’ll wear them and talk me up like you always do.

“so this is Christmas, I hope you had fun. The near and the dear ones, the old and the young. A very Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Lets hope its a good one, without any fear”

What are you doing now?

Many people have asked me, many time… “What are you doing now?” After graduating from Dominican University with a degree with distinction in apparel design, traveled to Paris to study couture techniques and when i came home, i decided that i was going to go for it… start a fashion line. I had interned with a small chicago based line, evil kitty, in 2008 and attended the business of fashion seminars presented by the apparel industry board, so i knew what i was in for… kinda. Advise that i had heard was “do it while your young and ambitious because once you know what it takes, you won’t want to do it”. I didn’t know whether this was supposed to discourage or encourage me, but i took it as inspiration.


In January, i started a business, Erika Neumayer Designs. This is the umbrella business that covers the dirndl line and any other lines i may start in the future. The first line is called Rare. It is a german folk costume line with a twist. I noticed that many german dirndl companies were clearly surpassing the US dirndl companies in terms of style and innovation and i wanted to be at that competitive level. I’m using different fabrics and textures that are not seen in the American market. My line is not covered in little flowers and edelweiss embroidery, its big, bold and unique. I am aware that this line is not for everyone, but if it was, no one would stand out. A Rare dirndl is not your oma’s dirndl.

But what does “starting a fashion line” mean? It means that i am like any other company that sells their product to stores except i have my own online store. I designed a 10 piece collection which includes 1 couture dirndl, 7 sale able dirndls, a vest and skirt, as well as a vest and shorts. After the designs were finalized, i bought the fabrics and supplies, made all the patterns and i am currently working on the samples. Once the samples are complete, i will have a photo shoot with professional models, photographer and hair and makeup stylists. Those photos will go on the website where anyone can access them and then you can purchase the garments from the website…. which will be launched in April.

There is so much other business, design and promo stuff that goes into it all, but that is what i am doing in a nutshell.