When a woman puts on a traditional Austrian dress, her body will be instantly slimmed, as if by magic. In black peep-toe high heels, gracefully and lightly I walk into Vienna’s splendid Palais Coburg. There will be a first-class wine tasting here tonight, with reception.
A little intoxicated, a girl behind me pats my shoulder and asks with a cute smile, “Is that skirt by Susanne Bisovsky? I also have a dress designed by her at home!” In the conversation that ensues, it turns out that the girl is from Burgenland, Austria, and is the second-generation successor of one of the country’s top 100 wineries.
Thinking about it afterwards, if it wasn’t for this skirt, and a shared love for this cutting-edge Austrian designer, along with a fascination with traditional Austrian clothes, two people with completely different backgrounds would be unlikely to get along under normal circumstances. Let alone chatting and becoming friends. But this is another magic of clothing – “identity”! By identifying and preferring certain clothing, we can find groups with similar aesthetic values, which is also a pursuit of “identity”.
Since this dress can build a bridge of friendship, I’m going to talk about Dirndl, the traditional dress of Austrian girls and women:
~ Workwear that can “magic self-cultivation”
Dirndl is a traditional costume in Austria, and in Bavaria, Germany. The upper body is tight and the lower body is loosely designed, which can modify the body to the extreme. No matter how tall, short, fat or thin, wearing Dirndl, every woman can have a small waist and plump buttocks!
Dirndl was originally the daily work clothing of village women. Dirn means “maid” in German, so these cotton work clothes were originally worn by ordinary people.
~ Advocacy of an Austrian Prince
In the early 19th century, Archduke John of Austria (Erzherzog Johann von Österreich), the younger brother of Emperor Francis II of Austria, devoted himself to rural reconstruction. His contribution brought the royal family closer to civilian life, and he usually wore simple and convenient civilian clothes (Kleidung des einfachen Volkes). The well-respected Austrian prince’s commitment to advocating traditional clothing (Tracht) boosted its fashion status for a while. (Not only that, but legend has it that the prince also violated the rules of the royal family and fell in love with a commoner girl, Anna Plochl, who was much younger than him. At first, the emperor was very opposed to this love. John waited for six years before he and Anna got the emperor’s approval to marry.)
~ Salzburg Pictures
Then, in Salzburg at the end of the 18th century – yes, the Salzburg famous for its summer music festivals – there was a collection of 400 gouache works documenting the lives of citizens, peasants, and aristocrats. Of them, 100 works were about rural life. This detailed record provided the basis for the later Austrian traditional dress.
The scene now shifts back to the wine tasting, and Susanne Bisovsky’s designer clothing leading to a friendship. Because of a shared identification with clothing, people get closer. I can’t help but be reminded of other identities regarding clothing. Dirndl reminds me of Austria and Southern Germany, but what kind of clothes would I have to wear for people around me to immediately know that I’m from Taiwan? Indigenous Taiwanese clothing? But I’m obviously not of indigenous descent, so it would feel unnatural to wear it. Qi pao dress? Thinking about it, I remember my grandma never wearing Qi pao. Well, seriously think about what kind of clothes grandpa, grandma and great grandfather in the photo are wearing. In the family portrait my grandfather wore a suit and tie, and my grandmother wore very japanese clothes.
Sure enough, it can be seen from the clothes that each was dressing to express themselves. During the Japanese occupation era, most of their friends were Japanese, and their clothes were naturally the same as those of the (westernized) Japanese.
What about us? I asked Taiwanese teenagers whom I know, “What kind of clothing do you think represents Taiwan?”
Unexpectedly, neither of them had to think long about it and answered my question within a second: “Nike! Ha, because every time I go shopping for a world-renowned sports brand, no matter which country I shop in, I read the label of the place of manufacture, and most of them say ‘Taiwan’!” (Sure enough, the young generation’s answers are always unexpected!)
https://www.eggerhof.at/de/blog/die-geschichte-des-trachtenbrauchtum-in-oesterreich.html https://www.vienna-unwrapped.com/de/dirndl-wien/ https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000063663854/pro-kontra-dirndl-in-der-stadt-tragen
穿上奧地利傳統裙裝，身材立刻被魔幻修身，腳上踩著黑色包頭高跟鞋，優雅又輕巧的走入維也納富麗的科保皇宮（Palais Coburg, Wien），今晚在此有一場一級葡萄酒的品酒會。正沈醉於微醺酒酣，後面的女孩輕拍了肩，露出可愛的笑容親切的問道:「身上的裙子是 Susanne Bisovsky 設計的嗎？我家也有一件她設計的衣服呢！」 接下來的交談，原來女孩來自奧地利的布根蘭邦（Burgenland），是奧地利百大酒莊的第二代接班人。事後想想，要不是這件裙子，同樣對這位奧地利新銳設計師有同樣的熱愛，也同樣醉心於奧地利傳統服飾，完全不同背景的二個人，在一般的情況下是很難搭上邊，更遑論暢談聊天，進而成為朋友。但這就是衣裝的另一種魔力，『認同感』！透過對服飾的認同與喜好，找到相似價值觀（審美觀）的族群，這也是一種「認同感」的追尋。
十九世紀初，奧地利國王弗朗茨二世之弟約翰大公（Erzherzog Johann von Österreich）全心投入農村改造計畫，他不但透過各種改革讓農業能夠蓬勃發展，大大改善產量，更提倡農村文化，他的貢獻讓皇室與平民生活貼近，而自己平時也都穿著簡單方便的平民服飾（Kleidung des einfachen Volkes）。一個備受景仰的奧地利王子都如此身體力行的提倡傳統服飾，一時間Tracht的時尚地位也就因此倍升。 （外傳: 不僅如此，這位王子還違反了皇室常規，愛上一個小他很多的平民女孩，一開始皇帝哥哥很是反對這段愛情，他苦等了六年，才等到皇帝哥哥的首肯，允許這段婚姻。）
然後，18 世紀末的薩爾茨堡（Salzburg），對，就是那個以夏季音樂節聞名的薩爾茨堡，出現一本有著400 幅作品的水粉畫集，記錄了市民、農民和貴族的生活。其中，100部作品是關於農村生活。這個詳細的紀錄為爾後奧地利傳統服飾提供了基礎原型。
場景回到那場品酒會，Susanne Bisovsky 設計師的服裝牽起一段情誼，因為對服裝的相同認同，於是人與人的距離近了。這不禁讓我聯想到關於服裝的其他認同感，Dirndl會讓人想到奧地利與德南，但我該穿上什麼樣的衣裝，周邊的人才會立刻知道我來自台灣呢？原住民的服飾？但我明明不是，穿上起來總不自然。祺袍？回想起來，記憶中的阿媽也沒有穿過祺袍。好吧，認真想一想阿公阿媽和照片裡的阿祖是穿什麼樣的衣服？嗯！外公每天都是穿著西裝和擦得發亮的皮鞋上班，阿媽呢，出門必先穿上緊身衣，再配上裙裝，再戴上一頂優雅的帽子。被壓在阿媽書桌玻璃下的阿祖照片，雖然照片早已泛黃，但照片中的阿祖，看起來很是高壯，穿著一套似咖啡色的西裝，還配有同色系的帽子，真是紳士。果然，從衣著可以看得出認同，身在日治時代他們，朋友同學大多都是日本人，他們的衣裝自然也同西化的日本人相同。
This text was created in cooperation with Yawen Sung. She travels and lives with her family in various countries and is devoted to healthy food. Do not miss her tips for good wine and delicacies! 第一次和歐洲咖啡館走讀共筆, 關於奧地利歷史與文化, 每件事在她好奇心驅使下變成超級有趣的故事! 雅雯老師憑藉多年的健康美食教學經驗, 帶來生活中滿滿的珍貴分享!
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宋雅雯 Yawen Sung/ 原本以為會成為新聞人，沒想到成了流浪世界的旅人，成了喜歡讀歷史的忠貞愛好者，愛好美食與美酒的吃貨。如果，人生只有一回，希望盡情過一生。
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