• 28. - 30. August 2020
  • Messezentrum Salzburg

News

 

 

Honest greenwashing the alpine way

 

Six Unmissable Tracht & Country Highlights

 

Why is alpine couture enjoying such a terrific revival?

The Tracht Phenomenon: The contrasts that shape alpine fashion

Inspiring new ideas & features at this year’s Tracht & Country

Honest greenwashing the alpine way

The cry for ecological sustainability in the textile industry continues to intensify. It makes good sense to take to the stage with new business models. See a brave new ‘green’ world of Tracht – that has always been green. 

Text by Sylvia Nachtmann – freelance journalist

©Reed Exhibitions Austria / Marco Riebler
Ecological sustainability is a benchmark for the acquisition of new customer target groups: The ‘Tracht & Country’ trade fair has been committed to the issue of sustainability for a long time, and has gathered all the stakeholders around one table. 

 

With Greta Thunberg and other like-minded activists’ appearance on the world stage, businesses are jumping on the eco-trend bandwagon faster than ever before. The Tracht industry has not followed suit. It has traditionally stood for sustainability. ‘Innovative’ greenness is actually nothing new. The Tracht sector is aware of its origins and the need for sustainability! Nevertheless, Salzburg’s Tracht & Country show is giving the issue of sustainability an even bigger stage this year. Hemp Lederhosen simply got the ball rolling.

 

Tracht has always been this way

Historically, Tracht clothing has always been produced from natural materials such as linen, cotton, hemp, satin, leather, and the wool of locally farmed sheep. Young designers and manufacturers have also rediscovered a love of old crafts and skills, and combined them with ecologically certified materials. Factories are receiving new orders, supply chains becoming transparent and the carbon footprint more traceable. Sustainability is the key to a clever business model that several manufacturers are discovering for themselves.

 

In-house production, recycled plastics

Tradition and innovation join together at dirndl + bua. “The focus has always been on the sparing use of resources and the ecologically sustainable production of footwear. For us, that’s not the latest trend – it’s the reality we live, every day,” explains Thomas Huber. “By manufacturing in Italy, and in our own production base just a few kilometres from the Austrian border, and by sourcing most of our leather from Italy, we are able to reduce the environmental damage of transportation. We’re using an interesting innovative material made from renewable resources for the production of our latest lightweight undersoles. This Italian foam is made mostly from recyclable industrial waste.”

©Grenz/gang
"Glocal – Think global – act local": A locally-produced product that creates work for local manufacturing businesses.

 

Durability and local supply logistics

A young team from Allgäu in southern Germany, and South Tyrol in Italy, produces timeless apparel under the ‘Grenz/gang’ label, working according to the slogan: ‘Glocal – Think global – act local’, in cooperation with manufacturing bases situated within a 5-hour access radius. Bernhard Steiner: “Customers ask about these aspects, so they know they are making a responsible purchase.”

 

New ‘old’ materials: Hemp-based dirndl dresses & lederhosen trousers

Hemp is an incredibly ecologically-friendly substance, requiring 1000 times less water to grow and manufacture. Nor does it require pesticides. Hemp grows like weeds and is fairly climate-independent. During the Hapsburg monarchy it was a commonly-worn material, having now been rediscovered for dirndl-dress tops, jackets, trousers and blouses. A few years ago, Lederhosen made of hemp were real head-turners. Now, how about hemp sneakers?

 

Linen and nettle-based fibres

Guido Schwettmann has been exhibiting at the Tracht & Country show for many years, concentrating on certified goods, cotton, linen and nettle-based fibres. He cuts each item; prints using non-pollutant dyes, and tailors everything to fit: “Clean goods and clean working methods! I don’t want to use materials that produce emissions.” Who does? “By the way – nettle fibres were once substitute materials; now they’re considered hip.”

Fascinating rediscoveries on the material front have included beaten cotton – a material popular at the time Mount Everest was first conquered, and Deutschleder – a robust cotton-based satin.

©Reed Exhibitions Austria / Marco Riebler 
For a sustainable future: A minimal carbon footprint is becoming an increasingly powerful sales argument – in the textile industry, too. 

 

Quality comes at a price

To ensure sophisticated (Tracht) hemp clothing isn’t purely reserved for well-to-do show-offs and affected arty types, research is being directed towards the development of more widely-affordable hemp apparel – with plans for special discounts for students. A great idea? Michael Schragger of the Sustainable Fashion Academy has demanded the fashion industry fundamentally reconsiders its approach: “Rethink or die!” Oscar Wilde said many people knew the price of things, but not their value. That group seems to be growing. 

Six Unmissable Tracht & Country Highlights

This year, the latest edition of the Tracht & Country 2020 is to transform Salzburg into the ‘Home of Alpine Lifestyle’. The organisers, Reed Exhibitions Austria, have made this a central theme and will be attracting trade visitors with six fascinating features. 

© Reed Exhibitions Austria_Marco Riebler
An absolute must-see for visitors and a highlight at every Tracht & Country fair is the fashion show featuring all the latest industry trends.

 

1. Alpine Lifestyle Lounge

Reed Exhibitions Austria invites you to enjoy a short holiday break in the Alps. The new Alpine Lifestyle Lounge in hall 3 is a great place for visitors to kick back, recharge and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. It’s a perfect place to shut out the crowds and strike up inspiring conversations.

Lovers of sweet and savoury treats can look forward to tasty Coney catering in the lounge. 

Where: Hall 3

 

2. Piazza Booth for Coffee Lovers

The Tracht & Country trade fair enables visitors to savour a great range of coffees at what is probably the smallest coffee house in Austria: The Espressomobile!

Where: Hall 2

 

3. Prize Draw with Viktoria Hutter

Viktoria Hutter is one of Salzburg’s most important fashion bloggers with an Instagram profile that has in excess of 308,000 followers. This platform can also be used by exhibitors. Reed Exhibitions Austria is raffling an exclusive post with Viktoria. Complete the prize draw card on site at the fair and benefit from the extra corporate reach for your business.


4. Innatex Showroom

Sustainability is trending everywhere, so it’s also an essential issue at the Salzburg show. After a great start in 2019, the Innatex showroom is here again at the Tracht & Country in hall 1. Innatex is a major showcase for textile-industry sustainability, serving both classic clothing sectors and various interesting product groups.

Where: Hall 1

 

5. Exclusive Fashion Show

An absolutes must-see feature of every Tracht & Country fair is the fashion show, showcasing all the latest Tracht trends. Presented by Sasa Schwarzjirg – a charming, entertaining and successful TV and radio presenter – and influencer.

Where: Hall 1: Every day at 11.00 and 14.00


6. Beauty Corner

The cult US brand IT Cosmetics is here to showcase itself in Salzburg and invites trade visitors to check out the ‘Beauty Corner’. Do these make-up products live up to the hype? Come to the Tracht & Country on Saturday and find out. 

Where: Hall 1

Why is alpine couture enjoying such a terrific revival?

Let’s forget the deceptive comforts of digital daydreaming and get back to our roots. If fashion is a mirror for society, Dirndl dresses and Lederhosen are a valid antidote to global chaos. Behind the scenes of the triumphant revival of alpine couture.  

Text by Sylvia Nachtmann – freelance journalist

©Reed Exhibtions Austria / Marco Riebler
Against the global tide: At this year’s Tracht & Country fair the key tenor of the ‘Home of Alpine Lifestyle’ resonates perfectly with the essence of what makes alpine couture so successful.

 

No-one feels safe anymore – or wants to hear about the problems! Climate change, wars, migration, Trump, Bolsonaro and friends! Rain forests in jeopardy, glacial shrinkage...

It’s natural to seek security and comfort. Emotionally, home – or Heimat, is a safe haven. It’s our antidote to the conflicts of the age, and offers a reassuring contrast to global turmoil. This year, it’s an emotion the Tracht & Country in Salzburg is tapping into. The key tenor of the ‘Home of Alpine Lifestyle’ resonates perfectly with the essence of what makes alpine couture so successful.

 

Fashion is a mirror to society

So, why has there been such a revival of alpine couture? Fashion may be nothing more than a feeling – but it’s a powerful one. Fashion is an expression of identity, of the spirit of an age. There is no fashion without desire! In an uncertain age, we yearn for romance – to the point of nostalgia. Rather than the illusory comforts of a digital world, we seek durability and familiarity, authenticity and honesty – and a genuine sense of belonging. Old arts, crafts and skills are being reappraised – and symbioses are being established between larger and smaller manufacturers.

 

Positioning the brand

Is the current buzz around ‘Alpine Styles’ a reaction to global unrest? It’s an almost unanimous opinion. Markus Meindl of Meindl Fashion, based in Kirchanschöring, doesn’t believe so: “Our success is not due to the uncertainty of the times, or because Tracht is a trend, but because we are good at what we do.” In Mr. Meindl’s case, the company doesn’t claim to be ‘Tracht’ or ‘fashion’. It has established itself as a brand: “That’s the position we chose and that is how we are perceived – modern and in-touch.” In fact, “We have done a lot to ensure younger people enjoy fashion more than ever. They are increasingly well-informed and like to make their own decisions.”

 

Sophistication for generations

Like his fellow manufacturers of alpine clothing, Meindl doesn’t produce disposable fashion. Each item is a sophisticated heirloom that can be worn for generations, and be taken in for repairs and alterations. Meindl’s message is clear: “In the long term, those who don’t provide a service – won’t keep their customers.” Leather, loden, fleeces and cotton are all sourced from “producers we know” in Italy, Austria, Germany and France.” Moreover, “The aura of the materials is generated on the bridge between archaic alpine origins and urban energy.” The corporate philosophy behind the brand is: ‘Be exactly what you claim to be! Don’t just talk the talk – walk the walk!’

 

A light that shines beyond borders

Tracht, and the lifestyle it nourishes, are powerful antitheses to brittle and short-lived trends. When product, brand and philosophy harmonise, the aura radiates beyond regional borders. That’s something successful, long-serving businesses are well aware of. The concept of ‘Heimat’, freely interpreted, and not subjected to the definitions of single groups, is a living thing – and always will be.

 

The Tracht Phenomenon: The contrasts that shape alpine fashion

Alpine fashions are timeless evergreens - for hunters and businesswomen, mountaineers and aristocratic brides. On the occasion of the Tracht & Country show, Reed Exhibitions Austria has tried to find some explanations for this phenomenon. Here’s why exactly these contrasts and contradictions make Tracht clothing so successful.

By Sylvia Nachtmann, Freelance journalist

©Reed Exhibtions Austria / Marco Riebler
What’s the secret of Tracht evergreens? Opposites attract – across all classes, professions and denominations. So many materials and designs, occasions and wearers. How is it possible?

Tracht is an evergreen. Tracht fashions and the whole array of alpine styles always manage to remain fresh, new and sharp. Each evergreen has its own very special secret – but what could it be? Can the Tracht & Country offer an explanation? Or a few ideas? Maybe it’s the way opposites seem go so well together, throughout all aspects and applications, materials and designs, occasions and wearers – in all classes and professions? But how? Isn’t the harmony of opposites a contradiction in itself? Not when we’re talking about ‘Alpine Styles’. This is a Tracht & Tracht fashions phenomenon, as it’s the only category in which contrasts reconcile so immaculately. And this can be observed again and again at the Tracht & Country.


Opposites attract

Incredible but true. Tracht combines the contrasts of tradition and modernity. Here, Tracht is for everyone – from the hunter to the businesswoman, from mountaineers to aristocratic brides, all ages, all sizes, all occasions; from alpine pastures to yachts in harbours, rural and urban, country farmyard and palace courtyard. There are charming and hearty traditional styles blend with straight-faced authenticity. Coarse linens and silk brocades, lovingly hand-crafted details meet purism, subtlety, sophistication and tasteful kitsch. Plunging cleavages and buttoned-up closures, traditional Haferlschuhe and modern sneakers, ankle boots and calf socks, deer horn and frog’s mouth pleats...         Can there be a more varied and lively fashion than our ‘Alpine Style’? Hardly!
 

Deep roots, strong ideals, powerful emotions

The portfolio on show at the Tracht & Country is every bit as colourful and varied in regard of the exhibitors and visitors at the fair. One thing is certain, Tracht is a part of everyday life – which is why it’s so successful, so popular, so deeply connected to our ideals and emotions. Of course, the Tracht world loves to talk about ‘roots’. We adore displaying our origins. Indeed, the roots of Tracht grow deep! Like all mighty trees, even the greenest shoots and branches belong – and no storm can tear them down.

©Reed Exhibtions Austria / Marco Riebler
The Dirndl dress is a popular all-season item and unites all kinds of contrasts: slim and snug tops with sweeping dress bottoms.

 

From the farmhouse to the emperor’s palace

It all began in the mists of rural time, when Tracht and country clothing obeyed strict rules and demanded modesty and simplicity. Ultimately, around 200 years ago, white and black lace blouses were allowed, although silk stockings were still a punishable offence. The subtle, natural colours of wool, loden and linen slowly took on infusions of blue and vermillion. The silk cravat was added in the 18th century. The increased use of bright rococo colours, lace elements and flowers heralded a new age of dedication to all kinds of details.

 

Styrian hats as christening gifts

Then came Archduke Johann. He is said to have given a typical Styrian hat to his grandnephew, later crowned Emeror Franz Joseph, on the occasion of his christening; and to have invited him out to hunt 16 years later, on one condition – he was to ride out in a typical Styrian alpine Tracht suit. Franz Joseph obeyed, and for the whole of his life remained an avid wearer of Tracht. Franz Joseph was a role model for his subjects and fashionable courtiers, who proceeded to imitate him. Tracht, originally produced for agricultural workers, had now become an item for the nobility, woodsmen and citizens, the country and the city. A contradiction?

 

Shape and feel

The Dirndl dress is a popular all-season item and unites all kinds of contrasts: slim and snug tops with sweeping dress bottoms. Then there are contrasts in fabrics, colours and designs on a single item, plain or patterned, weaved or printed, contrasts or matches between the corpus, dress and apron. Bushy wool, fluffy loden and luxurious leather, soft and sturdy textures, all creating in harmonious contrast to unfussy linen, printed cottons, jacquard fabrics, fine silk weaves and brocades.

With details such as buttons made of horn, wood and metal as subtle eye-catchers the options are endless.

©Reed Exhibtions Austria / Marco Riebler
Vive la différence! Contrasts in fabrics, colours and designs on a single item, plain or patterned, weaved or printed, contrasts or matches between the corpus, dress and apron.

 

Purism and sophisticated kitsch

There are classic images like the Operettendirndl as in the ‘Weißes Rössl’ period film, the rather over-the-top Munich beer festival ‘Wies’n Dirndl’, folklore Dirndls heavily adorned with jewellery, sumptuous broaches, decorative charivari chains – and chamois hairs to adorn men’s hats. Is the contrast too large to purist designer Tracht items in the latest ultra-fashionable collections? There are lederhosen shorts alongside sophisticated leather and janker jackets, leather dresses and accessories all closely linked with the materials used back then. And they have remained stylish and valuable to the present day.

 

Quality from enduring tradition

It’s important to mention another key distinguishing feature of Tracht clothes and accessories. Quality! It’s an obligation that comes from long-standing traditions, now being respected and upheld by the younger generations. Quality can be handed down through the years. Regionality at its best ensures the use of locally sourced and produced materials, some now also with eco-label certification, manufactured in nearby workshops and factories, crafted by hand – right through to the decorative finishes like quill embroidery, contrasting yarn embroidering, quilting adorned with figures, hand-printed fabrics, knotted fringes... The list is long, and by no means complete.

 

The hunter and the businesswoman…

...the free climber, manager and manageress... What sort of people are they? They’re all people with zest, who wear the right Tracht to every occasion – wherever and whenever – at work, at leisure or at formal festivities. Challenging craft skills in a digital age, nostalgia and high-tech – none look out of place. Those nostalgic for the spirit of the old mountaineering films have their day. 50s-style dresses can be found with minimal Tracht symbolism, and valuable, eye-catching accessories. Sturdy, sporty weather-proof footwear stands alongside colourful ballerina shoes with chiselled buckles, elegant pumps with decorative quilting. There’s the ideal outfit for absolutely every situation – and from head to toe. After all, hats round off the look, whether made of loden to keep out the cold, or lightly weaved straw for protection from the sun. The most important aspect of all is the joy in so much detail, in the overall result, in creating a look, and in the pleasure of being seen. Maybe now you know the perennial secret of Tracht and alpine style – maybe?

Inspiring new ideas & features at this year’s Tracht & Country

Joie de vivre beats forests of fashion: A fresh approach and a new lounge are to enhance the new sense of alpine esprit at the fair. Will it work? An interview with fair manager Clara Wiltschke.

Text by Elisabeth Baumann-Rott, Content & Brand Manager Reed Exhibitions Austria 

©Reed Exhibtions Austria / Marco Riebler
The Tracht & Country feel-good factor: This year, exhibition manager Clara Wiltschke is inviting visitors to enjoy a short alpine holiday in the expo halls.

 

Reed Exhibitions Austria: Mrs. Wiltschke, the latest edition of the Tracht & Country Salzburg aims to transform the venue into a ‘Home of Alpine Lifestyle’. How do you intend to infuse the spirit of alpine life into the emptiness of an expo hall?

Clara Wiltschke: (Laughs). Wait and see! At this year’s Tracht & Country we’re encouraging visitors to take a kind of short alpine holiday.

 

…with mountain huts, music and alpine fayre?

Wiltschke: More or less. The unique range of alpine lifestyle products provided by the exhibitors is ideally complemented by the new ‘Alpine Lifestyle Lounge’ in hall 3, where visitors can refresh themselves with a tasty drink, enjoy a chat and savour a few minutes of downtime away from the show.

 

You’re promoting the show on the ‘feel-good-atmosphere’ ticket. How do you intend to generate the right mood?

Wiltschke: It all starts with very simple things, like lounge music in all areas of the show. Plus, now use of exhibition space has been optimised, visitor orientation has also been enhanced – and this year we’ve integrated a chill-out zone into every hall.

 

Piazza Booth or Alpine Lounge?

Wiltschke: Exactly. These spots give visitors a chance to shut out the expo buzz for a moment and top up their energy levels.

 

Sustainability is now a central issue for the textile industry. How is the show making its own contribution?

Wiltschke: Are you familiar with the Innatex showroom?

 

Innatex is known within the industry for its ecologically sustainable textiles…

Wiltschke: This showroom provides an up-close, first-hand look at the latest trends in sustainability and ecologically-friendly methods. The autumn launch in 2019 was so successful that we simply had to continue to cooperate.

 

Is the introduction of Sasa Schwarzjirg to present the fashion show another fresh source of inspiration?

Wiltschke: Yes; but it’s also a sign that we’ve completely reconceptualised our approach – without giving too much away. As always, the fashion shows will be an absolute ‘must-see’ for all fashionistas and lovers of Tracht.

 

Are the rumours true that you’ve sealed a big deal with the influencer Viktoria Hutter (NB. 308,000 Instagram followers)?

Wiltschke: That’s right! Not only did Viktoria Hutter agree to make a guest appearance, she also offered her services for a prize draw. The lucky trade visitor has the unique chance to meet her for a joint Instagram post – to create digital ‘reach bait’, so to speak.

 

Talking of bait… We hear this year visitors around the fashion show will be able to pick up make-up tips.

Wiltschke: We’ve been able to acquire the trending US brand ‘IT Cosmetics’ for our Beauty Corner, so now visitors can take free advice, have a complete make-over or just freshen up their look. Another feel-good bonus!

 

Thanks for the chat!