Every year since over 25 years, Fairbanks celebrates the International Friendship Day. On this day, Fairbanks immigrants and other people from the Fairbanks community present highlights of different cultures. There are traditional dances, traditional music, and traditional sports from many nations. On various food stands, one can buy and taste traditional food from various countries. Furthermore, there are booths from the Peace Corps, and the various nations’ clubs that show items typical for their country. At some of these booths, such items are even for sale.
Within the framework of the festivities, Rosalind Kan organizes each year an International Fashion Pageant. This fashion show celebrates the diversity of our community by illustrating the various traditional clothing of many countries. This year, there will be traditional clothing from Alaska, Afghanistan, China, Germany, India, The Netherlands, Norway, The Philippines, Thailand, and some other countries. I will be one of the models modeling a dirndl like in the photo from the International Friendship Day 2010 above which is at the courtesy of M.C. Gray. She and her husband also help with the organization, and she will also be in the fashion show.
Typical features of the dirndl outfit are the separate blouse and apron worn under the dirndl. The idea is that one does not have to wash an entire dress. Thus, one can exchange those items that get dirty or smell quickly. Typically the aprons have some embellished vertical floral stripe pattern as shown above. The blouse is of thin white cotton. The silver chain on top of the apron is only worn on Sundays, holidays, and festivities.
Of course, so many models on the catwalk, need some organization and coordination. Thus, we had several rehearsals. At the rehearsals, we are supposed to wear the clothing that we will present in the International Fashion Pageant. I will wear one of my dirndls. I will not reveal here which one.;)
This time for the rehearsal, it was announced that there is a construction zone. A parking lot is to be redone, and we would have to walk along a dirt road to get to the rehearsal. Therefore, I did not want to wear a long dirndl on this rainy rehearsal day. It would get a direct ticket to the dry cleaners when walking through an unpaved parking lot. Thus, I wore my short dirndl. Another reason for the short dirndl was that I had to run errands after the rehearsal. Running errands in a long dirndl topped with a coat in a grocery store would surely be a head turner.
It was windy, rainy, and cold. Thus, wearing just the light dirndl blouse underneath would be too cold. These blouses are half blouses, i.e. they end just under the breasts. They are light cotton and not made for temperatures in the mid 30s (around 2C). Therefore, I just wore my paisley cardigan as a blouse underneath to stay warm.
At the rehearsal, the other models liked my “fake” outfit. Nevertheless, i am pretty sure that every Bavarian, Austrian, and South Tirolean women would find this a big fashion “faux pax” despite it looks quite cute. Just for fun I show the fake outfit below so you can compare.
See you at International Friendship Day, Saturday October 19, 2013, at the Pioneer, 1200 to 1700. Hope you can make it.
Photos: G. Kramm (2013), Anne Richards (2012)
Copyright 2013 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved