It’s no secret to readers of this blog that I love ethnic inspired fashion. And one of my favorite vintage labels is Lanz. Not the 1950s and 60s fashion Lanz, not the modern flannel nightgown Lanz, but the Original Lanz of Salzburg. The company was founded in 1922 by the Lanz family. They were located in Salzburg, Austria, where they supplied traditional folkwear costumes for Austrians attending the Salzburg Music Festival. That’s the festival depicted in The Sound of Music, by the way.
In the mid 1930s, Lanz had expanded in the US, where they continued to make their trachen – type garments. What I find really interesting is how popular these styles were during WWII. The dirndl is not necessarily a German garment, but it certainly is associated with the region. So it’s puzzling to consider why German and Austrian styles were so favored during a time in which we were at war with Germany!
There is a theory of cultural imperialism, in which the victors (or in this case, hopeful victors) take on the dress and other customs of the defeated. That certainly seems to be the case.
Well, whatever the reason, I just love the clothes, and have a mid 1940s embroidered dirndl dress and a sweet jacket from about the same time. And now I have a real collection of Lanz, because I just found my third piece. This one is a belt, all hand worked and wonderfully detailed. Check out the kissing couple on the back!