Call Me Maybe - Austrian Style

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Oct 10, 2012 / 0 comments

The Austrian Dirndl Ambassadors catch the parody wave of Carly Rae Jepson's catchy song, Call Me Maybe.

Name that dress: Katy Perry looked amazing in one. Dozens of these colorful frocks made up nearly the entire wardrobe of Maria von Trapp. And just recently, Teri Hatcher looked simply stunning wearing one during the Salzburg Festival...


We are talking, of course, of the Austrian Dirndl.



The hourglass silhouette of this fun, feminine, and flirty dress makes every woman look her best. A group of Austrian Dirndl Ambassadors were on a mission this summer to make New Yorkers fall in love with traditional - and not so traditional versions of the Dirndl. And the city flirted back.


For Michael Gigl, Director at the Austrian Tourist Office in New York, the Dirndl has another meaning: "The Dirndl in all its shapes and forms stands for the combination of centuries of tradition and modern design, as well as the love of life and the generous hospitality that make Austria stand out as a vacation destination."


If you live in New York City and recently spotted a group of people dressed in various shades of green, vivid pink, and playful lilac, chances are you'd come across the Austrian Tourist Office's Dirndl Ambassadors. Charged with the fun task of introducing New Yorkers to Austria's most beloved traditions, this dynamic group made friends with classical music fans at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra's concert in Central Park, showcased the Dirndl to great effect at MoMA's PS1 WarmUp, courted the Austrian Wine Queen during a visit to the Terroir Wine Bar on the HighLine, and showed off their Dirndls and Lederhosen on a bicycle ride along the Hudson!


Ask the Dirndl Ambassadors about their favorite Dirndl designers, and they'll respond enthusiastically. For Austrians today, the Dirndl is not just a beloved tradition, but a fashion statement. Women are having fun combining traditional elements with contrasting, modern ones, fully embracing Vivienne Westwood's famous quote, that "there would be no ugliness in the world if every woman wore a dirndl." Young Austrian designers, such as Lena Hoschek (who, coincidentally, learned her craft with Vivienne Westwood in London) love to play with these traditional elements and have great success on international runways with the resulting collections.


One of the events that the Dirndl Ambassadors did has gone viral - enormously so. It's a video they made of Carly Rae Jepson's Call Me Maybe. You've probably seen some of these parodies, which include just about everyone from Justin Bieber to the US Swim Team to the Cookie Monster.


The Dirndl Ambassadors come from all walks of life - law, journalism, art, finance, design, and other professional fields. They all have some tie to or love for Austria. And, they have a great sense of humor, as you can see in the Call Me Maybe video!


The video was filmed in NYC (along the Hudson River and also in Greenwich
Village's Washington Square). The Austria Tourist Office chose 40+ people to be Austrian Dirndl Ambassadors (the men are also called Austrian Dirndl Ambassadors, even though they are wearing lederhosen) who live in NYC but who have a connection to Austria. Some are Austrian, some are of Austrian descent and others just love the country! You may have seen them also at Fashion's Night Out, Circle Line Cruise around the city, the NY Philharmonic Concert in Central Park - and they even broke a record at Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center (a popular NYC summer event series) for the most people swing dancing while dressed in traditional Austrian outfits!



What I love about this video is not only the happiness of the Dirndl Ambassadors, but the reactions of the New Yorkers - THIS is the essence of humanity, and joy, intercultural awareness, and playfulness. 








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All photos courtesy and copyright Austria Official Travel Info & Nomadic Frames