For some years I’ve been searching for a silk dirndl, those traditional Teutonic dresses worn in the Alps but also for special occasions such as Oktoberfest, the annual festival in Munich. Having been somewhat discouraged by the more twee styles out there, a Viennese friend recommended I look into Lena Hoschek, an Austrian fashion designer who infuses the old-fashioned dirndl with contemporary, stylish cool.
I paid a visit to Hoschek’s little boutique in Vienna and her Alma dirndl (€1,650, second picture) fit the bill perfectly; I love how she pairs timeless, expert tailoring with modern, ultra-feminine details, such a pink-and-red ribboned trim – and all beautifully crafted. I was also delighted to discover her ready-to-wear line, which, like her dirndls, fuses country-chic with a vintage touch, and sumptuous materials throughout.
Her autumn/winter collection this year is called The Brits, taking inspiration from the English hunting societies of yesteryear. Dresses such as the Downton Winter Rose (€520) and silk-chiffon Lady Chatterley Dark Roses (€620, third picture) best showcase Hoschek’s penchant for lush, rich patterns and flattering ladylike cuts. Tailoring features prominently, as in the tweed, faux-fur-trimmed Berkeley (€690) and Regent Landlord (€650, first picture) blazer, both in lovely autumnal tones. The latter comes with a matching sharp pencil skirt (€320) but also pairs nicely with the gorgeous Poetry skirt with blue roses (€450, also shown in first picture), one of the many full, flared skirts that anchor the collection.
Hoschek also offers made-to-order couture pieces (price on request) – including evening gowns, bridal dresses and fashion designs, such as a luxurious lace top and splendid floor-sweeping skirt ensemble (fourth picture) I have my eye on.