Cultural heritage meets contemporary fashion design in Millstatt

Carolingian Wickerwork Stones at Millstatt Abbey | © Wikimedia Commons | Johann Jaritz | CC-BY-SA-3.0

A Regional Festive Costume for Millstatt

On the occasion of the 950th anniversary of the foundation of Millstatt Abbey a very special cooperation project uniting culture, tradition and regionality was set up by the local fashion designer Carolin Berger. She partnered up with the long-established garb business of Gexi Tostmann to create a festive costume that is unique and captures the cultural heritage of Millstatt in a very special way.

The impressive Carolingian wickerwork stones – remains of the first church that was constructed on the site of Millstatt Abbey in 800 – served as an inspiration for the design of the first “Millstatt Regional Festive Costume”.

The black dirndl blouse – designed by Gexi Tostmann – is fitted with mother-of-pearl buttons featuring the typical, distinctive way of sewing the buttons on visualizing the tree of life.

The skirt was created by Carolin Berger. Its braiding pattern reflecting the historical ornaments of the wickerwork stones are silk-screened onto the fabric.

The marble floors and walls of the collegiate church are visualized on the dirndl apron which is coloured and silk-screened by Carolin Berger as well.

To finalize the outfit Carolin Berger designed a passamentery necklace, bracelet and hair hoop.

The costumes are presented by Julia, Sophie and Patricia Hofer who are natives of Millstatt.



Seven eye-catching plates across the center

In order to further link the newly designed dirndl to the rich history and heritage of the place, seven information plates were installed throughout the heart of the town in cooperation with the Municipality of Millstatt. Each of them takes up one of the themes representing Millstatt’s rich cultural past and builds a connection with the costume. Being equipped with QR codes leading to further information about the local history the plates invite inhabitants and visitors to discover Millstatt from a new perspective.

Guided tours led by the certified tour guide Gerti Baumberger from Austria Tours complement the experience.

All plates and information about the history of Millstatt can be found on the website of Millstatt Abbey Museum (in German language).


About the artist

Carolin Berger is an Austrian designer and fashion lecturer. Her label “Caro COACT” stands for joint achievements, slow fashion, high quality, regionality and fairness. With her independent arts and fashion platform “eyes&ah” she supports and connects young upcoming artists and established designers through workshops, exhibitions and events.


For more information about the rectory of Millstatt visit the website of the Catholic Church of Carinthia (German).