dresses

Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie & Co

Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie Co - Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie & Co

The piece of paper on which I wrote my way crackles in my pocket. The shop is easy to find, directly from the Milbertshofen underground station you go to the “yellow” houses on Schopenhauerstraße, corner of Dewetstraße. I’m happy when I see a (rather sparsely decorated) shop window with a dirndl. Someone is standing in the door, maybe a cozy cigarette outdoors or a gossip with the neighbors? That suits the cosy, almost rural-looking suburban atmosphere, so different from the confusing Munich train station with its hectic hustle and bustle and the endless walking distances from the platform to the subway. I’d like to take a look around, I say to the salesman. I’m finally in Munich at the coBRANDa store. Due to the pandemic, I postponed this visit for a long time. 1000 vintage dirndls are hanging there tightly packed. In between denim jackets in all possible variations, traditional skirts, dirndl aprons and blouses, jeans in a closet. It’s not a store geared towards customer focus and attractive presentation, it’s more of a space-saving structured warehouse. At first I don’t even know where to start looking. You could see that and, after looking at my stature, I was shown the dirndls that could possibly fit me. By chance, I discover a traditional dress made from the fabric I sewed myself from 30 years ago (my first real traditional dress). I admit: The temptation was great to at least try it. But I probably would have been disappointed. 30 years is a long time for a woman…

Two years ago we started the Hack my Dirndl campaign together with coBRANDa. On board were:

A lot of charming and original ideas for the recycling of faulty second-hand dirndl dresses emerged. A real visit to Munich was already my goal (to browse through these treasures in real life), but Corona has confronted us all with new challenges. So now I’m standing there and asking for a first tour: “Are you the boss of coBRANDa?” “No,” I hear, “the boss is my wife.” Then I introduce myself as Silvia von den Parsilien. “Oh yes, Mom!” I am greeted by Ramon.

1674044940 846 Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie Co - Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie & Co

The thoughtlessness with which we deal with textiles worries Ramon. The frivolity with which we buy and throw away. Of course also the catastrophic working conditions in Asian and African countries, he saw it himself. All just to give us a 2 euro t-shirt. The material is getting worse, too many mixed fibers. It’s the same with jeans. There are no synthetic fibers in the vintage jeans available from coBRANDa. I think (blushing internally) of the “jeans” I’m wearing and I’m sweating profusely in them right now because there’s so much synthetic fiber in them. His children only wear second-hand jeans, but first-class goods.

1674044940 386 Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie Co - Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie & Co

He’s not adept at manual work, explains Ramon, he no longer has a instinct for a philosophy “as it could be”. I admire an old sewing machine that serves as a doorstop. Then he shows me an industrial machine for patching jeans, a good piece bought in England. His wife was horrified, another thing more. At the time he thought coBRANDa could offer patch and repair services. But there was no one who could operate the machine. The Dirndlhack Jeans/Dirndl, which he started with a local tailor, doesn’t sell well either. Also, the pandemic got in the way. I remember talking about these possibilities in our only video call via Skype. Lots of good ideas, I think, but apparently we’re still too good at appreciating repair, recycling, second-hand. Ramon himself does not yet know what the future will bring, as the energy prices for the shop have risen extremely…

1674044941 383 Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie Co - Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie & Co

Other men prefer to repair vintage cars, Ramon smiles, he likes to sort through vintage dirndls. is strange, isn’t it? But he likes it, this feeling, feeling different fabrics and materials. The boys are no longer interested in manual labor. They like other things… He shows me a children’s dirndl from the fifties, first-class and lovingly made, good material, the best sewing silk, nothing tears. Then I can even rummage through the unsorted clothes backstage…

1674044941 609 Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie Co - Visiting coBRANDa in Munich – PeterSilie & Co

To celebrate our personal meeting, I get an espresso. Maybe there will be a visit from all parsleys together? It would be even funnier to admit to each other, I would enjoy it too. At the moment there are scheduling problems with the parsley. But who knows, maybe in the fall…

Conclusion: If you are looking for a special dirndl or old vintage jeans, you should definitely stop by at coBRANDa!

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