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Batch CCLXVIII. Schwarzwald, Tuesday September 26, 2017 NO. 47
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The Radhaube

High fashion from 19th-century Villingen

© Sebastian Wehrle

The golden Radhaube—pictured here in all its splendour—is the result of up to 400 hours of sheer artisanal craftsmanship. Though it does require a great deal of endurance from the women who weave it, this traditional headwear serves to this day as a reminder of the good old days in southwest Germany. The citizens of Villingen, for example, continue to wear their city’s time-honoured garb to demonstrate their connection to its history despite having long since broken free of the social class system of the Middle Ages. The Radhaube represents a relic of the dress code common at that time, one that is now mainly worn on Shrove Tuesday. Along with this headdress, a proper lady of bygone Villingen would don a flowing skirt, a jacket whose sleeves and neckline were decorated with pure white lace, and a silk shawl with hand-tufted fringe over her shoulders. Gloves, traditional hosiery, garnet jewellery, and buckled shoes complete the ensemble, but the Radhaube – which is often trimmed with gold lace—remains the primary attraction. The “Rad” (“wheel”) to which the name refers is fastened to the wearer’s hair bun and set at an upward angle. The opulent bonnet’s crocheted gold or metal bobbin lace only covers part of the ear, and box-pleated white lace must feature prominently all along its border.

Photo: Photographer Sebastian Wehrle from Freiamt and fashion designer Jochen Scherzinger from Gütenbach are the creators of the Fabulous Black Forest picture series, which showcases the Radhaube in a truly unique manner.

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