The Dirndl Diaspora

Cuckoo clocks and baby clocks?

Savannah James is racing against time.

Orders are rushing in for her custom couture diversity dirndls. Friends, customers, and a reporter from Germany crowd into her basement studio—but her husband really wants have a talk about starting a family. Really?

Business has been booming since Zendaya wore her dress in Teen Vogue. Suddenly, Savannah’s idea of making ethnic mashups of traditional German party clothes is getting inner cities everywhere excited about Oktoberfest. But she knows more about pleats than business—and now she has to help fight Nazis, too?

Kristen Caven’s hilarious new “spiel show” is about work and creativity, language and secrets, horror stories and fashion fantasies, building positive futures out of complicated pasts, and the beauty of a circle of women.

Oh, and beer. Lots of beer.

Das Tip Jar

Caven wrote this uniquely animated feature film as a stage play for a local Oktoberfest festival. 2020 forced a pivot to a virtual event…so she called in animator Ramona Zetino. Ten women (and one man) record this fast-moving story on whatever devices they had handy, and a talented neighbor even pitched in to create an original theme song. Although the characters are based on a fashion croquis, they are all cut from different cloth, representing the diversity of Germans in diaspora.

Host a Dirndl Diversity Fashion Show in your community!

Sponsored by the Dimond Improvement Association and Oakland’s awesome Oaktoberfest Street festival, the premiere event (on ZOOM & Vimeo) will include an exclusive viewing, a talk with the auteur, a virtual fashion show, plenty of gemutlichkeit, and  literary drinking games!


Thank you to all who saw the premiere (October 17-November 15th) at

Check out entries & winners of the Online Oaktoberfest Fashion Show & Dirndl Contest!
Oct 18, 2020 03:00 PM PST

Here’s the Facebook Page!Reviews are coming in!

Kristen Caven wrote The Dirndl Diaspora because she wanted to start a fashion trend. The granddaughter of German immigrants, Kristen studied German in college to know them better. She instigates polka at Oaktoberfest and hands out funny German words from the pockets of her dirndl. Kristen wrote the libretto for her musical, The Souls of Her Feet: and her short play, Be Mused, won the first Aluminous Flash Mob Theater Contest and was performed at the Lake Merritt Pergola.  A champion of women’s voices, diversity and positivity, and an energetic instigator of creativity, Kristen is the author or co-author of seven books and the former president of the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club.

Leading ladies of the 2020 Spiel Show


cast & audience of the 2019 cold read of the play at Oaktoberfest


The #DirndlDiversity prize!

Congratulations to Tina Riggs Gonzalez of Alameda for winning the 2020 #dirndldiversity award. Tina says, “Thank you sooooo much for putting together the event, the movie and most of all your hard work to make a bright spot in these trying days. And Thank you!!! for more mad money for my sewing addiction!” And check out Erica Neumeyer’s Ghana Dirndl!

More Dirndl Resources:

Courtesy Dirndl Enthusiast Jennifer Rosbrugh: (watch our interview here!)

  • Rare Dirndl in Chicago does the Little Black Dirndl (LBD) and travel and punk/rock dirndls: 
  • African dirndls:  
  • Truly Scrumptious Doll Song
  • Zendaya’s shoe line:
  • Jennifer’s Dirndl Class:  
  • Jennifer’s Pintrest Board: 
  • Jennifer’s Dirndl Blog:

Have you got something to add to this list? Drop me a note! I am especially interested in including Oakland designers!

Free Download: 


The movie link may still be active!

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