Exhibition officially opened: “Once a princess in Geisa…”

… a dream that many girls in Geisa certainly have. But how do you become a princess in Geisa? And how many steps will the prince and princess seekers have taken before a new prince and princess can finally be celebrated on the stage of the Narrhalla in Geisa in January?

Almost 100 guests hoped for answers to these questions and new stories about the Geisa carnival at the opening of the exhibition. Many ex-princesses came with their foolish headgear and talked about their princess robes.
Doris Heim, Chairwoman of the Friends of the ANNELIESE DESCHAUER Gallery, welcomed all visitors and guests. Among them were Mayor Manuela Henkel and board members of the Geisa Carnival Association. Sylvia Möller reported on the idea of creating this exhibition. The path from the fashion of patron Anneliese Deschauer, her evening dresses and costumes, to paper dresses and princess dresses was an obvious one.

21 dresses found their way into the exhibition, the oldest 50 years old and each telling its own story.
And, of course, Peter Kling – former president of the GHCC and Prince and Princess Matchmaker for 21 years – knew all about them.

A task that is fascinating, mysterious, exciting, varied, but also brutal. These are his words…
Brutal because nothing should be better guarded than the names of the prince and princess of the new season. And Geisa residents are naturally curious, so that all those involved have to move around Geisa invisibly and conspiratorially.

Highest level of confidentiality
Nevertheless, the task is not easy. Kling had to make 48 secret evening visits in one year until a prince and princess were found. Sometimes it went faster, as with former Prince Thomas I from Wendelstein to Ulsterstrand in the dentist’s chair.
Even though Peter Kling was never a prince in Geisa, he experienced the season as prince seeker 21 times with his prince couples. He made two attempts himself, but it wasn’t meant to be.

But even princesses can tell stories.
60 years ago, it was possible for a dress to be created just 10 days before the prince’s coronation. Or a leftover dress from a (West German) dry cleaner found its way onto the stage as a princess dress.
Nowadays, most dresses are professionally made to measure and cost quite a bit.

A heart for carnival
It was important to everyone that money should not decide whether someone could stand on the prince and princess throne. The heart must beat for the Geisa carnival. It is crucial to live and cultivate traditions, cohesion and togetherness.

Special thanks went to Genoveva Matthias that evening. For years, she assisted the association as a seamstress with her sewing box. She made hats, dresses, uniforms and many a princess dress. Even today, her sewing machine in the Geisa nursing home is close to her and her hands never stand still.
Many stories could and wanted to be told that evening.

Young and old came and were interested in them. The discussions were framed by Uli Göb, who of course knows the Geisa carnival songs like no other.
It was a wonderful evening that made it clear that tradition and customs are particularly cherished in Geisa.

The exhibition of princess dresses can be seen in the ANNELIESE DESCHAUER Gallery until Ash Wednesday.

Text: Antje Neiße
Photos: Astrid Weimann-Heim