On a Thursday in November, we held one of our popular customer evenings in Mondo Kaos. However, this evening was extra special as we had a visit from Marie Nørgaard Skadhauge, journalist from Politiken, and photographer Marie Hald.
Store manager Stine, as always, hosted the evening, which started with a presentation on how we women should pay homage to our bodies instead of hiding them away.
Then it stood for coziness and talk as well as clothing testing under expert guidance. We loved that Marie was there to participate, and not just be present as a journalist to observe. What you can read here is her very own account of how she experienced a customer evening as someone who is new to the retro style.
"Woman, know your dress: Up with the breasts, up with the top belly"
My wardrobe is black. It has single spots of colorful clothing for daring days. But most of all, it is black and loose. In the soft dark clothes, I feel most comfortable. Here I can hide a little.
You often feel like saving your body when you are fat but want to be thin. At least that's how I've been for many years. Tighter pants or colored sweaters only belonged when I got slim, was my thought.
I'm still not slim. In return, I have learned to love my thick body. I want to stop saving it. Therefore, I have set a rule for myself: I must not buy more black clothes.
The first step on the journey towards tight-fitting colorful clothing is to breathe some that can help me breathe out what to wear when my black turtleneck blouses are banned. That help I am not the only one looking for.
I have taken myself to a customer evening in the retro shop Mondo Kaos in Nørrebro. Here, manager Stine Omega Jessen and clerk Cecilie Bull Klarskov have to help eight other women and me find some clothes that show off our figure.
The event in Mondo Kaos begins 18.30 p.m. A few minutes before, Stine Omega Jessen takes pity on some guests who are waiting in the dark rain. They enter the shop, where a long table has been set with pink sweets, white wine, sparkling water, chips and grapes for the day.
While we wait for the rest, the small talk begins. Several of the women are regular customers in the store. Here they have found their way into a retro style, where they, with Stine's advice on cuts and coloring, change clothes that sit as if they were sewn for just them.
Customers also like to come to have a pleasant chat with the shop. You cannot avoid that as a guest Mondo Kaos. Not at all if Stine Omega Jessen is at work. She has an almost friend-like relationship with many of her regular customers.
It is also Stine who is in charge of most of the talk the first part of the evening. Quite deliberately, of course. She has in fact prepared a small presentation as a starting point for tonight's rehearsals. The message is that women should drop the self-torture and pay homage to the body they have.
“Every day I dress women. None of them look like each other and none of them look like them on Instagram. But they look amazing. Unfortunately, I see many women who are so led by themselves, "says Stine to the now nodding women.
For the customer evening that Marie attended, Stine had a theme. Like the clothes, however, these events are never 'one size', on the contrary, depending on the group, Stine can choose a focus and she always asks if anyone has specific wishes or expectations for the evening. She always focuses on cuts, and that we do not have bodies to be put in stalls such as "apple-shaped", "pear-shaped" etc. but that we all have BODIES and that the clothes must fit the body and not the other way around.
Then it's time. The clothes must be off! Stine looks scouting at the congregation and asks who dares to be the first. I look down at the floor.
I do, too, the second time she asks. Although I have recently seen two women come out of the rehearsal room and look amazing.
In the second round, it is 63-year-old Merete Lamm who is the dress-up doll. She, like me, has gathered courage for herself before. But she's somewhat faster than me at exceeding her limits. The smile is not to be taken by Merete Lamm as she emerges from the rehearsal room in a tight-fitting dark blue dress.
“Since I was quite young, I have not liked to show waist. But it feels great! Thank you to my daughter for taking me in here, 'is Merete Lamm's reaction to her reflection.
Our customer events are for everyone; as the article shows, a mother and daughter came to the customer evening that journalist Marie attended. On the last customer evening we held, three generations came together for the event; mother, daughter and grandmother. The age around the table ranged from 21 to a woman in her 70s. And also varied shapes and sizes from xs to xxl.
The beauty of our classic designs is not only that they suit everyone, but that it does not compromise on age either.
After Merete, it's my turn. I wish I could say that I myself gathered courage and raised my hand. The reality is that Stine has spotted my evasion tactics. She asks me if I want to get dressed.
Inside the rehearsal room, I have to throw on the dress. It's too loose for Stine to see my ﬁ gur, she thinks. I'm considering if I dare tell her it's one of the tightest I own.
Off comes the dress. Stine concentrates on what she should give me, and then she disappears into the back room. She returns with a short dress with an A-cut.
When I get it on, I understand why Stine thought my own dress was loose. In the new tight outfit, my breasts have for the first time long been hoisted up to the light of day, and my
round belly is also not to hide. The smile is skeptical as I stagger out in front of the other women in high gold shoes. I can see that I get more figure, precisely because the clothes fit. But I also feel very visible and I squint with a bit of longing over towards my gray sweater.
Retro gave confidence
However, the gray sweater has long been forgotten, as my mirror image later shows my body in a tight-fitting green velor dress. For every dress Stine has thrown at me, I have become more accustomed to the feminine look. It notices the women around me: “You smile more and more, every time you walk out of the rehearsal room,” says one of them.
That is completely correct. However, it is not only the clothes that put me in a good mood.
The mood in Mondo Kaos has become more and more lively. Now it is almost ecstatic. Nine women of all ages, most of whom did not know each other before, talk and laugh like old friends. There is no such thing as a fitting room anymore either.
Blouses and trousers are thrown everywhere in the shop. The previously fully clothed women now stand alternately in underwear and new dresses.
The compliments til yver to all sides: »No, where do you look good!«. Many are inspired by the clothes others wear. A pair of shiny pink 'candy ﬂ us stilettos' there are three that end up falling in love with.
Merete Lamm and her daughter, Michelle Lamm, have also found things they cannot do without. While it is the first time that Merete tries on clothes Mondo Kaos, Michelle Lamm is a diligent customer. For her, the retro style has become a way of feeling comfortable in her body.
‘I was moved to see myself in that dress. My wardrobe consists of loose coats. I do not think I move my style from one day to the next. But I dare to do something more about it after today, "says Merete Lamm.
The table in the middle of the room is now being emptied of wine, chips and frothy sweets. The shopping bags, on the other hand, are starting to fill up. With them in their hands, the women leave the store.
I myself feel like Merete. I am inspired to dare more. But it will not be tomorrow that I go to work in a tight-fitting red dress.
There are therefore no bags in my hands as I leave the store.
First I just have to check if my new enthusiasm for A-cuts and high heels follows me from the retro cave into the rain.
We thank Marie for this insightful account of our customer evenings as well as the fine photos taken by Photographer Marie Hald.
The idea of our customer evenings is to create a forum for our participants to become familiar with a more feminine style under expert guidance. As Marie describes, there is a wonderful detachment from exploring the retro style in the company of other women.
If you want to participate in one of our upcoming customer evenings, we have two dates ready: Thursday 13.02.20 and Thursday 12.03.2020 both evenings from 18: 30-20: 30.
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