I’m doing an article for April’s Somerset Life in the department called Locales of Intrigue, and so yesterday I spend most of the afternoon at a photo- and interviewsession at a place called Nostalgi, also known as Inge’s Tøjtempel/Clothes Temple. It´s a small store of vintage dresses and curiosities situated in Mejlgade, a narrow, one-way traffic street near Nørreport and the harbour; you have to look out for the windows as there´s no sign or name on the front.
Believe me, Nostalgi is not only a true locale of intrigue, it´s also an Aladdin´s cave containing the lifetime passion of one woman – for dresses, shoes, hats, accessories and stuff. The oldest dress – not for sale – dates from 1880. The newest items are from the 70´ies.
Since the age of 16 Inge has had an eye for vintage dresses. In the first place she bought the dresses, to wear herself. Later as her collection grew she realized she had to pass some of them on, however often with a bleeding heart, and still the “best” pieces are strictly private!
Stylists, minor theatres and movies have had the benefit of her collection. Pieces have been borrowed or rented. Her dresses have participated in weddings, high school dance balls etc. A part of her collection has been exposed at the local Women’s Museum (remind me to tell you about that place once…) but first of all in has been stored, and occasionally sold, from her “Temple”. No doubt though: Inge is more of a passionate collector than a cool sales(wo)man. Her passion has never made her rich – the business only just pays. This is not said to complain, it’s just a fact and a statement that seems to fit to a great deal of passionate people.
To be ruled by sense more than by sense gives you other advantages then. An example is Inge´s relaxed attitude to opening hours. The store is open when she’s there! Usually that means: in the afternoon. But if the sun shines and you haven’t made an appointment – you can’t be absolutely sure if somebody’s at home…
However, I do recommend you take the chance and go for a visit; it’s an experience to enter this absolutely crammed space: stuff´s hanging all over from the ceiling and walls, and piles are everywhere on the floor – but if you manage to enter the prices are more than reasonable. Had Nostalgi been situated in a more busy part of the city – or in a big city like Copenhagen it was sold out years ago!