In addition, this Dane embraces the messiness of an existence. “Part of [my] manifesto is that things are part of life,” says the designer, who loves to find beauty in imperfections; like placing drape to hide a stain or embroidering a small flower over a tear. “Would you stop wearing a bag because it has a little scratch? No. You don’t do that because you spent like 2000 Euros on the bag,” she observes. “I think we have to let our clothes live a little bit.”

Working with flea market finds allows Tønder to stay at a price point that keeps Kettel pieces fairly accessible. Access to good design at fair prices is the mantra of Scandinavian design, and it’s what this designer appreciates about what she sees in her hometown. “I feel like fashion week in Copenhagen is like a festival. It’s so full of personal style…, it’s about the clothes, it’s like, ‘Hey, we have a bunch of gorgeous girls and guys, we have some really cool clothes, but actually, wearable and actually rather affordable [that] people can wear on and off the runway and in their own way.” One of the interesting things about Kettel Atelier is how Tønder has combined her Danishness with her love of Spain. “I just fell in love with ease, and the way the [women dress], this half-nakedness, the Bohemian vibes; it was something that completely blew me away,” she says. There’s a body consciousness to Tønder’s designs that is surprising. Surely, a grandmother never imagined the flowers hand–embroidered on a napkin winkling referring to nipples on a halter top.

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