Louis Vuitton Trianon Sac de Nuit GM

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

IMG_4696a 598

Louis Vuitton Trianon Sac de Nuit GM (grande model)
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

The first thing you’d notice about this bag is how weighty the canvas and sturdy the construct of the bag is for its satchel size, where even in GM, it was clearly meant as something more fashionable heritage narrative than a luggage carry-on.

The Trianon Sac De Nuit was created and produced in limited edition in conjunction with the celebration of Louis Vuitton’s 150th anniversary, paying tribute to Vuitton’s early days of 1854 – 1892, when Vuitton began selling light weight flat-topped trunks covered with their signature grey Trianon canvas. Prior to Vuitton’s flat-topped trunks, most trunks for travelling had rounded tops so that water would run off, the disadvantage being that they could not be stacked. It was Vuitton’s Trianon canvas, airtight flat trunks that allowed stacking with ease, for voyages.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Koala wallet, framboise

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Koala wallet in framboise 01.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Koala wallet in framboise.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro-Nilsson 2014

The Framboise colour, a rich and beautiful shade of deep Raspberry, was launched in the Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis line in 2006. The Koala wallet with its signature S-lock was one if not the most functional and stylish wallets of the Vernis line and definitely one of my favourite items in the Vernis line.

As with Vuitton craftsmanship, a detail about this wallet that I find absolutely charming is how the leather has been neatly pleated at each corner on the inner facing flaps of the billfold compartments.

Stalking Louis Vuitton

CHINA // France // Hong Kong // LOUIS VUITTON // Mode // Singapore // Travels

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, 1O4P0095a

2013. Not unexpectedly, a Louis Vuitton outlet is located at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Singapore. MBS which besides a large conference hotel and casino, features a long list of the world’s most famous luxury brands.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2013

I wonder what it is with sons of carpenters. One launches an entire institution of religion and the other, saves us from bad travel experiences and gives us the gift of luxurious, resilient travel bags.

The name Louis Vuitton evokes in me, not the large conglomerate fashion house with Nicholas Ghesquière (from 2013/4, who succeeded Marc Jacobs, from 1997) as artistic director of the empire, but rather the humble beginnings of the son of a carpenter who at age 14, in 1835, packed his bags in Anchay, Jura where he was born in France, and headed for Paris – on foot. He took odd jobs along the way to pay for food and lodging, all this while, perfecting his carpentry skills and expanding his knowledge on various types of wood.

400 km further away and one year later, Louis arrived in Paris to find a flourishing haute couture culture, where lavish and elaborate dressing was all the rage. It was here that he learnt to pack such elaborate outfits to perfection. And it was his dress packing skills and not foremost his carpentry skills that attracted the attention of Empress Eugénie. He became her favourite packer.

It was not long before he combined his dress packing skills with his carpentry skills to produce the first flat, stackable trunk for transportation. These stable and solid trunks were covered with grey Trianon canvas.

Garden

Mode

In the garden, in a light cotton tie dye skirt, as the Swedish west coast swings into early summer.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2013

May 18th, 2013

Spectrum ametrine

Mode

Mais que nada.
In a crochet top made by my mom and a pleated skirt by one of my favourite designers that was, Alexander McQueen. I adored McQueen for his brilliance.

Text and Photo © CM Cordeiro 2013

March 2nd, 2013

Capriccio for Carolina – classical notes that rock your soul

Mode

It isn’t that my interest in the field of fashion has waned over the years since I began my blog in 2007 thereabouts, but rather, a percolation of ideas had resulted since then with regards to fashion.

In previous years, I would experiment with fashion styles, fabrics and designs, today having perhaps settled into a general theme that evokes a frame of mind in terms of style and dress, I am more intrigued by the innovative processes of design in itself. I have little qualms mixing and matching fabrics and designs according to context of situation, not in the least, accounting for the weather conditions, and am also apt to carry an extra pair of shoes with me if and when possible – an idea I was introduced to as a form of social etiquette for formal Swedish dinner affairs, when people are expected to have proper indoor shoes that haven’t touched the (what I think are charming) cobbles of the streets outside.

So what captures my attention these days in the field of design and fashion is a sense of the creative. To that extent, I’ve been following behind the scenes, the New York and London Fall RTW collections, whilst at the same time, searching for new classical notes for my playlist.

There are a few designers that inspire me, Carolina Herrera being one of them. I’ve been a fan of Herrera’s collections for several years, where in enthusiasm for my summer in Barcelona 2011, I even packed in luggage to Montjuïc El Xalet, a clean pleat, black Carolina Herrera dress for IESE IFP’s closing dinner.

Following-up on her Fall 2013 RTW, I was this time around, floored not just by the clothes (her signature balance between conservative, long elegant lines and sultry femme), but the absolute soul rocking music!

Warm tribal

Mode

As warm as summer gets in Scandinavia.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

In a tribal print scarf, with cat.

Being feline.

July 25th, 2012

Early summer in vintage

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

In the early summer sun.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

It was in 2010 that Marc Jacobs brought nostalgia with hints of the 70s back into fashion, hot on the runways. Today in 2012, the the flavour of the 70s are still in on the runways from Diesel to Halston, whilst Louis Vuitton Fall 2012 makes romantic the long train voyages of the 1920s in reminiscence of a time that was in reality, filled with great uncertainty – such is the magic of fashion, to take viewers into a completely different world, even if briefly.

Swedish west coast winds that set sails luffing!

Mode

Wearing mostly vintage. Arden B. knitted top, vintage nautical belt and white cotton skirt with hand embroidered florals, also vintage.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

Windy! Typical at this time of year along the Swedish west coast, though nowhere near warm…The glow of the sun – thoroughly inviting!

A lifetime of romance in its old cut facets

Mode

An old cut diamond weighing ca. 1.90 ct, Top Cape, VS set in white gold with 18 modern brilliant cut diamonds set halfway down each side of the shank.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

I love old cut diamonds. There’s a depth of warmth about them that comes through even in dimly lit rooms compared to their flashier modern counterparts. It’s the way the cutting interacts with the light. A softer, calmer sparkle and glow rather than the hard busy flashes of the modern cuts.

Distinctive of old cut diamonds are the larger culet as you can see in the picture, where modern brilliants will have a very small or no culet at all. Most of them are also cut cushion shaped and not perfectly round, as they were not computer assisted cuts but rather, fashioned from the cutter’s understanding of the nature and shape of the stone. Original cutters of diamonds and jewels needed to a large extent have the eye of an artist who envisioned the polished stone in its finished state in all its dazzling glory. A skill that perhaps not many cutters of today possess since computers and mathematical formulae now distinguish the ideal cuts for a rough, rending stones that while may be full of sparkle, lacks in my view, a certain individual spirit and personality.

If you own an old cut stone, chances are, you will recognize it in any light as your own just by looking at it – the colour, the cutting, even by its inclusions. Luxury comes these days not in terms of how much you spend but also in terms of exclusivity that includes peculiarities and imperfections that in old cut diamonds, make them striking to behold. And diamonds with natural inclusions that mark them, giving them their own ID instead of a laser printed number are certainly unique by nature. So if you have an old cut diamond for example, a family heirloom of sorts, and have it resent into a new design, chances are even without loop in hand you won’t be fooled by any replacements, you’ll know it’s yours by eye.

Old cut diamonds also tend not to be as white as the modern brilliants, most of them having I, J, K, L colours or Top Cape, Cape colours. A feature that I have today, come to love.

This old cut diamond, acquired from Sotheby’s in Paris, has decades of narratives to tell, embodying romances across several lifetimes, reflected in its open cut and open flanked face.

All you need to do is pick it up,and read it.

February 11th, 2012

A LOVE AFFAIR

Mode

A pair of platinum diamond and purple amethyst ear drops.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

Jewellery has always had special significance in meaning as gifts in the Asian and Southeast-Asian cultures. From the early 1900s leading up to the First World War and subsequently the Depression years and then the period after the Second World War were difficult times in which food was strictly rationed and for those who could afford, jewellery was used to trade for other basic necessities. Even after the 1960s, the average family even in Singapore, where you could consider one of the more affluent countries in Southeast-Asia post World War II was certainly not cash rich. And it is during these years that I’ve heard the most number of family told stories of how gold jewellery and precious jade were pawned to keep food on the table for the family.

Wearing TOD’s in new light: Diego Della Valle’s “POLITICI ORA BASTA”

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 02102011 490

When what you wear speaks the collective subconscious of the people: wearing TOD’s with a new sense of pride and purpose, much like an Aurora Borealis.
Photos © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2011

While I and many others in politics and business management alike have been preoccupied in getting adjusted to China’s recent rise to wealth and importance in the world, a full-page newspaper advertisement this Saturday (01012011) signed by the founder of Tod’s luxury leather goods, brought me back to the realization that it is not “poor China” that needs to be saved. They are doing just fine with a 10 percent annual growth in their economy. It is good old Europe that needs to be saved, if something.

In from the rain

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in Donna Karen

Making it in through the front door just barely, from the sudden downpour.
Photos JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro Nilsson © 2011

Tropical storms, the kind with flashes of lightning and deep rolls of thunder is common in the equatorial region from where I come from, but not all that common in Scandinavia, in particular along the Swedish west coast.

But today was one such day here in Sweden, with dramatic dark clouds, the low rumble of thunder that comforts and discomforts at the same time, and warm fat drops of rain that drench through clothes, thoroughly wetting the skin.

I managed barely to escape the rain stepping in through the door just when the first large drops of water fell.

Sunshine like clockwork…

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro green door 490

In this sunshine, even nautical stripes and tartan seem a likely fit!
Photos JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro Nilsson © 2011

Along the Swedish west coast, the weather forecast for today was cloudy in the morning and sunshine from noon onwards. And who would’ve thought… they were right. Sunshine like clockwork.

Long summer’s nights, warming both body and soul…

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson, Indiska patch-work dress, Emilio Pucci bag.

In an Indiska by Jade Jagger patch-work dress and Emilio Pucci bag.
Photo: JE Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson © 2011

Luckily in Sweden, together with the long winter’s nights comes the equally long summer’s nights.

The Midnight Sun and the Nordic Light are recognized concepts that both refer to the long evenings that seamlessly transforms into almost sunlit nights, that after allowing for quick skinny-dips in the sea eventually develops into equally magical mornings where the birds contest each other in all manners of the word, telling their females that specifically his nest will be the one best suited for a family. You ponder at the meaning of life and the beauty of it all and you think these evenings are so ideally suited to be spent in the garden, talking to friends and philosophizing on things that are, that you can almost, but just barely, forgive the climate gods that created the winters of this place.

Dame Vivienne Westwood, Anglomania glitter…

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson, Vivienne Westwood, Celine.

As if caught in mid-sentence, trailing off in an idea… Dame Vivienne Westwood’s seemingly haphazardness in her designs…a thing thrown in, a loose fold swinging… is what draws me to her creations. She is one of my favourite designers that exude an anything goes attitude that conceals the meticulousness behind each creation.
Photo: J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson © 2011

While the Easter Witches were out…

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson, long weekend, Sweden.

A much appreciated long weekend in Sweden!
Photo: J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson © 2011

With a caffè latte in hand, I couldn’t help but sit back, enjoy the weather today and observe with delight, plenty of Swedish children decked in their cutest Easter gear, as little Easter Witches. Several were daring enough to come trick or treating at the door with basket in hand, to which they were rewarded with some Italian made Easter chocolate eggs!

A winter’s day at noon, in Sweden

Mode // Sweden

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson mink fur and pleated skirt, both made in Canada.

Sweden’s position near the arctic polar circle makes the days short during winter and the sun just barely makes it above the horizon. Soaking up some sun beams in our garden. A useful outfit in this weather, a Canadian mink jacket and pleated red wool skirt.
Photo © JE Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2011

I first visited Sweden during some winter months about a decade ago – imagine how time passes – and my first observation was that walking on water was not by far as difficult as that of my Catholic upbringing had led me to believe. You just needed to wait until it was frozen. Today work and travel make it difficult to find much time to spend in the nature during daytime. A few moments of crystal clear sky and crisp winter air just a few degrees below zero centigrade, was some of the more enjoyable moments of this weekend.

Sweden’s position near the arctic polar circle makes the days short during winter and the sun just barely makes it above the horizon, before it apparently a bit sleepy, drops back down again and leaves us with a long arctic night. No wonder the Vikings felt a mid-winter sacrifice – and a party – were needed to cheer things up.

Even in Asia, at the end of January, the East celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year. This year some shops in Singapore will even go the length of closing their doors a few days to welcome the festive echoes of Lion Dances rippling across the country in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit. Also a ‘sacrifice’ of some sort.

Fabrics of Southeast-Asia

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson, in batik and sari / saree shawl.

In various shades of pinks – traditional silk dyed batik and batik sarong with a sari shawl. Outfit is by Francis Louis Ler of Amor Meus, Purvis Street, Singapore.
Photo © JE Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

Colours of the cultures of Asia never fail to bring a smile on my face and put me in a festive mood, from the colourful saris of India, to the brightly hand painted silks of the Chinese qipao and the intricately patterned, waxed drawn batiks of Indonesia and Malaysia. Even the colours and texture of raw silk from Thailand draw my attention when I see them.

Travel staples: Ferragamo Vara and Hélène Rancé 1795

Mode

Ferragamo Vara pumps, Hélène Rancé 1975 eau de parfum, Chanel 2.55

Ferragamo Vara pumps in nude beige and a small bottle of Rancé 1795 Hélène eau de parfum
Photo © J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

When it comes to packing for my travels nowadays the ideal for me is to go very light. If I could get away with a pair of pants and a skirt for three weeks abroad on business with some alternative tops, I would certainly go for that.

But this isn’t all that easy if the countries that you’re going to range widely in terms of temperatures as in winter in Sweden, autumn in China, and humid tropical weather, in Singapore.

Autumn blues in Filippa K and Isabel Benenato

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Filippa K dress, Louis Vuitton Suhali L'Impétueux 2.

Autumn outfit: dress is by Swedish designer Filippa K and wool shawl by Naples born Italian designer Isabel Benenato.
Photo © J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

These pictures were taken a few days ago, after which the Swedish west coast turned grey, stormy and with winds so strong the trees needed effort to stay rooted and keep their last red-gold leaves of the season, if not only for decorating themselves.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Isabel Benenato wool wrap shawl, back.

The green fabric belt with gold buckles in the outfit is a find from a vintage store here in Sweden.

From the pictures, you’ll also see the characteristic colours of autumn displayed in yellows, browns, reds and gold. The low rays of the sun at this time of year helps cast an over glow of gold on everything it touches. There are however, other complementary colours of autumn that we see here in Scandinavia, particularly in Swedish design houses such as Filippa K that favour shades of beige, grey, blue and black for autumn as shown in their Autumn 2010 Lookbook, with some exceptions, the sheer gathered dress I’m wearing can be found in lilac.

Neutrals from Winter 2010 to Spring 2011

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in Karen Millen turtle neck and Marc Jacobs bag.

For Milan, it’s not just neutrals for winter, but for Spring 2011!
Photo © J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

I’ve always loved Milan fashion showings with its cutting edge technology in fabrics, colour, cuts and shapes! And while winter hasn’t even hit Europe, looking at various fashion magazines and style columns in the Swedish news, I think we’re all pretty much excited about the up and coming fashion trends for Spring 2011.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag.

Part of what contributes to this excitement for Spring 2011 in Sweden is that Milan, known for their more flamboyant colours styles with the likes of Pucci, Just Cavalli and Gucci, have this time around come up with surprisingly neutral shades with minimalist shapes – a very Swedish, very Scandinavian take when it comes to design. A number of daringly solid black for spring outfits are also showcased in the collections of Bottega Veneta and No. 21.

FENDI Zucca, jacquard hobo in monogram brown

Mode

Fendi Zucca Chef shoulder bag.

The Fendi Zucca Chef bag.
Photo © C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

For anyone looking for a convenient grab bag, one that is roomy and can take the wear and tear of everyday use, I would like to recommend the Fendi Zucca Chef. This nifty bag is one of the few hobo bags that has caught my attention lately with its softer, more rounded shape than my regular choice of LV’s.

Fendi Zucca Chef bag, zipper tag.
Fendi Zucca Chef bag, pleats.

Despite what I thought it looking rather small when it sat on the shelves, the good point with its soft and flexible walls is that it can indeed accommodate quite a few irregular shaped objects such as an SLR camera, wallet, notepad, the latest Stieg Larsson, a foldable umbrella and more, we might find indispensable any certain day.

In the office with Cat, Dolce Gabbana and Vivienne Westwood

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in Vivienne Westwood dress, Dolce & Gabbana skirt, Roberto Cavalli heels, Tod's grained leather bag.

Our Norwegian Forest Cat walks in to say hello! (Where’s my food?)
Photo © J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

Dress codes for the office varies from culture to culture and even from organization to organization. Just about forty years ago in Singapore, women were not allowed to wear pants or slacks to the office, the garments being deemed as too masculine and too unladylike. But the strict rule for ‘skirts only’ to the office for women in Singapore was relaxed around the 1970s and women were allowed to wear pants to work, on Fridays. It was from here that the concept of ‘dress-down Friday’ came about in Singapore, where for women at least, they could skip the skirts and opt for slacks that gave them greater freedom of movement.

In Sweden too dress codes vary between organizations. In some academic circles the codes are almost comically lax, where the higher echelons are so entirely focused on the minds of individuals that one can almost expect that the more bizarre a person dresses, the more unique and valuable their expertise. In the corporate world, values are fairly measured compared to academic circles, and people tend to dress in reflection of their position and work demands, steering towards what fits the occasion.

The myth that a Swedish CEO would arrive to a business meeting in t-shirt, clogs and jeans, is generally an exaggeration. For most of the time, it’s pretty much ‘do as you like’, as long as it is ‘lagom’. However any ‘dress-down Friday’, I have yet to see and my Friday last was anything but.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in Vivienne Westwood, Dolce & Gabbana. Norwegian Forest Cat.

Before stepping out the door with Cat.

One of my current favourite outfits is a Vivienne Westwood asymmetrical dress, gathered at the side seams and falling to the knees, a Dolce & Gabanna tulip skirt (over the bottom of the Westwood dress) and Roberto Cavalli black patent stiletto heels. A large Tod’s shoulder bag in cream calf grained leather is useful for files and laptop alike. A simple pair of pearl and diamond earrings to complement this outfit.

Windy!

Mode // Sweden

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, highpoint, Swedish west coast.

Battling the wind!
Photo © J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, high point, Swedish west coast hp1.

One of our favourite things to do, is to go out taking pictures when the weather turns really dramatic. There was no real storm today as there can sometimes be along the Swedish west coast, but it was certainly WINDY! Us picking the highest available viewpoint of course brought out some extra shows of temperament among the local pagan weather gods.

Swedish westcoast archipelago

Mode // Sweden

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Swedish westcoast 1

In a moss green maxi halter dress along the Swedish westcoast archipelago.
Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

I was greeted by a tepid tropical rainstorm when I landed, the weather being unusually warm and playful even as Swedish summers go. It felt surreal that I didn’t need to put on any cardigan on my way home.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Swedish westcoast 2

After the hectic weeks spent in Singapore at the heart of Asia, where everything seemed to move at double speed, being back in Sweden offered an instant breather. For one thing, you can sit and watch the sail boats go by without having a need to know where they’re off to or when they’ll return.

In the sun

Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 490, plum tree, Sweden.

In the garden, finally, after a long and cold winter
Photo © JE Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 2010

It’s just about approaching summer here in Sweden, where garden parties and the hearty aroma of barbeque grilled meat will soon fill the air. As is, the southern archipelago of the Swedish west coast is experiencing its fair share of tourists these days, with the ferries filled with people speaking different languages, all wearing their summer gear of shorts, sleeveless t-shirts and sandals.

Here, I’m all casual in a nautical striped dress from Zara. The nautical theme is somewhat of a summer staple in Sweden, with Swedish designers such as Filippa K having their take on it. Even the mid-range H&M have their annual summer nautical range to choose from.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in a nautical Zara dress and Chloe shoes.

The dress I’m wearing features nautical stripes in white and navy, with a drape neck to the front and an exposed zip to the back of the dress. The bottom of the dress is cut like a pencil skirt, ending just above the knee. I’ve paired the dress with a pair of blue strappy wooden heels from Chloé and a goldtone bangle from Dyrberg Kern of Denmark. The blue suede belt is vintage.

Plum tree flowers, Sweden spring summer 2010.

The neighbourhood is currently in full bloom, these are white plum blossoms that promise a great harvest come autumn.

May 24th, 2010

Bridesmaids in focus…

Mode

Bridesmaids in Jessica McClintock dresses, Styrsö Sweden, summer wedding.

Bridesmaids in a summer wedding, in light blue dresses.
Photo © Kevin D. Cordeiro for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 2010

A girlfriend of mine excitedly told that she had been asked to be bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding, which of course immediately raised the question of “What to wear?”. And to answer that isn’t all quite that easy.

Personally I think it is ultimately up to the bride to tell what kind of wedding she has in mind. So as a bridesmaid, I think one should just listen carefully and then try to help make the big day everything that the happy couple had hoped it to be.

Brides come in an array of personalities and a most perfectly sane woman might turn completely unrecognizable when it comes to her wedding. So there are some real bridezilla’s out there and then there are some who just want the whole thing to be a big happy family get-together and plan the whole event with the guests in focus rather than themselves. I definitely can’t say there is a right or wrong here, but I think a little bit of both is probably ideal. And when it comes to the bridesmaids dresses, I think it is really is up to the bridal couple to decide how they want the entire event to look and feel.

Personally I think the overall colour scheme is the most important consideration, since the bride will pretty much be flanked by her maid of honour and the bridesmaids throughout the whole event and it is good if they look like a nice group together. I like to think of the key women in the wedding as a flower bouquet, where the bride is the central flower and the surrounding group should be as complimentary as possible. In this way they and their dresses are the focal point of the whole event. The rest is just setting the stage so to speak, so that you give the guests a “good show”.

Lilacs på Styrsö, summer bridesmaids bouquet.

A bundle of ribbon tied Lilacs for the bridesmaids.

This way of looking at it gave me a lot of options when I planned my own wedding in 2006. Basically, the early summer date with its fresh leafy greens and light blue sky set the tone, and I went looking for something graceful, elegant and as feminine as the early buds of May and most important, the bridesmaids should look “approachable”, since they would be the ones who would be there to deal with any tasks or requests of fixing or fetching anything that the guests might need.

My final choice fell on a strapless light blue chiffon dress that had a side rosette detail. The choice of low heeled white shoes to go with that dress was the bridesmaids’ own and a very wise one too, considering all the walking they would do through the day.

Light blue Jessica McClintock dresses, bridesmaids dresses, Sweden.

Chiffon dresses with rosette details, by Jessica McClintock.

Again looking only at my own setting, which happened to be on an island in the western Swedish archipelago, everything in our plans needed to be founded on that fact. With a different place setting, you would naturally need to base decisions on that location and its surrounding context. Where we were, we didn’t even have cars since they are strictly banned by the private community that owns everything here right down to the roads and beaches.

For the flower bouquets to the bridesmaids, we went for fresh lavender and cream coloured Lilacs from our own garden, snipped, bundled and tied together with a ribbon. It was all part of the fun to get together, sit down and tie them up and I had let the girls decide what kind of bouquets they were going to carry and how large they wanted the bouquets to turn out.

Bridesmaids hairstyles, summer wedding, Sweden.

With flowers and blue silk ribbons in their hair.

In line with that my bridesmaids should look splendidly pretty, our hair dresser styled their hair with flowers and blue silk ribbons. The small white flowers, like the lilacs in their homemade bouquets were snugly interwoven with the blue ribbons into half buns into the girls’ hair in a hairstyle that was intended to be as functional as it was beautiful, the purpose of the half bun was to get the hair out of their face for the day, yet keep the length of their hair draped down their napes.

Bridesmaids on a moped, mode of transport in the southern archipelago of Gothenburg, Sweden

No cars allowed here as all roads are privately owned. The mode of transportation for the day was a three wheeled transportation moped.

Maid of Honour dress, Styrsö wedding, Styrsö church, southern archipelago, Sweden.

Maid of Honour in lilac.

My maid of honour chose her outfit herself, which turned out to be a perfect fit with our theme and surrounding. I feel flattered and happy when guests go out of their way to dress up as gloriously as they can. In my view, nobody can outdress a bride at her own wedding anyway, so I would say just dress up and enjoy yourself! The more people in colourful and glamorous wear, the more festive the atmosphere!

Maid of Honour, flower bouquet, Styrsö church, Sweden.

Maid of Honour, holding the bride’s flower bouquet during the wedding ceremony.

Aerial view of the Champagne Session, Styrsö Sweden. Summer wedding.

Champagne session, prior to dinner.

Basically, your own wedding should be the best and most memorable party you are likely to ever host, so if I would have a say in anyone’s plans, that would be for the bride and groom to plan it themselves, together, and look as little as possible to what anyone else wants. Make it your own, and just have fun every step of the way. Bridesmaids and maids of honour are to help in realizing that dream event.

So, for anyone’s bridesmaids dresses? Well, just figure out what makes the bride’s eyes sparkle, and go for that.

May 23rd, 2010

Louis Vuitton Suhali L’Impetueux in white

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Louis Vuitton suhali handbag in white, L'Impetueux.

Louis Vuitton suhali L’Impetueux in white.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson and Cheryl M. Cordeiro Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 2010

In 2003, Louis Vuitton launched their Suhali range of bags, made with natural grained goatskins. Louis Vuitton bags are generally extremely structured, designed to keep their shape no matter the content (something I appreciate), and it’s no different with this range of bags, despite the suppleness of the material.

Louis Vuitton suhali goat grained leather, L'Impetueux in white, golden brass lock.

Golden brass lock.

The style of each of the bags in the Suhali range is designed to reflect the Traveller Trunk history that is iconic of Louis Vuitton. Most bags in this range have silver or gold hardware with s-locks, reminiscent of the tough trunks and suitcases that Vuitton began with making just before 1900s.

Paisley

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in purple paisley, Louis Vuitton L'Impetueux white Suhali

Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson and Cheryl M. Cordeiro Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 2010

Paisley is not a common motif in my wardrobe, where it’s difficult to find a paisley print that doesn’t for example, overwhelm my frame. This casual weekend dress or sundress, from Marks & Spencer Limited Collection has a different sort of paisley print, more an over-sized print of it, a sprawling design that seems too large for even the dress to capture in full. It is also brightly coloured, something that contrasts to the pastels of paisley or the earthern tones of it on a lot more textiles. The deep magenta of the dress with contrasting blue-green of the paisley print is a nod to the Persian and Indian roots of this ancient design and the colourful textiles of the region.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Minna Street in Framboise

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Louis Vuitton Minna Street in Framboise, small sling bag.

Louis Vuitton Minna Street in framboise monogram vernis.

I am not one for small bags and neither are most of my girlfriends, most of whom were schoolmates from more than a decade ago. The preference for larger bags probably came about through functionality and the practically of having a bag big enough to accommodate our daily items. When in school for example, it was all about carrying textbooks, exercise books, gym wear and whatever else you needed for the day. So big bags the likes of weekend carryalls were always the talking point for us girls back then. Once school days were over, shopping (a Singaporean hobby) took over and big bags continued to be popular for us, where I’ve often found myself sitting and chatting with my girlfriends over the latest carryall that could most fashionably hold our daily essentials and bought items.

This Louis Vuitton vernis monogram Minna Street in raspberry pink or framboise, is not a big bag. In fact, it’s so compact, you can hardly fit its matching vernis Koala wallet into it and think to find room to put your keys in too. It does however, contain a roomier main compartment than the slimmer, more rectangular vernis Mott that has a flap closure outer pocket (see ref. 1. Mott review, 2. Mott outfit, 3. Mott in background).

Michael Kors for Fall 2010

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Michael Kors Fall 2010, gold, long

Gold in long silhouette.
All photos are from Style.com

I’ve been following the New York Fashion Week for Fall 2010 and by far, my favourite designs for Fall this year have emerged from Michael Kors.

It isn’t the extravagance and the use of furs that catches my attention, but rather the confidence to use those furs and not being apologetic about it is what floors me! It is this daring that is carried through in his designs that I find makes the collection coherent and desirable.

Louis Vuitton Murakami multicolore keepall 45 blanc

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Louis Vuitton Murakami blanc white multicolore keepall 45, photography

The Murakami Keepall 45 in blanc. Product number: M92640.
Photo Jan-Erik Nilsson, Cheryl Cordeiro-Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro © 2009

Launched in 2003 with cooperative efforts between Marc Jacobs and Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami, the Murakami canvas comes in a white or black background. The multicolore canvas took on several different forms amongst which was the classic Keepall 45.

Ushering in the Year of the Tiger 2010 on Valentine’s Day!

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Silk embroidered cheongsam qipao, Chinese New Year 2010, Cheryl Marie Cordeiro Nilsson

In a red silk embroidered cheongsam for the Chinese New Year and upcoming St. Valentine’s Day, 2010.
Photo Jan-Erik Nilsson, Cheryl Cordeiro-Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro © 2009

I’m definitely feeling the Lunar New Year vibes all the way from Singapore, where stores are already keeping open for longer hours during the days leading up to Chinese New Year’s Eve that is this Saturday!

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays lasting for 15 days that ends with the Lantern Festival and with a large Chinese population in Singapore, one could expect the festivities of this weekend in the city to be vivacious with more than just the Chinese enjoying the celebrations.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Sunset BLD Amarante

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Louis Vuitton monogram vernis Sunset Boulevard BLD in Amarante

Louis Vuitton, Sunset Boulevard in Amarante.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro-Nilsson 2009

Despite its possible colour transfers, Louis Vuitton’s Monogram Vernis range continues to be one of my favourite for materials used in wallets and bags because of the rotating range of colours and soft embossed logos on patent leather. Patent leathers are also generally versatile, being able to take you from casual to formal with a switch in clothes.

Favourite pieces of jewellery from W.A. Bolin, Stockholm

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Golden topaz and diamond pendant, W.A. Bolin, Stockholm, Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

A large golden ametrine and diamond pendant.
All pictures are from W.A. Bolin, Stockholm, who are having their Autumn/Winter quality auction on Sunday 15 November 2009. Visit their website for more details on the auction, or to place a bid.

Adding to the festive end of year feeling, the Autumn/Winter quality auctions are about to take place in Sweden. Viewing for W.A. Bolin in Stockholm began already today, with a show of some of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery to brighten the short lived days. Most surprising this season was that I fell in love with jewellery that were mostly French made!

The above is no. 1132 from their auction catalogue. A large golden purple ametrine (ca. 30 carats) and diamond pendant with diamonds weighing ca. 1.2 carats.

Festive! Silk shoes with bows

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, silk shoes with bows, Chanel no. 19, Chanel Macau lipstick, Chanel nailpolish

For a night out this season…iridescent eyeshadow in various vibrant shades, Chanel No. 19, Chanel Aqualumiére lipstick, no. 42, Macao, Chanel nail polish in blush pink, a pair of light gold shoes in silk.
Photo for CMC © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson 2009

The local shops in Sweden are already decking out in Christmas gear, much to the delight of the early Christmas shoppers! And all these festive shop window displays, whether it’s interior design shops suggesting a state-of-art Christmas tree, a traditional Swedish julbock made of straw and wrapped in red ribbons, or a clothing store suggesting an outfit to a fantastic New Year’s Eve party, heightens the season’s anticipation.

Silk satin gold shoes with bows

When it comes to what to wear, I think decorative shoes have certainly made their mark this season, with consumers becoming acquainted with eccentric designs from Marc Jacobs to bold chunky heels from Prada and bejewelled heels from Prada’s sister Miu Miu.

Bows affixed to shoes, thanks for designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin and Vivien Westwood (hearts on shoes actually), whether front, sides or back, have also made it to the runways, adding to the revelry of dressing for this upcoming Christmas and New Year’s, that are just about 6 to 8 weeks away.

So in this season of parties, I’m already looking forward to a display of exotic looking shoes, casually tossed at entrances, with designs that are as individual as the wearers themselves!

November 11th, 2009

Wool basic in grey

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, tailored wool pencil dress in brown-grey

In a tailored wool pencil dress with a broad open collar, reminescent of Dior of the mid-1900s. Accessories are a fur hat from Canada, a Chanel 2.55 flap bag, a gold and diamond bear brooch, a gold bracelet, Karen Millen stilettos and Chanel No. 19.
Photo for CMC © Jan-Erik Nilsson 2009

It was just about two to three generations ago in Singapore, when my grandmother was in her twenties, that women tended to sew their own clothes. How beautiful your outfit eventually became, depended much upon your sewing skills.

Many of my grandmother’s friends would not only sew their own traditional outfits such as cheongsams and kebayas, but made their own accessories too, from floral hair pins to beaded shoes. Those who did not acquire tailoring skills of their own usually had their dresses or outfits made by relatives and friends who could. As things were at the time of pre-WWII, it was much more economical to know how to make your own clothes than to purchase them in the shops.

Eventually social values shifted in Singapore as in the rest of the world and women no longer needed to sew for themselves. Still, I grew up with my mother making a lot of my day dresses, both sewn and crocheted, and come an important event such as wedding dinners for example, we often visited a seamstress with a dress idea roughly sketched on paper.

Today tailored dresses, a once inexpensive and natural phenomena, is becoming a luxury. Still, when the opportunity arises, I find absolute delight in choosing textiles for a new skirt or dress, and drawing a design of an outfit that I miss in my wardrobe.

This pencil dress is one of two new arrivals from the seamstress. It makes for good, basic officewear for the cooler autumn and winter months that is just ahead of us. The material is wool and the dress, whose long and lean cutting is vintage inspired, has been designed so that it would keep the core of the body warm, with three quarter sleeves (so I can accessorize with bracelets / bangles), skirt to the calves, kick pleat to the back instead of an open slit and fully lined on the inside. Added to the outfit is a fabric buckle belt, made in the same material as the dress.

November 3rd, 2009

Wool basic in herringbone

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, tailored wool pencil dress in charcoal grey, boatneck, Roberto Cavalli shoes

In a tailored wool pencil dress in charcoal grey, with Roberto Cavalli black patent shoes, vintage Trifari silvertone earrings and Cartier white gold ring.
Photo for CMC © Jan-Erik Nilsson 2009

Here’s the second tailored wool pencil dress, but in herringbone dark grey. Same features as the wool dress in stone grey, with three-quarter sleeves, calf-length pencil skirt and lined on the inside. This dress however, features a simple boatneck and a tie waist belt made in the same fabric as the dress.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, officewear, custom-made wool pencil dress in charcoal grey, boatneck

As mentioned above, I do love tailoring outfits when given the chance because a lot of what I get out of it is the process of creation, to see a rough sketch of an outfit turn not only real, but into something you can wear! I admit my fair share of disasters when it comes to tailored clothing, mostly because of the wrong choice of material. A lack of understanding of the properties of a fabric for example can cost the brilliancy of its design. But when everything goes right and the result is as you desired, then the feeling in this process is nothing short of a small success.

On the other hand, I could tell about one of my greatest tailoring disasters…

When visiting China you are often pounced upon by persistent tailors, wanting to create whole new outfits for you or at least shirts for your husband. A few years ago we actually gave in to one of these offers. I fell in love with some very dazzling silk fabrics and chose to have a traditional Shanghai style cheongsam made. The measurements were taken and on the very last day of our stay, a last fitting was made with me standing up and the tailor nipping, tucking, pinching and putting in needles all along the sides, from top to bottom. I must say I can’t complain about the attention or quality of workmanship, but that I should have tried to move some in the dress too, didn’t occur to me at the time.

Back home and after unpacking, I tried on the dress again and realized that the fitting was indeed “perfect”. It sat as if painted on me and I know now what shrink wrapping not only looks like, but feels like when wearing. I swear, if I had eaten an egg, that would have made me look pregnant. After a few years of the dress sitting in the wardrobe, I silently sold it off to one of those two-dimensional Asian model friends of mine who could actually wear it.

November 3rd, 2009

Paco Gil, a little bit of Spain in Autumn

LOUIS VUITTON // Mode

Paco GIl suede wedge heels, Louis Vuitton Vernis Mott, Louis Vuitton Multicolore, Nokia

Paco Gil wooden wedge suedes that puts a little Spain in the Swedish autumn.
Photos © Cheryl M. Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC, 2009

It is more yellows and reds these days on the ground and in the air, than the bright greens of a few months ago, and the guitar instrumentals of Michael Mucklow’s Joy and Govi’s Carioca Cat brings home a certain longing to be in Europe’s south, where the warmth lingers on just a little while longer than in its north.

Gossamer

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, gauze shawl

White gauze shawl.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson for CMC, 2009

I unwrapped the gift in the mail that had made it all the way from Singapore, purchased from Indonesia. A gossamer shawl, one I wondered how to put to good use when living in this part of the northern hemisphere. Too delicate for autumn and winters and too warm in the sometimes scorching summers of Sweden.

Swedish west coast in August

A beach by the Swedish west coast on a cloudless summer’s day.

But as some things go, the ocassion for its use presented itself nicely when we had a beach day by the Swedish west coast. The gossamer white of the shawl, which reminds me so much of a more delicate version of a cheesecloth that my mother once used to squeeze soya milk from grounded soya beans when I was young, made the perfect beachside pareo to the white one piece swimsuit.

The swimsuit is from Next in the UK, and the wooden crafted necklace, I purchased from a thirftstore in Sweden.

August 3rd, 2009

Two toned slingbacks, Salvatore Ferragamo

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Chanel flap bag and Ferragamo kitten heels

The beige Chanel flap bag seems a complement to the Ferragamo kitten heeled slingbacks.
Photo © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC, 2009

Ferragamo knows shoes. Classic and elegant in design, Ferragamo shoes are what I grew up witnessing most working women in Singapore own and love. A staple in most career women’s closets back then as is today, it isn’t difficult to understand why women generally rave about their Ferragamos – they’re utterly comfortable.

Made with the softest, buttery leather that feels like sheer luxury on your feet, Ferragamos tend to mould to the shape of your feet and make you forget that you’re actually wearing shoes.

Ferragamo two toned, beige black kitten heels

Ferragamo shoes also come in a range of width sizes, from AAAA to D or E, the latter being broadest when measured across the ball of the feet. Most, if not all Ferragamo shoes sold in the Singapore stores are of width C.

“So, what’s with kitten heels? I don’t understand them”, a girlfriend of mine said whilst bringing a warm cup of hot chocolate to her lips. She added that kitten heels of 2.5 inches were odd because they were inbetween the inherently sexy spiked stilettos and the inherently girlie Marc Jacobs or Ferragamo’s Varina flats.

I’ve never really thought about kitten heels, especially when purchasing subconsciously, but thinking back on what kinds of shoes I end up wearing to the office, I realize that most have actually been kitten heeled pumps. Ultimately, it was the comfort factor, when having to walk about in the office from meeting to meeting or even getting to and from work, you appreciate shoes that are kind on your feet. In the highly competitive life in Singapore, missing the first 3 minutes per interval train system during your rush hour timeline also inevitably makes you feel behind time. This is especially so if you make it to the platform just in time to see the train take off without you. Kitten heels give you that two seconds advantage over the stilettoed.

Ferragamo two toned heels

Beige and black with an embossed logo on the front of the shoes.

This pair of two toned, sleek kitten heeled slingbacks are indeed comfortable. For the sassier career woman, you might wish to check out the new Ferragamo Creations range. The Viatica for example, is high on my list of appealing shoes! It probably isn’t as comfortable as these two toned slingbacks, but as with every Ferragamo piece, it’s symmetry and balance in design is a work of art. And definitely eye candy enough for office conversation.

July 30th, 2009

Summer reading in CHIJ blue

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Reading 1

A blue pinafore dress by Alice and Olivia in a royal blue that is close to, if not just a slight shade darker than the CHIJ (Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus) school uniform blue I grew up wearing.

Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson for CMC, 2009

As a student in Singapore, the days in the month of June are always long. It’s that month when most, if not all students in Singapore have their mid-year holidays, and I gather now that my days were pretty much filled with reading, the ocassional bowling session with friends, tennis or BBQ by the East Coast beach.

Red currants ripening, a fairly common sight in high summer in Sweden.

And though I spent a lot of time reading during the school holidays, the concept of ‘summer reading’ didn’t really hit home, partly because the seasons in Singapore were not distinguished as such, but rather with the monsoons, the summer monsoon and the winter monsoon. The summer monsoon brings with it warm rains, deliciously fat raindrops that drenches all in reach, quenches nature’s thirst, and the kind that ruins unsturdy shoes. The winter monsoon is what characterises the Christmas season in Singapore, with rains distinctly cooler than any other time of the year.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Reading 3

In my hand, my latest summer read entitled Shining Hero by Sara Banerji.

After having worn this particular shade of blue for ten years of my life, through primary and secondary school at CHIJ, it doesn’t take much to understand why I’ve refrained from having this particular shade of blue in my wardrobe, until now.

I thought it’d be fun to have this dress in my wardrobe because it was similar yet different enough from the CHIJ pinafore for keeps. The colour is reminescent, the pleats from the top of the dress are in place, but the dress is generally tulip shaped, its silky material ballooning from where you cinch the waist with a belt, parting like petals to the knees.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Reading 2

Draping at the sides, to the knees. The dress is belted by a columbia blue suede belt with silvertone ware. The outfit is paired with an intrecciato weave, chocolate brown Timberland flats.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, blue ribbon

A cobalt blue ribbon in the hair and turquoise stone dangling earrings.

This hairstyle is similar to what CHIJ girls would wear to school on a daily basis, back from my mother’s time till today. I’ve used in this outfit, a cobalt blue ribbon in the hair. This particular shade of blue for hair accessories as I recall however, was not permitted during my days at the convent. Navy blue, white or black were the preferred hair accessory colours and only one colour was permitted at a time for the accessories. So you couldn’t for example, have a braided black and white headband as that would be deemed too ‘fancy’ for the school uniform.

Red currants 2

These red currants will be ready in a day or two, for red currant pie.

There were plenty of school rules to follow in the convent, one of which was that all girls should wear a pair of school shorts under their potentially billowing-in-the-wind pinafore skirts. I thought this school rule disastrous to follow for personal hygiene standards, the tropical heat alone would make the wearing of shorts under the skirt so uncomfortable that any concentrated effort at learning would be impossible. But shorts over underwear, under skirts were compulsory nonetheless and the students were spot-checked constantly for proper attire. The very act of spot-checking under skirts in the name of decency, would leave many a convent girl pondering the concept of virtue versus duty for the better part of their lives.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, reading 4

Reading, indoors.

Shining Hero by Sara Banerji proved a poignant read on livid lives both in high society and children of the streets of Calcutta, India. That so many of the themes in her book were also reflected in Slumdog Millionaire, 2008 was disturbing to me, never having visited India myself. I found Slumdog Millionaire to be much more genial and optimistic in its depiction of street children than Banerji’s work.

Dahlias

Dahlias in full bloom

July 22nd, 2009

Picnic barbeque in pink silk charmeuse

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson in Natalie Anne 2

In a straw hat and a pink silk charmeuse dress by Natalie Anne.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson for CMC 2009

It has been several weeks now of very warm weather in western Sweden, so it’s perfect for any outdoor activities. What we did, we packed our picnic basket and brought out the barbeque pits for our first BBQ this summer!

Tod’s, understated luxury

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Tod\'s grained leather cornflower blue bag

Tod’s grained leather bag.
Photo © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC, 2009

Tod’s is an Italian luxury label that offers a distinct laid back, understated style.

The Tod’s Group that owns brands such as Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier (acquired in the mid 1990s) began in the late 1920s in Italy. Reminescent of Ingvar Kamprad’s story of humble sales beginnings right at home, Diego Della Valle, founder of Tod’s, began selling leather goods from his basement.

Today, Tod’s can be found in select outlets around the world, from Scandinavia to the USA and Asia. No doubt though, the most exciting place to visit for Tod’s products would be Italy’s factory outlets, where its friendly customer service personnel will take pride in showing you its range of products and where shoppers can get a Tod’s for a friendlier price.

Tods logo on blue grained leather bag

My first encounter with a Tod’s product was when a girlfriend of mine showed me her latest bag purchase. It was a pristine quality Tod’s bag, large enough for her daily needs, in the right colour palette to suit her wardrobe and her fair skin, and one that I thought was stunningly bland for a luxury item.

Tod\'s blue leather bag

But after a passionate affair with Louis Vuitton monograms and Chanel quilts, where such bags are immediately recognizable on the streets, I’m now discovering with interest and delight, the subtlety of a Tod’s make.

Tod’s is hardly bland. In fact, its magnetism for Tod’s fans is precisely the Zen and simplicity in their designs.

Midsummer’s Eve, between sunshine and rain, 2009

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson in black crochet sweater

Hand crocheted black sweater made by Rita Cordeiro and silk tunic dress by Karen Millen.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson for CMC 2009

Not wanting to give false hopes for Midsummer in Sweden, the newspapers had, about two to three weeks ago, already begun forecasting a grey and soggy Midsummer for the west coast of Sweden.

Karen Millen silk floral 3

Floral print on black, ending in an asymmetrical hem.

Well, the day proved their forecasts accurate with some strange oscillations between sunshine and rain.

Boho beaded chandelier earrings

Boho bronze beaded chandelier earrings.

But regardless of weather conditions, it’s heartening to know that you’ll always find some die-hard Midsummer fans who’ll spread the festive cheer by setting up the Midsummer pole. I’ve seen how this is done and it’s no task for the faint hearted. The pole is decorated with flowers and blue and yellow streamers that trail beautifully in the wind. The hoisting of the pole and securing it into the ground takes nothing less than cooperative, physical strength. Then comes the sight of little children running around the grounds and that is enough to bring a smile on just about anyone’s face.

Swedish Flags on Midsummer\'s 2009

Swedish flags in celebration of Midsummer.

There were bouts of rain both before and after these pictures were taken, but I’m glad that the rain felt warm on the skin! I never understood how rain could be bitingly cold, almost painful, until I came to Sweden.

In Singapore, you have thick, clashing tropical thunderstorms and when the rain hits you, you’re covered in warm water from the equatorial sky. Rainstorms are almost delicious in the tropics!

As this is the celebration of the summer solstice, the days and nights during these days are long. And I’m all set to enjoy the festivities, preferably indoors this year!

Glad Midsommar to all!

June 19th, 2009

Swedish designers and one label’s take on the nautical theme

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson, Filippa K nautical dress with pearls

Standing in the wind, in a Filippa K dress.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson and Cheryl M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2009

I’m beginning to appreciate what I now recognize as Swedish and Danish designs. Not that the two are the same but there is a strong sense of clean cut lines, simple yet sturdy styles that come through labels such as Baum und Pferdgarten (Danish), Tiger of Sweden (Swedish) and Filippa K. In fact, Tiger of Sweden has such fantastically cut jackets for men that I can’t help but want one for myself!

Filippa K dress with Marc Jacobs denim and leather lined shoes

Filippa K dress with Marc Jacobs shoes.

There’s something always understated in Swedish design and this black and white striped dress from Filippa K is as loud as the label gets. It’s a superb Swedish take on the nautical theme, that’s very subtle compared to the nautically themed designs of Gaultier or Dolce & Gabbana.

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