If the eyes are the windows to someone’s soul, then walking into their closet must be the introduction to their personal style statements. It certainly true for Nelly Egle—as she gives us a tour of her closet, it’s clear that it’s the epitome of the different facets of her personality. Her current seaside lifestyle (and husband Rene’s position as the general manager of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa) is represented by flowing dresses in wispy fabrics and vivid tropical prints. Asian-inspired details, like the beautifully crafted armoire in one corner or the carved detailing of the long table for her accessories, are subtle odes to her Chinese heritage. And throughout the room (and the rest of the home, in fact) are carefully selected paintings that show her affinity for art.
“That’s not the piece I really wanted here, though,” she tells us, pointing to a framed painting of a woman seated daintily with her legs crossed in front of her. “I painted it,” she tells me, and thanks us graciously when we compliment the piece. “It’s nice, but I don’t think it’s the best match for the room.”
With the eye and sensibilities of an artist, Nelly just has an innate flair for putting things together. Her closet, a converted guest bedroom redecorated with clothing racks and shelves, are full of stylish tableaus that show this off.
In the middle of the room is a long table for her accessories. “I think I bought this more to display in the home than for me to use,” she laughs, admiring the Neil Felipp Oceania minaudiere in the middle. On both ends are an array of her accessories—necklaces and rings arranged on a colorful silk scarf on one, and earrings housed in clear acrylic cases in the other. Below it are a row of her shoes, all somehow a work of art in themselves for their sculptural forms.
As for her clothes, the range goes from bold prints to muted colors, from sleek silhouettes to unapologetic ruffles. One such ruffled piece is a J. Crew skirt that she was excited to put on. “This is my new favorite piece. They’re not really a super luxurious brand, but the details are so good,” she points out the ruffles on the skirt. “It’s nice for the beach, or for an event. What do you call it? Chic and sexy.”
Of course, a lot of the clothes have also been amassed from her and her husband’s travels and residencies around the world. One such piece is the a body-hugging wrap dress with a Pucci-esque print that she had gotten made for her while in Italy. “I used it a lot when we were in the Maldives,” she says, referring to Rene’s tenure at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa. “It’s great for the beach, so it’s perfect for Mactan too.”
For Nelly, though, her favorite piece in the closet is one that’s more than 20 years old. “This is my oldest piece in the closet. It shows my nationality,” she says, pulling out a deep blue qipao or cheongsam from the rack. “It’s handmade, and all the Chinese girls have to have one. But now, it doesn’t fit anymore,” she laughs.