Do not confuse the Iron Lady with the Iron Butterfly.
The former, Margaret Thatcher, was renown for her handbags, the latter, for her shoes. Both were heads of state and ruled decisively. One became the Prime Minister whilst at the helm of the British Conservative Party; the other, the wife of Philippine president, Ferdinand, during his pseudo aristocratic regime of ‘kleptocracy’.
The ‘Shoebug’s name? Imelda Marcos, ex-Governor of Manila, leader of the majority party of the National Assembly and Minister of Culture.
Daughter of a grocer, Baroness Thatcher rose up the all male ranks of power, preferring to shop for her frocks at Marks & Spencers. Imelda, in contrast, was recorded to have logged a $3.3 million one-day shopping trip to America with her husband sometime during their years in power between 1965-86. Imelda did, however, stack up on Marks & Spencers’ girdles at every chance she could. And rightly so: she was as much the Muse of Manila as she was an Iron Butterfly.
When she finally had to step down and hand over control to the Aquino government, 4,000 pairs of shoes were found in the Malacanang Palace. But the Iron Butterfly responded that this audit was ridiculous: she claims she only had about 1,200 pairs.
The Shoebug’s decorative style classified as a unique mix of 'kitsch & class'. A lousy Michelangelo fake was flanked by a genuine Gauging and a genuine Pissarro during her disco/Gothic phase.
The former beauty queen, born in 1926, also had a penchant for all things Hollywood, like the use of over-sized furniture. The dominating colour scheme in the palace ranged from pale knickers-pink to hot pink, burgundy to rash-red, punctuated with enough gilt frames and gilt mirrors to make your eyes water.
When Ferdinand died, he, too became a prop of sorts. But whether the refrigerated remains of her husband are real or simply a fiberglass replica does not concern the female population. Just take us on a tour of her shoe collection!