Imelda Marcos : Diamonds in Diaper

Jose Marie Sta. Iglesia

Keywords: Fashion design, Imelda marcos, Wealth

Internship: Leandro Cano

Imelda Marcos is a controversial image in the Philippines. She is the former first lady in the Philippines, known for her three thousand pairs of shoes and who hides  diamonds in diapers as she fled the country. She uses beauty as a political tool. She justifies her beauty as a moral standard that everybody must aspire to be and to have. For the poor Filipinos, She is the image of beauty and the image of wealth. The value of beauty and image of money became synonymous. It is not because we value money more than beauty but because our society is structured on money. The story of money is our greatest invention according to Harrari. I am fascinated with this display of beauty. The line between opulence and tackiness, that spot between sweet perfume and rot. It is in this thin line where I try to grasp for the moment: diamonds in diapers.

I made a couture collection for men. I try to capture a new sense of beauty in the collection by using men/they who are rough and raw. The collection tries to be couture luxury out from nothing, capturing the wealth myths of Imelda. I was trying to think like Imelda. I try to imitate and embody her values.I try to capture what is beautiful for Imelda. For her, Beauty is not luxury but an Art. She is the combination of Diamonds and Diaper.

Hopefully, the collection will open a conversation and awareness on the influence of the Marcoses in the Philippine politics. This influence extended to erasing and distortion of Philippine history, as they glamorise the Marcos era. The use of beauty in this collection is my political tool in honouring the victims of the Marcoses and preserving the real history.