Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, notorious for an extensive collection of shoes and diamonds accrued under her husband's dictatorship, is launching a jewelry collection using castoffs from her wardrobe and, she claims, flea market finds.
Marcos -- known for her shopping trips to ritzy shops in New York while the country wallowed in poverty before the dictatorship ended 20 years ago -- said she made the pieces from her old accessories and clothes, mixed with newly bought stones and other materials.
Her daughter, Representative Imee Marcos, said that unknown to many people, her mother shops for trinkets and accessories at flea markets.
Using a glue gun, scissors or pliers, her mother "can combine them with her vintage items in a way that comes out beautiful," Imee Marcos told reporters on Monday during a promotional photo shoot.
"The Imelda Collection" is to be launched on Nov. 18 in Manila.
The 77-year-old widow of Ferdinand Marcos reclined on a divan in the seaside garden of a Manila hotel to pose for photos, modeling several chunky necklaces, rings and bracelet sets for a brochure of the collection.
Pointing to a set of matching earrings and brooch made of blue imitation tiger eye stone that she was wearing, she said: "This thing I wear now is something I recycled."
She said the jewelry collection was the idea of her grandson, Martin "Borgy" Manotoc, who told her: "You are creating beautiful things, like jewels from practically garbage."
The first designs are only for jewelry and will not yet include shoes, her daughter said. But an aide said there are plans to expand the collection to include shoes, clothes and possibly furniture.
"What we are selling is not something valuable, but ... it is something invaluable because it's only beauty that can feed the spirit," Imelda Marcos said.
She said the items would cost from US$20 to US$100, though her daughter said prices and details were still being ironed out.
"The accessories are just an excuse. It's just a visual and tactile reminder of this attitude she wishes to share, the Imelda spirit, the Imelda way and that's what it will represent," Imee Marcos said.