“When the Going gets Tough, The Tough go Shopping.”
I have the privilege of knowing some really world-class shopaholics, and they are an amazing breed…!!!
Putting aside the bottomless resources of these people, I have observed that megashopping, however pleasurable, is still a labor-intensive activity…
Unseen Taipan. “Shopping” on the KKR / Kravis and Blackstone / Schwarzman level [ in their heyday ]. Juan de la Cruz buys clothes and shoes, He buys conglomerates and companies. Liquidity is never a problem. The most recent purchase was a large corporation based in China. He is private and low-key to the extreme. For all the money in the world [ and perhaps to deflect the kidnapers ], the family piles into one simple vehicle wherever they go in the city.
Oriental Publisher. A truly rich man, he bought a major hotel, had it completely renovated from top to bottom, but keeps it closed, reserving its use solely for his private functions. The unknown darling of the “Lladro” Porcelain Company. He does not buy single figures, or even groups of figures. He buys, quite literally, whole towns of “Lladro” figures. His Collection numbers in the thousands. But once in a while, he finds the pale colors of the porcelain quite restrained for his tastes, and has them sprayed with gold.
Emperor Kangxi. Shopping on a sublime level with Olympian taste. His kind of shopping is for multimillion-peso Filipino masterpiece paintings, magnificent antique furniture, ecclesiastical and domestic gold and silver, antique ivory. In short, Everything Filipino, the best of the best, rare, and very expensive goes to Him.
Formidable Mother. I have written so much about her that Everyone knows for certain that She is a certified megashopper. The very best stores in New York, London, and Paris, and even Hong Kong and Manila, are her playgrounds. To say She has dozens of Everything is an understatement. All sorts of precious objects, name it She has it, in multiples. As She herself said, with a puff from her solid gold tar guard: “The only things I haven’t shopped for are Men, but I think I should start sometime, don’t you think???” *LOLSZ!!!*
Sleeping Beauty. Sleeping Beauty is No Great Beauty but She was born rich, married rich, divorced rich, remarried rich, and will in all probability die rich. Excellent Dress Sense. The most beautiful dresses [ needless to say the most expensive ] and the most beautiful shoes [ also the most expensive ] I have ever seen on a Filipina in Manila, barring Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos in her heyday, of course.
La Donna e Mobile. Like Sleeping Beauty, She was born rich, married rich, separated rich, and shacked up richrichrich. Dress Sense straight from the magazine ads. Looks like a walking “Chanel” magazine ad, actually. Or “Dolce & Gabbana.” Has every single thing to make one look fantastic: All the best and the most deathly expensive clothes, shoes, and bags. Frankly, A Looker.
Grand Don. He has to acquire something everyday or He will get sick. His recently-built “Little House” in the legendary family spread sprawls over 1,000 square meters but it is still not enough to contain his myriad collections of paintings, sculpture, furniture, ecclesiastical art, silver, porcelain, crystal, and high kitsch.
Talleyrand. Born to Big Money, the scholarly and erudite gentleman grew up — to quote the diplomat Valentine Lawford about Baroness Pauline de Rothschild in the Library of the Chateau Mouton — ”combining luxury with learning.” From books, he branched out to objects of historical significance, and from there to rariora that exemplifies the best of everything in the History of the Philippines.
La Duquesa. Like Grand Don, She also has to buy something everyday or She will get sick. Heaven have mercy on you if She takes a fancy on something you have, because She will summon Hell to get it!!! Has the incredible gift of Serendipity: What She wants appears out of the blue and She is able to buy, acquire, or simply grab it for herself.
NY Doctora. “A Diamond a Day keeps Boredom Away” is her motto. She is a constant presence in the jewelry stores of Manila and the jewelry salesmen are a constant presence in her home. Has “ballroom dancing” soirees in her posh apartment so she can wear her big diamonds without fear of them falling and getting lost. Takes her lucky dance instructors — the handsome, straight ones — on luxury Mediterranean, Aegean, and Caribbean cruises. But no affairs — the widow is in love only with her jewelry, Euro placements, and Manhattan properties.
Gobernadora. She likes Everything and will buy Everything.
Ms. Lean and Mean.
Old Guard Banker. Belonging to a venerable Spanish mestizo family whose vast fortune [ and arts and antiques collection ] underwent the vicissitudes of time. He buys the most beautiful and expensive Filipino colonial antiques and artifacts in an admirable effort to replace his family’s lost legacies. It is through him that the cycle of wealth has returned to the family.
Violetta Valery. Unlike the original “La Traviata” story, this Violetta Valery’s Alfredo Germont has provided handsomely for her. But how long will it last???