Lifestyle Legends

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Margaret Thatcher used to name outfits after Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev and BBC broadcaster Terry Wogan during her years as prime minister, it has been revealed.

According to Thatcher’s newly-released clothing diary, she kept a note of what she wore towards the latter years of her political career.

Entries for 1990 show that Thatcher wore a garment from Chanel to Coronation Street, which she called “Pink Chanel Gorbchev” and wore something in the colour of burgundy (“Wogan Burgundy”) to visit the Bank of England.

Other outfits named after Wogan, who interviewed Thatcher in January 1990, include “Wogan Long” and a “Wogan Short”, but it’s not clear whether or not these references indicate variations on a single outfit.

Another public figure who Thatcher appears to have named outfits after is US president Ronald Reagan, though Mr Gorbachev emerged as the person with the most outfits named after them.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Collins from the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust told Press Association: “It’s interesting that so many were named for their association with Gorbachev.

“She really was showing off on her Soviet trips – glamour was part of her approach to ending the Cold War.

Mr Collins added that he thinks Thatcher’s first clothing diary was written in 1988 on a tour of the Soviet Union.

“She’s suddenly, I think, aware of the power of clothes,” he said. “She was interested before and very keen on things like British Fashion Week.

“She begins then to see that this is actual serious politics and she’s got more clothes and she’s monitoring what she’s doing with them. It comes together.”

Thatcher took great pride in her clothes, Mr Collins added, and kept them in a huge room in her office full of clothing lines.

“All of the clothes had their own zipped-up bags with the names on,” he added.

“There were maybe 200. Huge numbers of these clothes, vast numbers.

“They were lovingly looked after and they were a great joy to her. I mean, she loved clothes, they were a real pleasure in her day.”