InStyle (USA) - - Contents - By JOAN COLLINS

My vin­tage Erté pen­dant, by Joan Collins

I’ve al­ways been a fan of the art deco artist and de­signer

Erté. When I was younger, I used to read books about him and col­lect his sketches from the 1920s. I’d even draw pic­tures of flap­pers be­cause I loved the glam­orous style of the art deco era so much. I fol­lowed Erté’s work over the years, and in 1980, when I signed on to do the play The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, I asked him if he would de­sign the cos­tumes since it was a pe­riod piece set in the ’20s. He agreed, so I flew to Paris to meet him in his ate­lier. Erté was close to 90 at the time, very frail with a shock of white hair, but he was still so bril­liant. It was fas­ci­nat­ing to be able to see his work close-up. Af­ter the pro­duc­tion ended, I didn’t get to keep the cos­tumes he de­signed, but years later at an auc­tion in Lon­don, I saw this beau­ti­ful Erté pen­dant with di­a­monds and mother-of-pearl. He had de­signed very few pieces of jew­elry through­out his ca­reer, so I knew I had to bid on it. I loved that it was some­thing to­tally orig­i­nal that no­body else would have. I’ve worn it of­ten over the past 30 years, def­i­nitely more than any other piece of jew­elry I own. It makes me feel chic. And ev­ery time I put it on, it re­minds me of my time with Monsieur Erté.

Collins, an actress and best-sell­ing au­thor, can be seen in the up­com­ing TV series The Wid­ows of Wil­shire Blvd.

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