You are what you wear. At least that’s what actress Joan Collins thinks. And with a past filled with opulence—she regularly had her hair styled by Vidal Sassoon in the ’70s, sat front row at Gianni Versace’s shows in the ’80s and walked down the aisle in designer bridalwear five times—it should come as no surprise that the 78-year-old thinks that in some cases, clothes do make the woman.
“How you look is a manifestation of how you feel inside,” Collins says from her penthouse in West Hollywood. “If you feel like hell then you’ll look like hell. Dressing should enhance you. The older you get, the more important it is to look put-together and groomed—without looking like a throwback to the 1950s.”
Most often associated with the big hair, big shoulders and big-top glamour connected to her portrayal of Alexis Carrington on Dynasty, the Downton Abbey of the 1980s, Collins is pleased to see that a few of her most lavish looks from that time have been reimagined on the runway. “I happen to think the 1980s was [one] of the best decades in fashion,” the Brit says, adding that she feels that much of Alexis’s wardrobe was ahead of its time.
“Especially when you look at what is going on with Balenciaga. At the time, I don’t think that I was given great reviews for my clothes,” she says, taking a dramatic pause. “It’s nice to be appreciated a couple of decades later…I still wear a lot of my ’80s pieces. It’s important to go back into your closet and reuse what looks good on you. I don’t think you should buy new pieces just for the sake of buying,” she adds, sharing Kate Middleton’s approach to dressing.
Currently touring a one-woman show, Collins is also penning her 18th book, a memoir titled Passion for Life. “I’ve collected over 300 photographs for it,” she says. “Of course, photos of me with Versace, Michael Kors and Valentino are all in the pile!”
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