"I’ve worn it often over the past 30 years, definitely more than any other piece of jewelry I own."

By Joan Collins, as told to Jennifer Ferrise
Updated Feb 21, 2020 @ 9:00 am
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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 1920's. 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.

Credit: Graham Walzer

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.

Credit: GC Images

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

For more stories like this, pick up the March issue of InStyle available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download now.