" JOAN COLLINS WANTS 12 INCHES" BY iLENE pROCTOR 25 years ago, that was the outrageous headline used by an English tabloid to lure readers to read another story about the sensational Joan Collins. In fact, what they were actually saying was Joan Collins was so sensitive about her fading beauty, she insisted that the camera be at least 12 inches away from her face. Well today at 82, Dame Joan Collins still has a flawless face which is why everyone will be flocking to Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on December 16th to peek at the mystery and the history of Collins’ fabulous career. From outrageous shoulder pads to two of Warren Beatty’s (who has been rumored to submit his sperm to the Smithsonian for his prodigious gifts of nature) love letters. As auctions go, this one will be a doozy, darling. Dame Joan Collins is going on a massive de-clutter: hundreds of objects from her homes and capacious wardrobes are to be sold, including gowns lavishly endowed with ruffles and shoulder pads, fur coats, her outfit from one of Dynasty’s many doomed wedding scenes., the headboard from the bed in her New York apartment, and perhaps more surprisingly her own watercolour of Saint-Tropez, her son Alexander Newley’s sketch of a ballet dancer, and a Picasso print of a voluptuous naked bottom. Although Collins made her stage debut aged nine, and has a film career stretching back well over half a century, she is still probably most famous for her roles in the 70s adaptations of two novels by her equally famous sister Jackie Collins, The Stud, and The Bitch, and for her over the bottom portrayal of Alexis Carrington in the 80s television series Dynasty. There was nothing like this Dame when she donned some of those startling designs with equally startling pedigrees: an extravagantly ruffled creation in cobalt blue was her costume for a 2012 commercial for Snickers chocolate, which reunited her with her Dynasty rival Stephanie Beacham, who played Sable Colby. Collins is the diva’s diva: proof positive is the black lace and scarlet satin bustier she wore with suspenders and silk stockings in the film These Old Broads in 2001 – with a cast including Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds and Shirley MacLaine – when she was almost 70. It is estimated at up to $700. Although there are designer labels including Lanvin, Armani and Alexander McQueen, many of the gowns, including the cream outfit she wore to collect her dame commander of the British empire honor from Buckingham Palace last March, have “Jackie Palmer” labels, indicating that she designed them herself. At the investiture, she recalled, Prince Charles – whose mother presented her OBE in 1997 – told her “about time too”. Some of the clothes come with photographs showing their previous outings: a birthday party for the actor Christopher Biggins with the late Cilla Black; a charity event with the Duchess of York; Clint Eastwood’s arm around her bare shoulder at a party in 1997. The photograph of one of the necklaces shows her wearing the rhinestone bow with a marabou stole and nothing but her beautiful buff self. Now that Dame Joan Collins is a “Royal”, it’s time for every Hollywood collector to be part of the dynasty.

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