The Doyenne – Jackie Collins (Vanity Fair)
Time is precious. I am completely on time and if people are 10 minutes late I am pissed; in that 10 minutes I could have been doing something. At least I could have written another page. – J.C.
Jackie Collins’s carpe minutom approach to life is regulated by at least seven Cartier clocks on her prairie-like desk, and when she strays from her office there is a Mavado on her wrist, which, come evening, is changed for a Harry Winston. If one were so minded it might be possible to see a metaphor for the tawdry glitter of the life she chronicles in a vintage gem-set watch that used to belong to Billie Holiday’s pimp. For On Time she slips on a Chanel J12, which she commissioned herself, adding a diamond-set bracelet from another watch, as she considered the plain ceramic links a little, well, plain for life in Beverly Hills.
In the 1980s, she recalls, “powerful women ran the town and would put together the biggest stars and producers at their dinners and parties.” By the 90s the matriarchal period has passed into Hollywood history–but not before she had put it all down, longhand, on page after page of yellow legal pads. This is a method that she has seen no reason to change since her debut, The World is Full of Married Men, in 1968. And although those Hollywood Wives of the 80s may have lost their power, as she heads towards her 30th book (Goddess of Vengeance was her 28th), she runs more risk of running out of legal pads than she does of her inspiration.
Jackie Collins, photographed by Doug Inglish on June 17, 2011, at home in Los Angeles, in her writing den, wearing a Chanel J12.