Joan Collins on how her iconic Dynasty costumes were inspired by the pages of Harper's Bazaar

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Photo credit: Oliver Holms
Photo credit: Oliver Holms

"I should imagine, that to some of you, there's only one great icon in this room, and I'm very proud to call her my friend," said Tracey Emin, as she took to the stage at our 2021 Women of the Year Awards. The famed artist joined us for the evening at Claridge's to present the Icon Award to the legendary Dame Joan Collins.

From Alexis Carrington to Absolutely Fabulous, the grande dame of the silver screen has sparkled throughout a 70-year career, which she has now documented in her bitingly entertaining new memoir.

"I'm very proud that her latest book, The Unapologetic Diaries, is zooming up the book charts - it is very, very funny," Emin told the audience, before describing her friend as "an extraordinary woman".

She continued: "One of the best things she ever said to me was, 'Darling, being born beautiful and getting old, is like being born rich and getting poorer and poorer every day.'"

The actress and author was one of 12 extraordinary women celebrated on the night, alongside actress Claire Foy, singer Cynthia Erivo, designer Sarah Burton, Olympic athletes Laura Kenny and Sarah Storey, and Succession star Sarah Snook.

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

"It's a great honour and I'm really chuffed," said Dame Joan as she took to the stage. "I've been reading Harper's Bazaar since I was a teenager and I learned many of my fashion tips from it. In fact, particularly during the decade of decadence, the Eighties, which is when I was playing this character, Alexis [in Dynasty]. We stole many outfits from the pages of Harper's Bazaar and put her in them."

It was during this decade that Collins also graced the cover of the magazine, an honour that she said was particularly exciting because "they didn't put actresses on covers in those days, only models".

Photo credit: Oliver Holms
Photo credit: Oliver Holms

She finished her acceptance speech by discussing the definition of an icon. "When I looked it up in the dictionary - yes I still use a dictionary, I'm not on to Google yet - I saw that it said, 'An icon is a religious figure painted on a piece of wood'," she recalled, to much laughter from the audience. "Well, I'm certainly not a religious figure and I never thought of myself as a piece of wood, although I have certainly worked with a couple of actors who... well, I won't go any further."

Watch Tracey Emin and Joan Collins' full on-stage appearance above, and then catch up on more from our 2021 Women of the Year Awards, here.

The December issue of Harper's Bazaar is out now.


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