Are you one of those adorable naïfs who toted a copy of Memoirs of a Geisha to the beach in a misguided and insanely unsuccessful attempt to appear highbrow? Your pseudo-intellectual honey trap backfired, didn’t it? Remember that swarm of wankers who buzzed around your beach towel? Don’t rerun that pathos-drenched movie this year.
Get real! Be true to your empowered, cheese-lovin’ self and pick up the new Jackie Collins page-turner, Hollywood Wives: The New Generation . This lurid hardback, with its cheetah fur and raised vinyl graphics (as pleasingly overwrought as any Fendi baguette bag), is designed to attract real Joan-and-Jackie-type men. As an accessory, it makes a great foil for the nouveau conservatism of your chic, preppy beach attire. P.S.: It’s great to dip into.
Dip: “Nicci Stone gazed unblinkingly at her kickboxing instructor’s crotch. It was quite a package, and so was he.”
Dip: “‘Divine. Beautiful. The works,’ Fabio assured her, tossing back his luxuriant mane of expensive hair extensions.”
Dip: “When a certain producer had pissed her off she’d delivered an enormous gift-wrapped package of bullshit to his office.”
And it’s not just pulp! There is an important, overarching psycho-social hypothesis holding this 519-page, $26 mistress piece together. It is as follows: The old 80’s Hollywood wives (those manipulative, maquillaged odalisques who shopped and shagged their way into our hearts via Ms. Collins’ 1983 bestseller, Hollywood Wives ) used their wiles to further their husbands’ careers. The new generation–ambitious, lethal and Pilates-obsessed–are competing with their husbands.
Ms. Collins, unarguably the Victor Hugo of our time, elaborated by phone from her Beverly Hills home. “This new breed of Hollywood power-chick is filled with ruthless ambition. I see them everywhere in Hollywood. If hubby’s a producer, she’s got to be a bigger producer.” I ask Ms. Collins if this new career pistol is happier than the trophy wives and glamorous eminences grises of 80’s Hollywood. “No. She’s totally miserable. She’s too busy to have kids. Then she remembers and starts buying eggs or adopting, and she’s in a rage the whole time. And when the divorce comes, everyone goes with the famous man just like they always have.”
If the maid is off, she still has to unload the dishwasher? “No,” corrects Ms. Collins, utilizing the tone of a mildly pissed-off dominatrix. “In Hollywood, the maid is never off!” Ms. Collins chortles conspiratorially.
She argues that Madonna is the only person able to pull off this omnipotent role. “She’s fucking incredible. She’s got a gorgeous husband–I loved Snatch –and two bloody gorgeous kids!”
I ask Ms. Collins about the origins of her liberal use of expletives. “I love swear words; I can’t stop–I’m like a sailor on leave.” Favorite words? “For a while, it was ‘fuckhead.’ My new favorite is ‘mother fuckhead.'”
I steer the conversation toward fashion and style with a bubbly inquiry about what she’s wearing. “Black boot-cut jeans by Dolce & Gabbana, sneakers, a few gold crosses by Theo Fennell–he’s from London; I’m sure you’ve heard of him–and a black silk Armani men’s shirt.” General thoughts on fashion? “It’s gone berserk–the naked thing is ridiculous. I watch the fashion shows on E!. Who the fuck would wear that? I love Giorgio. I’m also wearing Armani on my book jacket, and major antique jewelry–my own, I might add.” This doesn’t surprise me, since Ms. Collins has, according to her publisher, Simon & Schuster, sold more than 250 million books. You do the math!
What is Ms. Collins reading this summer? ” Chemical Pink , a fantastic book about female body builders, and Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man by Dan Anderson and Maggie Berman.” With another expletive or two, Ms. Collins concludes our interview in order to resume her writing. “My next is called Deadly Embrace –it’s the further adventures of Madison Castelli, heroine of Lethal Seduction . I love my characters. I just sit back and let them take me on these wild adventures. It’s a total gas!”
Don’t miss the opportunity to meet La Collins. On June 21 at 7:30 p.m., she’ll be signing books and bantering with Michael Musto at the Barnes & Noble on Union Square.
Creative taste-makers come from the armpits and margins of society: Royals and aristocrats tend to signify frumpiness (QE2 and Princess Margaret) or a bland, upscale, “duty-free” Monaco style (Princesses Diana, Stephanie, Caroline). The monarchy is usually more interested in shooting animals than designing frocks or flower-arranging.
Jewelry designer and New York resident Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia is that rare exception, a royal who makes things pretty. And so, apparently, was his grandfather, King Umberto II of Italy, whom Prince Dimitri spoke of in his Gstaad-educated drawl over a crackly cell phone. “He loved jewelry,” said the Prince. “He designed a tiara for my grandmother–Queen Marie-José of Italy, formerly Princess of Belgium–in the Art Deco style.”
Tiaras, schmiaras ! The must-have items from Prince Dimitri are his gorgeous and colorful rings. “So much of my jewelry is feminine. I wanted something more masculine,” he said. ” Voilà! Russian chevalier rings.” Drilled and mounted in his Miami workshop from lumps of agate, chalcedony and onyx, these chic- sportif rings are then encrusted with citrines, peridots, amethysts and blue topaz. They cost about as much as a fancy designer purse: i.e., $1,400 from Barneys.
Bijoux aside, being royal is–based on my interview with His Royal Princeliness–not much to cackle about. I badgered him with do-you-wear-your-crown-on-the-toilet-type questions, but was unable to illicit anything inappropriate. Apparently, he has no eccentric or indiscreet family members upon whom he can rat. He does not sleep under a royal crest. (“Certainly not. I have some antique photos on the wall above my bed.”) He is only curtsied to occasionally, and never by men. (“Men are not supposed to curtsey.”) He is too discreet to name his clients, who, according to press materials, number heads of state and other royals. Quel drag!
He does, however, perk up when I mention his first cousin, Catherine Oxenberg. Remember, she played Joan Collins’ daughter on Dynasty and was briefly married to the king of geezer-chic, suave Hollywood producer Robert Evans, last year. H.R.H. Prince D. offers an explanation for their short union: “I think maybe she got cold feet when she realized that Viagra really works!”
Embarrass Prince Dimitri with a deep, knee-cracking curtsey during his personal appearance, with his partner Alvaro Cuadrado, at Barneys on June 13, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Every time you take off your glasses, you tuck them into the neck of your sweater or T-shirt–and now, as a result, all your garments have a mini cowl neck. Stop it! Do not even think of cracking the spine of Hollywood Wives: The New Generation until you have bought a La LOOP necklace, the patented fashion-and-function lifestyle accessory with the magical ring.
Pop into the gorgeous, new pistachio-colored Robert Marc store, at 400 Madison Avenue and 47th Street (319-2900), and check out their selection. My picks: the hexagonal onyx La LOOP ($195) and the coral branch and bead ($225). La LOOPs can also be worn by men: Avoid derision by choosing one of the more masculine fabrications–e.g., tortoise-shell ($90). Costume designer Jeffrey Kurland ( My Best Friend’s Wedding , Erin Brockovich , Ocean’s Eleven ) wears a sterling-silver one, and nobody takes the piss out of him.
While enjoying the ambiance of this top-shelf eyewear store (designed by John Berson and Brian Sawyer of Sawyer-Berson, 244-3055), try on some exclusive shades not found at other Robert Marc stores–e.g., model 509 in color No. 24. These $295 couture spectacles are dark-beer-colored with a chartreuse lining. The lenses, according to Mr. Marc, “go from green smoke to ochre.” For another $100, Robert will apply your prescription, and you will have the grooviest mother-fuckheading beach-reading shades on Long Island.
With Jackie Collins in one hand, a cluster of Dimitri rings adorning the other and your beer-colored shades dangling on an onyx La LOOP in your cleavage, only real men–or short-sighted geezers–will dare approach you.