Tracey & Joan


Issue 200’s Entertainment Editor, Tracey Emin, interviews her friend Joan Collins exclusively for Stylist. (NB It’s our favourite email exchange ever)

From: Tracey Emin

Date: 26 September 2013 05:15:12 CEST

To: Joan Collins

Dear Joan You are in New York. I’m at my house in France. When ever I think of you... In my minds eye… I see you in the south of France. Where do you consider home? And how important is it to you?

Sent from my iPhone

From: Joan Collins

Date: 30 September 2013 17:24:32 CEST

To: Tracey Emin

Subject: Re: First Question

I’m lucky enough to have 4 places I call home: London, south of France, New York and Los Angeles. We try to divide our time somewhat equally and I feel very much at home in each of my abodes, as I have family photos and memorabilia in each of them, and each time I arrive at each one I go off to the nursery and fill it with flowers and plants!

Sent from my iPhone

From: Tracey Emin

Date: 1 October 2013 00:45:53 CEST

To: Joan Collins

I have only ever been to your home in the SoF.

It is very homely and comfortable, you as a host are also very relaxed and make all your guests feel totally at ease.

I once came for lunch and ended up staying for three days. It was so damn relaxing!

You always have beautiful plants and flowers...

And yes you have a very lovely garden.

I know you have a gardener but I also know you do a lot of gardening yourself.

In fact you are a very self-sufficient person. You take care of a lot of things yourself. You are very hands on. From what I know of you, you have always been this way.

In your first answer you refer to yourself as lucky. But you said something brilliant to me. And I’ve run around quoting you. “Funny isn’t it how lucky people always work really hard.” You have worked exceptionally hard all your life at times even having reversible turns of fortune. What do you think gave you your faith and determination? And do you think its inherent in The British nature to resent success. Even if it is really worked for?

From: Joan Collins

Date: 4 October 2013 21:28:13 CEST

To: Tracey Emin

There will always be people who resent success, whatever country they come from. Sadly the American dream everyone expected in the 1950s has evaporated for too many.

My faith and determination came from my parents. My father said “don’t expect anybody to do anything for you. If you want to get on in life you got to do it yourself”. I try to make each day count: I want to achieve something and enjoy something every day.

My parents, like most parents of my generation, were quite insistent on good manners, discipline and self-sufficiency.

I love gardening! I find it very relaxing and gives me a great sense of accomplishment when I see something I’ve tended flourishing.

Love, Joan

Who wouldn't want to go on holiday with Tracey Emin and Joan Collins?

From: Tracey Emin

Date: October 7, 2013 12:33:18 AM PDT

To: Joan Collins

I left School unofficially at 13. At 15 I went back and sat five CSEs. Certificates of secondary education. I was told I had two work options. Rovects factory or Butlins washing up.

And that I’d never go to university. I proved them wrong. Going to art school was the biggest break in my life. Earning my first degree was by far the greatest achievement. You are pretty smart and brainy. Do you ever wish you had gone to university; If so what would you liked to have studied? (Excluding theatre or drama)

Sent from my iPhone

From: Joan Collins

Date: 9 October 2013 16:15:53 BST

To: Tracey Emin

I did go to University. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where I studied drama. But if I had not done that I probably would have gone to University and studied fashion, my second love. Xx

Sent from my iPad

From: Tracey Emin

Date: 10 October 2013 07:00:43 BST

To: Joan Collins

I would say love was your first love. Percy is your 5th husband. You both seem ridiculously happy. What’s your secret?

From: Tracey Emin

Date: 25 October 2013 10:33:15 BST

To: Joan Collins

Dear Joan I’m now up in Edinburgh. I’m here making a TV program on one of my favourite artists, Louise Bourgeois. She died in 2010 age 98. I deeply admire her and her work.

What women in your life have you admired?

From: Joan Collins

Date: 29 October 2013 17:28:39 GMT

To: Tracey Emin

Darling I’m so sorry we’re so tardy!! Here’s the answers:

The inspirational women I admire are my mother, Maggie Thatcher and Ava Gardner – I know that’s eclectic but so am I!!

As for Percy, our secret is we were friends first and loved each other for the right reasons!

How was The Old Toon? Xoxo

Sent from my iPhone

From: Tracey Emin

Date: 29 October 2013 17:40:21 GMT

To: Joan Collins

Edinburgh is as beautiful as ever but doing television always exhausts me, I feel in the long run it takes something out of my soul.

Another question.

You have been so busy the last week. I went to your book signing and since then you have popped up all over the place.

Does it exhaust you being in the public eye. Or excite you?

If you could have changed one thing in your life what would it have been? And what was the happiest moment of your life?

Do you believe in life after?

love The Trace xxxx

From: Joan Collins

Date: 30 October 2013 14:17:20 GMT

To: Tracey Emin

After several weeks of non-stop promotion and appearances I need to “pull the plug”. I therefore cancel everything and stay close to home and in bed for 2-3 days.

Two things I would have rather not done: I would not have married Husband #1 Maxwell Reed and Husband #4 Peter Holm.

There have been several happiest moments of my life as you can imagine! The birth of all my three children and my wedding day to Percy stand out.

I would like to believe in life after because I’d like to meet my loved ones who have passed on, but alas who knows? Only one way to find out and I’m not rushing!

Love, The Joan*

* All emails printed as written

Tracey Emin

Tracey has been a regular fixture in Stylist since our launch. She has been on the cover, created bespoke artwork for features and written her own column.

Share this article


Other people read

More from People

More from null