chaise lounge in pants with red and white stripes. “Here we are 30 years later and you can still wear that and it still looks great,” says Sermak, unable to pinpoint exactly how she would define the quintessential Bette Davis look. It is, of course, self-evident. In 1989, the women were reunited in Europe. Davis was in Spain to accept a lifetime achievement award at the San Sebastian Film Festival. She was in fine form, donning Patrick Kelly for a number of events celebrating the life and career of one of Hollywood’s greatest stars. It was, however, her final act. While there, it was found Davis’ cancer had retuned and had rapidly spread. She died just a few days later at the American Hospital in Neuilly-Sur- Seine, just outside Paris. By the time the end came, Davis was prepared. So too was Sermak. Although devastated by the loss of a woman she had come to see as her best friend and a woman who, in turn, came to see her as a sur- rogate daughter, she knew there was work to do. They had a pact. “We had these discussions ahead of time, not to leave things to the last minute because chaos, emotions and everything ensues,” says Sermak. “She knew where she was going to be buried, her sarcophagus was made, and our pact was made in 1985: nobody is going to see you, but you want to look nice. “Miss Dwould always plan. She put things out the night before, whether it was the pants with the shoes or the dress with the purse, everything was organized and you didn’t do things at the last minute. And knowing who she was, the person of her caliber, thank goodness for that. It just so happened I was over there with her, but what if I wasn’t? Any person would do that for somebody they love.” So, the brushes and pencils were in hand once again, ready for their own final act. It’s an act that might have ended as soon as Sermak put those brushes down, if not for the promise to write their story. “I needed time to heal and the timing had to be right,” she explains, noting she was galvanized by her own mother’s passing to finish the book. “Any earlier and I don’t think I would have had the maturity I needed for the book I wrote today. It hit me that life is so short and I still had this on my plate, as I promised Miss D I would do it. You have to be raw, open and honest to go real deep and that is what Miss D. did in her own memoir. This book was written out of love, Miss D passing the torch of lessons learned, and I pass it on to the reader.” Miss D and Me: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis is available at amazon.ca and amazon.com I SERMAKWITHMISS D LANCÔME Click on product to buy Get each Issue Sign Up to be the fIrst to get each Issue of BeautY the GuIde. BEAUTY the guide brings you ExclUsivE inTErviEws, gloBAl rUnwAY BEAUTY TrEnds, skincArE innovATion and ExpErT AdvicE . our editors in pAris, london, nEw York and ToronTo share TrEnds and insidEr sToriEs . sign up today And wE’ll EmAil you EvErY issUE . u Sign up here to receive each issue.