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THE SIMPLICITY OF INNOVATION. LUMINOR MARINA 1950 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC - 44mm P.9000 in-house calibre
This is the season of celebration. We celebrate with family and friends as we give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. We celebrate our holidays and traditions with the familiar sights, smells and tastes that cause our hearts to sing at this special time of year. Almost every celebration in our lives involves the giving of gifts in order to Mark the Moment® of a particular holiday or occasion. There is joy both in giving and in receiving, and the excitement is multiplied when the gift itself has special significance. At Tapper’s, we have been helping our clients Mark the Moment® of special occasions in their lives for nearly 35 years. For the first time ever, we are including our holiday catalog of gift ideas inside Accent magazine so that you can browse at your leisure and enjoy a wonderful array of exquisite merchandise. Also new this year, we are proud to introduce Timeless Moments, our signature collection of diamond engagement rings. Featuring classic designs and timeless elegance, the Timeless Moments collection offers exquisite styles and breathtaking diamonds. Enjoy a sneak preview of this exciting new collection in the bridal section of this issue. Our dedicated team of jewelry professionals is ready to help you with your holiday wish list, either in person or by phone. It is our sincere hope that your holiday season will be filled with joy and light, surrounded by those you love the most. Happy Holidays,
Marla Tapper Young
Contents fall/winter 2011 DIAMONDS & FINE JEWELRY WEST BLOOMFIELD ORCHARD MALL 337 ORCHARD LAKE ROAD WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI 48322 PHONE: (248) 932-7700 FAX: (248) 932-7717 NOVI TWELVE OAKS MALL 27716 NOVI ROAD NOVI, MI 48377 PHONE: (248) 465-1800 FAX: (248) 465-1818 TROY SOMERSET COLLECTION NORTH 2800 WEST BIG BEAVER TROY, MI 48084 PHONE: (248) 649-2000 FAX: (248) 649-5076 WWW.TAPPERS.COM PRESIDENT HOWARD TAPPER VICE PRESIDENT STEVEN TAPPER
C H I E F O P E R AT I N G O F F I C E R JEFFREY GARDEN CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER ROBERT HUTTER C O M M U N I C AT I O N S M A N A G E R KARYNNE NAFTOLIN GRAPHIC DESIGNER TRACIE VOLETTI P U B L I S H E D B Y T H E B J I FA S H I O N G R O U P PUBLISHER STU NIFOUSSI EDITOR-IN-CHIEF KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN C R E AT I V E D I R E C T O R HANS GSCHLIESSER
FEATURES 1 Welcome Letter 4 Accent Advisor 6 Red Carpet: Bright Spots
74 Perfect Gems 78 Travel: Having it All 82 Crossword: Dazzle & Shine
MANAGING EDITOR JILLIAN SPRAGUE PROJECT MANAGER LISA MONTEMORRA DESIGNERS CYNTHIA LUCERO, JEAN-NICOLE VENDITTI PRODUCTION MANAGER PEG EADIE
10 Profile: Hit the Links
12 Trends: Power Pieces
54 The Rings: Keeping it Real
16 Timepieces: A Class of its Own
56 The Proposal: Setting Sail
PRESIDENT AND CEO BRITTON JONES
58 The Jewels: Shine On
CHAIRMAN AND COO MAC BRIGHTON
17 Gift Guide: Tapper’s Holiday Catalog
60 Timeless Moments Collection
50 Designers: Transformative Power 70 Book Review: Vintage Jewelry Design
62 Designer Dreams: Maria’s Bridal Couture 64 The Stories: Brooching the Subject 68 Made in Michigan: Ariel Taub
72 Spirits: Diamond Drams
DIRECTOR OF PREPRESS HUGH K. STANTON
Prices are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on size, quality and availability. Jewelry has been enlarged to show detail. Due to the fluctuating prices of diamonds, gold and platinum, prices are subject to change. While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information in this magazine, we are not responsible for errors or omissions. Copyright 2011. Accent® is Published by Business Journals, Inc, P.O. Box 5550, Norwalk, CT 06856, 203-853-6015 • Fax: 203-8528175; Advertising Office: 1384 Broadway, 11th Floor, NY, NY 10018, 212-686-4412 • Fax: 212-686-6821; All Rights Reserved. The publishers accept no responsibilities for advertisers claims, unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or other materials. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. Volume 9, Issue 2. Accent® is a trademark of Business Journals, Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Printed In The U.S.A.
I HEAR A LOT ABOUT JEWELRY WARDROBING: WHAT ARE THE “MUSTHAVE” ITEMS? While there are no hard and fast rules, a great timepiece is an absolute essential. Since you wear this item often, if not daily, it should be something that embraces your personal style and suits your way of life (i.e. don’t get a leather strap or dainty diamond-encrusted model if you swim or play sports every day). There are many great options in well-priced materials such as ceramic, stainless steel and gold. Select features that meet your needs and reflect your personality. Another key item is a necklace or pendant that has special meaning to you, or showcases your individual style. Keep in mind that since your neck area is one of the first things people notice, a distinctive piece is memorable. Lastly, select great earrings that you don’t have to think about. These could be diamond studs, bold hoops, or something more elaborate, but keep it relevant to your regime, something you can put on and then forget about for the day!
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT FALL/WINTER 2011 JEWELRY TRENDS?
I NEED SOME GIFT IDEAS FOR MEN: ANY SUGGESTIONS?
Jewelry is certainly an integral part of a woman’s wardrobe, perfect for jazzing up any outfit. Though we all have those traditional jewelry pieces, wearing them on a daily basis hardly inspires enthusiasm. So mix it up! To ensure that your look doesn’t get pigeonholed, diversify your jewelry collection to include trend pieces that can be paired with classics. According to top designers around the globe, fall/winter 2011 is the season to go bold! Chunky statement jewelry in bright colors is a key fashion trend—choose pieces that stand out from, rather than blend in with, your outfit. Go for extra-large bracelets, shiny danglers for ears, notable necklaces. If you’re a fan of motifs, now’s the time to mix and match various icons (animal, floral, religious) to create a unique look that’s very “you.” Lastly, remember to invest in bangles (or other bold bracelets) this season, a must-have for every fashionista. Those who love chunky rings can brandish huge retro-inspired styles that not only look great but are also easy on the pocketbook.
Whether your guy’s a corporate type or a musician, there’s some great new men’s jewelry in our store. Obviously, a good watch is always the ultimate gift and we have plenty of fabulous options. (Many of today’s best styles are more elegant and classic than in seasons past; rose gold is also trending.) Cuff links are always a great gift, allowing a man to express his personality, even in the boardroom. Choose a motif that relates to his interests or passions (sailing, golf), or match the gemstone or enamel to his favorite color. For the guy who’s cool and contemporary, neck or wrist jewelry that combines high-tech metals with natural and/or precious materials will bring out his inner rockstar. You know it’s in there somewhere! A romantic idea: why not buy each other new gold or platinum bands to celebrate your love and your ever-evolving relationship?
IMAGE COURTESY OF STEPHEN WEBSTER
Choose a notice-me necklace to update your jewelry wardrobe.
2011 JOHN HARDY LIMITED
Bright Spots BREATHTAKING BEAUTY AND EYE-CATCHING ACCESSORIES HELP THESE LEADING LADIES STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD. BY AMY SCIARETTA
hether out on tour or singing on her home stage, Carrie Underwood is always polished to perfection. At American Idol’s finale results show, the cute country star rocked in a long-sleeved mini dress. Her Art Deco diamond and raspberry tourmaline drop earrings play off the geometric pattern of her dress and add a pop of color. Classic: the definition of Paula Patton at the 2011 Simon Wiesenthal National Tribute Dinner. In a simple black spaghetti strap sheath, she let her 18K yellow gold and diamond earrings steal the show, proving she knows how to accessorize Just Wright. If anyone can convince us that bronzer is overrated, it’s this light-skinned lady. Rachel McAdams looked anything but bland for the premiere of Sleeping Beauty at the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival. Fierce red lips and an armful of diamond bangles added a feminine touch to her menswear-inspired neutrals.
CARRIE / RACHEL: AMRAPALI. PAULA: CARRERA Y CARRERA.
JENNIFER / OLIVIA: CARRERA Y CARRERA. ERIN: DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH.
Jennifer Morrison knows how to make an entrance! At Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego, she clearly dazzled the crowd in simple but stunning 18 karat yellow gold hoop earrings, an understated accent to her multi-colored accessories. Olivia Wilde is reputed to be one of Hollywood’s most confident leading ladies. To the premiere of Universal’s “Cowboys and Aliens” she appeared as elegant as ever in stacked rings and an intricate white gold and rose cut diamond bracelet. A sure showstopper! Erin Andrews is always radiant! While her beautiful smile is brilliant on its own, it is further enhanced by sparkling earrings. Here, for the 36th annual Gracie Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Andrews wears amazing diamond chandelier earrings with pavé diamond accents. WOW!
Hit the Links DICK TRACY’S RADIO WATCH HAS NOTHING ON TAG HEUER’S NEW LINK LUXURY SMARTPHONES. BY ROBERT HAYNES-PETERSON
t’s been a busy year for TAG Heuer, with new releases like the limited edition Monza Chronograph evoking (and updating) 1930s Italian race culture, the introduction of the Carrera Heritage Collection, which harkens back to the 1960s, and landing the official watch and eyewear partnership for the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix. With an eye to the 21st century, the company also released the ultra-high frequency Microtimer Flying 1000 concept chronograph, which it says is the first mechanical chronograph precise to 1,000th of a second. Perhaps the most intriguing innovation for the company this year is the recent introduction of the TAG Heuer Link, an Android-powered luxury smartphone. This marks the company’s second foray into high-tech electronics, following the 2008 launch of the Meridiist mobile phone. The Link, billed as “the first Swiss luxury touchscreen smartphone,” combines elements of TAG Heuer’s emphasis on watchmaking precision and design with avant-garde technological prowess. The hand-assembled phone features Android’s 2.2 OS, eight gigs of built-in memory, a five-megapixel camera with auto focus and flash, 480x800 pixel/16 million color screen resolution, MP3 player (with available apps for FM radio and DivX video, and eventually video conferencing), along with all the usual niceties like Bluetooth tech, WiFi/WAPI
connectability and 3.5G download speeds (where available). The entire Android library of apps is at your fingertips, but the phone also comes preloaded with a host of TAG Heuer-themed add-ons. This, however, is where the Link phone diverges from the average, minimalist smartphone. Luxury touches begin with the battery cover, available in calfskin, 3D carbon leather, alligator or white lizard. Watch elements—a beveled face, watchband-inspired leather covers, a Carrerainspired crown and an etched TAG Heuer logo—draw on TAG Heuer’s 150year heritage. A variety of models offer up unique stitching, trim and housing: The “3D Carbon Leather” (in red or brown) is as sleek as a security briefcase, with satin-brushed stainless steel housing and contrast stitching. “Prestige” (in black or brown) is wrapped in alligator leather and features rose gold highlights on the loudspeaker, earpiece and crown. The exclusive “White Lizard” model (just released in September 2011) is encased in white lizard skin, with polished stainless steel sides and rear cover, set with over 1,000 VS-1 clear diamonds (2.53 total carat weight). Like TAG Heuer’s watches, the Link smartphone is designed for the most up-to-date functionality, but also to impress. In both cases, it crosses the finish line far ahead of the competition.
POWER PIECES FASHION’S STRONG FAVORITES MAKE A STATEMENT. BY LORRAINE DEPASQUE Jeweler’s Resource Bureau, marketing and trend specialists in contemporary fine designer luxury brands. “To be in style, you need huge rings, long and dangling earrings, and a signature wide cuff—or a stack of ‘wristies’ to build that wide-at-the-wrist look. Also be sure to buy at least one statement necklace. If not, then you need several of the new extra-long links and chains to layer and create that big look at the neck.” In the necklace category, “Dramatic collars are important,” adds Jeanne Johngren, president of the Contemporary Jewelry Design Group (CJDG) and owner of an eponymous jewelry line. “Especially strong are unconventional ones with defining elements of a brand or designer making them extra special and further showcasing your distinctive style.”
SIZE MATTERS PEARLS WITH A NOTICE-ME “EDGE” Trite but true, there’s no other way to say it: These are not your grandmother’s pearls. In fact, insiders in the jewelry world no longer talk of “pearls” but instead “pearl fashion.” Unusual pearl statement jewelry is a must this year. “There has been a lot of pearl jewelry on the runways,” says Broili, “but it’s not about stark white pearls. Rather, the more warmed-up versions.” Some of the best brands are showing new collections with pale pinks, creams, and lavenders and, to underscore the special statement look, the pearls are often in irregular shapes—perfect in their imperfection!
When it comes to the hottest jewelry trends, it simply isn’t the time for simple. So, first and foremost, when choosing your statement jewelry, consider what fashion insiders call “the silhouette.” In the case of jewelry, that means big, wide, or long. Nothing small, itty-bitty, or dainty. Not now anyway. To help you make selections, here are some notes on the silhouettes of the season in several specific jewelry categories: CUFFS They needn’t be massive and bulky like back in the ’70s, but they should definitely be wide. Pierced or with cutouts maybe—not filigree, but more like the look of crochet or lace. RINGS Four of the new fashion favorites: chunky cocktail rings, with or without stones; uberwide bands; flat retro-looking cigar-band styles made to resemble the paper or foil loops fitted around cigars; and big “cuff rings” that are open at the bottom, allowing you to slightly adjust the fit yourself. EARRINGS Not quite “shoulder-dusters” (Remember that term?), the lengthy earring looks fresh, either worn slim like a stiletto, wider with bead tassels, or with the metal shaped into generously-sized marquise or teardrop patterns. LINKS AND CHAINS To mimic the size of a large collar or a big multi-strand choker, you need several, each at least 34 to 36 inches. Remember, this is statement jewelry, so the more the better. And because it’s your personal statement, buy a wardrobe of links and chains that are different from each other in terms of metals, gems and materials.
IMAGES COURTESY OF MARCO BICEGO, MATTIOLI, ERICA COURTNEY, DANIEL GIBBINGS AND ROBERTO COIN
his year’s number-one accessory is, without question, statement jewelry! It’s all about dramatic designs that reveal your self-assured personal style—jewelry that wows instead of whispers. Remember the fashion “winners” at the Academy Awards? Gwyneth Paltrow in mega-sized multi-color gem earrings with a matching brooch pinned at the hip of her curvehugging Calvin? Natalie Portman in rubellite tassel earrings swinging stylishly as she accepted her Best Actress Oscar? Helen Mirren in a bold white diamond pendant that added décolletage dazzle to her neutral gray Vivienne Westwood? Now that’s what we’re talking about! And not just for red carpets and evening wear. “This is the season—and the year—for bold jewelry fashion statements for day and night,” says Cindy Edelstein, president of the
A percentage of each sale of the automatic Maestro Collection will be donated to VH1 Save The Music Foundation. 20% of sales up to $30,000
HUGELY HOT (AND HAUTE) GEMS “This year, there is a riot of colored stones set in jewelry,” says Edelstein. Adriane Broili, designer and trend forecaster at The Doneger Group in New York City, adds, “The colors are usually bold and bright with an eastern influence—especially from Japan—but also strong shades à la African fusion.” James Alger, a gem cutter and stone importer who supplies the newest cuts and best gems to some of the biggest names in jewelry, says that this year, pinks are red hot, especially pink tourmaline, morganite and pink sapphire. “I haven’t seen pink stones so popular since 2002, when Jennifer Lopez got her 6.5-carat pink diamond engagement ring from Ben Affleck!” And speaking of pink diamonds, as they’re rarer than some other diamond colors— yellow, cognac and black, for example—natural color pink diamonds are the perfect choice for statement jewelry. Designers this season are sprinkling the smaller-size pinks in rose gold for a tone-on-tone jewelry look that becomes a great distinguishing everyday accessory—almost a “neutral” because of the monochromatic metal/gem combination. While pinks are important, so too are many of the blue and green gemstones. STATEMENT BLUES If you haven’t looked at blue chalcedony lately, do ask your jeweler about it. A treasured gemstone of the ancient world, contemporary designers are once again featuring this quartz, which has an ethereal adularescence. Also take a second look at aquamarine, another blue that high-end brands are rejuvenating by using it in transparent and translucent cuts in fresh and fashionable collections. STATEMENT GREENS The “newest” dramatic greens include green chalcedony, prasiolite (green quartz), chrysoprase and zultanite, a gem with colorchanging properties found only in Turkey. Zultanite’s kiwi and khaki greens are some of the shades this diaspore mineral can take on.
ATTENTION-GETTING METALS & MATERIALS “Darkened metal jewelry is especially important right now, much of it multi-culturally influenced and vintagy in look,” says Broili. “But the blackened and grayed metals can also have a very modern feeling,” says Edelstein. “In fact, darkened metals are part of what I see as one of the newest trends—something I call ‘Techno Funk.’ It’s fun and casual, with pieces made for lots of layering, draping and stacking.” The newest combinations of metals and materials on a single piece of jewelry really amp up the look-at-me element. Great show-stoppers often mix white, gray and blackened silver together. Or they combine precious gold or platinum with materials like enamel, ceramic, stainless steel, cobalt, titanium and, in some cases, esoteric meteorite or unusual woods. Bronze/high-karat yellow gold is a particularly important fashion pairing, as is palladium with sterling silver and touches of gold.
A Class of Its Own HERMES WATCHES STAND THE TEST OF TIME. BY JEFFREY FELNER
ermès has long been synonymous with ultra-luxe products but has never been known to shout about its accomplishments. Hermès is spoken about softly, yet it remains among the most coveted of brands. Keeping that in mind, it’s no surprise that Hermès is in the “timepiece business” and not the “watch biz.” Its history dates back to the early 1920s, when the watches were first contracted to be built by the great Swiss makers, including Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. In the 90plus years since, the house of Hermès has strived to achieve the highest levels of invention, design and craftsmanship within the world of haute horlogerie. Today, these timepieces are made in facilities owned by the house itself, where old-world watchmaking and leather techniques are married to produce the final product, all under one roof. Unlike many upscale timepiece manufacturers, Hermès is not clamoring for the entry-price client, nor do they introduce endless new models each
year. Classic standouts include the H-hour, the Cape Cod, the Arceau Chrono and the Arceau Grande Lune. When they do release a new design, it’s for a reason. Case in point: the Time Suspended, an unbelievable piece of master watchmaking involving their latest complication, which allows the wearer to quite literally suspend time and return to it whenever he wishes. Once again, and true to the heritage of the brand, don’t look for the flashiest metals or dials that have so many “eyes” as to disguise the timepiece’s real use, or for that matter, excessive use of fine gemstones; these clean and classic models are forever timepieces, which become the heirlooms of the future. The purchase of an Hermès timepiece is one of the strongest silent signals of unrivaled quality and unparalleled reputation that is available to watch connoisseurs. Above from left to right: The Time Suspended, Cape Cod and Arceau Grande Lune models
DESIGNERS Describe the exclusive collection you designed for our store. The palette is called Wisteria and is anchored by a gorgeous bronze amethyst gemstone doublet. The multi-stone silhouettes in the collection also have hand-faceted clear quartz and Brazilian amethyst gemstones and a beautiful black shell doublet. I source stones and materials from all over the world, though I actually found the bronze amethyst I used for this collection right here in the U.S. You’ve talked about jewelry as empowering women; explain. For me, jewelry has always had a transformative quality—a great necklace or the perfect stack of bangles can really lift a mood, inspire confidence, make a woman feel more beautiful, more sexy, more herself. When you feel beautiful, you feel confident and that’s empowering. In general, what inspires your designs going into 2012? It seems I can never get enough color, or sparkle! So for 2012 you will see a big emphasis on gorgeous colors in bright and tonal hues across all three metals. And then there is the bling factor—expanding my diamond category in a sophisticated and somewhat unexpected way has been fun for me. I just spent two weeks traveling in Asia and India and was completely inspired by EVERYTHING: the cuisine, the language, the architecture, the diversity and the dichotomy. Especially in India, you really have this interesting sense that while this is the oldest living civilization on earth, it is also incredibly modern in many ways. How do you account for your strong and dedicated following? When I started out, I was designing the kind of jewelry I wanted to wear but couldn’t find. No one was crafting truly wearable fine jewelry that you could wear everyday, all day. As I continued to develop my collection, it became clear that this concept of creating fashion fine jewelry resonated with women—all kinds of women. They embraced the wearability, the versatility and the collectability: the idea of building a wardrobe. What’s really inspiring is the range of women who wear my jewelry, from young ingenues to established actors to musicians and artists. What are you personally wearing a lot of these days? I love the simplicity and versatility of a long link chain; it’s the perfect day to night piece. I wear it doubled at the office and when I go out in the evening I wear it long with a great pair of drop earrings. The 19 gold and diamond bangles I wear everyday have become my signature and are definitely my favorites.
Transformative Power IPPOLITA’S JEWELRY INSPIRES CONFIDENCE. AND JOY! BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN Other than design, what are you doing these days? One of my goals this year has been to make time for art—to see it, to create it, to appreciate it. Art rejuvenates and inspires me—it makes me a more creative designer. What are you most proud of? I am most proud of raising a confident and independent daughter and instilling in her the importance of pursuing your passions, working hard and being a good person. Of course I am immensely proud of the business I’ve created, but this is a team effort and I work with an incredible group of people. I believe we are all constantly evolving into the people we are meant to be, so while I embrace change, I really just try to live in the moment and be who I am.
MOCHA DIAMOND PAVÉ LINK BRACELET COLLECTION
DECO DAY DIAMOND ROSE GOLD, BROWN DIAMOND DIAL
BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN
Keeping It Real WHY THE WORLD GOLD COUNCIL HAS ADDED A DOSE OF HUMOR TO THEIR NEW MARKETING CAMPAIGN.
he fact that almost 78 percent of women in the U.S. purchase gold wedding bands (according to a study by The Knot Market Intelligence) should keep the folks at the World Gold Council pretty happy. But according to Michael Pace, VP of marketing for the U.S. at the World Gold Council, there is no reason to get complacent. In fact, by adding some levity to their ad campaign, this organization is reminding both brides and grooms that gold plays a central role in a happy marriage. “We’re changing the tone of how we speak to younger consumers who are searching for their marriage bands, so the ads really engage them and stand out in the bridal category,” Pace explains. “The ‘Gold Makes it a Marriage’ campaign is also backed up big time by a new Facebook page with videos, ads and some very interactive features.” There’s even a ‘Makes it a Match’ app that takes information from your Facebook page and your partner’s, comparing them to show what you have in common.
The main message of the new campaign, according to Pace, is that most of the intricate details of your wedding (no matter how special) don’t last, and even the memories eventually fade, but the rings remain with you always. A gold marriage band is a symbol of a timeless and precious relationship and should therefore be a priority in your list of purchases for your wedding. “Your great uncle nearly breaking a hip to Bust a Move makes it a wedding; gold makes it a marriage” is a typical headline from the campaign. Then there’s a wonderful video, in which real married couples of all ages are asked about specific aspects of the big day. As might be predicted, their memories are vague and inconsistent; their responses are thus highly comical, especially some of the details that young couples obsess over (e.g. “We argued about the exact angle to set up the chairs…”). “Gold is the original and authentic metal of love and was used for marriage bands by the Romans as far back as the 2nd century A.D.,” explains Pace. “Our new campaign focuses on this intrinsic value: your relationship is genuine—make sure your ring is too. Our goal is to create an emotional connection with both brides and grooms…” And speaking of grooms, Pace says 97 percent of married men in the U.S. wear a wedding band, according to The Knot Market Intelligence study, and that most often it’s the only piece of jewelry they wear. So we say to those brides-to-be: You want him to keep the ring on his finger? Make sure it’s fabulous and make sure it’s real gold!
THE MESSAGE IS THE MESSAGE A key advantage of using gold for wedding bands is that it’s highly malleable and thus engravable. In fact, throughout the ages, messages printed on gold bands have revealed many wonderful secrets of adoration and adulation. For those who can’t get beyond ‘I luv u’, here are a few suggestions: To the moon and back • Worth waiting for • A deal’s a deal • A lifetime of happiness • You jump, I jump See www.facebook.com/gold for more information about how ‘Gold Makes it a Marriage’ B R I D A L
S E C T I O N
BY AUSTIN DIAS
fter searching for weeks, I finally stumbled across the perfect ring. The center stone appeared to float among the tiny diamonds that surrounded it. Next, I went to visit her parents to ask them for their blessing. They were excited and shared their wisdom with me. Her Mom asked if she could see the ring, but I politely declined since I didn’t want anyone to see the ring before Jessica. I had been planning to propose on a weekend that was over a month away, but couldn’t stand having the ring, since I knew it belonged on her finger. I had a few ideas for what the ultimate proposal would be, but I finally settled on one that involved our love of sailing and was going to take a large amount of preparation, teamwork and secrecy. The plan involved borrowing a sailboat and organizing a crew of friends to sail the boat. I worked with a friend from a local sail making company to put “Marry Me?” on the spinnaker sail. Meanwhile, I was also contacting some of my best buddies to help crew the boat on this special mission. I created a plan for them that detailed multiple possible locations for the proposal: all depended upon the day’s wind direction and even included a “no wind” plan that involved putting the sail up and motoring backwards to make the spinnaker fly! The final piece of the puzzle was to have a professional photographer taking paparazzi-type photos while the proposal was unfolding. The night before, I called Jessica and told her that I had just received a gift certificate to a nice restaurant on the bay. I wanted to wait until the B R I D A L
last minute to make it seem like it was nothing special, until I found out her roommate had already made plans with her! I spent the next day scrambling to contact her roommate to convince her to cancel. Now the plan was in place! I met the crew at the boat and they all looked sharp in their khaki pants and white polos. They told me that I needed to leave! I was pretty nervous as I reviewed the plan over and over again. Finally, after what felt like the longest day of my life, I picked up Jess and headed down to the bay. I asked her if we could go on a walk and she agreed that it would be nice. The ring was burning in my pocket! Then we noticed a boat dangerously close to the rocks… “What is that boat doing?!” she asked, concerned. “I don’t know, let’s watch,” I replied. The big white spinnaker sail flew up and in large red letters she read, “Marry Me?” She turned around to find me on one knee and the ring sparkling in the sunset. She cried with excitement and said, “YES, YES, YES!” My ultimate proposal came together perfectly, with my friends cheering wildly, and I held my fiancée in my arms as she wore the ring of her dreams. The Jewelry Information Center’s second annual Ultimate Proposal Contest invited couples to submit their special proposal stories at www. JIC.org, and asked America to vote for a favorite amongst 10 Top Finalists. More than 6,000 people cast their vote to choose the winner. Austin Dias and his fiancée, Jessica Williams, won a seven-night Caribbean cruise from Norwegian Cruise Lines and a pair of platinum and diamond wedding bands. The story has been edited for ACCENT. S E C T I O N
BY HANNAH ROTH These platinum, sapphire and diamond rings are very similar to the engagement ring worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Shine On CHOOSE THE METAL THAT’S HOT WITH THE STARS.
latinum has long been heralded as the crème de la crème of jewelry settings. Not only is the metal durable and resistant to corrosion, but platinum is also rare and eternal, much like the qualities of love. Most celebrities choose platinum for their rings because they want their large diamonds (20.5 carats in Kim Kardashian’s case!) to be as radiant and beautifully showcased as possible. Another admirable quality of platinum is its natural white color, which flawlessly sets off the brilliance of the diamond and enhances the wowfactor. Here, some sparkling examples of why platinum is a gorgeous option for highlighting a gorgeous rock: Emily Blunt’s engagement to John Krasinski was made even more special by the addition of her three-carat Edwardian diamond and platinum ring. The custom-designed ring features side-scalloped detailing of alternating diamond and platinum ripples, emphasizing the
flawless cut and clarity of the center stone impeccably. The unique engagement ring given to Katherine Heigl by nowhusband Josh Kelley boasts a three-carat pear shaped diamond flanked by rows of pavé diamonds. The everlasting quality of platinum jewelry is apparent in this design—half of the platinum band is actually from Heigl’s mother’s own engagement ring! Beyonce and Jay-Z, the power-couple to rival all power-couples, exhibit their love in an equally powerful fashion. Beyonce’s 18-carat emerald-cut diamond set in platinum is reportedly worth $5 million and is a prime example of the brilliance and clarity a diamond can project when properly displayed.
This brilliant cut diamond with pavé surround is comparable to Natalie Portman’s platinum and diamond engagement ring.
This three-stone ring closely resembles Kim Kardashian’s 20.5 carat stunner.
B R I D A L
S E C T I O N
IMAGES COURTESY OF PLATINUM GUILD INTERNATIONAL
• Platinum is naturally white, so it won’t cast any color on a diamond. • Platinum will never fade or change color. • Platinum is the strongest metal, making it the best option to securely hold large diamonds. • Platinum is eternal, with everlasting radiance and durability. • Platinum won’t chip or scratch. • Platinum is the most precious of metals.
Timeless Moments INTRODUCING TAPPER’S
Our signature collection of diamond engagement rings that transcend the ordinary
Because your love for each other is precious and unique, Tapper’s has created a signature line of diamond engagement rings, Tapper’s Timeless Moments, that transcends the ordinary. Timeless Moments is comprised of three distinct collections, Forever One, Promises and Romance. While all three groupings offer different styles and inﬂuences, every Timeless Moments engagement ring evokes a classic look with a modern ﬂair. With the assistance of one of our highly-trained diamond specialists, you are certain to ﬁnd the ring of your dreams within Tapper’s Timeless Moments collection. A direct diamond importer, Tapper’s offers exceptional value and quality for diamonds as radiant as your love.
The stunning engagement rings and wedding bands shown on this page represent only a fraction of the hundreds of rings that sparkle in our stores. Due to the ﬂuctuating prices of precious metals and sizing options with diamond and gemstone weights, prices will vary. Please contact a Tapper’s diamond specialist at (248) 932-7700 for speciﬁc pricing information, or to make an appointment.
Ver a Wang bridal salon exclusively at M ari aâ€™s B ridal Couture
248.539.3090 . www.maria sbrida l.com
Local couture bridal salon offers high-end wedding gowns that will transform any bride into a princess on her big day.
Maria’s Bridal Couture is the continuation of a family tradition and a dream started by Nadica Ristivojevich’s mother and aunt more than 20 years ago. In 1987, the pair expanded their tailoring talents to a storefront known as Maria’s Bridal, which has served brides in Rochester and Troy, Michigan, ever since. As a little girl, Nadica recalls trying on her mother’s bridal shoes and pretending that she was the bride. “This unique business grew out of the inspiring vision of my family,” Nadica reﬂects. In 2009, Nadica expanded her family’s dream to include Maria’s Bridal Couture inside the Orchard Mall in West Bloomﬁeld. The only authorized Vera Wang Luxe store-within-a-store in the state, Maria’s Bridal Couture carries exclusive, high-end designer and couture lines that are in high demand in this aﬄuent area. In addition to Vera Wang, Maria’s Bridal Couture also oﬀers designs by Amalia Carrera, Katerina Boccu, Claire Pettibone, Cymbeline Paris, St. Pucchi Couture, Jim Hjelm, Julia K., Nicole Miller and Alfred Sung. Nadica points to the relationship that she builds with her brides as the most important part of her company. “It is wonderful to be in a business where you truly care about every customer. To see a bride happy in a gown that ﬁts her personality and style is so rewarding.” For more information about Maria’s Bridal Couture, visit www. mariasbridal.com, and to schedule a private appointment, please contact Nadica at (248) 539-3090.
ABOVE: Maria’s Bridal Couture, West Bloomfield BELOW: Vera Wang Gemma gown
BY JILLIAN SPRAGUE
Brooching the Subject
t a charity event about six months before my wedding, my mother’s best friend Deborah was approached by a woman she’d never seen before. “I’m sorry to bother you,” the stranger said sheepishly, “but is someone in your family about to be married?” “No, why do you ask?” Deborah replied. The woman insisted; she was convinced she had the right person. “Are you sure? Someone whose name starts with an L?” “Well…my best friend Laura’s daughter is getting married this fall.” “Yes, that’s it! Laura’s mother has a message for her.” Since my grandmother passed away over 20 years ago, this came as quite a surprise. But Deborah was intrigued by the mysterious woman. “She would like the bride to wear her gold brooch at the wedding.” The stranger started to walk away, but turned and added, “I’m sorry to have to say this… She also mentioned that she isn’t too happy with the hors d’oeuvres they’ve chosen.” The next day, as my mother and I listened to the story, we found ourselves believing the woman’s claims. She wasn’t looking for money, after all, and there were details it would have been impossible for her to know. My grandmother did in fact leave a brooch to my mother, a beautiful gold swirl set with tiny diamonds. Not only that, but my mother had recently been thinking of the pin: days earlier while looking through her jewelry box, she had B R I D A L
taken it out and set it in a visible spot so she would remember her mother each time she walked by. In a few weeks, as I walk down the aisle surrounded by family, I know those who have passed will be there in my heart. But for a more tangible presence, my bouquet will be wrapped in lace cut from my mother’s wedding dress, held together by my grandmother’s brooch. And as I float through the cocktail hour, proudly displaying my other new piece of jewelry—and my new husband—guests will be nibbling on caviar instead of chips. S E C T I O N
ILLUSTRATION BY DARIA JABENKO
GOOD ADVICE FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE…
ACCENT INSERT: FRONT trim 8.75”x10.75” ISSUE: Fall Materials Supplied Insert: PDF/X-1a SHIPPED TO: Lisa Montemorra • 1384 Broadway, 11th Floor • New York, NY 10018 • Telephone: 212 710 7416 • Fax: 212 686 6821 • Email: email@example.com
PEACE OF MIND STARTS WITH PROOF OF QUALITY. Carat Weight 1.53
Color Grade E
Clarity Grade VS1
Laser Inscription Registry Number GIA 16354621
Natural Diamond Not Synthetic
A GIA report is certainty from the source. As creator of the 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System,™ GIA sets the standards for diamond assessment, worldwide. Unbiased. Scientific. A report from GIA gives you a clear understanding of your diamond’s quality. Look for GIA Diamond Grading Reports and the jewelers who offer them. www.4cs.gia.edu
THE UNIVERSAL STANDARD BY WHICH GEMS ARE JUDGED.
AGENCY: The Shand Group, Chris Weakley 805 969 1068 ADVERTISER: GIA
PRODUCTION CONTACT: Melissa Helvey 818 242 2427 ISSUE: ACCENT Insert FRONT
8/31/11 12:56 PM
Made in Michigan
West Bloomfield-based bridal designer Ariel Taub creates traditional and timeless wedding gowns and veils, with a touch of modernity. By the time she was twelve years old, Ariel Taub knew that she wanted to be a designer. “I remember watching music videos and sketching their costumes,” reminisces Taub, a petite brunette with a disarming smile. Now at the helm of her own bridal design company, Ariel recalls spending her free time during her teenage years sketching and learning how to sew. It was during her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, where Taub received a Bachelors degree in Art History, that she became interested in designing wedding gowns. “I created my sister’s wedding veil and loved being a part of such an important day.” Born in Upstate New York but raised in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Ariel worked at U of M’s costume shop while she was a student there. As she continued her studies at Parsons, the New School for Design in New York City, Ariel realized that her passion for costumes and bridal designs did not have to be mutually exclusive. “Wedding gowns were the perfect way to fuse my love for theatrical garments and high fashion. I love that I can incorporate fantasy, modernity and tradition all into one gown.” While Ariel has designed gowns and veils for brides both local and international, she plans to keep Ariel Jennifer Taub Bridal Designs as a Michigan-based company, with the production of the garments done in Michigan, as well. “It is an important aspect to my company to have the work done by hand as well as having the product made here, in the United States. My goal is also to have my gowns and veils sold in stores nationally.” Influenced by vintage designs and art history, Ariel Taub aims to create traditional, timeless looks “with a touch of modernity,” she acknowledges. As a nod to tradition, all of Taub’s gowns and veils include her signature “something blue” incorporated as a hidden part of the design. Clients may either choose from Taub’s existing selection of wedding gowns and veils or arrange for a custom-made design. For more information, or for an appointment, please contact Ariel Jennifer Taub Bridal Designs at (248) 390-2777, or visit www.arieltaub.com.
Photography by Jarrod Hermann
Vintage Jewelry A HISTORY OF JEWELRY CLASSICS (AND HOW TO WEAR THEM WITH STYLE) BY KELSEY WHITE
tunning photographs and comprehensive information on some of the worldâ€™s most beloved jewelry designers are just part of the magic of a wonderful new book, Vintage Jewelry Design: Classics to Collect & Wear, by Caroline Cox (Sterling Publishing Co. NYC, 2010). By illustrating the history of jewelry as it pertains to lifestyle, the reader is transported through the decades, presented with an informative account of how jewelry has evolved from 1890 until the present. The book beautifully describes the meaning behind jewelry styles of the past and explains how specific items connect to the beloved celebrities of each era. The bottom line: Jewelry is art. And like art, it reflects the social and political circumstances of a particular time and place. Like art, it causes us to view the world in a whole different light.
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF VINTAGE JEWELRY DESIGN, BY CAROLINE COX, COPYRIGHT 2011, LARK CRAFTS
Diamond Drams MAKE YOUR NEXT COCKTAIL WITH THESE JEWELRY-THEMED LIQUORS. BY ROBERT HAYNES-PETERSON
or me, the diamond dawns are set in rings of beauty,” wrote 19th-century American author John Townsend Trowbridge. Gems are everywhere if you look for them. Now you can adorn your home bar with boozy diamonds, pearls and platinum. Vodka is often passed through charcoal during the distillation process to remove impurities and enhance smoothness. What is charcoal but unfinished diamonds? As a result, many brands are opting for swankier filtration methods. Russian Diamond runs its vodka through quartz, “coconut” charcoal and crushed diamonds, while the new organic (and kosher) Croatian vodka Akvinta filters its elixir five times, through charcoal, marble, silver, gold and platinum. No need to limit your gemstone bar to vodka: Maestro Dobel tequila, a funky mix of various aged tequilas (12, 24 and 36 months) is “diamond distilled” (we think they mean filtered) and follows the “Four Cs” of alcohol: Clarity (filtering), Crispness, Complexity and Craftsmanship. Meanwhile, Armazem Vieria Cachaças (similar to rum) from the Brazilian island of Santa Catalina are barrel-aged and fractionally-blended using a solera system (like Sherry), and bottled as Emerald (4 years), Ruby (8 years) and Onyx (15 years, about $100) varieties. You can also pick up Platinum single malt
whisky in Scotland and Double Diamond (a skiing reference) whiskey from Colorado’s Downslope Distillery. For jewel-tastic spirits, it’s hard to beat the new Precious Vodka from Jewel Lines. The six-times distilled, three-times filtered liquid is encased in diamond-shaped carafes, each bearing a real gemstone—sapphire, emerald, ruby, topaz or peridot—in the stopper. Does all the fanfare make it taste any better than, say, Belvedere? Probably not, but it will kick-start some entertaining cocktail talk.
ROSITA RUBY MARGARITA by Victoria D’Amato Moran, San Francisco • 1.5 oz. Artá Reposado Tequila • 1/2 oz. Aperol Italian liqueur • 1 bar spoon orange marmalade • 3 oz. fresh ruby red grapefruit juice • 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice Build in a mixing glass, add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a thick lemon slice.
EXPLORE THE LITTLE LUXURIES THE WORLD HAS TO OFFER. BY DONALD CHARLES RICHARDSON
PRIVATE VIEW Not far from Missoula, Montana a wide stretch of foothills and hay meadows surrounds The Ranch At Rock Creek, a new, very luxurious guest ranch. Along with comfortable rooms, an impressive selection of wines and excellent food, there’s a full spa on site; activities in the area range from fly-fishing to skiing. For the guest who wants to experience nature in private without sacrificing creature comforts, the ranch offers the Trapper Luxury Canvas Cabin. Sequestered in a wooded area next to the creek, two miles from the main buildings, this suite has a king bed, gas fireplace, wine cooler, kitchenette stocked to your specifications, and even a Jacuzzi on the front porch. Perfect for the greenhorn who wants to get back to nature.
VICTOR HUGO ATE HERE This autumn, the hottest souvenir in Paris is a copy of the newly released Les Contemplations Gourmandes by chef Florian V. Hugo. A direct descendant of the legendary writer Victor Hugo, Chef Hugo’s new book contains 55 traditional French recipes enjoyed by his ancestor, with rare pictures, drawings, documents and quotes from Victor Hugo, and from other writers about the Les Misérables author and the culinary aspects of life. Instead of photographs of yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower, you’ll dazzle your friends with boeuf bourguignon, soufflé au fromage, biszue de homard, and macaron à la rose.
AVIATION BR 03-92 Automatic V I N TA G E BR 126 Chronograph
Information: Bell & Ross Inc. +1.888.307.7887 . firstname.lastname@example.org . e-Boutique: www.bellross.com
PerfectGems RÉPIT On any given evening during the “season” on the island of St. Barths, there are glamorous and very chic social events. Sometimes even the most indefatigable partygoer can use a break. During your vacation on this most perfect Caribbean island, get a reservation (you really will need one) at Bonito. This remarkable restaurant, where chef Laurent Cantineaux's French cuisine is influenced by his 10 years in Venezuela and has a decidedly South American flavor, is where all the island’s movers and shakers go for a delicious and stress-free evening. The ambiance is perfect with stunning views of the sea and a lovely French countrydecorated living room. The perfect place to recover from (or prepare for) a party.
THAT’S A GOOD LOOK FOR YOU
FROM THE TERRACE In the 17th century, a charming Byzantine church was built on the cliffs of the caldera above the Aegean on the lovely Greek island of Santorini. A very exclusive neighborhood of small houses grew up around the church. With terraces jutting out over the sea offering magnificent views of the legendary volcano, these were the residences of the wealthy for nearly three centuries. Now a Yades Historical Hotel, the Aigialos Luxury Traditional Settlement comprises 16 neoclassical houses, restored by master masons, retaining the original shapes and schemes. The comfortable rooms have marble floors and handsome furniture, there’s a restaurant and swimming pool…all the modern conveniences. But the sense of history remains, along with the views, which offer one of the most superb sunsets in the Mediterranean.
There’s a lot to see at the very fashionable Hotel Zaza in Houston, Texas. It’s often possible to spot visiting celebrities like Billy Idol, David and Victoria Beckham, and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony (before the breakup they stayed in one of the Zaza’s “Magnificent Seven” suites: crystal chandeliers, gold bed covers, Persian rugs and terraces with soaking pools). Then there’s the extraordinary artwork. Owner Charles S. Givens regularly installs pieces from his private collection, by artists including Simon Procter, Isack Kousnsky and Helmet Newton, throughout the hotel. For guests who want to learn more about the art, the Zaza will arrange a private tour of the current exhibits with expert Steven Thompson. Sommelier Alex Aland opens a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape to complete the artistic ambiance.
Having It All WHY SACRIFICE INTIMACY FOR VARIETY WHEN YOU CAN HAVE BOTH? BY LENORE RICH
adore the warmth and sophistication of a small ship (why should I dine with thousands?) yet hate to forego the myriad activities of a large one. Wanting both options, and unsure if I’d be craving a burger bar or a sushi bar, a pomegranate martini or a double chocolate milkshake,
I set out to discover a “luxurious and healthful small ship experience” aboard a mega-ship. Just to be safe, I booked two one-week cruises aboard Celebrity’s award-winning Solstice Class ships, each easily housing 2,850 passengers
A C C E L E R A T E
W I T H
S T Y L E
SOLAR POWERED A solar panel combined with a large-capacity rechargeable battery enables these impressive solar timepieces to run smoothly under any light with no battery replacement.
AT O M I C T I M E K E E P I N G Multi-Band Technology receives time calibration signals automatically from several transmitters around the world. This technology adjusts for Leap Year and Daylight Saving Time.
North America Japan
ÂŠ2011 CASIO AMERICA, INC.
and touted by Frommer’s as “the most fragrantly beautiful mega-ships ever built.” Venues include a spa (with treatments like bamboo massage, acupuncture, Botox, and 14K gold facials), a fitness center with spectacular water views, and state-of-the-art theaters (one equipped for “cirque-type” aerialists). Lounge options include a martini bar with frosted counters and a molecular bar tended by lab coat wearing mixologists who create tantalizing smoking concoctions with liquid nitrogen. Consider the “Lawn Club”, a half-acre of real grass on which you can play bocce, hone your putting skills, sunbathe, picnic or sip chardonnay under the stars. And—to satisfy the newly-emerging cruise demographic of 30 to 50 year olds—a fabulous nightclub! y mission was to have it all, but without the lines, crowds and 5,000-plus calories a day (despite my husband’s desire for all of this!). So here’s what I found: Booking one of 130 coveted “spa-inspired” AquaClass staterooms grants exclusive entry to “Blu”, a signature dining room that “puts a spin on spa cuisine.” Here, open-seating breakfasts (smoothies and frittatas included) and healthful dinners are available in a serene, intimate setting. Unlimited access to the relaxation room and “Persian Gardens” (a peaceful enclave within the spa), Frette robes, Hansgrohe shower panels, and a spa concierge are among the enhancements. If spa-inspired is not your thing but pampering is, consider Concierge Class or a Butler suite.
WOULD I CRAVE A POMEGRANATE MARTINI OR A CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE?
Don’t Leave Home Without It! • Pack sample sizes of suntan lotions, insect repellent and cosmetics. Consider ear plugs, chargers, a mini flashlight, crazy glue, baggies. • An over-the-door shoe caddy or organizer is a space saver in the cabin and a catch-all for small items. • Duct tape, now in an array of colors and patterns, can save the day. Repair a torn hem or handbag, secure rattling hangers or drawers in rocky seas, secure your favorite cap to the deck chair or personalize your black luggage for easy identification. Turquoise? Leopard? Go for it! • Copies of passports, credit cards, tickets and prescriptions (including eyeglasses) should be left with a contact and also carried with you. Or why not email them to yourself for easy access? • Cross pack with your travel companion. If one bag is lost or delayed you’ll each have something to wear! And seriously consider travel insurance for those unexpected problems. • Alert credit card companies, particularly if traveling out of the country, and find out which of them assess (hidden) foreign purchase fees, often 3%. • A current passport with an expiration date well beyond your travel return date is crucial. Check the expiration when booking your trip. Need a visa? Injections? Plan ahead!
Specialty restaurants were well worth the surcharge. In Murano, five (gorgeous!) servers treated our party of four royally, flambéing, deboning and tossing contemporary French cuisine tableside. Qsine, one of the most innovative restaurants on land or sea, was a culinary adventure. Forewarned that this venue is best experienced with others, our table of eight newfound friends perused menu offerings on iPads and Rubics-cube-likegizmos. The internationally-themed food was creative, delicious and outrageous, evoking much good cheer for the duration of our four-hour meal. (Although we missed the evening’s scheduled entertainment, we created our own.) To avoid the elaborate lunch buffet on sea days (a tough task since the aroma is hard to resist), we opted for lunch at the more sedate creperie, conveniently located near the gelateria! (Those in the know head here as soon as they board.) Celebrity has designed on-board programs categorized as Savour, Discover and Renew. I can hone the art of wine pairing or choose to detox for health and weight loss. I can learn a new language with Rosetta Stone or practice it in the iLounge. An urge to tango? Prepare a gourmet meal? How about a Smithsonian lecturer? The possibilities are overwhelming... so I head to the spa to de-stress! Clearly, there’s something for every taste on the high seas and I know I’ll be back to try it all! Or I can just sink into the closest cocoon chair with a pineapple caipirinha and do absolutely nothing!
WITH LIMITED STORAGE AND NEW AIRLINE WEIGHT REGULATIONS, PACKING LIGHT IS KEY. • Create a wardrobe based on solid neutrals. (Yes— sage is a neutral!) Fabulous accessories are key. Will your tablemates remember that you wore the same “column of black” on multiple evenings, or will they remember your gorgeous leopard scarf, red belt, or statement necklace? • Men: Good time to come out of your comfort zone with great belts, ties and watches. Try that pink or lavender shirt you won’t wear at home and prepare for compliments. • Note: Several cruise lines have relaxed their dress code to Country Club Casual. Those who lament leaving their gown or tux at home, play up the accessories. Diamonds and gemstones spell instant black tie glamour. • Consider the purchase of a new camera or laptop on board. Celebrity, an authorized Apple reseller, gives lessons in the iLounge—you’ll have the entire cruise to get advice from the experts.
The Ultimate Gift GOOD HEALTH IS ALL THAT MATTERS, BUT GOOD DIAMONDS CAN’T HURT... BY HANS GSCHLIESSER
or better or worse took on significant meaning this year as I watched the woman I love suffer through a medical crisis. It started when, for some unknown reason, Janet stopped cooking. This was simply unfathomable to me. She loves to cook! And I love to eat. As if this wasn’t bad enough, she also stopped eating, saying that the mere smell of food was making her nauseous. She totally refused to go anywhere near the kitchen. As I am a terrible cook, we were both getting thinner by the day. “I know you want to lose a few pounds, but don’t you think this is a bit extreme?” I asked her. No answer. Was this some sort of psychological rebellion against me? It is about me isn’t it? Knowing something was very wrong, we called in doctors. There were endless tests with endless specialists but still no answers. In a state of helpless confusion I watched as my wife withered away physically and emotionally. I watched as the ambulance took her to the hospital, as she received more tests from more specialists. Then finally, a diagnosis: “Your wife is anorexic, has a brain hemorrhage and Bacterial Endocarditis, which has destroyed her heart valve. She needs open heart surgery.” I sat there white as a ghost as the blood drained from my body. Bacterial what? By now, Janet was gaunt, exhausted and terrified at the prospect of
surgery, which was to be scheduled after eight weeks of daily IV antibiotics, administered by me, at home. To regain her strength, she needed to eat. Luckily, supportive family and friends precluded the need for my cooking. Slowly she regained her appetite as the antibiotic killed off the nasty little Streptococcus Viridans bacteria. But the looming prospect of open heart valve replacement surgery haunted us every minute. Ultimately, the day arrived and we drove to the hospital in a state of disbelief. The surgery was scheduled for Valentine’s Day, which felt like a good omen. After five intense hours, the surgeon came out to inform me that all had gone well. I could finally breathe. And to celebrate the ultimate gift of my wife getting a new heart for Valentines Day, I surprised her with a pair of diamond earrings. The nurse ran into the room in a frenzy when Janet’s EKG lit up the monitor, but it was only her heart fluttering as she opened the box and saw the earrings. “I’ve always wanted these; I’m never taking them off!” she exclaimed with joy and gratitude. It was just what the doctor ordered to renew the twinkle in her eyes, the radiant smile, the prospect of normalcy. And how we both craved the monotony of normal routine living! Routine living, with a little extra sparkle.
© D.YURMAN 2011
TAPPER’S DIAMONDS AND FINE JEWELRY ACCENT THE MAGAZINE OF LIFE’S CELEBRATIONS
Published on Oct 24, 2011
GIFTS! INSIDE: PLUS: BRIDAL SPOTLIGHT FROM DIAMONDS TO DRESSES GIFTS, GLORIOUS OURHOLIDAY CATALOG IS A TREASURE TROVE OF DAZZLING IDEAS TO M...