Even though I’ve been married for about 1,000 years, I’m not one for following traditions. When it came time for me to choose my wedding dress, the only one I wanted to get married in was a billowing black lightweight wool number from Yohji Yamamoto. My family begged and pleaded for me to wear white. Or at least to not wear black. If I wanted to set myself on fire to take my vows, that was fine as long as I didn’t wear a black dress. So I opted for a tight white mini covered in 3 dimensional black roses and my favorite square-toed black leather oxfords from the late Japanese shoe designer Tokio Kumagai. That’s about as traditional as I get.
All these years later, brides are still doing the traditional thing in white dresses with veils and the pretty, shiny solitaire engagement ring. And listen honey, it’s your wedding and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. As the song goes, ‘if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.’ But a few years ago my former boss, one Ms. Vera Wang designed an entire collection of black wedding dresses. If only. And boy were they exquisite. It certainly rocked the wedding industry to its core. But it also opened up the idea that yes, you can be you on your wedding day. That’s what Vera was saying to all those less-than-traditional-at-heart brides out there. That and probably ‘screw it, it’s my collection and I’ll design what I want!’
So imagine my glee when I spied Thirteen 31′s wedding jewels made of all black diamonds. Creator and co-conspirator of the non-traditional, Joanne Fiske explains her philosophy behind the collection…”I love the energy of black diamonds. I think they give off a kind of warmth. Occasionally I will add some white diamonds to the black diamonds but when I do, I generally blacken the gold to dull the brightness of the white diamonds.” I get it, but I still needed to know what kind of bride (besides me, of course) is going to choose a black diamond engagement ring over a classic white diamond engagement ring? Her response was on the mark, “A bride who likes options and is able to start her own traditions (there’s that word again). With colored wedding dresses gaining importance, a bride can embrace different ideas. Black diamonds make a statement – but are also an affordable option.” She goes on, “I have always thought a bride should go minimal with the jewelry or over the top. The more simple the dress, the more jewels should be worn.” (Amen to that!)
What I really love about the Thirteen 31 black diamond pieces is that there’s nothing goth or dark about them. They are really beautiful, exquisitely made pieces of fine jewelry that have just as much importance as a white diamond, or a ruby or an emerald. They are delicate, wearable and madly chic, and yes, ideal for a sophisticated woman of any age who wants to express her individuality right down to her engagement ring. After all, this one single piece of jewelry will be one of the most important, significant pieces of jewelry a woman will own in her lifetime, so she might as well get it right. Err, I mean he might as well get it right. Copy that Mr. Right?
Since I have no boundaries when it comes to jewelry, I like them all, Fiske reveals that her favorite diamond cut is the Asscher cut. She likes it so much she named her dog Asscher! My final query to the designer? Is a (black) diamond forever, as the saying goes? “OF COURSE!!!” Always, and forever.