Robert Rufino was in town a few days ago as part of a SCAD Style panel discussion, and I'm so disappointed that I was under the weather and couldn't attend. His appearance did, however, remind me of that great House & Garden article in which Rufino's small but supremely stylish Manhattan apartment was featured. Of course, the most memorable part of his home were the beautiful menswear fabrics used, hardly surprising as Rufino has been named to the International Best-Dressed List on more than one occasion.
But the other thing that struck me at the time- and that still captivates me today- are all of Rufino's accessories from Tiffany. It makes sense, really, as Rufino is the former Vice President of Creative Services for the retailer. Oh sure, when I worked at Tiffany's in my mid-twenties, I was able to purchase "stuff" at discount. I had 12 place settings of my formal china by the time I was 23, and I still have some discontinued Peretti pieces that I purchased during my Tiffany days. But the problem was that my style at the time was not as defined as it is today, meaning that certain pieces were simply over my head. That, and my meager salary would only accommodate a purchase here and there. When I see Rufino's cache of Tiffany treasures, I think "Why didn't I think to purchase that while I was there?" or "How come I didn't even know we sold that piece??". Really, I think that Rufino purchased (or perhaps borrowed for the shoot) some of the best- and most iconic- Tiffany pieces like...
Everyone's favorite Bamboo flatware. Thank goodness that someone in my family (my sister) has Bamboo, especially since it's a pattern that has been put out to pasture. I have also always loved the Peretti thumbprint cups and that Teardrop carafe (both still available, thank the Lord), but didn't purchase them while I had my employee discount- dumb move on my part. See those monkey candlesticks? I never knew we sold those until I saw this article. Maybe monkeys aren't big sellers here in Atlanta.
I was lucky enough to receive two Peretti orchid pots as gifts, one in black (like Rufino's) and one in cream. They're some of the most handsome orchid pots I've ever seen, but for whatever reason those got discontinued too. I better take good care of mine.
A better view of that carafe. And another classic Tiffany piece is that sterling flower pot that Rufino employed as a vase.
That simple decanter is none other than that designed by Van Day Truex for Baccarat. Now this decanter has been on my wish list for years. Had I known who Van Day Truex was at 22, I would have snapped one up in a heartbeat- meager salary be damned! And that the crystal ice bucket is from Tiffany as well.
So the moral of the story is...if any of you work at a shop or showroom, take advantage of that employee discount! Don't go broke, but use it while you can!
(Photos from House & Garden, November 2004, Oberto Gili photographer)