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R HUGHES Welcomes De La Vega Designs

Mark de la Vega

R HUGHES is honored to announce that De La Vega Designs is joining the showroom. Mark de La Vega opened De La Vega Designs in 2010 within a 7,000-square-foot loft in a historic dock building in Brooklyn creating bespoke furnishings for luxury retail clients such as Harry Winston, Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany & Co.

Taking cues from a variety of global and historical references, DLV uses the highest-quality materials to re-invent forgotten techniques.

R HUGHES: What instigated you to open a 7,000 square foot space in 2010? This wasn’t a particularly easy time for the design industry.

De La Vega Designs: When we first moved into this space, it was a total steal. The rent was low, the space was gorgeous, expansive, and by the water – and we knew we would grow into it as we did. However, starting off we were just thrilled to have a place to work that was beautiful and inspiring. We used to skateboard around the loft and installed a rope swing for our kids.

Now… we have the space designed to function as a busy atelier.

 

RH: What is the collaboration process like between you two?

DLV: We have a great understanding of each other’s roles, and our duties are siloed for the most part—design vs operations. We do draw inspiration from similar sources and agree on most everything—we understand each other well. Maggie nudges me on certain things, but my process is more instinctual and creative, a bit like lightning.

RH: What was that first commission process like with David Collins for Madonna? Having this be one of your first residential projects is certainly a feat.

DLV: It was a thrill, and at the same time very scary. We were new and inexperienced, but we knew it was something we had to pull off. I remember volunteering to deliver it personally and waive the delivery fee. The table was huge and heavy, and navigating it through the stairs to place in front of the fireplace in the Great Room gave me a tremendous amount of pride.

It wasn’t until later that we realized just how important this table would be to the company’s success. It became a symbol of our commitment to quality and service, not only for our clients but also for ourselves.

RH: DLV designs are playful, yet refined. Mark, how do you strike a balance?

DLV: I approach my designs as if they were a sculpture. It tends to be a process rooted in historical references, which are usually from early modernism, but I always like to branch out. There is definitely something playful about the way I work, and perhaps that comes from my enjoyment of what I do. I love my job!

 

RH: Using materials like Coquille D’oeuf, Verre Eglomise, Cast Aluminium, Silicone Bronze, Eggshell, leather & more to create eye-catching pieces through unconventional & long forgotten methods. Firstly, what is your preferred material to work with? (You can see a list of all materials used by DLV HERE)

DLV: That would be like choosing your favorite child! I truly love them all. I think that’s part of the reason I gravitated towards design in the first place—to be able to explore new materials and new ways of using them. I believe it’s important not just to use the same tool over and over again, but also to learn how each tool can be used differently, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

de la vega designs in studio

de la vega designs in studio

RH: Secondly, what is one of those forgotten techniques you’ve enjoyed discovering & enjoyed exploring?

The Coquille D’Oeuf, eggshell mosaic, is definitely the most special technique. Most people have never heard of it and it allows me to play and explore my background in fine art and graphic design. I love working with the eggshells because they are so fragile. It’s like a puzzle—grouping the fragments together. The broken edges can even be used as part of the design or just left as an interesting texture.
My work has always been about combining different things that I love into one piece.

 

RH: What is the most challenging technique when creating pieces?

DLV: Working with wood and metal, I find the two to be equally challenging. Both have their own sets of rules that must be respected in order to become adept at craftsmanship.

RH: You’ve mentioned before that “A well made, well designed piece of furniture becomes more than a reliable friend, it becomes a member of the family”…what is one piece in your home do you view this way?

DLV: The Abuelo Bureau is actually the piece that triggered the quote that you are referencing. Not only did the original come from my grandparents home in Mexico, but it has now evolved into a beautiful and well made collection. I interact with it every day. My kids interact with it everyday… decades later, generations later.

RH: We are big on monthly playlists at R HUGHES with our OFFICE Radio series. That begs the question, what song of his would you add to our next playlist?’

DLV: Right now, anything from Samm Henshaw – his song Broke is a real ear worm.

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R HUGHES Holiday Gift Guide

 

Lantern: 3 Pendant by APPARATUS ; Rhubarb Smoke by Boy Smells ; Todd Snyder x Peanuts French Terry New York Hoodie 

Palais Royal Froufrou Sofa by Pierre Augustin Rose; Artwork by Jack Penny ; Glass Dessert Plates by Still Johnson

Tributary Occasional Table by Refractory ; Leopard Crew Socks in Beige by RoToTo ; Owl Sculptures by Chris Condon 

Craft Round Coffee Table by Pierre Augustin Rose ; Juno Daypack by Kolo ; 002 Round Tray by Populus Project

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APPARATUS + Business of Home: 5 PART PLAY

“Since its founding in 2012, APPARATUS has exploded. The brand has two dedicated showrooms in the U.S., with another forthcoming in London; more than 30 stockists internationally; and more than 100 employees. The company is that rare beast: both a financial and an artistic success story. It’s a result, says Gabriel Hendifar, of a design vision based around emotional resonance more than any one aesthetic.”

In an episode from early October 2022, Business of Home podcast host and NY School of Interior Design Dennis Scully interviewed APPARATUS founder and Artistic Director Gabriel Hendifar to understand the nexus of the brand’s creativity – its past, its present, and its future. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, Scully and Hendifar take the listener through a five part play, revealing glimpses into the brand’s hero journey. As the audience, we know the magic is partly in awaiting the collections – also known as ACTS – that APPARATUS launches with baited breadth, knowing the curtain is about to lift upon the most enveloping story that unfolds through various channels.

“What good is the set if you don’t actually have the play to watch? Those moments of communal joy and celebration and seduction and excitement and intrigue—that’s the whole point,” Hendifar shares.

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The He(ART) of it All: R HUGHES + Alan Avery Art Company

Alan Avery

We often get questions regarding the art collection we feature at R HUGHES, which encouraged us to reflect upon our relationship with the oldest sustained art gallery in Atlanta, Alan Avery Art Company. It is because of this partnership that R HUGHES is able to showcase an ever inspiring list of emerging, mid-career, and internationally established artists.

We asked Founder and Principal Alan Avery to sum up why he feels this partnership has been such a successful one over the years, and his answer was simple, yet profound. A much needed reminder for how we approach all collaborations, “A partnership is a relationship and with any relationship there are key components to making it work: Understanding, Mutual Admiration, Respect, Trust, and Good Communication. It was obvious that there was symmetry in the way that we viewed and valued art, so I chose to make our partnership an exclusive one.”

“Aside from being a champion of R HUGHES early on, Alan has managed to consistently curate and spotlight talent that surprises its viewer consistently for 40 years. The works from his gallery have become those missing puzzle pieces in our showroom, bringing further personality to the space,” says Ryan Hughes.

While many who visit the showroom have seen rotating works from the artists below, we wanted to properly showcase these talents in combination with Alan’s perspective of why a finishing touch to a room is often the art that provides the punctuation at the end of the design story.

Betty Merken

Betty Merken is a lyrical minimalist that harkens back to abstract expressionism and the works of the likes of Mark Rothko and Piet Mondrian. In the edges of her color is where you see the power and movement prism as the color resolves, at the edge of the composition is where the magic of her work happens.

In the shadows of the American Pop Art and other New York artists that followed, I have always felt that Gregory Botts is one of the great American Painters that has gone unnoticed and not given his due. I love finding these artists putting them out there as collectors and institutions re-discover them and begin to give them the attention they deserve.

fabiola jean-louis

Her work is so complicated in its creation. Dresses made of paper painted to look like the finest fabrics, with backdrops and accessories constructed and painted the same manner. I knew from the moment I first encountered Fabiola Jean-Louis‘ work and the message underlying its creation, the work and the creator would be remembered by many who had gone before her.

Bob Landstrom

Bob Landstrom is the only artist that I have ever seen working in the medium of crushed volcanic rock. His work has immense depth and often complicated, steeped with symbolism and formula, yet there is also a naivety and humor that makes you smile and feel good as they unfold.

Kathryn Jacobi

Kathryn Jacobi captures mages of figures from a previous time painted beautifully and with precision of the old masters, yet contemporary in message and tone. Kathryn’s characters always seem to be withholding a secret like they know something more than you do.

Pascal Pierme

Pascal Pierme is a wonderful minimalist modern sculptor favoring wood as his medium of choice. He has developed unique ways to patina and treat the surface in a way that fools the eye having the viewer second guessing whether the sculpture is made of glass, highly fired porcelain or metal, then discovering that is is wood throughout.

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Behind the Scenes of Caste with Ty Best

Crafted in noble materials including bronze, steel, marble, bridle leather, and classic woods, Caste founder Ty Best’s pieces invoke seemingly contradictory responses: luxurious/simple, complex/comfortable, fine art/furniture. The unique aesthetic has been described as “future primitive.”

Born & raised in Montana, Best left the Midwest to study fashion design in California & later create fantastical window displays for Barneys with the likes of Malcolm Hill and Simon Doonan. With this deep visual arts & sculpture knowledge in hand, Best returned to his home state to continue his creative journey which led to furniture design.

Inspired by his surroundings in Missoula, Montana, the tension between landscapes and seasons has created memorable, provocative work. Best continues to show us that Mother Nature knows…best.

“The rugged terrain of his home state of Montana is one of the many disparate influences he draws on for his powerful yet refined pieces the designer aims to incorporate his daily surroundings into his work. “I get inspired by elements in nature, whether ice formations or the erosion of a rock,” he says. “The daunting Montana landscape has a lot to do with the shapes of my ­pieces.” – Elle Decor

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OBESSIONS: Biophilia

bird murmurations

The R HUGHES Obsessions series spun out of this desire to dive deeper into the world immediately surrounding us that provides great inspiration, once you dial in. When we pay attention, certain themes reveal themselves & right now, pieces that mirror the beauty of nature in our own homes are speaking to us.

Biophilia is the tendency to seek connections with nature & it’s an affinity that becomes more important as the world becomes more technologically dependent.

We see it as Nature’s calling. Enjoy.

Hallworth // Eclipse Pendant

 

Alexander Lamont // Ocean Armoire – Deep Coral

 

Christopher Boots // Meteor Pendant

 

Jean de Merry // Tree of Life Reverse Painting

 

Tuell and Reynolds // Klamath Bronze Cocktail Table

 

Ochre // Moon Moonlight Murmurations Installation

 

John Pomp // Moon Orchid – Cascading Chandelier

 

Jiun Ho // ATACAMA TABLE
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Harwood House: Cortney Bishop’s Exploration into Textiles

Charleston-based interior designer Cortney Bishop is no novice when bringing a fresh & honorable take to existing design communities. Take, for example, the launch of Harwood House – her textile collection – with the well-respected Holland & Sherry that pays homage to her late father who had suits made by the London fabric house decades ago. And now her most recent collection named Kalos is a sentimental nod to her Greek heritage…specifically her influential Yia Yia. You can almost say that this venture is a love letter to her past. 

The ethos of her textile line all ties back to family & the little reminders of cherished moments that connect us to one another. We wanted to hear more from Cortney regarding her influences & desires with the line. 

R HUGHES: Where did the name Harwood House come from specifically? 

Cortney Bishop: HH was the name of my mother’s interior design firm. It seemed fitting to honor her and my heritage at the same time. Harwood is my maiden name.

RH: With various designers launching their own textile lines, how does one offer a fresh point of view? What makes Harwood House standout in your own words?

CB: Harwood House has a muse, a story to tell. It is a love letter to people who have influenced my life. It’s also an illustration of colors, patterns, and textures that offer layer-ability within the collection itself. It was important to address all applications within each collection. As a designer, fwe need specific weights for different applications. I encourage the collection to be used together, it’s a vibe. 

RH: How did creating your own line of fabrics provide a solution for your design problems?

CB: In creating Harwood House, we are able to explore a variety of qualities and hues we are feeling inspired by for our own projects. I am drawn to earthier colors and small-scale woven patterns; this is not always easy to locate in the market. With Kalos we found ourselves looking for something a bit richer and sexier, so we created it for ourselves. 

RH: What does a woven fabric collection crafted with a classic nod to the southern cool mean to you? What does it mean for a potential client?

CB: The South is grounded in hospitality and tradition. My intent with the Cardinal collection was to honor classic patterns while incorporating a fresh edge that brings the pieces to life. These fabrics are timeless yet modern, they will always be cool. 

RH: What lessons did you learn from your first release that you were able to apply to your second?

CB: With Cardinal, I learned so much about the creative process; how important it is to take time to feed your soul and create something meaningful to you. With Kalos, I was able to dive a bit deeper into quality, weights, and patterns to explore more ways to layer the collections together. 

RH: Cardinal introduced many wovens which you were able to expand upon with Kalos. Are there any special weaves or techniques that you would like to highlight?

CB: We created these collections with a variety of applications in mind. From heavy upholstery to sheer woven drapery weights. We love the nettings and sheer stripes we designed and use them obsessively in our projects for window treatments. I often use the same sheer netting throughout the house to bring a sense of balance to the play of patterns I like to layer throughout a room. 

RH: Why collaborate with Holland + Sherry? What made them an ideal partner?

CB: Holland and Sherry was the dream. Their timeless elegance and quality is iconic in the men’s fashion and home industry. I knew it had to be them even years before the connection came to be. Dare I say I manifested?  

RH: We know choosing a favorite fabric might be like choosing a favorite child…but which one is currently yours? 

CB: ‘Quilted Folkore’ in Rust and Olive, rich and moody, they upholstery so beautifully. ‘Infinity’ in slate – so sexy in drapery application and bedding. I am also amazed by ‘Prizm’ and how beautifully each color combination upholsters because the pattern has great depth. The ‘Striped Sheers’ – these are finding their way into every project we are working on right now. 

RH: What has been your greatest challenge as a designer?

CB: Saying no. I have learned the hard way and sacrificed valuable time engaging in projects that have drained my creativity. Choosing the right partners and nurturing good relationships is my forever focus.

RH: What is your dream project?

CB: Our soon-to-be created River House. My husband and I recently purchased a beautiful spot on John’s Island, miles from where I grew up on Kiawah. Grounded with incredible Angel Oaks on the deep water, I plan to build our ultimate weekend retreat. A place to enjoy my favorite people and pieces in harmony.

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Riloh: A Q&A with Peyton Avrett and Melissa Sutton

riloh at r hughes

To celebrate the addition of Riloh’s inaugural collection at the R HUGHES showroom, we were able to catch up with second-generation metalsmith Peyton Avrett and interior designer Melissa Sutton who have joined forces with the goal of creating accessible lighting that transcends conventional notions. We were able to get a sense of how they blur the lines between old-world craftsmanship and modern technology in their pieces as well as what inspires them through the process.

riloh designers

R HUGHES (RH): How did you both jump from what you were doing to designing a lighting collection? Can you describe the transition from Avrett to Riloh? Is RILOH a reinvention of Avrett or something completely new? 

Peyton: With Avrett, the narrative was often through custom one-off works or designer collections that we had manufacturing rights to produce. Both types of work were highly rewarding and equally challenging. I often enjoyed outside perspectives on what might be possible to be manufactured. As a second generation metalsmith, I usually approached design with unintentional blinders with the capabilities of the material. It was always fun to have a designer outside of those material parameters approach designs that challenged us on the manufacturing end. That said, I often felt that I had a unique voice and perspective that I wanted to showcase. As Avrett grew into one of the premier one off manufacturers, it grew increasingly difficult to express and explore what I was thinking and looking to achieve. While I could have released it under the Avrett brand, it didn’t feel like Avrett and I was ready for something new. Partnering with Melissa was a natural pivot. Her aesthetic was one that I appreciated and I felt I could compliment with the skills I picked up over the course of a lifetime in metalsmithing trades. She also did a wonderful job of pushing the boundaries within these new Riloh perspectives that were being explored. Like designers, Melissa also approaches designs not thinking about materials inherent restraints. This created a very dynamic partnership. 

Melissa: For me, it was timing. I had my own furniture/interior design company and had approached Peyton a few years prior about helping produce a private label lighting line. Fast forward a few years and he came to me with a new concept and presented the opportunity to partner up. Designing lighting was always my end game. It still feels serendipitous that our plans lined up.

Peyton: Avrett had some very wonderful staple designs through our designer line partnerships. For instance the Synapse and Oeuf pendants that we designed with Barry Dixon come to mind. I absolutely love those fixtures. They are interesting and unique, yet familiar, they are modern, yet timeless and they have really stood the test of time. These designs opened the door for me to what is possible, but they were rooted in a particular style of manufacturing and technology that I wanted to move past. As artists, our tastes, interests andriloh at r hughes desires for our work continue to grow and evolve. I wanted to explore integrated lighting sources, where the illumination aspects of the light fixture were as carefully considered as the design of the light fixture. New technologies have allowed for this exploration. With manufacturing methods, might roots are in artist blacksmithing which is all done by hand. While hand manipulation of metals is a beautiful art, it is very limiting on what type of materials and processes you can implement into this manufacturing method. Avrett had hit its ceiling years ago and I was ready for something new and engaging. I needed a new challenge both with manufacturing technologies but also the voice of this new company. It all had to be something new. 

RH: We have seen a distinctive voice from RILOH in its branding and marketing. Where did this voice come from and to whom is it speaking? 

Melissa: Peyton and I are very much in line with the long term vision and I have to say there is a lot of trust on his part, as most of the voice starts with me. My ideas are very conceptual and can feel abstract but I tend to lead with intuition, emotion, and curiosity. The “story” of lighting is challenging because it can be stagnant. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel but we want to create more “movement” because our intentions are for it to feel more poetic and theatrical. And ultimately wenever want Riloh to feel unapproachable so we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But we’re speaking directly to anyone open to discovery and authentic craftsmanship.

RH: What is the importance of materiality at Riloh? Why do you use the materials that you do? What materials would you like to incorporate in future collections? 

Melissa: Materiality is extremely important to us because it goes hand in hand with the quality of the product. We want to embrace the naturalness of materials. Our current collections incorporate all brass but we will soon introduce stone and ceramics. We’re interested in how they convey a sense of movement and how the metals will juxtapose with more warm, tactile materials.

RH: What words come to mind when thinking of Riloh’s ethos? 

Mellissa: Riloh is focused on designing and making products with intention and in a way that feels true to us. We want to design lighting that continues the conversation of what we find beautiful. Riloh is rooted in function and craftsmanship but we’re also interested in how we can connect our narrative to an object that is part of a person’s everyday life. Lighting can be provoking and intimate and we’re very cognizant with the relationship it has in someone’s space. Riloh has an honest aesthetic.

 

 

RH: What is your design approach when thinking of objects that also have to illuminate a space?

Peyton: For me, the inspiration is mostly in the engineering and methods of construction. Creating something that just appears whole and correct, seamless if you will. Those tiny details that you notice, but you don’t really notice. Those are what excites me.

Melissa: It’s a combination of instinct and longevity. Coming from an interior design background, I’m hyper aware of the acquisition of space. I imagine if there were only a few objects in a room, could it hold its own? I collect photos and ideas that influence my thought process but I also take in account the individual and emotional response of how lighting can elevate the space.

I’m a student of design history and I’ve studied what creates longevity in design – those influences directly impact what ideas I think need to be developed more.

RH: What continues to inspire your unique collections? Movies, people, fashion…

Melissa: I think Peyton and I share roots in classical traditions but we’re also deeply interested in modern art, design and architecture.

People also have a huge impact. I live for meeting or reading about exceptional people. They don’t visually influence but rather influence on how I approach what we want to put out in the world.

 

RH: What about travels…What location has inspired you most? 

Peyton: In my travels, I would say I continue to think back on Venice, Italy. This abstract thought of a city dotted in the ocean… Form completely swamping function. When designing products, I tend to look as far through something as I can to try and find the potential for hangups early on. While I am sure the architects and engineers in Venice thought about these things, it is obvious that the end result wasn’t going to be compromised regardless. I love that.

Melissa: I find that my favorite travels are when I feel small. I like when the experience trumps the destination. Whether it’s driving cross country, hiking Machu Picchu or just taking a walk around my city. Observation has a direct correlation with what inspires me no matter where I am.

RH: What’s a recent project that filled you with energy? 

Peyton: Contemplation and deconstruction of ideas really energizes me. Take the idea of beauty for instance. Why is something beautiful to my eye? What causes the perception of beauty and why? Am I recognizing beauty or is there something underneath my consciousness that recognizes it. As creatives, we all know beauty when we see it, so is this something that isn’t actually a singular but rather a shared universal. Maybe beauty awakens in all of us when we recognize it outside of us. In that thought, it is energizing to put beauty into the world, regardless of the method. It’s a unique dance that humanity shares with each other and it is timeless.

Melissa: We were recently approached to design a few pieces for a phenomenal property in Los Angeles. Having the freedom to design but to not have stipulations on whether people will purchase it or not is incredibly freeing as a creative.

RH: What’s your most treasured possession? 

Peyton: Life

Melissa: Curiosity.

RH: When thinking about what is next in the world of decorative lightning, what do you dream of bringing to the market? Bigger designs, new materials, finer finishes, line extensions?

Melissa: We’re currently exploring a lot with new materials and bigger designs. The first collections were more about familiar silhouettes and understanding how the relationships of integrated LED’s work with illuminating solid glass. Moving forward, I think people will be excited to see more dramatic pieces that feel unique to Riloh.

RH: We are big on monthly playlists at R HUGHES. What’s your go-to song at the moment?

Peyton: Turnstile’s new album Glow On is perfect from start to finish, but I am especially enjoying their tune “Mystery”.

Melissa: Black Pumas “Colors

 

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Betsy Berry’s Modern Approach to Decorative Lighting

APPARATUS Lariat Sconce

Highlighting the ever-evolving advances where technology and design intersect, ADAC is hosting Digital Day to keep the industry in the know of digital advancements & their respective impact on the spaces we live in. Knowing that these changes can be difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to lighting & illuminating designs, we have partnered with ADAC to host “A Modern Approach to Decorative Lighting” – a conversation between Russel Feldman, Owner of Simply Wired PRO, Betsy Berry, Principal Designer of B. Berry Interiors, & Nick Grinder, Vice President of Sales at APPARATUS.

Ahead of this conversation on Wednesday, March 9th, we caught up with Betsy Berry to get her take on the importance of lighting selections in a project & what her favorite pieces are to use.

RH: Betsy, you are educated and trained in New York City. How did moving back to the South in 2013 influence your aesthetic? 

BB: I was actually born and raised in South Carolina, so I always had a southern aesthetic per se. I think my education and work in New York really taught me to refine my design on all fronts. Southern design has had a huge influence on me. Be it my home growing up or my grandmother’s home, the layers and the warmth with elegance throughout isn’t something you forget. It’s a feeling you keep coming back to.

RH: When planning decorative lighting for your projects, where do you begin? A specific room, specific finish, or specific vibe?

BB: I always start with the architecture and bones of the house. I think it dictates the true story of the space. Lighting for me is always so exciting to select – it is one of the most critical choices in the process. I love the juxtaposition of a traditional backdrop of a historic home combined with a modern light fixture. I always strive to keep things timeless yet sexy.

RH: We’d use the phrase “timeless, yet sexy” to describe APPARATUS lighting, and we see you often sourcing their pieces. What about APPARATUS draws you to their designs? Are there any design challenges their offering has helped you solve?

BB: I simply love their products. I think APPARATUS is a go-to for me because it is all of the things I appreciate in design – simplicity yet the highest quality, the ability to live beyond trends and timestamps and the balance of feminine and masculine. Their lighting is easy to love and therefore easy to specify – it helps me solve the problem of finding the perfect piece.

RH: The recently released ACT IV incorporates several new finishes including molded glass, new suede colors and wool satins. Which of these finishes are you most drawn to and which are you most excited to use in an upcoming project? Do you have a favorite piece or pieces from ACT IV?

BB: I love the Starlet sconce from ACT IV specifically – I can’t wait to use it in our upcoming project in Mexico. The combination of the aged brass, bronze suede and satin is to die for…

Outside of that collection, the Lariat pendant has always been one of my favorites – it is the perfect piece among so many backdrops and the alabaster combined with the antique brass is simply gorgeous.