Jonathan Adler – my favourite of the beautiful people
A Thursday night many months ago and I’m settled down in front of the television with my feet up on the arm of the settee. I’m watching Beautiful People, an hilarious comedy drama about a young boy in his transition to teenager. That young boy is not Jonathan Adler but the fantastically camp Simon Doonan. It took many months before I realised the connection, Simon Doonan has been the creative ambassador at Barneys in New York for many years after joining the team as a window dresser in 1986. He also happens to be the partner of the wonderful American designer Jonathan Adler.
Jonathan Adler is a household name in America, think laurence llewelyn-bowen but with more cool and appeal than swags and baroque! Jonathan Adler creates fun, colourful interiors which look current but with real retro edge and classical styling. I am hugely inspired by Adler’s clever staging and meticulously curated selection of accessories and ephemera, brass bananas spring to mind!!
Jonathan Adler is launching his first UK store in the heart of London’s home and interiors district of Chelsea with neighbours such as Kelly Hoppen he is amongst the right kind yet worlds apart in terms of style. Adler’s wit and humour will shine through and will be a beacon of fun and frivolity in a comparatively conservative area of town for interiors.
If brass bananas are not your thing you are certain to fall in love with the charming ceramics that are churned out from Adler’s studio. Jonathan Adler trained in pottery to fulfil his ambition; thank god that he did! Simple forms and neutral shapes mean that the collection would fit into any theme, age or style of room and thats rare, accessories well worth the investment. That brings us to price, yes you are going to pay a premium for Adler’s designs but they are not transient faddy pieces but staples of your homes look, in a world of trends coming and going there is a reassuring comfort about the quality of Adler’s design integrity. Where Wedgwood was once a visionary Jonathan Adler has followed. Ceramics aside there is sure to be a cause for hilarity when you see the black and white ‘vice jars’ with humorous words of many
prescription or illegal substances on the front. Imagine inviting someone into your kitchen and having your “kitty krack” jar out on the worktop!!
The real smiles are raised in the body shape inspired vases, in simple white form the smooth shapes appear as joyously as ancient marble carvings. Venus de Milo this is not, its all about pure humorous titillation, that famous camp that both Adler and Simon Doonan are famous for.
I personally feel that the leap from ceramics to textiles is not 100% successful, the figurative needlepoint cushions are worth a smile and the quotation cushions certainly raise your spirits but the bed linen is disappointing. I appreciate that you don’t want huge phrases emblazoned across a duvet but the patterns are lack lustre and I have to say they make me thing Argos rather than Adler.
If the price doesn’t scare you off then a special couple of pieces are going to make your home a happy place for many years to come and now that we can buy in the UK we must take advantage. Time will tell how the store is accepted in London and how the ideas translate across the pond as to whether people in Britain are getting what they want. You have to admire the customisable monogrammed cushion service though, thats really giving your customer what they want! Now let me choose my cushions.. give me a S, a H, an I and hmmmmm