Jonathan Adler Shares His Favorite Gifts for a Designer Wedding Registry
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When you see the name Jonathan Adler, do you think cool, classy, eclectic, irreverent? Well, the man behind the designs is all those things and more. The celebrity designer, master potter and author may be best known for his ceramics collection which first launched at Barneys New York in the ’90s. Adler has since expanded to a prolific line of distinctive home furnishings, with over 17 stores across the country — not to mention his interior design business. Adler, who is now married to Barneys’ Creative Ambassador-at-Large Simon Doonan, lives in New York City and invited MyWedding into his home to discuss the holidays, best practices for wedding registry gifts (hint: go off registry!) and to introduce his latest masterpiece: a limited edition luxury bar cart designed in partnership with the No. 1 Italian premium beer, Peroni, available now on JonathanAdler.com.
Your bar cart is part of a special new collection, launching just in time for the holidays. How did you and Peroni come together to create this chic must-have home decor item?
“When Peroni came to me, I don’t remember quite how it happened, but they were like ‘let’s do this bar cart thing,'” Adler tells MyWedding. “It was dead of winter, and I was really depressed. I hear Peroni, and I thought about my summer holidays in Capri, and I was like ‘Yes, let’s do this!’ Let’s capture the freshness of Italy in the summer. I don’t even drink, except for a Peroni during the summer. So it felt right to me. Why are we not there at this very moment?”
Who would you suggest the bar cart to as a wedding gift?
“I think it’s the perfect gift for somebody who wants to channel the Mad Men hedonism that a bar cart serves, but also wants it to be fresh and 20/20 vs. vintage. It’s like taking the past forward.”
In terms of planning a bridal shower, do you have any suggestions or key tips for our readers?
What’s the most unique gift of yours for a wedding gift?
“I think that you can’t go wrong with my giant Dora Maar Urn Vase with all the faces on it. It’s classic, surreal, a little bit provocative and I hope timeless. I think it hits all the right notes. For a wedding you want to give something that’s timeless and elegant, but also something they’re going to look at and think is [special]. I always go off registry. When you go on registry, it’s always yawns-ville. Nobody is going to be like, ‘Oh, that spoon reminds me of the Schmidts.'”
What do you get for a bride who has everything?
“Most brides do at this point. I feel like in the days of old, brides used to register for a vacuum. Now everybody has everything, so you’ve got to get them stuff they’re going to look at and remember and appreciate you. It’s been so many years since I’ve given anything but moi’s stuff, but I’m very much a price point person. To me, I approach it like how much do I want to spend? Is it a $100 bride, a $200 bride, or an anything goes bride? So, price point first and make it memorable.”
How about a gift for a bride who loves to entertain?
“There are so many nifty tabletop [items], I think that’s best for bridal showers. I love our Gilded Muse Giuliette pitcher, it’s incredible. It’s my favorite thing of mine that I’ve made recently. A little bit of gold is always good.”
Have you brought a sustainability practice to your designs?
“It’s an interesting question. A lot of people serve a lot of B.S. about sustainability, that something is made of sustainable this-that-and-the-other, but then they make a ton of it. I always think it’s a little disingenuous to champion sustainability if you’re making things. However, one should always be conscious of not being wasteful, and I think the way to address sustainability while being a person who actually makes stuff is just to make impeccable quality stuff that’s not disposable. I make stuff, which is not saving the world, but I try to make things that are going to be around forever and will become heirlooms. When we’re in our design meeting and trying to decide if something is going to make the line, our standard is: Will your heirs fight over it? And if your heirs won’t fight over it, then it’s not sustainable. If you’re going to make stuff, make it great stuff.”
As far as wedding locations go, you’ve designed The Parker Palm Springs which is beautiful, especially during Christmas. Do you have any other recommendations?
“I have a summer house on Shelter Island. A Shelter Island wedding? I’m shocked there aren’t more of them because it’s a dream wedding locale. It’s chill enough, but close enough to New York, but a little off the beaten path. To me, it’s great. Rams Head Inn is a popular wedding locale … but I’m planning to go to Costa Rica for the holidays this year.”
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