setter Jonathan Adler isnít shy about glamour.
hate to sound macabre," he says, "but when youíre
about to kick the bucket and looking back on your life,
I hope you remember the glamorous moments more than the
quotidian ones. My calling in life is to provide those
a famed potter, designer, author and retail force, is
known for his iconic designs and a sense of style that
skews í60s and í70s mod. He has long been a
proponent of fearless fun in decorating. But he also
prescribes a liberal dose of shine and recently launched
a collection that focuses on gleaming brass. What better
time to talk sparkle than the holiday season? We asked
Adler to give us the rundown on glitz. Hereís an
We love your phrase "irreverent luxury."
Please explain what that means and how we can achieve
I think stuff should all be beautiful, writ full of fab
style and impeccable craftsmanship, but it should also
communicate a sense of fun. Unfortunately, a sense of
fun isnít often present in the luxury world, so Iím
trying to inject that spirit into what I do.
You also use color unabashedly when others tiptoe around
it. Is color a big part of glitz and luxury?
Colors can trigger emotional responses. An overload of
beige can get depressing, so I adore color. Like most
drugs, though, color should be used carefully and not
excessively. Youíll notice in my work, I use tons of
neutrals with pops of optimistic colors.
How does someone go a bit glitzy without looking like
they just came into an inheritance? In other words, is
there tasteful glitz, and when is it over the top?
I think that a room is like an outfit. It all needs a
bit of gold to crank up the glamour. A little glitz is
good for the soul. Franco Moschino said it best: Good
taste doesnít exist. Good taste is a subjective
construct. My taste is my taste, your taste is your
taste, and as soon as you can free yourself from the
shackles of the idea of good taste you can start to
How can we add glitz to a party or holiday table and our
homes without all the tinsel, too many candles, too much
Candlelight is every fun-loverís best friend. It makes
everyone look a little more glamorous than they really
might be. You donít need to have scented candles going
all the time, but you do need to entertain with an
abundance of candles.
Any tips regarding luxury and lifestyle?
I think everyone should live like royalty, no matter his
or her circumstances in life. You are the ruler of your
own domain, so you might as well get the most out of it.
Think of your armchair as a jewel-encrusted throne, your
bathrobe as an ermine-trimmed cape. Every time you open
your front door you should breathe a sigh of relief. It
should feel like you feel when you hear your favorite
song on the radio.
Looking ahead, what design direction are you aiming
My husband, Simon Doonan, Barneys creative ambassador at
large, nailed it with the title of his best-selling
book, "Eccentric Glamour." We should all be
striving to be ever more eccentric and ever more
glamorous, and I think about that all the time as I make
stuff. I want to make stuff that is life-enhancing and
adds style, craft and joy to your life.