T Lo Interviews Jonathan Adler

Posted on April 11, 2007

Guess what, darlings? It’s time to grill another judge! The fabulous Jonathan Adler was kind enough to take time out from his busy schedule of pot-throwing, ping-pong, and sock-burning to submit himself to us (figuratively speaking).

So, what surprised you about how the show developed?
To be honest, I was surprised at how talented the kids were. Props to Bravo for casting based on talent instead of just casting a bunch of lunatics.

Has your husband Simon had any criticisms for you? God knows if one of us was a reality show judge, the other one would constantly be shrieking “What the hell were you thinking?” And why hasn’t he been a guest judge? We want to see you two bicker.
My Simon is the cutest and greatest husband ever. For those of you who have read his books or his columns or seen him on VH1 or ANTM, he is as mignon in real life as he appears. For real. We were desperate to have him as a guest judge but we filmed in the fall just when he was installing his legendary Barneys Christmas windows so he was swamped with work. As for us bickering, we are both opinionated little monsters, but we’re almost always in agreement. We have very similar philosophies about design and life. We both believe in being bold and immoderate, so I think we would have responded similarly to the contestants.

p.s. In real life, we settle all disputes on the ping-pong table and I’m bigger than him, I’m stronger than him, and I always win.

Despite the fact that you spent the season sitting next to two uber-Glamazons, your clothes have been a big topic of discussion. Did you expect that? Were your outfits planned to get people to talk or were you just dressing like you normally would? We love the way you dress, by the way. But we’re not with you on the no-socks thing.
Moi’s normal attire hasn’t really changed since my bar mitzvah. I normally rock a pair of Levi’s cords with a Lacoste shirt and a pair of Rod Laver sneakers. Easy, breezy, beautiful. But, let’s be honest—it’s getting a bit mutton-dressed-as-lamb-ish.

Anyway, that’s my everyday attire. When I need to get tarted up and go out, I take my fashion cues from the peacock. I love a bit of color, I love a Dandy-ish pocket square, and I love to mix patterns and colors with abandon. The details—a chunky, Double Windsor knotted tie, shriveled silhouette, and socklessness—are, I suppose, kind of English Dandy meets Italian preppy meets My Three Sons. And, socks are so last century.

Re: The Glamazons—how f***ing hot are Kelly and Margaret? If I was a man…

We understand you’re opening your eighth store. Congrats! Are you planning a worldwide design empire? We remember when Martha Stewart launched her magazine, she vowed “We will own Christmas.” What melodramatic, narcissistic, Martha-like goals do you hold for yourself now?

My main goal is to never have a job. Before I made a go of it as a potter, I had a series of disastrous jobs. I was fired from every one and I deserved to be. I was a terrible employee—sleeping with the boss, yammering on the phone, rolling in late. So, I think my main motivation in building my business has been to avoid having to look for a job because I’m unemployable. I suppose I could maybe be a barista but I don’t know if I could handle Barista academy. Anyway, yes, I just opened my eighth store (on Greenwich Ave in NY’s west village) and it’s j’adorable. I love what I do, I love designing and making things, and I’m very very happy in my career.

You’ve described your style as “Maximalist” and you’ve made well known your disdain for Minimalism. How do you do Maximalism without veering into overboard and tacky?
I suppose that what I really mean by Maximalism is that I believe you should surround yourself with the stuff you love and shouldn’t be cowed into a rigid design scheme. Objects speak to me—when I see something that’s great, I buy it and I find a place for it in my already packed pad. Stuff makes me happy.

Re: The overboard and tacky thing, it’s certainly something to be aware of, but if you have a connoisseurial eye and only buy great stuff, you’ll be fine. Our company mantra is “If your heirs won’t fight over it, we won’t make it.” Every piece I make, whether it’s a pot or a pillow or a sofa or a rug, is something that I believe in and love.

We’re not exactly going out on a limb when we say your work is clearly mid-century inspired. Who were the designers of the period you admire the most and what is it about that period that you love?
I think that I’m inspired by the optimism of mid-century modernism. My favorite designers from that era are probably Bonnie Cashin, the fashion designer, Alexander Girard, the graphic and industrial designer, and Bjorn Wiinblad, the ceramicist and painter. They all made stuff that was personal and beautiful and fun. And, most importantly, they showed that design can be flawlessly chic and happy at the same time.

And finally, what exactly do we have to do to get you to consider a new sendoff for next season?
Yawn! Silliness is underappreciated. See ya later, Decorator is silly, memorable and fun. I j’adore it and I think it’s about time you embrace it aussi. Anyway, that’s all I got for you.

See ya later, Catchphrase haters. Peace.

In a while, Ceramic Tile. And thanks, doll! Ciao!


[Photos: PeterTangen/BravoTV.Com/JonathanAdler.com]

 

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  • BrianB

    “In a while, ceramic tile!” Thank you for that, guys!

    Interesting interview. Bonnie Cashin was so ahead of her time, a great influence still.

    I’m not quite buying his mea culpas about having a job that doesn’t require any work. He talks about being a lousy employee so I guess that means he’s a bitchin’ boss!

    Put me in last century with the socks. It just reminds me of some oily lounge lizard that you wake up beside the next morning thinking, “I feel so unclean!”

    BrianB

  • LeCorbusierGirl

    “Re: The Glamazons—how f***ing hot are Kelly and Margaret? If I was a man…”

    LOL. I love The Gays. Fabulous, boys! More, more, more…

  • KlausK

    “See ya later, Catchphrase haters. Peace.

    In a while, Ceramic Tile. And thanks, doll! Ciao!”

    ROFL. I love you boys and Jonathan’s sense of humor.

  • Tom in Chicago

    Is anyone really THAT gay? I think I’ll just keep reading the fabulous blog and skipping the actual tedious program.

  • Anonymous

    Did everyone else read this in Adler’s actual voice?

    This was so much fun! Loved it!

    I think I’ll just keep typing until I have an actual opinion to add beyond “loved it.”

    Oh wait, I know – that picture isn’t his house, is it? Is it the new store? Do you ever wonder why none of these people are ever on the street in NY? I never see Tim Gunn or Laura or anybody.

    Anne

  • DanielDC

    “My Slimon is the cutest and greatest husband ever.”

    Hahahahaha. You gotta love that!

  • TLo

    Anonymous said…

    Did everyone else read this in Adler’s actual voice?

    This was so much fun! Loved it!

    I think I’ll just keep typing until I have an actual opinion to add beyond “loved it.”

    Oh wait, I know – that picture isn’t his house, is it? Is it the new store? Do you ever wonder why none of these people are ever on the street in NY? I never see Tim Gunn or Laura or anybody.

    Anne

    It’s the new store, Anne.

    XO
    T&L

  • Anonymous

    Oh wait, I know what I wanted to ask.

    How the fuck are you guys pulling this off? Why are these people talking to you?

    I mean, no offense, but you must have gone WAY beyond two guys with a blog at this point if the judges are sitting down with you! Does this mean that Bravo is recognizing your contribution to this completely mediocre program, which is only going to get renewed because we’re all desperate for the blog?

    Anne

  • LindaLA

    Now that’s a gay interview. LOVE IT.

  • LaunderLust

    I guess it’s just me, but I found this interview to make him sound completely self involved and shallow. Yuck! Of course, I’ll probably read it again later and find “j’adorable.” Ugh!

  • mumblesalot (Laura A)

    I have vowed to start my day without snarkiness. I can feel my vows slipping away. I really have to head over and read your review of Oklahoma again to set my head straight after that interview…

  • BedSideTable

    Hilarious interview! I love his sense of humor and the fact that he doesn’t take himself seriously. Thanks, guys!

  • kitschtrain

    In a while, Ceramic Tile. And thanks, doll! Ciao!

    ROFL.

  • Claudia

    Great interview! I love his store and I’m so glad he gets Carisa.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous said…

    Oh wait, I know what I wanted to ask.

    How the fuck are you guys pulling this off? Why are these people talking to you?

    I mean, no offense, but you must have gone WAY beyond two guys with a blog at this point if the judges are sitting down with you! Does this mean that Bravo is recognizing your contribution to this completely mediocre program, which is only going to get renewed because we’re all desperate for the blog?

    Anne

    Word.
    T&L, time to start requesting your cut. Fair is fair.

    PS:
    “Re: The Glamazons—how f***ing hot are Kelly and Margaret? If I was a man…”
    Love him!
    Margaret, absolutely. People need sunscreen to stand next to her. Oozes style,grace,beauty. & who do I need to kill to get that complexion?

    Kelly, not so much. Trying way too hard to be talked about.
    (careful what you wish for, darling…)

  • BG

    Not that it matters, but everything I’ve read recently about Adler (especially this interview)makes me wonder whether he is a blast to be around and totally funny, or someone who grates on you and speaks his own language to the anoyance of others (Adlish?).

  • Ruth

    “Silliness is underappreciated”

    Amen, sister!

  • Mariana (The Unoriginal)

    “p.s. In real life, we settle all disputes on the ping-pong table and I’m bigger than him, I’m stronger than him, and I always win.”

    LOL. I’ll try that with my husband. That for the interview, boys!

  • Anonymous

    Jonathan Adler and his catchphrase are both j’adorable. (And that’s officially my new favorite word.)

  • Anonymous

    Yes, he is just j’adorable.He and Simon should double date with you guys. That would be a show in itself!
    kath

  • Anonymous

    Talk about your tree full of canaries. You gotta love Adler, he is just as cute as a bug…but sister, you need to wear socks.

  • Bill

    “In a while, ceramic tile!” Perfect! I love you guys.

    Adler came across in the interview like he does on the show. For me, that’s not a good thing. He reminds me of the Duchess sometimes: just trying to be a snarky, clever queen to bring attention to himself.

  • snf in va

    ” BG said…

    Not that it matters, but everything I’ve read recently about Adler (especially this interview)makes me wonder whether he is a blast to be around and totally funny, or someone who grates on you and speaks his own language to the anoyance of others (Adlish?). “

    Yup.

  • Dishes

    Jonathan Adler seems like the main character in Nancy Mitfords Love in a Cold Climate. Way over done. But love him (and you two) because of it.

  • pc

    OMG, please tell me you guys also scored an interview with La Wearstler! Please!!!!!!

  • thombeau

    *FABULOUS*

  • Anonymous

    Throwing in random french words doesn’t make you cool. That guy needs to turn down the flaming.

  • Anonymous

    I STILL think that Adler buys his clothes at the same place that the Ringling Brothers clowns get theirs. That’s all I’m sayin’.

  • brilliant

    BG said…
    Not that it matters, but everything I’ve read recently about Adler (especially this interview)makes me wonder whether he is a blast to be around and totally funny, or someone who grates on you and speaks his own language to the anoyance of others (Adlish?).


    Word.

    [But I find myself stealing "j'adorable" anyway. Maybe cuz I like Simon and his desert dry snark on vh1.]

  • roorooB

    “In a while, ceramic tile.”

    They should make the dismissed contestants say that.

    In Adlish.

    You guys are lightyears beyond fabulous.

  • Sewhat?

    You Boys do realize that the two of you are MUCH more fabulous than Jonathon and Simon could ever hope to be, don’t you? They have to try too hard (see Bill’s comments). Tom and Lorenzo are effortless and graceful in their wit. You two can have fun and be silly without being foolish. Jonathon and Co. only wish they were so gifted.

  • Bill

    T&L, you bitches are moments from getting your own show, aren't you? That's how you scored these interviews.

    I can see it now. Tom & Lorenzo on Bravo deconstructing every reality TV show on the network.

    You are going to do Sheer Genius (or whatever it’s called), aren’t you?

  • Bill

    PS – I just don’t feel right calling you guys “bitches”. I’m looking at my last post and hating that I did. I know it’s all in fun, and you call all of us that, but I just feel dirty for having called you that.

  • eric3000

    So we’re stuck with “See you later, decorator” if this show makes it to season two. Stupidity is definitely not underappreciated. Well, thanks for trying, boys!

  • Anonymous

    Bill said…

    PS – I just don’t feel right calling you guys “bitches”. I’m looking at my last post and hating that I did. I know it’s all in fun, and you call all of us that, but I just feel dirty for having called you that.

    Bill, you are the true definition of gentleman. You can call me whatever you like.
    Love your dish re: Broadway shows you’ve seen.
    Can’t wait for your store to open.

  • Anonymous

    Bill, that’s so sweet.

    You know, if it’s not you, don’t do it. It’s no me either most of hte time, except when I REALLY hate them, like when they score interviews with all the TD judges and don’t tell anybody until they’re over so we can’t have days and days of blog posts about what questions to ask.

    Are you listening, you bitches?

    Kiss kiss!

    Anne

  • lisasabatier

    Oh I saw Simon on the HGTV Christmas windows spepcial — he designed the Andy Warhol windows, and he is mignon. Can’t he use his employee discount at Barney’s though to dress Jonathan?

  • Anonymous

    I recognize I’m about to be a hater, but I don’t get Adler. Like, at all.

  • LauraandMichael

    Sewhat? said…
    You Boys do realize that the two of you are MUCH more fabulous than Jonathon and Simon could ever hope to be, don’t you? They have to try too hard (see Bill’s comments). Tom and Lorenzo are effortless and graceful in their wit.
    ***********************
    Agreed – everyone else is a pretender compared to T&L.

  • Dishes

    A Bravo show for our gays, hear hear! Although T&L might have to lower their gush volume when they are around Miss Bennet. I heard them on that online after show and they were so breathless and fawning. You know, come to think of it, I'd be the same way.

  • Anonymous

    I j’adore him.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who thinks “See you later, decorator” works as a kiss-off does not deserve a second season. If the sockless wonder were really smart, he’d be taking everyone you guys say to heart to fight for a redo of this show from floor to ceiling. “In awhile, Ceramic Tile” is far wittier than anything Adler uttered this season.

  • Marianne

    Another fantastic interview guys!! :)

  • brilliant

    I just saw the Gay One’s ad on the Bravo web site.

    “Jonathan Adler, your 24 hour pot dealer”

    Oh my Gawd! ROFLMAO!!!

  • Anonymous

    SELF-POSSESSED. LAZY. VAPID. CREEPY.

  • jjtxgrrl

    J’adore this interview!!! I heart Adler and all that he encompasses.