Everyone loves some Jonathan Freakin’ Adler. His style is ubiquitous and has spawned a million copies. Yay! The only JA thing I own is a needlepointed eyeglass case that says “SPECS” in a funky multicolored circus-y font. I have always kinda wanted a piece of white JA sculpture like the giraffe or the cat or the boob vase. I once cohorted with my friend Jaime when she needed encouragement to buy the JA condom caddy for her husbands’ birthday. He was partially amused.. But I don’t really think about him all that often these days unless presented with a blog post (what was that stupid banana bud vase all about?)
I first remember seeing the JA needlepoint series when he did a capsule collection for the now-defunct Williams Sonoma company Hold Everything. (This was around 2004 and a little before a designer collaboration with a lower-cost line was the veritable retail gold mine it is today.) Does anyone else remember those catalogs? He did a whole Christmas line with lots of graphic needlepoint stockings, tree skirts and accessories everywhere! I remember this because I was already following him, and I worked for the WS company at the time and I could’ve ordered it all at 40% off! Permanently put in the “regret not buying” file- because cool Christmas stuff is stupid hard to find.
Anyway– I love Jonathan’s stupid lil’ sense of humor and his stupid lil’ outfits**. Even the goofy way he spells his name and his inane antics on Next Top Design Star (or whatever show that is) (**And I’m not even saying this in mock love like someone refers to “Oral”.) He’s kinda someone you almost love to hate like Rachel Zoe, Anna Wintour or Kelly Werstler.
I really do seem to gravitate towards animal figures in my house, and bold colors and sharp imagery- so the graphic nature of his stuff does kinda appeal to me – but I don’t chase after his brand’s bath accessories so my Kleenex box has a chic shell, or a covet a $695 tortoise lamp “As Seen in May 09 Elle Décor Magazine and June 09 Metropolitan Home.” I get his style- but I think I love the era of quirky vintage things that inspire him more! In our ever-aware world of everyone’s a designer and in big ol’ bloglandia – he’s the King of quirk.
It now seems that the only way to effectively describe a certain aesthetic is to refer specifically to him. I may already have things in my house that could easily be inspiration fodder for the man himself. I just came to realize that in the course of the last few weeks, everything that I have purchased is undeniably Jonathan Adler-esque.
[Side bar: I squawk about too much whimsy and cuteness in product design- am I full of shit because I think that the vintage items I acquire have more gravitas because they are old and not expensive? I justify it by thinking that whimsy and pricey is bullshit, and quirky, old and cheap is valid- whatever I probably am full of shit]
OK. Enough ass gazing – on to the goodies!!
First up- a pair of wonderful lion-esque sunny modernist mugs (Pictured here on my sunshine-y kitchen window with wind up godzilla and little succulent). I only found a pair and I snatched them up!
This set of espresso mugs caught my eye- they are a slightly larger size (which I love) and the textured white ceramic looks great with my classic white french porcelain dishware. I also love the lopsided angles of the handles. They make the cups look less mass produced- and though unmarked- I am pretty certain they are.
This next item is so exciting! I have wanted a set of poison glasses for SO LONG! I originally saw a set on ebay advertised as a vintage set of Neiman Marcus barware from their eponymous and extravagant Holiday Catalog- selling for around $100. My friend Robin collects old glassware and has two sets of these puppies! Recently, Robin & I went thrifting and her eagle eye found 5 of the glasses at one thrift store and then- as luck would have it- we found the 6th at the next thrift! The missing one! The only slight difference is the decal is positioned higher, but whoever drinks out of Arsenic probably will never know the difference! They will look great in my new bar that I’m currently refinishing. Also- In the original set there was an ice bucket that just said POISON with the “pick your..” words above and some sort of really great skull and cross-bone metallic emblem on the lid. I am keeping my thriftin’ eyes peeled for that piece!
God bless Picasa! I just found the original pic I saved off of ebay and filed in my “to find or die” folder. Dreams *can* come true.
Next up! My Jonathan Adler inspired shopping spree continued when I found an interesting hand-rolled silk scarf with great typography. I collect silk scarves and as a designer- letters on anything is great. Don’t try to adjust your eyes. There are no distinguishable words, and the letter forms are all twisted reversed and generally scrambled. I would love to know who the designer was.
And lastly: this mint condition vintage needlepoint purse that one of my friends will be receiving as a holiday gift… I LOOOVE me some geometric needlepoint (reflected in my very first blog post ever!) The back has a monogram, the trim is a rich chocolatey ultra suede and the lining a silk rust moire. Lovely!
Is it just me or I am channeling Mr. Adler these days? Or maybe his “genius” is more derivative than I realized? I am thinking way too much about this.