Cool summer: entertaining tips from Jonathan Adler

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Jonathan Adler’s designs are fit for any season, but the Dayglo colors, nautical notions, and groovy resortwear looks of his summer invitations have us in the mood for a party. But what kind of party? We sat down with the man in question for some idle talk on summer parties past and inspiration for summer parties future, whether it’s a small, intimate gathering with a few friends or a larger affair. We’re ready for action.


What’s your favorite part of summer entertaining?

I love all-American food, and nothing is more classique than corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake in the summer.


Day at the Marina” by Jonathan Adler for Paperless Post


What’s the best summer party you’ve ever thrown?

I threw a clambake for 50 people once. It was a magical night and a magical nightmare. Lots of prep and lots of cleanup.


What’s one of your favorite summer party memories?

When I was about twelve, my parents had a big crab party. My mom hand-painted crabs on all of the invites and I remember it took her a really long time—if only Paperless Post existed then!

For hosts who don’t have a lot of outdoor space (or any), how do you bring summery outdoor vibes indoors?

Set a bright table—our collection of melamine dinnerware, for example, is just as good outside as it is inside.


What’s a rule of entertaining that you routinely break?

People always think they need to make things super fancy, but the truth is that’s not what anyone wants. Everyone wants good food, good company, and fun tunes. The rest is details.


What’s your go-to summer drink?

Iced tea with milk. I want to start a campaign to get it named the “Jonathan Adler.”


Seaside Skivvies” by Jonathan Adler for Paperless Post


We love the mood your invitations set for a party. What’s one of your favorite designs for us?

I’d have to say “Seaside Skivvies.” It’s the perfect balance of cute and preppy, but with a promise of hedonism.


If you’re ready to start planning the party in earnest, take a look at Jonathan Adler’s invitations for all manner of summer hijinx.

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