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Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great Labor Day party

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Jonathan Adler. Credit: Chandon USA Jonathan Adler with some of his recommended mini Chandon bottles.
Credit: Chandon USA

We’re not ready to put away our strappy sandals just yet, and it sounds like designer Jonathan Adler isn’t quite ready to believe summer is ending, either. He refused to acknowledge the oncoming cold weather, telling us, “You gotta pretend it’s summer up until Thanksgiving and then surrender.” Lucky for all of us, there’s one more big summer holiday weekend before we have to start breaking out the ice scrapers, and Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

a nautical motif. Kept it light and bright and patriotic. I think any guest would be thrilled to come and see a tray of mini Chandons," says Adler. The tray is available at local Jonathan Adler stores and online at www.jonathanadler.com.

Keep things going swimmingly
"It’s the end of summer so I always try to go nautical. Nautical, nautical, nautical. And I’m not just saying that because I’m staring at the sea even as we speak. It’s just because I want to keep summer spirit alive, and nothing says summer like blue and white."


Bring on the competition
"I love a good game, from the indoor variety, such as backgammon, to the more outdoorsy such as horseshoes or kadima."

Grill up a storm
"I want [the menu] to be easy, easy, easy, easy, so I love a good skewer. Anything on a skewer…My theory is that you can take anything and skewer it, and then fire away."

Make the music pop
"I would say that a rocking playlist is always good. I myself am a fan of the pop country genre….. On my summer playlist, I have lots of Miranda Lambert, and Brandy Clark is my girl, so she’s on there. And then I throw in a lot of pop hits of the summer…. I’m debating whether the song of the summer is 'Summer' by Calvin Harris, or 'Fancy,' so they would both make an appearance and I’d let my guests decide."

For the city dweller
"I spent my pretty years, my twenties and thirties, being a city-bound summer person, so I think it’s about channeling Saint-Tropez even if you’re living in a fifth floor, crappy, walk up studio apartment as I used to be. So you just gotta put on a jaunty nautical chapeau and live as if you’re in Saint-Tropez… Throw up a summer lantern, throw up some lights as if you’re outside and play let’s pretend."

Rules of the Game
Adler says he has a few strict rules for his summer barbecues. First things first, don’t neglect the host. “I always serve myself first because I deludedly believe that it makes people feel more comfortable. It’s really just that I’m a piglet.”

Thinking of throwing a Labor Day rager? That’s not really Adler’s style. He likes to keep the guest list small. “Minimum 8, maximum 16. Not too sad, and not too overwhelming.”

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