Earlier this week, candy collector Dylan Lauren — the fashionable founder of Dylan's Candy Bar and daughter of designer Ralph Lauren — offered some of her favorite ideas for making weddings a sweet occasion. We caught up with Lauren in person while she was in town at Neiman Marcus promoting her Barbie 50th Anniversary candy line. The candy entrepreneur took some time out of la dolce vita to talk to us about her favorite guilty pleasure and offer more suggestions for bringing candy into the party mix. Find out what they are when you
YumSugar: How did your Barbie candy line come about?
Dylan Lauren: I was approached by Mattel to celebrate Barbie's 50th birthday, since we have the same audience: women ages five to 80, who collect Barbie and collect candy. Mattel had personified Barbie, and decided that she likes to shop at Dylan's Candy Bar.
YS: You've traveled a lot. Do you have favorite candies from other countries?
DL: Actually, in November and December, we'll be featuring candies from around the world: Clodhoppers from Canada, and Australian licorice, which is really chewy, and Kinder and Kinder eggs.
Foreign candy looks pretty, but it doesn't taste as good to me — for example, Japanese candy looks pretty but I don't like the way it tastes. I like Swedish Fish, gumballs, Cadbury Creme Eggs, and strawberry licorice laces. I don't like fancy stuff — I like basic basics.
YS: You've said that you're a visual person. How would you use candy as decoration when hosting and entertaining?
DL: Color-coordinate your house with candy. Now that it's Spring, pastels would be a great color scheme. You can also focus on shapes; there's a candy for everything. Our East Hampton candy store is full of ocean-themed candy. We recently did a fashion party where we featured chocolate high heels. Candy crafts — like making candy jewelry or using candy molds — are great activities, too.
YS: What about candy arrangements?
DL: I love to have a vase of jelly beans that have been layered with different rainbow colors, topped off with candy flowers, or lollipops of different sizes. They make great centerpieces!
Do you have any gift recommendations for Mother's Day?
DL: Barbie is mother-daughter themed, and such a collector's item. I also have my Re-Treat bath and body line. Or chocolate tulips and chocolate butterflies.
YS: What's next for you?
DL: I'm coming out with a candy book in the Summer of 2010. It's about celebrating with candy for all occasions.