RSVIP: Book Bash For "Dylan's Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life"
Charlie and his chocolate factory have nothing on new author, candy expert, and sweets purveyor par excellence Dylan Lauren (above, left).
Scarlet balloons hugged the ceiling of Dylan's Candy Bar, her sugary eponymous department store in Manhattan. Lilanne Becker, an adult dressed as a fairy princess with a satin gown, white gloves and tiara, stood beside a table stacked with books and brandished a colorful copy of Dylan Lauren's new coffee-table tome, "Dylan's Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life" (Clarkson Potter). Downstairs, Aundre Seals, a Halloween Dracula with some white face paint skewered Rice Krispie treats and marshmallows shaped like ghosts, drenched them in a triple-tier chocolate fountain, and handed them to salivating onlookers.
For adults, cocktails with lime rock-sugar swizzle sticks and gummy spider garnishes were spiked with VeeV, an açai-based spirit and tonic water. Red licorice decorated yet another cocktail made with raspberry liqueur.
In a basement brimming with vintage candy, including a bathtub filled with gumballs, a line of adoring fans snaked towards a cheery Dylan Lauren, wearing an acid green shirt with candy-tone Rep tie and signing books.
Sure I'm proud," said designer Ralph Lauren, Dylan's famous dad (above, right), wearing a blue-and-gold bomber jacket. "I'm so happy for her. She created something she loves and is happy to share it with many people who love candy!"
"Dylan is probably my favorite person in the world," added Dylan's uncle Jerry Lauren, a taller version of his brother Ralph, in a double-breasted blue blazer. "She's lovable, dynamic. And she loves every minute of what she does, the way Ralph and I love clothes. And that's why her business is blooming."
"The book is a masterpiece," Dylan's brother David kvelled, on the arm of his beautiful gal pal, Lauren Bush, the former president's niece. "It's the culmination of her life in candy. We were all into candy, but she REALLY loves candy. She lives and breathes it, made a life of it. In her college essay, she compared herself to an Everlasting Gobstopper."
As the line dwindled, RSVIP grabbed a quick side interview with the author. According to Dylan, celebrities are some of the store's biggest fans: "Katie Holmes had her assistant come and pick up candy for Suri's birthday party," she said. "She bought all these lollipops. She bought cupcakes . . . that was exciting."
Cindy Crawford loves red licorice. Janet Jackson loves caramel. "Janet comes in for candy apples," Dylan recalled. "She told me her mother used to give her caramel." And A-Rod loves Oreo cheesecake ice cream and sweet tarts. "He ate some and then won the World Series the next day," she said. Lindsay Lohan once ordered Sour Patch Kids, and Madonna "likes red-hot tamales."
Not only has Dylan created a book packed with candy-laden table settings and sweets history, she has also recently worked with Mattel to create a Barbie doll in her image. "It just hit stores," she said. "I'd like to look like the Barbie Doll version of me. She has on a candy-inspired gown, and her hair has the perfect highlights. They started with a picture, and I looked at the hair and I said, 'It's a little too blonde, I have highlights in the front.' And they literally matched my hair color."
Dylan's favorite candy changes over time. "Right now I like red Swedish fish," she said.
Upstairs, Kelly Cutrone of the Bravo reality show "Kell on Earth" claimed that she had just won a bubble-blowing contest with her nine-year-old daughter.
At a back bar, revelers were asked to name the flavor of jellybeans: bubblegum . . . pina colada.
Joining a wall of buff bodyguards, still later, Amber Bivins, an energetic woman dressed as a cupcake in pink tights danced interference for Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Dylan's parents, as they commandeered a staircase to slip out of the store.