Getting Sweet With Dylan Lauren

Neiman Marcus Northpark is going strong as we approach the holiday season; in addition to an absolutely packed sales floor over the weekend, the store played host to a personal appearance by Dylan Lauren.

Lauren, founder of the famous Dylan's Candy Bar, was in town to promote her new lifestyle book, "Dylan's Candy Bar - Unwrap Your Sweet Life." We snagged a few moments of her time while fans lined up to collect her signature.

You've got an intense love for art history, and it shows in this book -- which is part candy-porn and part pop art. What artists inspire you?
I'm a big fan of Jeff Koons, James Rosequist, and Murakami. I also love the random, street artists that I get to see in the city. I've had people send us things that they made out of candy wrappers or sculptures out of products, and that's really cool. My Dad (Ralph Lauren) is my inspiration from a fashion standpoint; I consider what he does an art form.

We can't get enough of the tablescapes in the book; any particular favorites?
The chocolate maple leaves used in the Thanksgiving and holiday spreads are some of my favorites, and I adore the Fourth of July topiaries done with Hershey kisses. The best thing about the tables is that you can get the supplies you need to recreate them anywhere and for a reasonable price.

The stores are so fun and colorful, but what's your style in your own home?
Stuff! Just stuff from all over; my travels around the world. And I collect rabbits, so those are everywhere. Also things like the decoupage chairs I did out of candy wrappers - they're in the book - I love quirky pieces like that.

Your next major creative undertaking is your wedding; what role will your candy-love play in that?
My fiancee's proposal actually involved our "It Bar" candy bars! I'm not sure really yet in terms of how the wedding events will look, but there will definitely be plenty of candy. The only other thing that's on my mind as I'm starting to plan is my love of turquoise. I know that'll play a big role in the color scheme.

Dylan's Candy Bar is going through an exciting time too; help us get a handle on all the new projects.
In 2011 we're launching a new stationery line, and we'll be doing a collaboration with Macleren strollers. The design is going to be precious! We're also considering new stores, possibly Los Angeles.

What are you shopping for right now, besides holiday gifts, of course?
I'm on the hunt for high, wedge boots. I refuse to suffer for fashion, so I'm holding out for a cool pair that are tall but wedged. And I'm wearing our Dylan's Candy Bar tees quite a bit, under my blazers.

Speaking of holidays, what's your favorite and why?
I love Easter! We still do a big Easter egg hunt with my family; it's so much fun. And since I collect rabbits, it's the perfect holiday.

You're in awesome shape; what do you do to counterbalance all the candy consumption?
I like to be outdoors; so, lots of hiking, running, and some spin classes

Does your fiancee have a sweet-tooth like you?
What does he like the most from the Bar? He always goes for the Clodhoppers and Australian licorice.

What's next for you personally, besides the nuptials?
I've so been thinking about a pet. I really want a pet! Maybe a pot belly pig or a rabbit!

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