Project Runway Preview: Candy Couture!
This week's episode of Project Runway has two very special features -- the unconventional objects challenge and guest judge Dylan Lauren, daughter of famed designer Ralph Lauren and owner of Dylan's Candy Bar! TheInsider.com caught up with candy queen Dylan to talk about her sweet stint on the runway.
The Insider: You are this week’s guest judge on Project Runway. What was that experience like?
Dylan: It was really fun. It was an honor for me because I like the show a lot. Just coming from a fashion background, it was just fun to sit next to Nina Garcia, Heidi, and Michael Kors. The whole episode is based around candy couture. I’ve always loved when people take candy to a different level. In this case, it merged my passions of fashion, art, and candy. The store is just the background, so they seem to have a lot of fun (the designers), running around finding candy, they were like kids again. It was very colorful and exciting. I think the dresses are probably more unique than some real designers’ dresses because of the medium.
The Insider: I know for me the unconventional challenge is one of my favorite challenges. Do you think it’ll be one of the highlights of the season?
Dylan: I think so. I think this one [is a highlight] because so many people love candy. It’s partially something you can relate to versus some odd material.
The Insider: What was the most surprising about judging a candy couture creation?
Dylan: I think that I wasn’t sure what they were going to choose. We have over 7,000 different candies. I was somewhat surprised that some of them didn’t use more than one candy. I was sort of shocked that they didn’t use all the colors or take advantage of more stuff. They were very set in their aesthetic. It was very sophisticated also was what surprised me. Sometimes people think that candy is just for kids, but these designers made some very high fashioned dresses that some of us wanted to wear.
The Insider: Was judging harder than you thought it would be?
Dylan: I have been approached to judge some of these TV show things, and to be honest, this show is one that I think is really unique because it was fashion and candy. It was the first one that I really accepted and felt challenged by because you know, I was sitting next to Nina Garcia who’s a real writer for a paper and has the fashion terms, or like Michael Kors. I grew up sort of knowing a lot or hearing a lot about fashion and candy is sort of my thing, so when everyone’s like, "we want to hear your take on how you think they used the candy," -- it definitely made it a lot easier because that was my area. I enjoyed it.
The Insider: You’re known father is Ralph Lauren, and you are known as the "Candy Queen." How did you get into the world of candy?
Dylan: I love candy. I love just eating candy. When I watched my dad designing and doing swatches in his office of all the colors, I wanted to eat it. I think they call it synesthesia, when you look at colors and they become mouth-watering. I just love color, and candy really lends itself to that. As I got older and traveled abroad for college, I started collecting interesting candies and packaging and sculpted candies. I started having walls and walls of interesting packaging and products. I started making art out of candy and gifts out of candy, and I was like you know what? I just want to open up a sort of museum, like world’s largest candy store, filled with just lots of stuff. So, it’s just a passion that evolved over time. To have these dresses in our windows would make it like a museum of candy. It’s exactly what I love, you know, merging the mediums of fashion and art, and pop culture and candy.
The Insider: Do you have a favorite candy?
Dylan: I like marshmallows and red Swedish fish, but I go through phases. I like Cadbury Cream eggs a lot over Easter, and sometimes red string licorice. Those are kind of my favorites at the moment.
The Insider: Your store, Dylan’s Candy Bar, is a New York staple. I hear you are opening up one in Los Angeles?
Dylan: So, that is opening in the Farmer’s Market next to The Grove. The official opening is probably in the end of August. It’s going to be amazing. LA in general is one of my favorite places to visit. I’ve wanted to have a store there since I’ve opened in New York. It’s always been on the list, but New York and LA are so different in terms of the culture of walking. So we’ve been looking for such a long time for a location, and I’ve always loved The Grove and the Farmer’s Market. I kept looking at locations there and this space became available! It’s just amazing. It’s like a jewel box to me. While it’s not the size of our New York flagship, it’s definitely going to have the presence. It’s going to have the highlights of all our best products in New York.