Candy seen as harbinger of happiness
Mar 21, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
On Easter mornings, while all the other kids were anxious to bite into their chocolate bunnies on Easter morning, Dylan Lauren resisted.
"I would only eat the chocolate eggs," the founder of Dylan's Candy Bar said. "I didn't want to eat the chocolate bunnies because I felt bad for them. I just liked to collect them and look at them."
To this day the grown-up Lauren refuses to bite into those vulnerable chocolate ears and legs. She will be visiting Honolulu bearing her Easter baskets full of sweet treats, with "Chocolate" the bunny at her side, handing out samples in Neiman Marcus' Epicure department from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
"Easter has always my favorite holiday because I love rabbits and bright colors," she said last week over the telephone during a train commute to New York from Washington, D.C. She had been a guest speaker at an Apparel+Footwear Conference on the art of innovation.
Her eye for candy as design elements led her to go beyond the kid craft of coloring Easter eggs to decorating the family table with candies, "creating place settings and centerpieces with candies that look like edible flowers."
The daughter of designer Ralph Lauren said her father indulged her quirks and encouraged her passion. "He saw it was very unique and saw fashion in the candy colors; he understood it," she said.
In addition to bringing chocolate Easter eggs, jelly beans and floral candies, she'll be signing copies of her book, "Unwrap Your Sweet Life," detailing ways to set the mood for any holiday using candy.
Despite the obvious color and gustatory benefits, candy might not be top of mind for many people as a decorative element. But Lauren said it can be a fast and enchanting addition to floral and table settings, first working its magic as an icebreaker. The sight of brightly colored sweets tends to lighten spirits and put people at ease.
"With candy there's no wrong way to do things. It always looks pretty and tastes good," Lauren said. "When people do see candy arrangements, it always seems fresh and different."
And don't underestimate the power of candy to charm the perpetually grumpy.
Even over the phone Lauren exudes the energy, perkiness and joie de vivre of a person on a sugar high. "(Candy) definitely makes people sweeter because it makes 'em happy plus raises endorphins."
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