A classic example of less is more, Candy Floss is a visual and confectionary delight created from one simple ingredient – spun sugar. First made by hand in the 18th century, the labour-intensive nature of production meant that it could only be enjoyed by the wealthy; but this changed in 1897, when confectioner John C. Wharton and, ironically, dentist William Morrison created a sugar spinning machine. Launched internationally at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, it was an instant success, and, in the years since, candy floss has become a fixture at circuses and fairgrounds, known by a variety of different names – ranging from Cotton Candy in the US and Fairy Floss in Australia.
However, while as a culinary confection the atonal nature of candy floss has kept it resolutely a novelty treat, its gauzy texture and pastel pink palette has been inspiring fashion designers for years. Reincarnations include Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous Ralph Lauren gown worn to accept her Best Actress Oscar in 1999, Hussein Chalayan’s frothy dress from S/S00, and Candy Floss being the muse for both the name and hairstyle of the heroine of Viktor & Rolf’s Fairy Tales. And its influence can also be seen in the current vogue for coloured hair, with the likes of Charlotte Free and Katie Shillingford championing an array of delectable shades, particularly sugar pink.
"While as a culinary confection the atonal nature of candy floss has kept it resolutely a novelty treat, its gauzy texture and pastel pink palette has been inspiring fashion designers for years."
However, in AnOther’s Most Loved post of the week, Candy Floss is given a surreal twist to create this entirely unexpected marriage of fairground treat and diminuative dog. On the surface, not much can explain this combination, but here we ask Agata Belcen, AnOther’s fashion editor, to expand on what made her Love this singular flight of fancy.
Where did you find this candy floss dog and why did you choose to love it?
I wish I'd found it on a commercial website so I could buy it. It's somewhere between completely disgusting (a mouthful of dog hair) and dog fetish.
How would you incorporate it into your life? As a picture on the wall, a very pink dog or a strangely realistic afternoon snack?
I'd buy a real dog and then feed him the candy floss dog.
Have you ever been to the circus? If so, what is the best thing you've seen?
I used to go to the circus in Poland in the 80s and I remember nothing about its particularities (I was sub-five years old) except that every year it was there for such a long time (in a four year old's sense of time) that I'd forget it was an impermanent structure. It felt very abrupt when they packed up and left without saying goodbye.
What would you be if you ran away to join the circus?
I'd like to fly up in the Big Top between swings.
What is your favourite fairground delicacy?
They're all pretty great. I like food that you have to assort, tackle, play with and overcome.
What are you looking forward to about Autumn?
What was the last thing you bought?
Text by Tish Wrigley