Amy Atlas Puts Dessert on Display
by jill sieracki
Everyone has heard of a fashion stylist, hair stylist, or even a prop stylist, but until New York-based eventeur Amy Atlas entered the scene in 2007, no one had yet established herself as a “sweets stylist.”
This month Atlas’ work is presented in all its kaleidoscopic glory in her debut book, Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It, which features more than 175 recipes, tips, and how-tos for hosting your own dessert-laden gathering. “I wanted the book to be for people who didn’t feel they were designers, because that’s not my background,” says Atlas, whose stunning dessert tables using unique palettes and a creative mix of patterns have earned her esteemed fans such as Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. “I learned to put colors, patterns, and scale together on my own.”
Atlas’ original career path took her along a decidedly different route—law and politics—but in her after hours, she found pleasure in creating wonderful dessert experiences for the guests she and her husband, Rick, entertained at home, or for friends looking to give their parties a captivating twist. “When I was doing my own parties, I started to notice that desserts weren’t getting the fanfare they deserve,” says Atlas, who has since created a princess-themed birthday party for Brooke Shields’ daughter Grier and an ice cream social for an Electrolux event hosted by Kelly Ripa.
Today Amy Atlas Events creates towering dessert tables using sweets she sources from prominent local purveyors including Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, New York Cake Pops, and La Maison du Chocolat, complemented with the array of linens, signage, and serving vessels she finds around town at retailers such as PropHAUS, C. Wonder, Crate & Barrel, and Apartment 48. “Each table is a custom piece of edible art and takes several weeks to design,” says Atlas, whose services start at $15,000. “Because of that, we won’t take on more than 20 projects per year.”
Yet for her upcoming book party, Atlas is excited to go from “sweets stylist” to client, and she plans to decorate with “lots of bold colors, lots of pattern,” she says. “For the actual desserts, I need chocolates with caramel and sea salt and chocolates with peanut butter—the sweet and salty. I could eat Reese’s Pieces until I’m very old.”
photography by evan sung; hair and makeup by valerie velez
Behind the scenes with Sigourney Weaver in her Gotham cover shoot.