By now, you might be familiar with Paula Deen's clothing line, but you may be surprised to learn what prompted her foray into fashion in the first place.
Much like her previous kitchen and home collections for EVINE Live, Deen says she created Paula Deen's Closet with the intention of offering quality goods at a fair price. But there was also another, less obvious motivating factor behind her fashion line: There's too many apples and pears in this world.
Check out our interview below to find out exactly what Deen means by that, and also to learn a little more out everybody's favorite "Queen of Southern Cuisine."
FNM: Tell us about Paula Deen's Closet.
PD: Well, I tried to do things that will work for all kind of bodies. Most people are either an apple or a pear; there's not a whole bunch of bananas out there. You know what I'm saying when I say that, right?
We think so.
I tried to design these clothes for any kind of body shape, whether you're the pear, the banana or the apple. And you know, there's a few things that I tried to deliver for women who are 40 and up. I tried to offer them sleeves, three-quarter sleeves. I do have some sleeveless things, for women to show their arms. Things that are a little younger-looking.
Do you have a favorite piece?
You know, I'm a big duster girl. I love dusters. To me, even the name is so retro. Do you know where the name duster came from?
It's like a coat that doesn't button up, it doesn't zip. It's open in the front. And back in the 1920s, when cars were being manufactured for the first time, you know most of them didn't have a roof. Women at that time had a coat made for them to put on over their clothes to keep the dust off them when they rode with their husbands. Isn't that neat? That might be one of my favorites.
Aside from fashion, do you have any other surprising hobbies?
Yes, I actually paint. I do watercolors, and just painted my first oil with Mr. Jimmy [Carter], one of our past presidents of America. I had a painting party for his foundation there in Plains, Georgia. I love love love to paint.
When did you learn to paint?
Well, I went on a 20-year ride with agoraphobia starting in 1966. I didn't know what I had, I just new something was not right. I was no longer this outgoing, fun-loving girl. And I happened to catch a "Phil Donahue Show" one morning, and he had a bunch of agoraphobics on. I remember sitting at the foot of my bed, watching that show, and I cried for the entire hour because I finally realized what I had. And I was 40 before I was able to pull myself out of it. So I fell in love with everything under the roof of the home, because my home was my safe place. It was where I didn't have to be scared. So I fell in love with the kitchen, with painting and wallpapering and decorating — anything that could keep me busy in my house, I fell in love with.
And got good at!
And got pretty good at!
Do you have a favorite Southern dish?
Oh gosh, it'd have to be fried chicken.
And foods you don't love?
I don't love goat cheese. I can't stand it. My aunt and uncle had a goat named Thumper, and he would pee in his beard. And stomp! That was the stinkinest goat. And I can't look at goat cheese, or smell goat cheese without thinking about that nasty goat.
What are three ingredients we'll always find in your kitchen?
You will always find buttermilk, you will always find butter, and you will always find mayonnaise. And not necessarily in that order.
Finally, if you could give advice to a novice cook, what would it be?
Just not to give up. So what if your meal doesn't turn out so good that first time you try to cook it? Just order a pizza and try it again.