Cotton Candy Celebs

Style Chat with Clinton Kelly

11.11.13 Clinton Kelly

Fashion consultant Clinton Kelly continues to cook up a storm on ABC’s The Chew, a popular lifestyle show that features sweet treats and unique recipes with a side of fun. But the reputed fashion guru – best known for his ten year run as the good-natured host on TLC’s What Not to Wear – hasn’t forgotten his stylish roots or his trendy fan base.  Kelly continues to dish out some of his best fashion advice hosting style seminars across the U.S. in partnership with Macy’s and with his latest book Freakin’ Fabulous on a BudgetCotton Candy caught up with Kelly and chatted style, food, family and friends.

Cotton Candy: So Clinton, why did you decide to make a transition and host a popular cooking show?

Clinton Kelly: I’ve always thought that What Not to Wear was a great way to showcase what I can do, and The Chew is a great way to showcase what I love to do. I mean, I’m really good at makeovers, but they’re not what I do when I’m not at work. It’s like being a dentist: when you come home from work, you’re not drilling cavities for fun.

Ok, what do you love to cook at home?

When I come home from work, I’m cooking a delicious dinner or entertaining friends or having a cocktail or making something cute. The Chew allows me to do all that on TV.

Obviously you are best known for your ten year role as a fashion co-host on TLC’s What Not to Wear. But what is it that you want to be remembered for?

To be honest, the most important thing to me is that I’m remembered for being the best husband/son/brother/uncle/grandson/friend that I could be. I also hope that a few people were inspired to be better versions of themselves because of me.

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What’s the major difference between hosting a cooking talk show and a fashion reality show?

What Not to Wear was more emotionally draining. There’s usually a reason someone dresses like crap, and getting to the bottom of that reason was, at times, exhausting. Plus, people put up a lot of defenses regarding their appearance. Sometimes they would shut down, other times they would be nasty. Sometimes it was like drilling for oil in a desert. Other times it was like playing emotional doge ball. On The Chew, we cook, laugh, eat and make crafts for an hour ­­– pretty sweet gig.

Of course, Cotton Candy readers are fashion forward. Give us your three fashion essentials for women.

Every woman should have a great pair of boots (for comfort and style), the best jeans she can find (to make her ass look fabulous) and a well-fitting jacket (they’re the cornerstone of a stylish wardrobe).

What about the fellas?

Every man should have a pair of suede loafers (as an alternative to sneakers), modern jeans (because there are still way too many so-called dad jeans in the world) and a classic trench coat (because a good one will never go out of style).

How much can fashion be learned versus just having natural talent?

Fashion is a little art and a little science. You can be taught the rules of fit and proportion, but you’ll need a little artistic flair to put your own spin on things. Some people could take 100 drawing classes and still never be Michelangelo.

Why do you feel your fans relate to you so well?

I think my fans see that I’m not in it for the fame or the money. I do what I do because I honestly love it.

Tell us, how do you unwind?

Spending time with my family will always help me relax and remember what’s most important in life. It’s when I feel at my happiest.

What’s the one food item you  would never give up?

I wake up every morning I thank the heavens I’m not lactose intolerant because I don’t think I could go a day without cheese.

What do hope to see happen in your life over the next year?

I hope the next year will be just as fabulous as the last year.

Written by Natasha Danielle Smith

Cotton Candy Magazine®