'What Not to Wear' does the fair

With all of the notoriously tasteless outfits on display at the Minnesota State Fair, you'd think the hosts of TLC's popular reality show "What Not to Wear" would need to steer clear for fear of passing out.

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"What Not to Wear's" Clinton Kelly and Stacy London rode the Giant Slide.

With all of the notoriously tasteless outfits on display at the Minnesota State Fair, you'd think the hosts of TLC's popular reality show "What Not to Wear" would need to steer clear for fear of passing out. Maybe that's why Stacy London and Clinton Kelly opted to do their fairgrounds "ambush" of a Twin Cities woman just before the Great Minnesota Get-Together opened. Nevertheless, London and Kelly rode the Giant Slide and had a custom portrait rendered in seed by crop artist Sandra Fjerkenstad-Budel of St. Paul. The episode premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Far from being mortified at having her personal style called out on national television, their fashion victim, Tenessa Gemelke of Columbia Heights, embraced the opportunity -- but for a different reason than most WNTW guinea pigs. She used the experience, she wrote on the ParentFurther blog (www.parentfurther.com), to talk with her young sons and teenage nieces about trying new things while staying true to yourself. She discussed "how positive peer pressure can help you make different choices, and sometimes those choices are surprisingly satisfying." Way to put a fashion ambush in the best possible light, Tenessa.

Gemelke said she prefers to wear clothes that make her laugh, including loud shirts, Care Bear socks and novelty earrings. Her husband "occasionally intervenes."

Catch a preview of the show at www.startribune.com/a874.

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