A little style ‘TLC’

Aaron Leth

I don’t have much time for TV, but some shows I make sure to catch regularly, like TLC’s “What Not to Wear.”

Here’s a hypothetical: A girl is seen by her friends meandering through Dinkytown on Sunday afternoon in a pink onesie/union suit and brown Uggs (not so hypothetical, betches, you shoulda seen it!). After witnessing this, friends think onesie needs style help. (Duh.) So they nominate her clandestinely. The dashing duo/show hosts Clinton and Stacy surprise onesie, fly her to New York City for a week of shopping with $5,000 and a mini-makeover, with the caveat she completely dumps her old wardrobe, pink onesies and all.

Katherine Rautenberg, a University alumna, was cast on the show, and her episode will air at 8 p.m. Friday. I’ve known Katherine for some time, and she’s definitely stylish. Yet her family thought it was time to refine Katherine’s quirky style upon her graduation. As Beyonce would say, put on your freakum dress, y’all, because I got the behind-the-scenes and personal deets from le chosen one.

AL: TLC surprised you at the MOA. What was your gut reaction when you found out?

KR: I kept thinking to myself that I know so many people who dress worse than I do! I know my style wasn’t conventional, to say the least, but I’ve seen the show so many times and I was so used to the subjects being middle-aged women with stirrup pants and Looney Tunes sweatshirts and hair they hadn’t cut since 1979, who never gave a second thought about how they looked when they walked out the door!

AL: Which item bought with the 5K is your favorite?

KR: I can’t say I have one favorite item. One of the best is a metallic clutch that I was drawn to my first day of shopping and bought without looking at the price tag – turns out it was almost $280! There’s also this amazing pair of jeans that were about $230. I’ve never spent more than $80 on a pair of pants, but I can’t get over how flattering and well-fitting they are! Every time I go out in them, I get a million compliments.

AL: What about your favorite NYC store?

KR: The best stores that I went to in New York were all the boutiques – so one of a kind. It’s easy to forget that I did a lot of shopping off camera, too, but at more ‘common’ places like Banana Republic, H&M and DSW. The money wouldn’t have gone as far as it did if I would have spent it all at the boutiques!

AL: Who’s a bigger diva? Clinton?

KR: Ha! I’d have to say Stacy was a bigger diva than Clinton. I didn’t really get to see them too much when I wasn’t on camera with them. They both had other activities going on all the time. Stacy was constantly telling people to hurry up, and the second she wasn’t needed any longer on the set she’d be off.

AL: Any sweet celeb sightings, you know, going in or out of rehab perchance?

KR: No celeb sightings, unfortunately! Filming out on the streets of NYC with Stacy and Clinton was kind of a riot, though. There was one time we had to keep reshooting a scene in front of a boutique because people kept stopping and screaming ‘OH MY GOD!’ and pointing at them while the cameras were rolling.

AL: Now that it’s been a while since your taping, how do you feel about the outcome?

KR: I really wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. It’s a crazy story and I’ve gained a whole slew of insights – not just limited to how to dress – from the show. I feel extremely lucky and fortunate to have had this experience at all, and that’s a fact.

AL: So all your old clothes Ö did they really throw them away?

KR: Yes. They did. I did not get them back. But they did donate them to Goodwill, so they’re out there … somewhere.

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