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Runway to Reality! Elizabeth Banks Puts a Twist on Her Feathery Oscars Party Look

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Jemal Countess/Getty; AKM-GSI

When Elizabeth Banks’s stylists Wendi and Nicole Ferreira informed us that the Hunger Games fashion plate was heading to the Vanity Fair party wearing “one of the outstanding looks from Jenny Packham’s latest collection,” we had to peek at the looks to see if any said “Elizabeth Banks” to us. But in the end, the look that she and her stylists picked still managed to surprise us.

Over the past year, she’s donned a few statement-making ensembles, including a dress we once thought was perfect for the Oscars. She’s gone strapless and form-fitting for formal events, and they’ve all suited her just fine. But a cropped, feathered top is something new.
“She goes to this party every year,” Nicole tells PEOPLE. “For her it was all about ‘How much fun can I have with this look?'” So they ditched the usual post-Oscars floor-length stunner (and more than 25 other looks they’d pulled for Banks to try on) in favor of a sweatshirt. Yes, you read that right.

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In order to make it work, they had to tweak the runway look (above) to make sure she could dance and would photograph well. And of course that included emphasizing Banks’s covetable midsection. “We cut the sweater, so it’s more cropped,” says Wendi. “Because you have to see her waist.” 

It came down to a difference in the shape of the sweater. “The runway version is the lifestyle way of wearing it,” explains Nicole. “You have to make it right for red carpet. It just kind of falls and is slouchy, that’s not going to photograph well, especially if you’re not 17-ft. tall.”

And in a sea of gowns and black, Banks certainly stood out, 17-ft. tall or not. We want to know: do you like the way Elizabeth switched up the look?

–Catherine Kast