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

03/04/2014 at 09:00 AM ET

Elizabeth BanksJemal 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

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Showing 16 comments

Kelly on

I love Elizabeth but the model on the left pulls this look off so much better. The space of fabric on the top of the skirt is bad and too much is going on with Liz’s look. The model just looks more put together.

MomC on

I think to make it look right they would have had to slim the sweatshirt through the body as well as shortening it. The runway look is polished but the Banks look doesn’t quite get there – the proportions are off.

Rhonda on

I don’t like it in its original way or the cropped top. It’s just an ugly outfit.

Samantha on

like Banks but the look is a thumbs down…it looks like she is trying to fit into a kid’s sparkly shirt…and although I don’t like feathers, the bottom part of the skirt would be okay but looks stupid with the upper part of the skirt. Lucky for Banks, she would look pretty in a paper bag and I love the color.

Sheila on

She looks stupid. She should have left it alone, it looks nicer.

Nikki on

I think she looks cool.

Jenny on

that skirt with a silver tank style top instead.

Robin on

I’m seeing a little differently than the other lovelies here — the neckline is also too high with the sweater cropped at the waist. That is what is contributing to the blocky look, besides the width and “baggage”. A bit off the sides, a bit of a plunge (maintaining the dance-able functionality, so not Niagra plunge!) along with the waist crop and VOILA!!! I like the crop because it shows the further detail of the skirt — love love love! But this just goes to show, Ms. Banks is indeed, most stunning, in a potato sack. A bling one, but one nonetheless.

jckfmsincty on

It looks much better on the model.

suzy diamond on

NOPE! The crop top does NOT work. Looks best on the runway model.

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