By  on June 12, 2008

As Louise in the current revival of "Gypsy" at Broadway's St. James Theatre, Laura Benanti endures 12 costume changes, including a pivotal one in the famous striptease sequence that must be made in 10 seconds flat. But when it comes to Sunday's Tony Awards, where she's nominated for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, Benanti must settle on just one look.

And so on a steamy Tuesday afternoon, the actress paid a visit to Marc Bouwer's 20th Street showroom, where she went through considerably fewer changes than Louise as an entourage of two publicists, her manager, her hairstylist Matthew Monzon, a handler from Judith Ripka (there to show her some baubles) and Bouwer's right-hand assistant Genevieve looked on. Dressed in a simple black Michael Stars tank, tweed shorts and ballet flats, with her curly hair au naturel (or "Mighty Heart"-esque as she put it), Benanti, 28, resembled a perky, fresh-faced graduate student more than a Broadway star — that is, until she slipped into Bouwer's clingy confections.

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