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Anne Hathaway

Dara Kushner/INFphoto.com

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Before you start wondering whether there was a secret Brontë sister that Emily and Charlotte kept hidden in the storm cellar where she lives to this day, talking to her tea sets and fashioning doilies out of cobwebs safely away from the respectable sorts, refrain.

Because we like Anne Hathaway's dress, OK?

We love seeing a star take a risk, especially in this über-safe season of black and the occasional (yawn) "pop" of yellow or red. It's boring, folks. It's safe. The Valentino Couture gown that Hathaway wore to the New York City Ballet Fall Gala? Daring as hell, thanks to a complex floral pattern and a silhouette that harkens back to Wendy's nightgown in Peter Pan.

In a good way.

If you disagree, consider: With her short, boyish haircut and smart avoidance of jewelry, the 29-year-old actress is wearing this complicated look exactly as it should be worn. Any other hairstyle, any addition of earrings or bracelets, and the attempt would've flopped like a Downton Abbey denizen onto a fainting couch.

So there.