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Dress Drama: Hilary Swank’s last-minute dress changes are her lucky charm

Evoke.ie logo Evoke.ie 25/06/2021 Rebecca Dore
Hilary Swank wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Evoke.ie

Two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank seemingly has a history of last-minute dress changes but it seems they tend to bring her a lot of luck.

Back in 2005 she won the Oscar for Best Actress for Million Dollar Baby in a truly iconic gown that caused a mini-scandal and not just for its bum-skimming exposed back though.

The American actress was the face of Calvin Klein underwear at the time and she had been working with the creative director for the brand, Francisco Costa, for two months crafting an Oscars night dress.

Except the team at Calvin Klein were left gobsmacked when she arrived on the red carpet on the night of the awards ceremony in a dress that in no way assembled theirs.

Hilary Swank et al. standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Hilary Swank wearing Guy Laroche on the Oscars red carpet. Pic: Gerard Burkhart/AFP via Getty Images © Provided by Evoke.ie Hilary Swank wearing Guy Laroche on the Oscars red carpet. Pic: Gerard Burkhart/AFP via Getty Images

The story goes that Boys Don’t Cry star Hilary had come across the bewitching body-skimming Guy Laroche dress during a fitting for Swank’s Vogue Germany cover shoot.

Except this is while she was still in talks with Calvin Klein about making her a dress which was said to be inspired by the 19th century paintings of Madame X by the painter John Singer Sargent were very scandalous at the time.

The New York Post reported that the communications manager for the Paris-based design house, George Bully, explained that the fashion publication asked him to send some dresses for the shoot, and the rest was history.

‘When she tried on the gown, she said “I want this for the Oscars,”‘ he said.

Hilary Swank et al. standing on a rug: Vogue has named Hilary Swank’s dress one of the best Oscars dresses of all time. Pic: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic © Provided by Evoke.ie Vogue has named Hilary Swank’s dress one of the best Oscars dresses of all time. Pic: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Irish Independent notes that Hilary continued to attend fitting sessions with Calvin Klein without informing them of her change of heart, while also being a last-minute no show to a Fashion Week presentation the label held and the dinner afterwards that was in her honour.

‘They honestly believed her when she said she wasn’t feeling well,’ an insider for the luxury label said. ‘Now they feel like they were duped.’

The senior vice president for the Calvin Klein brand, Kim Vernon, expressed the brand’s disappointment following the Oscars night surprise and she said that they had ‘heard nothing about Guy Laroche’ and that an indication of it: ‘would have been the polite and collaborative thing to do.’

a person standing in front of Hilary Swank, Chad Lowe posing for the camera: She walked the red carpet with her then-husband Emmy-winning actor Chad Lowe. Pic: Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic © Provided by Evoke.ie She walked the red carpet with her then-husband Emmy-winning actor Chad Lowe. Pic: Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic

The funny thing is that Hilary Swank actually did the same last-minute dress swap back in 2000. She switches her Dior dress for a voluminous olive green gown by Randolph Duke, to the utter surprise of the Dior team.

What was the surprise element that linked the two last-minute dress changes, you ask? As luck would have it on both occasions she scored Oscars.

Hilary Swank standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Hilary Swank won her first Oscar in 2000 for Best Actress in Boys Don’t Cry Pic: Ron Galella via Getty © Provided by Evoke.ie Hilary Swank won her first Oscar in 2000 for Best Actress in Boys Don’t Cry Pic: Ron Galella via Getty

Hilary Swank wasn’t the only A-lister to make headlines at the Oscars after a change of heart over a gown.

Anne Hathaway actually made a public apology for wearing a Prada gown to the Oscars in 2013 over Valentino which you can read all about here.

Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank posing for the camera: Cate Blanchett and Hilary Swank both struck gold on the night. Pic: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images © Provided by Evoke.ie Cate Blanchett and Hilary Swank both struck gold on the night. Pic: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images Hilary Swank smiling for the camera: Hilary kept her jewellery quite minimal and let the dress do the talking. PicL Frank Micelotta/Getty Images © Provided by Evoke.ie Hilary kept her jewellery quite minimal and let the dress do the talking. PicL Frank Micelotta/Getty Images Chad Lowe, Hilary Swank posing for a photo: Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe. Pic: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images © Provided by Evoke.ie Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe. Pic: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe. Pic: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic © Provided by Evoke.ie Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe. Pic: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
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