When Anne Hathaway ditched her planned Valentino Oscars dress for a much-reviled powder-pink Prada column at the eleventh hour, it was tantamount to her bringing a close male friend instead of her husband. Valentino’s team was so confident that she’d wear their gown that they sent out a press release early on Oscars day to confirm the news. The choice seemed natural; Hathaway and Valentino Garavani have a storied father-daughter relationship–they ski in the Alps together, he custom-designed her dress for her September 2012 wedding to Adam Schulman, and he has stated that the actress is “like his daughter.”
So when she turned up in the Prada on Sunday and told red carpet reporters that, “I didn’t know what I was wearing until two hours ago. I tried on a lot of dresses, but at the end of the day, I loved the simplicity of it,” the story was only half-true. Given her close ties to Valentino and the rumors surrounding the switch, Hathaway released a statement yesterday concerning the matter:
(MORE: Oscars Fashion: The 18 Best and Worst Women Over 40)
“It came to my attention late Saturday night that there would be a dress worn to the Oscars that is remarkably similar to the Valentino I had intended to wear, and so I decided it was best for all involved to change my plans. Though I love the dress I did wear, it was a difficult last-minute decision as I had so looked forward to wearing Valentino in honor of the deep and meaningful relationship I have enjoyed with the house and with Valentino himself. I deeply regret any disappointment caused.”
Though the statement declines to name the would-be similarly-dressed actress, it is widely assumed that it was her Les Miserables costar Amanda Seyfried’s pale, custom Alexander McQueen halter gown that worried Hathaway and sent her styling team scrambling for an alternative. As for who leaked Seyfried’s dress in advance, WWD points a finger at Jennifer Aniston, the only major star who wore Valentino on Oscar night. “It wasn’t clear how news of the other dress came to Hathaway’s attention, but a good guess is that it was a source close to home: Jennifer Aniston, who is also repped by [Hathaway’s rep Stephen] Huvane, wore a red strapless Valentino gown to the ceremony,” the publication wrote.
If all that chatter holds truth, it explains why the Prada was so different from her usual romantic, princess-silhouette gowns–especially on a night when her Oscar dreams were so certain to “come true.” What seems like an excess of hot air around a dress swap also largely boils down to the simple fact that Hathaway’s snap decision was so unpopular. The dress was confusingly constructed in the chest area and was paired with a superfluous, backwards Tiffany’s necklace. Regardless, the dress and its drama had no bad karma on Hathaway–she went home with the Best Supporting Actress trophy.