A near miss at the Oscars, as Sally Field and Hilary Swank choose strikingly similar Valentino Couture dresses
It's unheard of in Hollywood for two A-list actresses to be seen in the same dress in the same season. After all, they don't pop out and buy these gowns, they are loaned directly from the ateliers and tightly monitored by PRs who know it's their neck on the line should such a faux pas occur.
Once a dress has been seen on the red carpet, it's clinically dead in PR terms, which in real terms means it can widely be expected to turn up on Katherine Jenkins at some point in the distant future…
We thought for one horrifying moment that such a clanger had befallen Oscar nominated Lincoln actress, Sally Field, and two-time best actress Oscar winner, Hilary Swank when we first caught site of their Oscar-night outfits. Their tiered, floor-sweeping, long-sleeve red silk chiffon gowns looked to be one in the same design. However, on closer inspection they weren't identical, merely virtually indistinguishable dresses by Valentino Haute Couture (Field's hailed from the autumn/winter 2012 collection, while Swank's was from spring/summer 2013).
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, the design duo behind the Italian couture house founded by Valentino Garavani in 1959, are enjoying a moment in the red carpet spotlight at present with Valentino giving fellow award season stalwarts Armani, Dior and Elie Saab more than a run for their money in the credit stakes. At last night's Oscars alone they also dressed a coterie of desirable leading ladies including Jennifer Anniston, Miranda Kerr, Zooey Deschanel, Rosie Huntinton-Whiteley and Allison Williams.
So it's no surprise that there should be a queue forming to secure one of their creations for fashion's biggest night of the year. How the two actresses sporting such strikingly similar looks will feel about the double-up today, however, is another matter.
Was 66-year-old Sally Field was informed that Hilary Swank, 38, was going to be her younger doppelganger at the Vanity Fair party? Would Swank really have wanted to be matching Field had the latter picked up the Best Supporting Actress gong she was nominated for? No matter how much younger and taller she is, Swank would only ever have come out of that fashion face-off looking a prize plum.
Luckily for Swank (unluckily for Field), it didn't quite end like that, so fashion crisis averted. And if, at the end of the night, the worst thing anyone can say is that they both looked stunning, then it's an Oscar win for both ladies.