NOBODY knows how much Hilary Swank deserved her Best Actress award than the folks at Calvin Klein.
Insiders say the Klein design team, headed by Francisco Costa, were flummoxed as they watched Swank step on to Oscar's red carpet in a traffic-stopping Guy Laroche dress instead of the gown (a seductive number inspired by 19th-century portraits of Madame X) they had spent the previous two months working on.
Swank, who has a lucrative advertising contract to model Calvin Klein skivvies, apparently never bothered to tell the Klein team that three weeks ago she spotted the Laroche gown and instantly decided she wanted to wear it last Sunday night.
Instead of coming clean, the two-faced 30-year-old continued with her scheduled fittings at Klein - even gushing about how great the dress was - while at the same time working to secure the Laroche sample she tried on during a magazine shoot.
Three weeks ago, says Laroche mouthpiece Georges Bully, Swank was "doing a shoot for the cover of German Vogue, and they asked me to send some dresses. When she tried that gown on, she said, 'I want this for the Oscars.'"
At the time, Swank was a last-minute no-show for Calvin Klein's fashion week presentation - as well as their dinner party in her honour that night.
"They honestly believed her when she said she wasn't feeling well," says the insider. "Now they feel like they were duped."
A Klein spokeswoman tautly reported that the house was "disappointed" by Swank's behaviour. "We had not heard anything about Guy Laroche," she continued, adding that a heads-up that another dress was seriously in the running "would have been the polite and collaborative thing to do".
Although the actress has more than a year to go on her ad campaign contract for the fashion house, nobody expects to see her in any
And we're not just talking about Calvin Klein ads.
"This will come back to bite her in the ass," said one celebrity stylist. "You can't take, take, take and then pull a stunt like this. The last time an actress created this kind of ill-will was when Sharon Stone refused to return her Harry Winston [gems] loaners. And she's been reduced to begging for samples from fledgling designers ever since."