The revered fashion icon, who custom-designed Anne Hathaway's wedding gown and considers her a friend, naturally expected the "Les Miserables" actress to wear one of his designs to the Oscars on Feb. 24, where she ultimately won her first Academy Award.
His team even sent out a press release late in the afternoon on Sunday, just hours before red carpet arrivals began, announcing that the Best Supporting Actress front-runner would be wearing "a pink embroidered tulle illusion gown." The release also stated that one of the night's most anticipated presenters, Jennifer Aniston, would be wearing a "nude embroidered silk tulle dress."
Neither, of course, ended up in those two gowns at the event. Instead, the "Les Miserables" star opted to go with the Prada column dress that sparked the infamous "are they darts or nipples?" debate. A source tells Us Weekly that the last-second switch had much to do with her "Les Miserables" co-star Amanda Seyfried, whose Oscar dress (by Alexander McQueen) was remarkably similar to the Valentino design that Hathaway had originally planned to wear. The source tells Us that Hathaway allegedly asked Seyfried, "What are you wearing? Can you send me a picture of it?'" and Seyfried obliged, upon which a dismayed Hathaway quickly changed course, ultimately going with the controversial Prada dress.
Says another insider: "She really should have worn Valentino. The gown she picked was beautiful!"
Aniston, meanwhile, showed up not in Valentino's nude tulle dress but in the designer's bright red strapless gown. It's anyone's guess why she, too, changed her mind, but some in the fashion industry are conjecturing that perhaps Hathaway's camp, fearing the two stars would both walk the red carpet in pale tulle Valentino numbers, had something to do with it.
On Tuesday afternoon, Anne answered the controversy by releasing a statement.