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Hayden Panettiere Bought Her Tom Ford Golden Globes Dress Off the Rack - and Ford Sent Flowers to Thank Her

01/13/2014 at 01:27 PM ET

Hayden Panettiere Golden GlobesPaul Buck EPA/

If you love celebrity fashion, then you likely already know that it’s increasingly rare for stars to wear their own clothes on the red carpet. And when it comes to massive, all-eyes-on-you events like the Golden Globes, it’s even more likely that everything you see on your favorite star — from her shoes to her jewelry (especially the jewelry) — has been borrowed from a designer and will head back to the showroom the following morning, possibly with wine stains or worse.

So it’s super-unlikely to see a celeb wearing a gown they’ll actually take home with them, which is why it was refreshing to find out that Hayden Panettiere picked out her Tom Ford gown off the rack to wear to Sunday’s awards show. She gushed about the designer to PEOPLE (“I’m obsessed with it! I freaked out that I’m even wearing it. Anything he makes is just stunning,” she said) and she was ready to put her money where her mouth is.

At the HBO post-Golden Globes party, the star confessed to trying on tons of dresses before finding the one — “More than I feel like I usually do!” — but the search was worth it when she found this dress. “I bought this one. I actually get to keep it, which is really weird to me, that I don’t have to worry about somebody showing up on my doorstep going, ‘Where’s the dress? Give it back!’” she said. “It’s like buying a piece of art. You can hopefully keep it forever.”

RELATED PHOTOS: The most stunning Golden Globes hair from every angle!

She also showed off a shorter haircut to complement the “sexy, vampy and comfortable” vibe of her dress. Why the new do? “Fried ends, split ends,” she said. “That’s the inspiration. I got to chop off my hair and it’s fun and I can finally get away with it again” [after having to wear long hair for Nashville for the past two seasons].

And as to rumors that Ford was miffed that Panettiere had an “unapproved” style moment in one of his gowns on the red carpet? He put those to rest via a giant bouquet of roses and a kind note, as the actress revealed on Twitter.

Do you love that Panettiere paid for her dress instead of borrowing it? What do you think of the new cut? And how about those flowers? Tell us below!

–Alex Apatoff, reporting by Melody Chiu, Mariah Haas and Gabrielle Olya

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Showing 20 comments

Amy on

Funny story. It’s more likely no one offered to loan her a dress.

marjery on

I think she looks lovely. Nashville must be treating her well.

Guest2 on

The style looks a bit dated to me – very high school prom circa 1998. Love that she bought the dress, though. She’s gorgeous!

Charli on

and yet I didn’t think this was her best look

sister3 on

She’s so darn cute – she would look good in just about anything, but wasn’t totally into that slicked back hair.

Catherine on

She dresses really well and I love the dress, but not the hair.

Laurie on

I feel like this was an instance of her wearing a brand instead of the right dress. If Tom Ford wouldn’t loan to her for this occasion then she should have taken the hint and worn something that actually looked good on her.

Kate on

I love that she bought her own dress. I’ve never gotten the gushing over “always flawless” stars in borrowed clothing and accessorized by stylists, also with loaners and freebies. I much prefer candid shots of celebs so I can see what THEIR style is really like.

Pat on

Wearing a dress that you absolutely love feels so good! Probably feels even better to own it rather than borrow it – I don’t know, though – I’ve never had an opportunity to borrow a designer dress!!

JaZZe on

SO WHAT?! She didn’t spend enough to feed a small nation on a dress that IF she wears again, she will surely be slammed for daring to appear twice in. She supported local business and she got a very nice dress in the bargain. What else can people find to hate on?

Kip on

Wow. Lots of green-eyed cats commenting on here. She looks great, beautiful dress and classy woman all around. Tom Ford should send her a pile of ‘thank you’ garments!

Margie o on

I think it makes her look short. Most celebrities look tall in photos, but not her in this dress. (I think she actually is short in person… 5′ or something?)

Ashley on

Honestly why would any of these women spend a fortune on a dress they could seriously only wear the one time? I’m more surprised that’s it’s not common practice for anyone to borrow dresses for special events. Even a dress I’ll buy for a wedding or formal event will be worn maybe 3x maximum. She should have just used Rent the Runway…

makinglove on

Why would this womam actually buy her own dress? Pr stunt perhaps?

rlb237 on

I agree, Charli. Not my favorite look for her, and I agree with Guest2 that it seems a little dated. But hey, she likes it so whatever!

kass on

and yet it was reported Tom Ford was upset with her for buying off the rack therefore not showing off his best and latest work. Go figure.

caro on

ha, “i decided to buy it” actually means that tom ford refused to loan her the dress…

Emily on

If I had as much money as these celebs I would buy every single gown that I wore to a red carpet. Can you imagine if you had a grand-daughter or great-grand-daughter one day, and you took her to a room and all of your designer gowns (at that point vintage gowns) were there for her. I would just love to be able to do that.

Jae on

Why is it refreshing that she bought the dress?

I think it would be refreshing that instead of spending thousands of dollars on a piece of cloth, you gave that money to people who could use it for food or shelter. Sounds like a big fat waste of money to me and that’s not refreshing at all since celebrities do that all the time.

Holly on

@Emil, YES! I don’t have the budget that these stars do, but I have a closet full of pretty dresses (that I don’t wear) just to see my daughters declare that they get them all and to sometimes play dress up in them.

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