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Swank Shopping Draws Attention

It's not too odd for an actress who loves turn-of-the century fashions. But her visit was apparently rumor-worthy enough for Us Weekly magazine, which called soon after Swank's first visit a few months ago.

"Almost as soon as she came into town, she came here," says a Halcyon employee who asks not to be named.

Oddly, "not one person noticed" when Swank walked in. "I did immediately," the employee says. "But I'm supposed to pay attention to other people's faces." Apparently, she says, a friend recommended the store to Swank, who bought "a very pretty '40s-ish dress."

Soon after Swank's visit, a man called Halcyon owner Connie Carroll, she says.

"I understand Hilary Swank has been shopping at your store," he said.

"Yessss …," Carroll replied.

"I also hear that everywhere she goes she asks for a discount," the man said.

Apparently, the magazine was trying to confirm that Swank was a stingy shopper. Carroll immediately wondered how the man found out the actress had visited Halcyon, but he wouldn't answer: "He said something to the effect of 'We have our sources.' It just floored me," she says. "He was very mysterious."

Carroll says she's sympathetic to the media-hunted Swank, who won an Academy Award for the film "Boys Don't Cry" and recently starred in "Insomnia" with Robin Williams and Al Pacino. "The poor dear!" she exclaims.

So is Swank a bargain hunter? She did ask for a reduction, Carroll says, but that's "what people do when they come in secondhand stores."

In most shops, she says, it's de rigueur to mark up prices by 10 percent. "I charge what I think it's worth," she says, adding, "If it's been on the floor overlong, I've overpriced it." Swank's just a smart shopper, Carroll concludes.

At a recent sidewalk sale, the actress showed up again to look for bargains, the employee says: "She's just a real sporting kind of girl. She was out there rummaging with the best of them."

Swank asked to try a few things on, the employee says, which they allowed because the shop wasn't too busy. "We didn't just let Hilary in because she's Hilary," she says. — M.S.S.

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