Giorgio Armani is finally going to Los Angeles. The designer has scheduled his rain date to receive the first “Rodeo Drive Walk of Style” award in Beverly Hills for Sept. 9, after the original Oscar Week presentation was canceled during the war on Iraq. Armani’s engagement is expected to be announced at today’s unveiling of Robert Graham’s 14-foot sculpture, “Torso,” which stands as the new centerpiece of the Walk of Style at the intersection of Dayton Way. The event is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and W, WWD’s sister publication.

NOUVEAU YORK: Marc Jacobs has become quite an expert on Paris, having lived there for several years as Louis Vuitton’s creative director. So why shouldn’t Vuitton, which is opening a 15,000-square-foot Manhattan flagship, put itself forth as a bit of an expert on Gotham? Word has it the luxury giant is planning to come out with one of its famous “City Guides” for New York. The chic guides, until now devoted to cities in Europe, list hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and hip neighborhoods.

SMOKE SIGNALS: It’s not every day you see chic women parading down Paris’ chic Rue Saint-Honoré with Chanel-logo napkins pressed to their faces to protect them from tear gas. But that’s what happened Tuesday night when two fashion parties coincided with a massive trade union protest against pension reform.

As police blasted thousands of protesters with water cannons and tear gas in Place de la Concorde, a trickle of clients and editors sought refuge in the Chanel boutique on Rue Cambon, which was feting the arrival of its “Satellite Love” luxury ready-to-wear collection.

“I’m afraid the turnout will be affected,” Chanel president Françoise Montenay lamented, surveying a party where staff, waiters and Chanel officials outnumbered guests by quite a bit.

But the die-hard fashion crowd reveled on, crossing police barricades to celebrate the new Boucheron store on nearby Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Escaping the tear gas, they choked instead on cigar smoke as free Davidoff stogies were passed around. Talk about fashion victims.

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