BEVERLY HILLS — The Paris shows will have some competition next year — with Oscar.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed on Tuesday that the 2006 Oscars will take place March 5 — the last day of Paris Fashion Week, typically full of shows by major designers such as Christian Dior’s John Galliano and Chloé, among others, judging from this year’s lineup.
The decision to delay the Academy Awards for a week is to avoid a conflict with the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics, which is slated for Feb. 26.
“Obviously, we wouldn’t want to do that to television watchers,” said Academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger. But clearly, Oscar likes to have the audience to himself, along with the ratings and the revenue — about $50 million — that keep the organization afloat. If the show gets a larger audience with a March air date, then it may stay that way, although the Academy said it is likely to switch back to this year’s schedule in 2007.
Back in fashion land, Paris now needs to brace itself for the logistical issues that Italy had to deal with this year: flying key staff to Los Angeles during show week, missing out on some dressing opportunities and shuffling show dates.
A Paris spokesman for Valentino said an Oscar ceremony during fashion week would not pose a major problem, given the experience of its couture atelier.
However, he suggested the best tactic would be to reach an agreement with an actress ahead of time, as the designer did Sunday with best supporting actress winner Cate Blanchett. “That was done one month and a half prior to the awards,’’ he noted.
French houses agreed that dressing stars at the awards show is a much higher priority than having them front row during fashion week.
“It’s rare that we have international celebrities at our ready-to-wear show,’’ said a spokeswoman for Chanel. “Most of the stars that come to ready-to-wear are European. Of course, if a star who had originally planned to come to the show cancels because they are nominated for an Oscar, we will be disappointed. But their profession is not to come to fashion shows.”
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