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VACANCY SIGN: Note to those looking to make a last-minute trek to Paris: There are plenty of rooms at the Bristol hotel. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin decided at the last minute not to accompany Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on his first state visit to France, meaning the 50 rooms Putin booked at the hotel are available. That meant the spotlight at Tuesday’s State Dinner at the Elysée Palace was solely on Medvedev and his wife, Svetlana, who posed with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
AFTER HOURS: Paris Fashion Week now includes a shopping night. That’s the aim of Palais Royal’s network of stores, which includes Stella McCartney, Acne, Didier Ludot and Marc Jacobs, that tonight will stay open until 9 p.m. Among extras, Didier Ludot will present Maryam Mahdavi’s new collection and Marc Jacobs will unveil its ballet-themed window (a nod to the brand’s spring collection), while Acne will screen a short film by Andreas Larsson.
NEW CONCEPT: Armani Casa is moving out of its Robertson Boulevard digs in Los Angeles to make room for a new retail concept from sibling brand Armani Exchange. A|X Armani Exchange will today unveil the brand’s first A|X concept store, located at the corner of Robertson and Beverly boulevards in West Hollywood. The move leaves Armani Casa with just a single U.S. stand-alone location in New York’s SoHo. The full Armani/Casa collection will remain available in the Los Angeles market, moving into the Giorgio Armani boutique on Rodeo Drive. The futuristically styled A|X store, which will double as an event space, has 6,600 square feet of retail space and will house an assortment of seasonal collections and exclusive pieces, ranging from premium denim and T-shirts to dresses, blazers, outerwear and accessories. The boutique features a game area, CDs, magazines and newspapers for purchase, and an exhibition area that showcases an assortment of art curated for the location. Armani Exchange now has 184 freestanding stores in 25 countries, with plans to open another 16 stores by the end of this year.
WIZARDS OF OZ: The upcoming L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival is getting a Calvin Klein touch courtesy of Francisco Costa and Malcolm Carfrae. The Calvin Klein Inc. executives are heading to Melbourne later this month to participate in a March 19 event as keynote presenters of a seminar themed “The Future of Global Brands.” Other participants include Christian Blanckaert, consultant and former chairman and chief executive officer of Hermès Sellier; Sojin Lee, co-founder of Fashionair.com; Paul Bennett, chief creative officer and managing partner of Ideo, and Sarah Curran, founder and ceo of Mywardrobe.com. The festival runs from March 14 to 21.
BIRTHDAY BASH: March cover boy Robert Pattinson didn’t make it (he was uptown for the premiere of “Remember Me”), but a long list of designers and celebs did come out on Monday night for Details’ 10th anniversary party at the Standard Hotel. Kerry Washington, Michelle Trachtenberg, Anthony Mackie, Daniel Merriweather, Michael Bastian, Italo Zucchelli and Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg were among those who joined Details editor in chief Daniel Peres and William Wackermann, senior vice president and publishing director, in celebrating the sort-of milestone (a decade since the 28-year-old magazine was relaunched in 2000). There were some, however, for whom Details wasn’t the main draw. “I don’t read men’s magazines, but I’m honored to be here for the free drinks and the high-end prostitutes,” said Zach Galifianakis of “The Hangover” fame. “I’m more of a Teen People guy — I like to know what the latest Disney kids are up to.”
One guest that was more emblematic of the brand was R&B singer Robin Thicke, who showed his love with a two-song set and a buttery rendition of “Happy Birthday,” which he sang to the magazine from atop a piano.