Few hosts can swoop in from out of town and draw the kind of crowd Giorgio Armani put together Tuesday night. The designer, in London to unveil his second Emporio Armani store on New Bond Street, held a dinner party at the ultra-hip Chinese eatery Hakkasan — and had a guest list to match.

The man of evening was Russell Crowe, while other guests included Sting and Trudie Styler, David Bailey, Mike Figgis, Lady Helen Taylor, Ben Elliot, John Corbett, Sam Taylor-Wood, Damien Hirst, Mick Hucknall, Avery Agnelli and Ashley and Allegra Hicks. Even Armani was impressed with the turnout.

“I’d love to do the same thing at Nobu in Milan,” said the designer, who owns the franchise for the Japanese restaurant. “But it’s a little harder to get this kind of crowd there.”

Oscar-nominee Crowe, who was there with Australian girlfriend Danielle Spencer, had the Academy Awards on the brain — and a tall order for his buddy Giorgio.

“Last year, we won the Oscars together,” said Crowe, referring to his custom-made Armani suit, “and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can top that.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the folks at Jil Sander cut loose and threw a party to celebrate the opening of the company’s sprawling flagship on the corner of Burlington Gardens and Savile Row. And the next night, Tom Ford opened the new-and-improved Yves Saint Laurent store on Sloane Street, part of the new generation of YSL stores with their black lacquer walls, concrete floors and polished anthracite tables. Guests included Ashley and Allegra Hicks, Kate Moss, Leah Wood, Cosima Pavoncelli, Cornelia Guest, David Furnish, Marianne Faithfull, Mario Testino, and James and Julia Ogilvy.

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