WHITE-GLOVE TREATMENT: Parfums Christian Dior will open a full-fledged beauty institute in Paris’ Plaza Athénée hotel in July. The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand chose the locale for its luxury positioning and proximity to Dior’s flagship, also on the swanky Avenue Montaigne. Meantime, the brand’s beauty consultants are busy concocting high-end treatments for exclusive use in the institute, which will replace a gym and hammam. Dior — which has tested hands-on treatments already in its cabin in Paris’ Le Bon Marché department store — plans to open further beauty institutes in deluxe hotels.

BRAINS AND BEAUTY: Ahead of his couture show Monday night, Giorgio Armani dispatched copies of “Inheriting Beauty,” the latest book by photographer Roger Moenks with Armani’s niece Roberta on its cover. Among the 90 notable women featured are Delphine Arnault-Gancia, Francesca Versace and Vivia Ferragamo. Each photo, taken in their homes, is accompanied by a favorite childhood snap. Actress Kiera Chaplin is seen dancing with her grandfather Charlie, for instance. “All the women impressed me,” said Moenks, adding, “Roberta embodies style and grace. Her picture is very iconic and represents a very free-thinking woman.” There will be a signing in Armani’s New York store when the book goes on sale in February.

A TALL ORDER: It’s a good thing the front row at a fashion show offers lots of legroom. Among the towering figures expected at Valentino’s swan song couture show in Paris Wednesday night are Uma Thurman and Gwyneth Paltrow, plus five models also gifted in the vertical department: Nadja Auermann, Claudia Schiffer, Karolina Kurkova, Eva Herzigova and Karen Mulder. Also expected at the farewell show, to be staged in a tent in the gardens of the Musée Rodin, are about 100 Valentino employees who are flying in to bid farewell to the Roman couturier. Last week, all the seamstresses in the couture atelier had their portraits taken with the designer — framed to take home for posterity.

Meanwhile, Valentino won’t be staying still once he hangs up his scissors. He’s heading to Brazil for Carnival to celebrate the birthday of longtime business partner Giancarlo Giammetti and also to Russia for a charity event headed by model Natalia Vodianova.

This story first appeared in the January 22, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL: Leave it to Giorgio Armani — who had Beyoncé Knowles, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland and Ludacris at his men’s shows in Milan last week — to keep the celebrity ball rolling. Among the bold-faced names expected at his Armani Privé couture show Monday night are Hilary Swank, Ellen Pompeo from “Grey’s Anatomy” and up-and-coming British actress Rebecca Hall.

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