RED ALERT: In recent months, Giorgio Armani has racked up a few memorable red-carpet moments, led by the galactic Armani Privé ensemble Lady Gaga sported at the Grammy Awards late last month. That look, as well as several others including the black dress Penélope Cruz wore to the Golden Globes last month and red-carpet looks worn by Anne Hathaway and Alicia Keys, will be on view at the Armani/Fifth Avenue flagship starting next week. The exhibition, timed to coincide with the Academy Awards, will kick off with a cocktail reception March 4, and will be open to the public from March 5 to 21.
OSCAR HOPEFULS: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences kicked off its second annual Oscars Designer Challenge Tuesday morning at its Beverly Hills headquarters, where fledgling designers Ari Sheuhmelian, Elda De La Rosa, Fernanda Carneiro, Ivy Higa, Kelsy Zimba, Oday Shakar, Oliver Tolentino, Phong Hong and Rania Salibi unveiled their couture gowns, chosen from thousands of sketched submissions by Oscar fashion coordinator Patty Fox, members of the Academy and the show’s producers to vie for the prize of being worn by a statuette presenter on March 7. The public will be able to view the runway show and vote for the winning gown on oscar.com until March 1. Though the challenge mirrors “American Idol” in concept, the competitors hail from around the world — Lebanon, Vietnam, the Philippines and other locales — and several, such as Tolentino, Shakar and Hong, have Southern California-based businesses hoping to experience a bump up from the exposure.
BAR NONE: The latest exhibition devoted to Christian Dior is taking place in central France — at the Jean-Michel Wilmotte-designed Musée du Président Jacques Chirac in Sarran. Titled “Dior: The Creative Passion,” it covers the creative history of the house and its savoir faire from its founder in 1947 through the couturiers who have carried on the storied French name: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré and, to this day, John Galliano. Dresses, sketches and photos — sometimes juxtaposing Galliano’s couture dresses with historic images — are all on display until April 15. The museum houses a permanent collection of gifts given to Chirac during his official duties.