Dakota Fanning, Leighton Meester Fete Armani Beauty Pop-Up on Melrose

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Dakota Fanning and Leighton Meester at Armani Box on Melrose Place

Actresses Katherine Schwarzenegger, Christa B. Allen, Susan Kelechi Watson and Georgie Flores also celebrated the opening of the space, which includes a VIP theater lounge.

Just in time for the Oscars, Giorgio Armani Beauty opened a pop-up space Thursday on Melrose Place. Dakota Fanning, Leighton Meester, Katherine Schwarzenegger and more stars turned up Wednesday night to celebrate its opening with cocktails, small bites and plenty of red lipstick. 

The red Armani Box, open through March 24, features a VIP lounge with a flatscreen, a video and photo booth with a director’s chair, a vending machine with Armani beauty samples and several makeup counters to play with products and receive touch-ups. And don’t forget to say hello to Uri — a giant gold gorilla statue in the front that’s a replica of one in Armani’s Milan home (Fanning posed in front of Uri for a quick photo). 

Guests of the opening night party, including Christa B. Allen (Revenge), Susan Kelechi Watson (This is Us) and Georgie Flores (Dumplin') sipped champagne and savored burrata fig crudites, veggie plantain bites and vegan chocolate cake.

At the entrance, the "Rent Poet" (artist Brian Sonia-Wallace) wrote custom spec screenplays on a typewriter for attendees, who chose a genre and setting before he typed up a short story. Meester wandered into the VIP lounge with her entourage, while Allen chatted with makeup artists on hand at a vanity.

Armani aimed to create a “playful” immersive experience in the space previously occupied by Atelier Cologne. Hanging on the crimson walls are campaign portraits of longtime Armani ambassador Cate Blanchett and new face of the brand Ryan Reynolds. 

Hollywood makeup artist Tim Quinn, who has worked with Armani for 18 years, told The Hollywood Reporter he wants to host makeup classes in the VIP lounge, perhaps combined with a movie night and popcorn.

“I love it because it's super private. It reminds me of the pop-up version of Sunset Tower,” Quinn says. “It's like your own space. You feel like you're in a hidden club yet it's approachable.”

Have a cocktail, watch a movie and get your makeup done, recommends the makeup artist, who has worked with Kerry Washington and Glenn Close.

“It exposes people to the real world of Armani,” Quinn says. “It's a different approach to being elegant in a very casual way. I spend quite a bit of time in Italy, and it does have that Italian warmth. It's a little more chic, but playful, because I think it should be. It's only makeup.”

Previously, the Armani Box popped up in New York, Chicago and Topanga. This iteration toasts Armani’s new products from the Power Fabric High Coverage Stretchable Concealer to the Foundation Balm to the new Armani Code Absolu men's cologne.

For millennials intrigued by activations, the vending machine offers the Ecstasy Lacquer liquid lipstick in shade #402, Rouge d’Armani matte lipstick in shade #400, Prima Day Long Skin Perfector, Prima Smart Moisture serum, Eyes to Kill mascara, Acqua di Gio Absolu citrus fragrance, Armani Code Absolu spicy fragrance and Si Passione floral fragrance (of which Blanchett is the face) — each dispensed in a mini Giorgio Armani shopping bag to go.

Armani Box, 8473 Melrose Place in West Hollywood; (424) 522-2182.