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Who is France’s most fashionable femme fatale?

A new generation of famous French women are giving the classic notion of femme fatale a more contemporary feel. Confident femininity is certainly in fashion and bursting at the seams in Marks & Spencer's newly-launched autumn/winter collection.

Who is France's most fashionable femme fatale?
Marks & Spencer

Vying for the title of France's most fashionable femme fatale are the likes of Marion Cotillard, Juliette Binoche and Audrey Tatou.

This trio of award-winning actresses have characterized power and passion onscreen and embody the image and style many modern woman aspire to. 

The theme of confident femininity is certainly in fashion. UK retailer Marks & Spencer have used it as a key inspiration for their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection, which is now available online for customers via its French website. 

The overarching mood is that of celebrating the female form with the sense to suit an individual woman’s style and mood.

It’s all about revitalising the way modern women want to dress and inspiring new directions to the season’s quintessential winter wardrobe.

 

 

Femme Fatale
Grown-up glamour can be yours to own with an elegant mix of retro-inspired fashion. Create a leading lady look that contrasts strong colours with delicate textures to softly accentuate the female form. The result brings out the complexity of the classic femme fatale that’s hidden in all of us.
We love this Textured Fit & Flare Skater Belted Dress

Modern Elegance
Sophistication isn’t always about flaunting femininity to its extreme. This is where softly androgynous design meets luxe fabrics and muted colours. Minimal tailoring with a touch of masculine glamour makes a powerful fashion statement, which radiates influence and elegance from top to toe. 
We love these Slim Leg Leather and Ponte Jersey Knit Trousers

Wild Opulence 
Show the world who just you are with a wanderlust fusion of fabrics and colours. The mix of tonal prints, luxe leathers and faux furs are inspired by global design and emphasis the confidence of the modern woman who knows exactly where she is going.
We love this Pure Cashmere Snow Leopard Print Longline Jumper

Dark Drama
When nothing other than pure decadence will do. Rich colours, textures, brocades and embellishments are adorned and adored. Take time to truly indulge in luxury, opulence and romance with a dramatic, glamourous evening look.
We love this All-Over Floral Lace Dress

London Calling
Bold checks and Chelsea boots are back to put their stamp on a rebellious spirit of individuality. Warm, tactile knits are a perfect addition for the winter season while sleek leathers and animal prints give a sense of strong attitude in a vivid palette of red and black.
We love this Dogtooth Sweat Top

The new collection is now available to purchase from Marks & Spencer’s French website at www.marksandspencer.fr

Article sponsored by Marks & Spencer

SHOPPING

‘Harryhandel’: Is the return of cross-border shopping in Norway really a good thing? 

The pandemic cut-off Norway from its neighbours, putting a temporary end to border shopping. Now ‘harryhandel’ trips are allowed again businesses in the country fear they will lose out as shoppers look abroad for cheaper groceries. 

Pictured is Norway and Sweden's border on the old Svinesund bridge.
Will the return of border shopping have a negative affect on the country? Pictured is Norway and Sweden's border on the old Svinesund bridge. Photo by Petter Bernsten/AFP.

In eastern Norway, particularly along the border with Sweden, cross-border shopping has long been common for residents looking for cheaper groceries and a better selection of products. 

Norway’s Covid-19 rules effectively put a stop to that until this summer. The closed border meant a record year for food and beverage sales in Norway. 

“Due to the fact that there was little action and that people did not travel, we noticed that our sales increased greatly during the entire period,” Øyvind Berg, production manager at Norwegian dairy firm Synnøve Finden, explained to public broadcaster NRK.

Now producers and supermarkets fear the impact of cross-border shopping being up and running again. 

“Our challenge is that we see that more than half of the food and beverage producers, i.e. the industrial companies, fear that they will lose market share because cross-border trade will return in full,” Petter Brubakk, director of food and beverage at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), informed NRK. 

The majority of those who go shopping across borders in Norway will do so in Sweden. However, in the north, some will also venture into Finland or Russia.

Further south people will also travel to Germany or Denmark. 

Why do people go to other countries for shopping? 

Overall the main appeal of cross-border shopping is that its much better for consumers than shopping domestically. 

Norway’s EEA agreement with the EU means that most foods, drinks, tobacco products, alcohol and other agricultural products are more expensive than they are within the EU as custom duties are required to import them into Norwegian supermarkets. 

Not just that, but there is a much wider selection of products than in Norway due to laws that protect Norwegian products. For example, cheeses such as Cheddar are more readily available, cheaper and generally of better quality in other countries than those found in Norway. 

READ MORE: What is ‘harryhandel’, and why do Norwegians love it so much?

Is border shopping a bad thing for Norway?

Norwegian businesses argue that crossing the border to shop affects the whole value chain, negatively impacting everyone from Norwegian farms and producers to supermarket employees, not just companies profit margins. 

“My advice is to encourage Norwegians to buy Norwegian food, and help secure Norwegian jobs throughout the value chain,” food and agriculture minister Sandra Borch told NRK. 

In addition, shopping domestically means more tax revenue for the Norwegian system to use to fund its generous welfare state. 

While shopping domestically protects domestic jobs, shopping abroad protects jobs there, which rely on people hopping the border to get their groceries. 

Coronavirus pandemic restrictions left a black hole in some of these economies reliant on shoppers from the Norwegian side of the border. For example, in Strömstad, a Swedish town close to the border where many travel to shop, unemployment rose by around 75 percent after Norway closed its borders with Sweden. 

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