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Looking Smart! The Latest Fashionista's Must-Have Accessory Is A *Book Bag*

The newest trend on the red carpet: Why are it-girls and stars carrying a book under their arm, heading to a movie premiere with Nabokov's Lolita or Albert Camus's La Peste? Well, look inside.

Feeling bookish? (Olympia Le-Tan)
Feeling bookish? (Olympia Le-Tan)

*NEWSBITES

That's Sartre, not Prada: the newest must-have accessory for fashionistas is – a book.

The idea is to look intellectual, but horn-rimmed glasses perched on your nose are so, well, yesterday. What you need is a clutch bag that looks exactly like a book -- giving new meaning to the word "pocketbook."

Some people might think that anybody who spends their time flipping through ad-filled glossy fashion magazines has probably forgotten how to read and definitely has no idea who Thomas Mann or Emily Dickinson are. But American actress Chloë Sevigny, French model and actress Clémence Poésy, and other high-brows, are trying to prove the contrary by carrying clutch bags embroidered with the covers of literary masterpieces by the likes of Nabokov, Salinger or Fitzgerald.

The bags, which have gold frames and clasps, are the brainchild of London-born French designer Olympia Le-Tan who is part of the clique surrounding Purple Fashion Magazine founder Olivier Zahm in Paris. It was just a question of time before the daughter of renowned French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan came up with her own creative pursuit. Three years ago, armed with a love of literature and a penchant for embroidery ("I inherited a talent for it from my grandmother"), she launched her first accessories.

A brief look at all the "sold out's on www.net-a-porter.com is enough to see that Le-Tan's clutches are very sought-after. That they cost more than €1,153 (over $1,500) each doesn't seem to deter those in search of just the right literary fashion statement.

Read the full original article in German by Olivia Muller

Photo – Olympia Le-Tan

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Economy

How Fleeing Russians (And Their Rubles) Are Shaking Up Neighboring Economies

Russians fled the war to neighboring countries, bringing with them billions of dollars worth of wealth. The influx of money is both a windfall and a problem.

How Fleeing Russians (And Their Rubles) Are Shaking Up Neighboring Economies

January 2023, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Sberbank logo seen on a residential building during the sanctions against Russian banks

Maksim Konstantinov / SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Important Stories

Posting a comment on a Kazakhstani real estate listing and sales website this past fall, one user couldn't contain his enthusiasm: "It's unbelievable, hasn't happened since 2013 — the market has exploded! ... Yippee! I don't know who to kiss!"

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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The boom of demand — and dollars — in Kazakhstan, and other countries in the region, is traced directly to the incoming Russians and their wealth who have arrived since the war in Ukraine began.

The ongoing wave of fleeing Russians is likely the largest emigration from the country in 100 years. There are no accurate estimates of how many Russians have left the country, much less where they will settle or how many of them will eventually return home. But between March and October, up to 1.5 million people left Russia. A conservative estimate suggests half a million haven't returned.

The main flow passed through Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan (which has the longest land border with Russia). In these countries, the Russian language is widespread and visas are unnecessary. Russians can even enter Kazakhstan and Armenia without a passport.

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