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H&M makes Paris fashion debut

Swedish cheap chic fashion giant H&M takes to the catwalk at Paris fashion week for the first time on Wednesday, hard on the heels of its Helen Hunt Oscar coup.

Best supporting actress nominee Hunt bucked the trend for haute couture by teaming an enormous diamond necklace with a strapless navy blue H&M gown at last Sunday's ceremony.

The show, featuring 25 outfits for autumn/winter 2013, will take place in the spectacular surroundings of Paris's Rodin Museum dedicated to the works of French sculptor August Rodin.

The museum was a "mythical place" perfectly suited to the chain's plan to make an impact and provide an element of surprise, said a statement, adding the show could be viewed live on the chain's website

H&M has seen rapid recent expansion, including in China, with over 2,500 stores worldwide by the end of May 2012. Last year it opened stores in new markets Bulgaria, Mexico, Latvia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Wednesday is the second day of the Paris shows. The city is playing host to nearly 90 ready-to-wear collections and presentations over nine days, wrapping up on March 6. (AFP)