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  M.   June 18, 2011

The twice Bafta nominated British actress was the star attraction as she opened London’s ‘world-famous’ Harrods sale this morning.

Wearing a shimmering black and silver seqinned short dress by Balmain, (was £6,500, now £3,250) and black suede peeptoe-booties, (were £1,100, now £550), the former Quantum of Solace Bond girl, looked dazzling.

Flanked by old and new, actress Arterton, stood beside guest of honour Mohamed Al-Fayed, the former chairman of Harrods and, a representative of the present owners, Dr. Kamal Maamria, Executive Director and Head of General Investment Portfolio of Qatar Holding and Harrods Board Member.

As shoppers were gearing themselves up for a trolly-dash, Arterton, 25, began the famous countdown. Before long, the sales queue for the Gucci department stretched right around the front of the store on Knightsbridge which boasts more than 330 departments over seven floors.

Arterton, who shops in Harrods often, said: “I do go to the sales, but I don’t join the queues on the first day, so I probably miss out. But after this press-call I will be heading straight to the Chloé and Givenchy concessions, as they are the two designers I love.”

On her past sales purchases, The Prince of Persia starlet said: “I can be quite thrifty when shopping for a bargain. Last year I found some Givenchy trousers at half-price, so it goes to prove that the sales really are a great opportunity.”

“I normally buy shoes, bags, and accessories as they are timeless and harder to make a mistake with. I also look over the tailoring rails as well as classics never date.”

Womenswear markdowns include, Chloé, Yves Saint Laurent and Nina Ricci, and British labels Erdem, Roland Mouret, and Julien Macdonald, all slashed to 50% of the original price.

“I think the sales are a great chance to get a discount which is too good to miss. You can buy items guilt free as the reduction really justifies it”, Arterton continued.

“What I like about the sales is that they are so early, so they are still in season, and you can wear things immediately”.

The Film Actress of the Year winner at the 2011 Glamour Women of the Year Awards has just completed filming in Berlin for the American movie, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which is tipped to be the block-buster for 2012.

“For the role as Gretel (grown-up), I wore the coolest costume yet, I got to wear skin-tight brown leather trousers and a forest-green corset, which is pretty much my style, very Rick Owens.”

The costume will be a complete contrast for her next project, A Song for Marion, which is a small British movie with Arterton playing a choir teacher for an old-peoples choir.

The Harrods sale ends Sunday 10th July 2011; Harrods, Brompton Road, SW1; harrods.com