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Donna Karan Helped Women Look Like Themselves

Over three decades, she ushered in a new definition of femininity.

When Donna Karan announced yesterday that she was parting ways with the company she founded 31 years ago, it marked an end to a design career that always had real women's concerns at the forefront. Unlike many designers who work with an abstract concept of womanhood in mind, Karan knew her customer because, as she's often pointed out, she was her customer: a working woman balancing career, family, and a spiritual life. After spending her early career at Anne Klein, Karan launched her own line with her much-vaunted Seven Easy Pieces collection in 1984. It was a move that would be endlessly copied over the years as designers released so-called "capsule collections." But the original version was meant to truly serve as a modular wardrobe, with versatile pieces that included a simple bodysuit and a classic white shirt.

It was a welcome gust of simplicity at a time when the main options were either man-tailored power suits or the expensive furbelows of Nouvelle Society designers like Christian Lacroix. Karan's aesthetic occupied the significant space between pinstripes and poufs. Critics were enthused, to say the least. Bernardine Morris of the New York Times celebrated the fact that the designer didn't make her woman look "like a clone of a male executive." Karan's alternative was a kind of soft power, which felt inherently feminine without reverting to anything infantilizing or cutesy. Even her famous "cold shoulder" cutout dress, as worn by Hillary Clinton and Liza Minnelli, was made with regular women in mind — after all, as the designer put it, "the only place you never gain weight is your shoulder."

Her still-talked-about 1992 campaign envisioned a female president. »
  • Today at 4:21 PM
  • Laws

The Women’s Equality Act Will Soon Be a Reality in New York

State lawmakers recently passed the majority of the proposed bills without much fuss. 

Though it may have generated the most buzz, Governor Cuomo’s new sexual assault bill was not the only legislative gain for New York women’s rights to come out of this year’s session in Albany. Capital New York points out that New York lawmakers also passed nine out of ten bills in the Women’s Equality Act — a significant advance for gender equality in the state, and, strangely, one that no one seems to be talking about.

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Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist Demystifies Strobing, the ‘New’ Contour

Strobing is the new contouring.

If you obsessively follow beauty Instagram accounts, then you might have stumbled upon #strobing in the past few weeks, a "new" makeup technique that some are calling the "anti-contour." It's a light-reflecting method in which a shimmery powder or cream, slightly lighter than your skin color, is applied to strategic areas around the face. Some say strobing is highlighting with a fancy new name, while others point to MAC's cult luminizing Strobe Cream as an inspirational catalyst for the reemerged trend.

"Strobing is not something new, we’ve been doing this for a while," explains makeup artist Sir John, who calls Beyoncé, Chrissy Teigen, and Joan Smalls clients. "It's the same thing as highlighting, but with a different name. When I first started working for Beyoncé during the Mrs. Carter World Tour, I wrote about highlighting on her website. It's all I really talk about — reflecting light in the face."

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  • Today at 3:44 PM
  • Laws

How One State Is Improving Eating-Disorder Care

Missouri becomes the first state to require that insurance companies cover comprehensive mental-health treatment for people with anorexia and bulimia.

Last week, Missouri became the first state to require that health-insurance companies provide comprehensive coverage for eating-disorder treatment. The new law, which will go into effect this August, expands the definition of “medically necessary” treatment to include mental-health therapy— meaning insurers will be required to cover both physical and mental treatment for eating disorders.

The law stipulates that weight will no longer be the sole factor determining whether a patient need treatment. »

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Will Keep Living Together

They're totally committed to this whole co-parenting thing.

Despite the news of their amicable divorce, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner will continue living together, if you consider existing on the same nearly 9,000-square-foot property "living together." The duo are deeply committed to co-parenting their three kids, for whom they plan to file joint custody, according to a People source. Love isn't dead, it's just living in the guest room of a Pacific Palisades mansion.

Lawmakers Trying to Get Cheerleaders Paid Minimum Wage

A California assemblywoman (and former cheerleader) introduced a bill for fair pay.

If recent wage-theft lawsuits are any indication, some NFL cheerleaders are woefully underpaid, earning as little as $90 per game and zero dollars for mandatory practices. It seems teams skirted labor laws by treating cheerleaders as independent contractors, not employees. The Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers settled their cases and agreed to pay their cheerleaders minimum wage starting last season, but a California bill introduced by Assemblywoman (and former Stanford cheerleader) Lorena Gonzalez seeks to have cheerleaders for California sports teams legally recognized as team employees, and thereby entitled to earn at least minimum wage plus overtime and sick leave. The state Senate passed the bill on Monday 26-8 and it's now with Governor Jerry Brown for approval.

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Ask Polly: Why Doesn’t Anything Feel Fun?

You’ve powered down your feelings.

Dear Polly,

I am 30 years old, live in an exciting city, and have a full-time job, a great education, a long-term boyfriend whom I live with, and a supportive family. My problem is that I have no hobbies, and if I'm being totally honest, there are very few things that I enjoy doing during my waking hours. My boyfriend is increasingly bothered by this, and it is straining our relationship. He has lots of things he enjoys, like running marathons and making art, but none of them really appeal to me.

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Tim Riggins Is Reportedly Dating Rachel McAdams

Canada Forever.

In honor of Canada Day, a happy bit of news regarding two of the country’s finest exports: Taylor “Tim Riggins” Kitsch and Rachel “I get to date everyone you fantasize about” McAdams are dating, according to Us Weekly. The True Detective co-stars were spotted dining together last month at Mozza in Hollywood. Now multiple anonymous sources confirm what any shared meal suggests: “I don’t know if it’s full-blown love yet, but they talk constantly. They’re really into each other,” as one source puts it.

Congratulations, Canada, on continually producing both beautiful couples and maple syrup.

How to Sweat and Like It

An ode to a bodily function.

You could try to fight it — fill a Jacuzzi with antiperspirant and soak until your pores seal shut. Perhaps by August you will be named runner-up to a silica gel packet in the competition for World’s Driest Woman, and only then will the CEO of a deodorant company ring you up and finally answer the question, “What happens to a sweat deferred?” Does it dry up behind your armpit like a raisin in the sun, or is there some trumpet-spit-valve-type apparatus that you can empty into a mason jar and exchange for a sexy, employed boyfriend who showers daily? Maybe it builds up somewhere inside your beach bod and is converted into aluminum-deodorant-related cancer myths. I don’t know — I love to sweat!      

Does any summertime ritual feel more indulgent than letting yourself go? »

The 30 Best Beach-Hair Moments of All Time

Ride the waves.

Even if you live in a landlocked state, tell a hairstylist you want "beachy hair" and he or she will instantly know what you mean. Thanks to runway beauty inspiration Gisele Bündchen and the discovery that everyone's hair looks better at the beach, the phrase has become a stalwart of beauty vernacular. Although you can achieve a beachy effect to your hair with texturizing spray and a curling iron, the best part of seemingly sand-and-salted hair is what it represents. It stands for not overthinking your hair, letting it run wild and free, adopting a carefree attitude, and luxuriating in the landscape. Click through the slideshow for the 30 best beach-hair moments, from Olivia Pope to Penelope Cruz to Brooke Shields, which celebrate what it means to have beachy hair. 

  • Today at 11:47 AM

Beyoncé Accessorized With a Laptop

Never not working.

Beyoncé left her office in midtown yesterday looking ready for a night out, carrying her laptop like a chic metallic clutch. She slung a leather jacket over a black dress with a cutout at the midriff, and wore matching black heels. So why is she keeping her shiny Macbook Pro so close? Could it contain the full version of her anticipated collaboration with Drake? A trove of secret vegan recipes for us to get overexcited about? Either way, it's proof that Beyoncé works harder than you. She never stops. 

The Perfect No-Fuss Summer Espadrilles

Luxe and comfortable.

From flat espadrilles to killer wedges, summer is the season of the rope-soled sandal. If you're hoping to hop on the bandwagon without torturing your feet in sky-high heels, try this easy canvas pair. It has a reasonable wedge to give you just a little bit of height and laces up around the ankle for a playful look. Wear them with a breezy pastel skirt or use them to draw attention to your new culottes

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Hero Woman Redefines ‘Natural Birthing Plan’

She gave birth in the wilderness, fought bees, and then started a forest fire.

Last Thursday night, Amber Panghorn was driving to her parents' house in Northern California when she felt labor pains. She decided to take a shortcut, got lost in a million–acre national forest, ran out of gas, and didn’t have cell-phone service, so she delivered her baby by herself, in the woods. 

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Kim Kardashian Endorses Hillary for President [Updated]

"I don't like to put labels. I do what makes me comfortable." 

Like all the guys you dated in college, Kim Kardashian just doesn't like labels. On Tuesday during an onstage interview at the prestigious Commonwealth Club of California with LaDoris Cordell, Northern California's first female black judge, Kardashian said a lot of people call her a feminist, but "I don't like to put labels. I do what makes me comfortable." (Update: In a Rolling Stone interview released Wednesday, however, Kim makes the same comment about no labels, but adds, "I think you would call me a feminist.")

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The Personal Politics of Public Bathrooms

They're the place where we're all caught with our pants around our ankles.

There are a lot of things I’d like the government to monitor more actively. Environmental toxins, workplace discrimination, and police violence, to name just a few. Public bathrooms — how they’re labeled, and who’s walking through which door — don’t even make the list. A right-wing group in California, however, is very concerned about who’s peeing where. They’re collecting signatures to try to get an initiative on the ballot that, according to Equality California, “would prohibit transgender people from using facilities in government buildings and require the government to monitor bathroom use." 

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A Day in the Life of Gayle King: 2 Jobs, 5 Outfits, and an Army’s Worth of Spanx

For the latest edition of “Life in Pictures,” photographer Dina Litovsky followed King on June 10, through wardrobe changes, lunch in an elevator, and a panel at the Forbes Women’s Summit.

“Like everybody, you juggle, and you work it out,” says Gayle King, co-host of CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and editor-at-large of O: The Oprah Magazine, about the 18-to-20-hour workdays she often puts in. “I don’t get enough sleep — I wear the Jawbone Up band to tell me, and last night I got three hours and 43 minutes. But don’t cry for me, because I love my job and I love my life. Sometimes you drop a ball, but you pick it up and keep going.” 

“I love my job and I love my life.” »

Donna Karan Stepped Down As Chief Designer

She's moved on from Donna Karan International "after much soul-searching."

After 31 years at the helm of Donna Karan International, Donna Karan has stepped down from her position as the company's chief designer, WWD reports. Since founding DKI with her husband in 1984, Karan was a pioneer designer in womenswear and American fashion. Today's announcement comes after years of consideration and "much soul-searching," Karan told WWD, not without the help of luxury conglomerate LVMH, which owns DKI. A calmer path certainly seems ahead for Karan: She's focusing attention instead on the Urban Zen Foundation, her company centered around a "vision of philanthropy and commerce with a focus on health care, education and preservation of cultures." Still, she'll remain a "close adviser" to DKI according to a long-term agreement. 

Donna Karan Collection's runway shows will be suspended, and the company won't seek a design successor, supporting WWD's sources that say it may merge with DKNY in a more widely priced line. DKNY at least seems to be in good hands: Popular Public School designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne took over as the label's creative directors two months ago.

Find Your Sunscreen Soul Mate

The 12 best sunscreens for everyone.

Now that you've cut through the myths surrounding sunscreens, it's time to discover which version of vital SPF is right for you. The Cut tested a lion's share of the gooiest, lightest, and most effective sunscreens, and found the 12 best for every skin type and concern. From a sheer SPF that shields skin from oiliness, to a solid balm that shirks ashy skin, and a super-thin serum that blends under any moisturizer, click through the slideshow to find the sunscreen that feels like it was made for you.

Copyright © 2015, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

Copyright © 2015, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2015, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.