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Donna Karan Tried to Defend Harvey Weinstein

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Donna Karan Blames Women's Clothing Choices Instead of Harvey Weinstein
Designer Donna Karan

Last week, the New York Times published an explosive story about sexual harassment allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, and similar stories from other women have continued to surface since. Just this morning, the New Yorker reported that three women have accused Weinstein of rape; this afternoon, Gywneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, among others, have come forward saying that he harassed them, too. Since the Times published its first story on Thursday, plenty of famous women have gone on the record to defend Weinstein’s accusers and critique an industry that has a long history of sexism.

Fashion’s most high-profile take so far comes from Donna Karan via an on-camera interview at the CinéFashion Film Awards this Sunday in Los Angeles. “I think we have to look at ourselves,” she says. “Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti, where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women.”

So far Karan’s statement isn’t alarming, and she could have ended there. However, the woman who built a business dressing women for 30 years continues: “To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think: How do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality? And what are we throwing out to our children today, about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?”

Lest you think she’s being rhetorical, she then explicitly defends the former studio head — and blames women instead. “It’s not Harvey Weinstein,” she says. ”You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.” Karan — who is friends with both Weinstein and his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman — adds that she thinks the couple are “wonderful people,” and that Weinstein in particular has done some “amazing things.”

Following a very swift backlash, Karan and her team released a statement Monday evening, hours after the interview surfaced: “My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein. I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”

But Karan’s response rings hollow. Arguing that a quote is “out of context” isn’t a thing you can do when your statements can stand on their own. During the interview, the designer expressed complete thoughts about the way women dress and act and exist in the world and drew a direct line between that and asking to be sexually harassed. Her words — which, again, were on video — speak for themselves. —Tiffany Yannetta, shopping director

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When I received an invitation this August to try out a new millennial-focused skincare line, Younger and Clearer by Jessica Albas Honest Beauty, Ill be honest — I rolled my eyes. Mostly because, as a millennial, I hate seeing brands create and sell us things that they think we need that we usually dont.

But I went with it because, again, as a millennial, Im still intrigued by anything attached to a celebrity name, and also because the line was created with real twentysomething skin problems in mind: the double whammy of adult acne breakouts and scarring along with fears of early fine lines and wrinkles. (Look at that something tons of millennials actually need to address!)

I saw that there was a gap in the marketplace for products that addressed both of these concerns, says Alba over email. So she set out to do it herself (with a team of really intense scientists and brand developers, of course), following Honest Beautys clean ingredients-only rule to address post-teen breakouts and preventative measures for early aging at the same time.

The five-piece lineup consists of cleanser, spot treatment, toner, night serum, and moisturizer. When I tested out the line, I used them all in conjunction; as just about every beauty brand will tell you, their products work best when you use them all together. But since thats not entirely true (gasp!), I substituted my own favorite toner and moisturizer after a week, seamlessly working them in with my favorite three products from Younger and Clearer. Lets get into them, shall we?

The Resurfacing Cleanser ($18) is a gel formula with 0.5 percent salicylic acid (you know, the hero ingredient for conquering acne). It hardly lathers, which is nice because foaming cleansers can be pretty drying on skin thats already having a hard time. It gets all the dirt, sweat, and makeup off my face without leaving it feeling stripped.

The next big win for me out of this line is the Spot-On Remedy ($14), a salicylic acid gel (ringing in at 2 percent) that youll wanna use as the name suggests to spot-treat any unruly breakouts. It also contains neem and rosehip extracts that help with the discomfort and tightness that can accompany these types of treatments. I get a stress breakout at least once a week, and this product has given me immediate, overnight results. If a blemish isnt totally gone by the time I wake up, its noticeably reduced, not calling any puffy, red attention to itself.

As for the if-you-buy-anything-buy-this hero product, both Alba and I agree that its the $38 Night Serum. Its great for a couple of reasons: Its a retinol and it contains 0.5 percent salicylic acid, and if you know much about either ingredient, youd know the pairing is a recipe for super red and irritated skin. This one, however, doesnt cause any of that for me at all, because the brands trademarked Honestly Pure Retinol is encapsulated to make it more stable.

The science behind our hero product, the Night Serum, is really cutting-edge, says Alba. Science! Magic! Whatever, it really works. When I wake up, my face is noticeably smoother and more lively, and after about a week of continued use, I noticed the rough and dark areas around my chin and neck were less so.

I turned 25 this summer, and I have no idea what the hell is going on with my face. It’s nice to have these new additions to my medicine cabinet to address my worries about breakouts and dry spots, and my new habit of obsessing (albeit prematurely) over early signs of aging. If Ive piqued your interest enough that you want to give it a try without being full-on committed, the brand offers a little sample kit for $29 that you can buy hereTanisha Pina, market editor

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