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It’s funny to think of wardrobe basics as being “dated.” Isn’t the fact that they go with everything and never go out of style the whole point? Well, we’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but some basics do, in fact, have a shelf life. Don’t worry—some, like white T-shirts, skinny jeans, and sneakers, are definitely safe. But we couldn’t help but notice recently that others, like crossbody bags, have fallen out of fashion-girl favor. 

To be honest, we were a bit shocked when we realized that some of these basics were fading away, based on their immense popularity up until recently, but the fact of the matter is that people get bored. Yes, many basics are supposed to be “boring,” but we’re human, and maybe there are only so many times that we can Instagram cropped flare jeans before we just get sick of seeing them on ourselves (speaking from personal experience). 

Keep scrolling to find out which seven basics are becoming obsolete, and shop the pieces that are replacing them.

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This weekend, The Cut revealed its latest guest contributor, Senator Elizabeth Warren. Her piece “The World Needs Fewer Cersei Lannisters” was a symbolism-heavy treatise on the problem with Cersei’s assumption that her banked wealth will help her win despite the will of the people. Just some light thoughts about television. Any similarities to persons living or obstructing is purely coincidental. Actually, that’s the thing about Warren’s Television Without Pity-style article. She never pivots to applying her metaphor to real life. She spends 500 words talking about the plot of Game of Thrones like a (more) political Jonathan Van Ness. She’s really a fan and it’s glorious.

Anyway, we’re happy Warren published the piece and we’re definitely not envious at all, especially because we managed to get every other presidential candidate to write about their pop culture obsession for us. Every single one. All 75 of them. Here’s a preview of some of the essays we’re rolling out.

Bernie Sanders

Excerpt: I guess we had a television at some point. 1974? ’75? I got really into the mystery of who shot J.R. on Dallas. My theory was that it was the proletariat. I was not correct. We got rid of the television after the finale of Lost. I was very frustrated by the whole thing. Very angry. I wrote a very stern letter to J.J. Abrams about it. And also about the lens flares in Star Trek. Why is there so much light?! It’s very distracting! Is space full of Polaroid cameras? He has not responded to me. In any case, I am writing to you today not to talk about television, which I don’t own, but rather about a production of Ubu Roi I saw in 1987 performed by puppets in the alley behind a CSA and community knitting workshop. I think you’ll find the parallels to the present very striking…

Amy Klobuchar

Excerpt: Obviously Minneapolis’ own Lizzo should be president. Have you heard her album? Have you seen her perform? Do you know how hard it is to play the flute?! If Lizzo entered the race it would be game over for everyone. Which is why I am preemptively throwing my support behind Lizzo for President of the United States. And I am also throwing my support behind Minneapolis’ own Me, Amy Klobuchar, for Vice President. We are both Minneapolis’ own and we are both very awesome and you should vote for us. Also Prince? Heard of him? Also Minnesotan. So, when you think of Prince and Lizzo, think of me, Amy Klobuchar.

Beto O’Rourke

Excerpt: Oh, man! Can you imagine being at a club while Ted Russo jams out on a piano?! Like in real life, in person? Man, I cannot even fathom it. That guy’s a prince, man. He’s a dad and he’s responsible for his kids plus his stepdaughter, Kennedy, and also—let’s be real—Blossom’s best friend Six, but he’s also a badass musician with an awesome haircut who is still very hip. He may have a regular bedtime and a bunch of sage advice to dispense now but catch him on a holiday weekend with a couple of brewskis in him and no errands to run and you’ll witness the rebirth of a wild man. A king. A monument.

Kamala Harris

Excerpt: Sam Waterston’s character, Jack McCoy, appeared on Law Order for 16 years straight. And for 16 years he was a prosecutor. And people love Jack McCoy. People go as Jack McCoy for Halloween (okay, maybe they don’t but you imagine it’s probably happened once or twice). And nobody ever complains about his history as a prosector, even for the more controversial cases his office took on. Hmm. Interesting. Not saying there’s any correlation to real life. Just saying it’s interesting. Just watching Law Order on TNT, appreciating the two separate yet equally important sides of the criminal justice system, and thinking about things…

Kirsten Gillibrand

Excerpt: As a movie fan, as a lover of good storytelling, as a mom, and as a former eighth grade girl, I was completely enthralled by the movie Eighth Grade and I am proud to be the first presidential candidate to take on Hollywood for their shameful slight of the film. The lack of attention paid to this movie is an outrage. Speaking of lack of attention being paid: me. Why am I not polling higher? I am very good at my job and extremely well-qualified for this job I’m running for. What gives? Electing me president would also, symbolically, be giving Eighth Grade an Oscar. Think about it. And if you’re a fan of mine, answer your phone for pollsters, please!

Cory Booker

Excerpt: This is not a needlessly centrist position; this is the position that this country is aching for! We must heal the divide between fans of Aunt Viv 1 and those of Aunt Viv 2. We can have both!

Pete Buttigieg

Excerpt: This essay was originally entitled “The World Needs More Big Budget Adaptations of Ulysses” but I was kindly asked to choose something different. That’s fine. I am totally fine with that. You can still read the original essay in full on my website. It is 5,000 words long and I have taken the liberty of translating it into 4 languages for ease of consumption. Now, back to the matter at hand. As the 2020 Presidential race’s Ben Wyatt, my promise to you is that I will support Leslie Knope in all her endeavors.

Howard Schultz

Excerpt: As you can see, I have my finger on the pulse of the nation and really understand what people think and want. The only thing that would have made Andy’s boyfriend better is if instead of working at a restaurant he worked at a massively successful coffee chain. WINK.

Andrew Yang, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and John Hickenlooper

Excerpt: As you may not be aware, we are also running for president!

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0 19

Arya Stark had sex.

Plainly speaking, that shouldn’t be a point of contention for anyone. An 18-year-old woman, Arya has been on her own since she was 11 years old, survived countless kidnappings, escaped death more than once, and even learned to become absolutely No One. She is deadly, proving time and time again she’s not one to be messed with, eliminating her enemies and those that threaten her family without thinking twice. And, yet, a young woman wanting to consensually experience coitus has “Game of Thrones” fans up in arms.

Since the second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones aired, the internet has been ablaze with critics of the sultry scene. Some have blasted showrunners for sexualizing Arya, while others have lamented the use of sex as a way to prove the youngest living Stark is no longer a child. While it’s true that character development can be written in a number of ways that doesn’t include “losing virginity” as proof of adulthood, Arya’s decision to have sex is one that should be respected, not chastised — especially when it’s one of few examples of consensual sex on the show

In the same episode that Arya has sex, Ser Brienne of Tarth reveals she was once captured and nearly raped. Arya’s own sister Sansa was repeatedly abused by her husband Ramsay Bolton for a majority of the fifth season. Iron Throne contender and dragon mother Daenerys Targaryen was also raped by her husband Khal Drogo early on in her story arc.

Arya’s first time having sex was one of the rare occasions that female-focused pleasure has been at the forefront of the show, and one of the few times sex wasn’t used as a weapon. With so many of the show’s powerful women surviving rape attempts and suffering at the hands of abusers throughout the eight seasons, we should be celebrating Arya’s sexual agency, not questioning it.

But beyond the scene’s powerful impact, it’s hard to understand exactly why fans are so shook by Arya having sex. We’ve watched as Samwell Tarly and Gilly had sex on a boat despite his vows of chastity. And audiences didn’t flinch when Jon Snow and his aunt enjoyed a rendezvous in an isolated, snow-covered land while the Targaryen dragons watched. Apparently breaking sacred vows and incest are perfectly acceptable forms of sexual expression, but a young woman wanting to have sex before a life-threatening battle is a no-go. It turns out, fans of the show seem to be more okay with the same character murdering the sons of Walder Frey, baking them into pies, and serving them to their father before slitting his throat than allowing Arya to have sex.

Arya having sex can make you uncomfortable, but the fact of the matter is, teen girls have sex and that’s perfectly okay. They have agency over their own bodies and can make the decision to have sex — if that’s what they would like to do. Despite what some critics have said, Arya isn’t prioritizing a romance in the midst of a battle, she’s trying to reclaim some sense of normalcy that was stripped from her the moment her father was beheaded in season 1. In fact, her sex scene with Gendry humanized her, reminding us that, after all she’s been through, she’s still a teenage girl looking to explore her sexuality.

If Arya Stark wants to cross sex off her bucket list ahead of the presumably bloody Battle of Winterfell, let her. Besides, it’s about damn time showrunners gave the baby Stark a storyline that didn’t involve a gruesome murder.

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Nicole Kidman is one of the few movie stars left in Hollywood. Her chameleonic acting abilities are legend; her beauty, profuse. She is poised and regal—a perennial showstopper. It’s hard to imagine that she is even human. Almost two hours into our hike in Nashville’s Radnor Lake State Park, however, Kidman becomes undeniably mortal.

“I have to pee,” she announces. That makes two of us. Looking around, we see nothing but road ahead and road behind. “It’s 30 minutes this way,” she gestures, “and an hour that way.” Then, in her lilt, says, “And I think we may be lost.”

I look her straight in the eye and break the news. We’re going to have to go in the great outdoors. Dressed all in black—parka, beanie, cargo pants, sneakers, and backpack, carrying coffee, water, and apples—and not a stitch of makeup on, the glamazon climbs a small hill and flashes those baby blues: “Remember, it was you who didn’t want to go to a café.” Then, from behind the tree, “Keep asking me questions!”

Our hike around the roughly 1,400-acre natural reserve is not the first time our paths have crossed—in Australia, shortly after she married Keith Urban, she giddily told me about her hope to give birth; in Los Angeles last year, she courageously ate worms for Vanity Fair’s Secret Talent Theater, a heroic display still collecting views on YouTube.

pstrongTO DIE FORstrongbr Nicole Kidman photographed in Franklin Tennessee. Bra by Eres tights by Wolford necklace by...

Nicole Kidman, photographed in Franklin, Tennessee. Bra by Eres; tights by Wolford; necklace by Tiffany Co.

Photograph by Collier Schorr; Styled by Samira Nasr.

This time, we’re on a dirt trail winding through nature where you could easily get lost for hours—and we nearly did—looking for a notoriously elusive owl. Despite the cold, we pass a few clusters of people—some carrying long-lens cameras. “That’s our paparazzi,” Kidman says with a laugh. But we’re in Nashville—and here the sights are trained on actual wildlife. A group of young women passes us, and I’m shocked none even do a double take at the Oscar-, Golden Globe–, SAG Award–, and Emmy-winning star. “No wonder you love Nashville,” I tell her. “Total privacy,” she concurs. I learn over my time spent here that “Nashville etiquette” means letting people live their lives in peace. “See? This is why I live here.”

This bucolic Tennessee life offers respite from Kidman’s wildly dynamic and duly prolific career, making her a once-in-a-generation talent with no signs of slowing down. There was the role that ignited it all, in Dead Calm (1989). She took a risky star turn that paid off in Gus Van Sant’s To Die For (1995), then stayed busy with big studio films like Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Oscar-nominated Moulin Rouge! (2001), and, in that same year, The Others. She got her best-actress Oscar for playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours (2002). More obscure artistic adventures followed—Lars von Trier’s Dogville (2003) had her crawling on all fours in a dog collar; Birth (2004) drew controversy for a scene in which Kidman bathed with a child. Films like The Stepford Wives (2004), Bewitched (2005), and The Interpreter (2005) skewed more commercial, though to less acclaim. In Fur (2006), as Diane Arbus, she shaves Robert Downey Jr.’s entire body. She launched her production company, Blossom Films, with the festival hit Rabbit Hole, then pushed new limits in Lee Daniels’s follow-up to Precious, The PaperBoy. Last year she was nearly unrecognizable in the gritty neo-noir Destroyer, and then as the Southern mother to a gay son in the coversion-therapy film Boy Erased, both while DC Comics’ Aquaman grossed more than a billion dollars. Big Little Lies, the seven-part series that received 19 nominations and 13 awards, marked a return to the small screen, where she got her start as a teenager in Australia. This V.F. cover makes her 10th.

Nicole Kidman Talks Season 2 of Big Little Lies Keith Urban and Motherhood
Photograph by Collier Schorr; Styled by Samira Nasr.

“I’ve done weird films and I’ve done things that are so obtuse, which I’m still committed to because I like performance art and not conforming to what everyone expects of you. I don’t think in normal terms.” She laughs as she tells me, “Keith always says, ‘You’re so not mainstream.’ ”

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For the creative director of this London-based brand, a sustainability-driven passion project led to many revelations.

The fact that Mother of Pearl’s creative director Amy Powney recently launched a completely transparent, sustainable diffusion line should come as no surprise if you pause to think for a second about her upbringing. When she was 10 years old, her family moved from a house in Lancashire, England to a caravan on a five-acre field. Living off the grid, they had no running water or electricity; instead her father dug a borehole and erected a wind turbine to channel those resources. Powney credits her lifelong interest in sustainability to that formative experience.

“I wasn’t just able to turn my light switch on whenever I wanted to, water didn’t flow freely in our house, we had to go pump water from our well and it was then brought to the house,” she says in London, where her quirky presentation for the brand’s Fall ’19 collection is underway (there’s a giant ball pit of faux pearls involved). “And I think when something isn’t readily available it makes you think about where it comes from, and it changes the way you view something. I guess that’s when you stop taking it for granted.”

It’s what led her to make an organic, ethical clothing line for her graduate collection at Kingston University, and what brought her to Mother of Pearl in 2006 as an assistant.

“I thought, it’s a small company, we make quality product, print our silks in the UK, I know all the factories. From a corporate social responsibility level that was pretty good,” she tells the Guardian. “I wasn’t working for the high street or burning clothes. And I fell in love with the company.”

Leaning on the side of summer with our Elle Shirt Dress! Made from 100% organic cotton, this spring piece is apart of our sustainable No Frills SS19 collection, out now.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #MotherofPearl #sustainablefashion #womensfashion #fashionourfuture #spring #shirtdress

A post shared by Mother of Pearl (@motherofpearl) on Apr 21, 2019 at 9:03am PDT

Over a decade later, she’s now creative director of the brand and in a position to undertake passion projects like No Frills, an entirely transparent, ethical and sustainable clothing line of elevated basics that launched last fall. Think jacquard jackets with pearl detailing on the sleeve, striped shirtdresses, oversized sweatshirts and flared jeans, all made from organic and ethically-sourced fabrics whose provenance is completely traceable from the field to the final product. A polka dot Tencel shirtdress on the brand’s website, for example, lists all its eco-friendly attributes: from the responsible use of water in its production cycle, to the digital printing which utilizes less water and ink, to the sustainable forestry methods. “For every tree cut down to make this fibre, new trees have been planted in its place and no ancient forests have been used,” it states.

“No Frills was our case study in a way, it was our learning program,” explains Powney. “Everything we learned from that we’ve [incorporated] into the Mother of Pearl line. Spring/summer ’19 is around 50% sustainable but the next summer collection we’re working on for 2020 is almost 80% sustainable. So we’re just working hard, we’re not perfect, nobody is, but we’re trying everything we can to turn a fully fledged brand into being as sustainable as possible.”

No such thing as too much of a good thing, our Brennon jacket and Kyra denim are made from all natural organic fibers and uses the most environmentally friendly dying and washing processes! The perfect match. #MotherofPearl #fashionourfuture #sustainablefashion #womensfashion #denimondenim #doubledenim

A post shared by Mother of Pearl (@motherofpearl) on Apr 7, 2019 at 10:14am PDT

The resulting No Frills line of core pieces, available to shop online and at Canadian retailers like Bacci’s in Vancouver and Henriette L in Montreal, is cheaper to buy than the mainline collection (with prices from 150 CAD). So is the whole ‘sustainable means more expensive’ argument just a myth?

“I guess it depends on what sector you work in so in the luxury industry yes I think it’s a myth,” says Powney. “We reworked our supply chains and made sure that they were close together so if we’re going to grow cotton in Turkey for instance, is there a way we can also manufacture there? So it [lessens] the carbon footprint. And then we started trying to vertically integrate so we could own a few parts of the process and that actually reduces the price of the supply chain. So for us we found it was a lot cheaper. I think if you rethink the way you work, that is how you can make it efficient. Once you’ve rebuilt it and found that way to work then it just becomes innate, it’s just that we’ve been working in a vacuous way for way too long.”

Does she ever fantasize about living off the grid again one day?

“Definitely,” she answers instantly. “I’d love that. I’d still have to be able to come to London though, I couldn’t just go and never come back, I need both in my life. But for sure, if I had time I’d love to grow all my own food and live off grid. That would be my dream.”

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Let’s face it: Keeping up with current trends can feel like a sprint. It’s almost as if the moment we make a purchase, a newer version of the thing we just bought pops up, putting an expiration date on your brand-new item. Although these days, trends really do come and go in the blink of an eye, there are a few current spring styles that have a much longer shelf life. So if your personal style skews classic or you’re looking to make a well-informed investment purchase, you’ll want to shop each of the following timeless spring fashion trends.

How exactly are we sure that these eight current spring trends will actually last well into 2020? Well, sorry to break it to you, but we’re not a bunch of psychics. Instead, we chatted with Sasha Skoda who heads up the women’s department at The RealReal. Skoda shared with us some insider data on which shoes, bags, and denim trends have exploded on the site—and will only to continue to gain steam.

Continue on to discover which spring trends are virtually timeless and then shop our picks of each now that you’re sure it will be money well-spent.

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If there’s one thing that can make or break a wardrobe, I would say it’s definitely having the right shoes. I mean, could you imagine surviving a New York winter without a pair of all-weather boots or a summer vacation without a good pair of flat sandals? The proper footwear is imperative to a stylish, functional look in any season, and spring is no exception. Luckily for you, I’ve got just the shoes to carry you through the next few months (and beyond), and they’re only $35.

Meet the Who What Wear collection Kalyn Croc Heeled Mule, a black block-heeled sandal that’s designed in of-the-moment, always expensive-looking mock croc, so you can wear them to work and well through the weekend. Plus, they’re the perfect jumping-off point for girls who, like me, love to wear all-black (even in spring). Just add a dress or blouse and cropped pants, and you’re ready to go. To see the shoes in action and shop them (and other spring-ready shoes), just keep scrolling.

0 9

With porridge-coloured walls and a dark concrete floor, Coffee Plant on Portobello Road functions like a grim needle exchange for discerning caffeine addicts. I lock my bike to its own wheel and lean it against the wall outside. A small girl is waddling along behind her mother very slowly and I walk in front and through the heavy glass door but I do not hold it for them. The door closes on the child’s face. The woman comes in after me and gets right up in my face with a righteous form of indignant maternal fury. “You knew, you knew, you knew she was there.”

“I’m so sorry.” The emphasis on the so doesn’t come out quite right. I sound a bitch. “I just assumed you’d get the door for your own child. Is she OK?”

A squirm of shame runs through me. Had I known? Did I feel annoyed by being co-opted into plodding adoring reverence of this small child? Yes, I need coffee, but did I need to dash through the door so fast – after all one could hardly describe my day as ‘busy’.

The incident stirs the dark matter I have been consciously pressing into a corner of my body for the last ten years or so of my life since my friends started breeding. I’d been at the fair a few weeks ago with a friend who was having IVF. I was trying to persuade her to go on a scary ride but she was worried about the IVF. “Don’t worry, it’ll shake the eggs up, make them more vital,” I said.

When we were on the ride with my IVF friend looking on, her eggs calm and restful, my other friend said, “You know, Kate, that was some harsh banter. It was too harsh.”

It’s like I’ve shut that side of myself down. I don’t even know how I feel about it. What’s the point of pining and grieving over a life that never lived inside you. Just get on with it. Soldier on. But there’s a fractious, almost violent boredom I feel when baby chat cranks up. It comes up again as this woman berates me for not putting my hands between my knees and bending down to say, “Can I get the door for you, you magnificent little princess?”

A shrink might say, “Let’s talk about that.”

Women disappear into motherhood; even when they’re physically in the room they’re more or less absent. Often friends turned mothers wouldn’t register conversation or your presence or a gesture of kindness. Sometimes the mother would fold over her child as if to protect it from the entire world, including you.

It’s a weirdly humiliating feeling.

Stuff like that eventually drove me away from families, and I spent more time hanging out with single friends, men especially, as most of the women were mothers now. Not having kids had left me without purpose, distraction or anything to do. Unlike for Charlie, work was not enough. I cannot escape the constant screaming question, “Is this it?”

In the queue I see Keith, who is an elegant PR from Northern Ireland. He’s so neatly pressed I don’t want him to see me with my paranoid, twitchy hangover. Shrinking behind a French girl in a men’s Crombie coat, I hide in the queue. Before, that is, I clock the tan and white whippet at his side. My overwhelming urge to touch it overrides any concerns about my old skanky jeans. “Hey Keith,” I say, smiling, and bending to one side. “Is this yours?’”

“Kate!” He greets me with a warm enthusiasm that disarms me. “Yes, this is my boy, this is Castor.” The dog stands still as I stroke him from the tip of his skull and along his back. The effect is not much different to a dose of Valium.

Keith and I sit down at a Formica table to take our cups of bastard-strong caffeine together. I soothe myself on his dog’s silky ears, swirling them in my fingers, smoothing my hands over the length of his back’s slithery soft fur. I am almost groaning with pleasure. “He’s lovely, Keith.”

I could weep like a Catholic at the foot of the cross begging for forgiveness and eternal love. Instead I say, “What are they like, whippets? Do they need a lot of exercise?”

“He’s a lurcher, actually. God knows what other breeds are in there. And no. He gets two walks a day and then he sleeps.”

“I’d love to have a dog,” I say.

We gossip about work a bit. “I’d better get back and do some writing.”

“Really? Come for a walk.”

“Oh, ok.”

In Keith’s Audi, Castor stands in the back with his chin resting on the top of the seat behind me. We talk about keeping a dog in London. “These dogs are great. You don’t need a garden. They’re calm. They’re clean.”

We walk at Wormwood Scrubs, a 60 acre expanse of near-deserted scrub and woodland next to the famous prison. I didn’t even know it was here.

Back at home I clear all evidence of the hopeless day’s recovery. I smooth the sheets and whumpf the duvet up, expelling my miserable sweaty traces. I smooth it so hard, it looks like Charlie has made it. Well, not that good.

I know Charlie’s walking home, shiny shoes going clip-clip down the street, smart leather document folder tucked under his arm. He’s probably taking important calls but I know, also, he’ll be wondering what chaotic state the flat is in and his slovenly self-employed girlfriend too.

His footsteps ring on the metal steps up to the only door we have, windows fogged by cooking. Inside, the reassuring smell of garlic softening in butter.

I go to speak, and he holds up his hand. He is indeed on a call. I clatter about finding things to fiddle with, killing time until I can say what I so urgently need to.

“Right. Yes, sorry.”

“I saw Keith today and you know he has a dog, it’s a lurcher called Castor, anyway we took it for a walk to Wormwood Scrubs, it’s huge there, I mean huge, and it’s only five minutes away from here and it’s great for walking dogs and I think we should get one. I think we should get a dog.”

“Good idea, Fox,” he says. Fox, the name he gave me when we were still wallowing in the oxytocin joy of first love. “You sort it out. What’s for supper?”

Extracted from Lost Dog by Kate Spicer (Ebury Press, £16.99)