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The World’s Most Powerful Women: February 20

Designer Roksanda Ilincic is “about to get catapulted to the next level,” says Jeffrey Kalinsky, founder of the Jeffrey boutique chain and the designer fashion director at Nordstrom.

Serbian-born Ilincic, who shows the latest collection from her Roksanda line at London Fashion Week today, has become a favorite of high-profile women, most notably former U.K. First Lady Samantha Cameron and former and current U.S. first ladies Michelle Obama and Melania Trump.

Despite her line’s popularity among the business and political elite, it offers an alternative to the attire most associated with those realms. Launched in 2005, it embraces “voluminous, unabashedly feminine shapes, unexpected color combinations and idiosyncratic block prints,” according to this profile in the New York Times.

It’s no surprise then that Ilincic dismisses the “power dressing” label that’s often attached to her designs. The term “has all the wrong connotations; all ’80s shoulder pads and forced uncomfortable shapes,” she says. “It suggests a type of dressing where women are not able to be their authentic selves. In fact, they try very deliberately not to be themselves. And that is the antithesis of what my brand is all about.”

It’s certainly time to retire the stiff, buttoned-up aesthetic that “power dressing” currently conjures up, especially now that female leaders like U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May have proven that an interest in fashion is reconcilable with an interest in, say, public policy and that wielding as much power as a man doesn’t mean you necessarily have to dress like one.

The “power dressing” term deserves a new meaning. In describing how she wants her clients to feel, Ilincic has a suggestion: genuine and self-assured.

@clairezillman

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Acquitting the crownThe saga of the first Spanish princess in modern history to stand trial has finally come to an end. Princess Cristina had been accused of being an accessory to tax fraud, but a Spanish court acquitted her on Friday, ruling that she wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing by her husband, Spanish businessman Iñaki Urdangarin. He didn’t fare as well. A court convicted him of tax evasion and fraud and sentenced him to more than six years in jail.Fortune

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A chilly reception
Some members of Qatar’s women’s curling team are so new to the sport that when they arrived in Japan for the Asian Winter Games, they’d never experienced snow before. Soccer is the most popular sport in Qatar, but the nation wants to broaden its athletic horizons—even to winter pastimes. The women’s team can only practice once a week on an ice rink that’s not up to international standards. “For now, we are training more to get experience and know more about the game and its strategies,” said skip Maryam Binali.
Associated Press
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Serving up solace
A restaurant called Bost in Kabul, Afghanistan is a safe haven for women who are still frequently harassed when they venture out in the city where, until 2001, they could not appear in public without a male relative and a full-body burqa. The restaurant feels especially comfortable for women eating alone since its staff is made up of women who live in Kabul’s women’s shelters.
Eater

THE AMERICAS

Alarm bells
From 2012 to 2015, Evelyn Farkas worked as the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. She spent the last few months raising red flags about what she sees as the strange relationship between the Donald Trump administration and Russia. Last week, the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn served as some validation—”I’m like, finally, everybody else sees it!”—but she still wants a larger investigation.
Vox
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‘Abhorrent’ allegations
Ex-Uber engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post yesterday accusing her former employer of sexual harassment. Fowler claims that her team manager propositioned her for sex and that when she reported his behavior, HR told her it’d take no real action, in part, because the alleged harasser was a “high performer.” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has pledged an investigation into the matter. He said that what Fowler describes “is abhorrent & against everything we believe in.”
Fortune
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Getting schooled
The pressure on university presidents to raise money usually deters them from openly criticizing an alum, but Trinity Washington University president Patricia McGuire has abandoned that strategy when it comes to graduate Kellyanne Conway. McGuire has publicly blasted Trump’s top advisor for helping facilitate “the manipulation of facts” and “encouraging the grave injustice being perpetrated by the Trump Administration’s war on immigrants.” Conway says the college president is “peddling a very narrowly subscribed political viewpoint.”
Washington Post

ASIA-PACIFIC

Charging a critic
The Philippine government has charged one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s loudest critics with drug trafficking by accusing Senator Leila de Lima of letting the illicit narcotics trade flourish at the national jail when she served as justice secretary. De Lima has denounced the complaints as political persecution. “If the loss of my freedom is the price I have to pay for standing up against the butchery of the Duterte regime, then it is a price I am willing to pay,” she said. “But they are mistaken if they think my fight ends here.”
Bloomberg
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Living off livestock
The lean black goats of the Attapadi tribe in India are coveted by livestock dealers, who in recent years have bought the animals on the cheap from struggling tribal families, only to resell them later at higher prices. But a coalition of women’s self-help groups in the region has established a cooperative to cut out middlemen and sell the goats at a fixed price. Now the women are looking to other products the cooperative might sell.
Reuters

IN BRIEF

Ivanka Trump’s perfume is a big winner on Amazon
CNN

The humility of Carla Hayden, the first female librarian of Congress
New Yorker

El Salvador pardons woman sent to jail for 30 years after suffering a miscarriage
Independent

Norma McCorvey, the unnamed plaintiff in the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, has died at 69
Huffington Post

This 27-year-old just became the first woman to visit every country in the world
Travel & Leisure

Ikea imagines a world without women in a catalog for ultra-Orthodox Jewish shoppers in Israel
Quartz

PARTING WORDS

“The way we write, it’s like you’re texting your best girlfriend.”
--Miki Agrawal, founder of Thinx—the reusable period panty—on how she sells consumers and investors on her product.