The summery staples and personalized pieces that T Magazine’s editors and contributors are eyeing for our own maternal figures.
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a fresh Twist
Statement-Making Martini Glasses
By Ella Quittner
A good, stiff martini is a gift unto itself. And now, it’s one you can wrap in shiny paper and top with a bow, as the glassware designed to cradle an icy gin elixir reaches peak allure. Some, like these Helle Mardahl ones with lime green feet, are irreverent; others, like the Sophie Lou Jacobsen Piano line, bring retro energy to happy hour. The sturdy Totem glasses, also by Jacobsen, would wink winningly at your mother from any bar cart, beckoning her over for a nightcap; these coupes atop columns from Ichendorf Milano might serve her better at the beginning of an evening, alongside that fussy china you’re glad she’s stored so meticulously since her wedding, even if she won’t tell you which sibling it’ll go to. Giftees who like to pace themselves might appreciate the opportunity to do so gracefully with these shallow Coupes de Pompadour by the Amsterdam-based designer Boris de Beijer. To make a full martini-themed package, look to vintage sites like Chairish and 1st Dibs for antique shaker finds like this J.A. Henckels “Zeppelin” model from 1928 in the shape of its namesake blimp, or this stainless-steel shaker orb from Alessi Anonimo.
Fragrance With Staying Power
By Caitie Kelly
Not only are aromatic ceramics a longer lasting alternative to candles but they can serve a dual purpose: They can be tucked into drawers or closets to scent clothing or placed on shelves as pieces of functional décor. Celine’s version comes in the shape of the Triomphe, the iconic emblem of the house, and can be sprayed with any one of the brand’s fragrances, like the powdery La Peau Nue or woodsy Eau de Californie. Diptyque’s disc is part of its La Droguerie Collection of household products. It has notes of cedar and lavender, which are known to repel moths, making it perfect for hanging near knit sweaters. The tag-shaped ceramic from Lumira is infused with its Tuscan Fig scent, which blends patchouli and musk with the milky green fruit. Drape it on a coat hanger to perfume outerwear or over a car’s rear view mirror for a tasteful air freshener. Santa Maria Novella’s handcrafted terra-cotta pomegranates — the fruit has long been considered a symbol of life and fertility — are soaked in the brand’s Melograno fragrance for a week and, according to the company, will retain the aroma for a year or more.
Books to Soothe and Inspire New Mothers
By Alice Newell-Hanson
Just before I gave birth, a friend sent me a copy of “Operating Instructions” (1993), the writer Anne Lamott’s diary of her first year as a mother. A week or so later I began to read it very slowly, so that my son would be around the same age as Lamott’s was when she wrote each entry (also, I didn’t have a lot of free time). As anyone who has ever cared for a small baby knows, it’s an experience that contains the potential for both pure elation and all-consuming loneliness — reading someone else’s account of this time, in parallel to my own, was profoundly comforting. Lamott’s commitment to writing, even in the earliest weeks of her life as a single mother, was also a reminder that parenthood is an inherently creative state, even if conditions conspire against a person (most often a woman) actually having the time and energy to put pen or brush to paper. A handful of newish books each address the conflicts between motherhood and creative work in different ways. There’s “The Baby on the Fire Escape” (2022), the biographer Julie Phillips’s look at the lives of female writers and artists, including Audre Lorde and Alice Neel (whose in-laws once falsely claimed she put her baby on her fire escape so she could finish a painting); Ann Goldstein’s 2023 translation of the writer Alba de Céspedes’s 1952 novel, “Forbidden Notebook,” for whose protagonist, a woman in postwar Rome, writing becomes an act of self-revelation; and “Essential Labor” (2022), in which the writer Angela Garbes considers American caregivers’ power to radically change the society that continually devalues them. The realities of motherhood often feel impossible to articulate; other people’s attempts to do so are among the best gifts I could imagine.
A Dutch Oven to Brighten the Kitchen
By Kurt Soller
In just three years, the Los Angeles-based Flamingo Estate has quickly become a gifting Valhalla: those blocky soaps! Those spicy strawberries! But what do you get the woman who’s already aware of such things — and maybe even received one of those telltale green boxes last year? If she likes to cook, I’d suggest a new limited-edition Dutch oven made by the Estate’s owner, Richard Christiansen, in collaboration with Great Jones, the cookware purveyor known for introducing interesting shapes and colors into the once-staid category. Inspired by a trip that the Great Jones chief executive Sierra Tishgart took with her staff to Christiansen’s home and garden, the cast-iron pots — which come in two sizes (one yellow, the other pink) — are decorated with tomatoes on the vine, making them cheerful for displaying on the range when they aren’t being used. All the better if you send one along with some heritage Flamingo Estate olive oil. Or even nicer, show up in person with the gift and break it in by preparing a fabulous meal for Mom.
Etch a Sketch
Jewelry With a Personal Touch
By Angela Koh
Gifting personalized jewelry often means engraved initials, letter charms or a zodiac pendant. But a crop of innovative designers have found more creative ways to customize. Baylee Ann Zwart, the Santa Monica-based founder of the jewelry line Azlee, offers medallions engraved with fingerprints. The idea came to Zwart in early 2020, when she created what was initially a one-off piece for a friend who wanted to memorialize her late father. Later that year, Zwart designed a pair for herself and her husband, using the print of their ring fingers, and she realized the design could be a part of her collection. The fingerprint pendant is offered in yellow, white and rose 18-karat recycled gold with the option to add a pavé detail with ethically sourced diamonds. Any print can be used, including newborn toe and fingerprints. And for mothers of young Picassos, Monica Rich Kosann, the New York-based jeweler who has been designing lockets for two decades, can frame any artwork with her digital locket bar. And the Los Angeles-based jeweler Jenna Katz has collaborated with the jewelry consultancy the Stax on an 18-karat recycled gold coin pendant that can be engraved with a sketch or a short handwritten message.
case by case
Refillable Lipsticks for a Colorful Summer
By Caitie Kelly
Make the mundane special (and eco-conscious) by giving a refillable lipstick case: She’ll have it for years to come, while reducing the amount of waste produced by typical cosmetic packaging. The makeup artist Fara Homidi, who has worked with brands like Miu Miu and Eckhaus Latta, recently debuted a new line of lip compacts that pair a clear priming balm with one of four shades that range from a poppy red to dusty rose nude. The weighted case comes in a cheerful blue shade that’s easy to find in a makeup bag. Hermès’s limited-edition cases, designed by the brand’s creative director of jewelry, Pierre Hardy, celebrate nautical seaside stripes, while the lipstick colors inside are sheer enough to swipe on sans mirror — perfect for throwing in a beach bag. Dior’s Addict case comes covered in the brand’s Oblique logo; gift it, then invite your mother to pick from among the brand’s many high-shine lipstick shades for a customized experience. And for the woman who loves a colorful pattern, the clashing prints in Dries Van Noten’s bullets might encourage experimentation — an easy task with lip shades like deep violet and vermilion to choose from.
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