New on Gilt: Rebecca Minkoff Diaper Bags

Photo c/o Lucky Magazine

Photo c/o Lucky Magazine

Considering A-list moms have raised the bar when it comes to what constitutes a diaper bag — we’re looking at you and your Birkin, Kim K. — it was only a matter of time before go-to downtown designer Rebecca Minkoff got in on the diaper-toting game. Second-time mom-to-be Minkoff is known for her instantly covetable pieces (must-have Mini M.A.C.s and more are available on Gilt Women’s today), and her mommy bags don’t disappoint, featuring un-frumpy details like splashy graphic prints and edgy studded hardware. And there’s plenty of function savvy parents can get behind: Think interior bottle pockets, stroller attachments, and bonus changing pads for clean-ups on the go. Equal parts stylish and practical, these city-ready carryalls will be on your arm long after your tots are potty trained — shop them now.

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Meet the Artist: The Magic World of Uti’s Cristina Ghelfi

utiart3When it comes to decorating your kids’ rooms, white walls just won’t do. But before you give them free rein to plaster their space with stickers and crayon scribbles, why not introduce a little fine art into the mix? Enter The Magic World of Uti, a colorful line of perfect-square prints — back on Gilt today — and the brainchild of Italian painter Cristina Ghelfi, whose mother, Uti Fontana, serves as muse for the collection’s titular character. We chatted with the Modena-based artist about her family, her inspirations, and her signature craft.

Little Inspirations: Where did this line of artwork begin? Does each painting have a special meaning?
Cristina Ghelfi: This work has always been inside of me because it is related to my love for nature, animals, and colors. Often I take inspiration from the news, from a photograph, from a book, or while walking somewhere. With the colors, the play and lightness, I try to exorcise the lack of respect that human beings have for the land. I illustrate what surrounds us, what we do not see or have forgotten — A world of colors, smells, trees, flowers, mountains, and animals. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Uti is a little girl who rejoices in what she sees and what surrounds her — she loves to play and constantly interacts with everyone and everything with curiosity and wonder. In her world, there is space only for color and positivity — she is what I would like to see every day.


LI: What is your training? Do you have a background in fine art?

CG: I started drawing from a young age and it has always been my passion, perhaps conditioned by the environment in which I grew up. My grandfather, who designed engines, had a passion for painting, also my uncle, my mother, and then my father, Franco Fontana, who is a gifted photographer. I attended art school and graduated in graphic design, with a Master’s of art and decoration. I attended 3-D animation and illustration courses, but honestly, I’ve never been an excellent student and possibly because of my shyness, the academic environment made ​​me feel like I was in a cage and my creativity was hidden. My most important training comes from experiences of life, my family, and also the time I spent in the United States which has been very important in my journey of creative growth.

FRANCO FONTANA E UTI

Ghelfi’s parents, Franco and Uti Fontana — Portrait by Douglas Kirkland

LI: How does your mother, Uti, act as your muse? Do you have a favorite character from “The Magic World of Uti”?
CG: My mother is an endless source of inspiration for my work and there is no particular reason.  She’s just a wonderful person, a very positive and strong woman, and a constant point of reference in my work. Uti is the main character of my children’s illustrations and definitely my favorite.  I get attached to the most recent piece of art I am working on or to those which I have only imagined.

LI: What other artists have inspired you?
CG: I have a great admiration for Mark Ryden, a wonderful contemporary painter.  In photography, without a doubt, Franco Fontana. And, going a little back in time, I would say Leonardo da Vinci and Perugino.

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Mini Mag’s Editor-in-Chief Talks Celeb Supermoms & Summer Must-Haves for Kids

We partnered with Mini magazine — one of our favorite reads for modern parents —  to share our top summer steals for kids (on Gilt today at noon ET). And to help kick off their latest issue (on newsstands today), Mini‘s Editor-in-Chief and all-things-kids guru, Kaitlyn Kirby, gave us the scoop on cover mom, The Chew co-host Daphne Oz, her summer must-haves, and new kids’ brands she’s loving, including the makers of the adorable headband North West wore at her first birthday party.

Mini magazine

 

Little Inspirations: Did Daphne have any tried-and-true tips for other first-time moms?
Kaitlyn Kirby: Yes, in terms of style must-haves for other moms-to-be, she said, “I figured out early on that wearing loose clothing often just makes you look bigger, so I tried to wear stuff that fit, but that wasn’t tight or uncomfortable. I loved stuff from Zara and found some great items at Asos.com, too. Kimonos were a thing of mine for a while, as were pretty babydoll dresses, and of course great leggings and tops.”

LI: Does being the daughter of Dr. Oz mean she was privy to pregnancy tips most women aren’t? What advice did he share?
KK: Daphne said how helpful her dad was during her pregnancy, full of great advice! However, she found that the best wisdom came from his experience as a parent even more than a doctor. “He reminded my husband John and I to take time to support each other and reconnect,” she told us.

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Look & Listen: Preview Our Favorite Audiobooks for Kids

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Kids of all ages can agree: Nothing brings a story to life quite like hearing it read aloud. Which is why the team at Random House dreamed up the Listening Library, turning children’s must-reads into convenient and entertaining audiobooks — perfect for family road trips this summer.

Click below to listen to excerpts from five of our favorite titles, then shop them and more popular picks from Random House’s collection in our sale.

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The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo


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Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume


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The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne


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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


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The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

 

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