A few weeks ago, I had the distinct honor of getting to chat with Trina Turk before the Junior League of Raleigh's Belk Event. This was a true dream come true! Being a frequent Palm Springs-er during our time in LA (and by that I seriously mean we went there once a month...) we often stopped in at both the Trina Turk & Mr. Turk store to see the bright, bold and colorful designs. I gushed to Trina about how much I loved those stores and we bonded over a shared love of vintage designs and sunglasses.. read on for more of our interview!
[After I gush to her about her Palm Springs store and we talk about the amazingness of the city we start the interview...]
Bedazzles After Dark: I LOVE the Trina Turk prints! They're so bright, vibrant and colorful. How did your prints become synonymous with the Trina Turk brand?
Trina Turk: It's funny because when we founded the line 19 years ago, we started with a few prints and the customers loved them so the prints really evolved into what it is now. I'm also inspired by where ever I'm living. Everyone thinks we're based out of Palm Springs but our offices are really in LA. When I live in California I crave color. But when I was in Seattle [at the beginning of my career], I didn't as much. Now the prints are brand recognized without seeing the label first. And I love that.
BAD: When and what was the defining moment of realizing you wanted to design clothing?
TT: I grew up sewing and learned from my mom. I really just wanted more clothes, like every other girl! And when I realized I could make a garment, like a skirt, in different patterns and colors, it was that light bulb moment. I enjoyed creating things that were my own and then I got to wear them.
TT: I try to work out 4 mornings a week and if I don't do that I think I get a little bit jittery. The apparel industry and the fashion industry are always stressful and I think if I didn't do that I would not be as of happy as a person. I usually spend some time in the morning reading or on instagram. I'm alone, I have my cup of coffee and whether it's reading WWD or looking at a magazine or looking at something online, I think that "Chill Time" before I dive into meeting after meeting is incredibly helpful.
MM: If you could name one staple piece that someone should add to their closets, what would it be?
TT: I think this season is going to be a white shirt season. We have one from our Spring 2014 collection that's white eyelet with a little bit of grosgrain ribbon trim. I think it's cute if you wear it all the way buttoned up with a skirt or unbuttoned with little shorts. I just feel like it's been a long time since I thought a white shirt was an important thing, and this season I feel that it is. It's hard for me to pick just one thing [Laughs} but the other thing I think is really important this season is chambray (turns to me "You're wearing a chambray shirt!" I instantly give myself an invisible high five) We did a whole group of chambray. there's a jumpsuit, there's a shirt and a sleeveless shift dress. And not just from us, but there's a big resurgence of chambray.
BAD: What is one thing you cannot leave the house without that you always have to have?
TT: I do have to wear jewelry. I have a lot that's both vintage and new so I do really love jewelry. But in LA I feel that sunglasses are really important. I have a big collection of those too. Some Trina Turk, some vintage, some other brands. I might leave the house without jewelry, rarely, but I would never leave without sunglasses.
BAD: I love the way how your designs are vintage inspired with modern twists. How do you balance that in your designs?
TT: I think the main thing is that it never really works to just knock off a vintage garment. Women's bodies are different and it's mainly because of the types of foundation garments we wear. A lot of the dresses from the early 60's, the arm holes are really high and the darts for the bust line are really high. And it's because of the type of undergarments they we were wearing. So you have to interpret it for what someone is interested in wearing now. A lot has to do with the fabrics and the fit. There's the whole slew of prints from early to mid 70's that's harvest gold and avocado and orange and usually nobody wants to wear [those colors] now. So you have to tweak the color and the fabric to make it work for now.
A big thanks to Bradley Rhyne for all photography!
For my Outfit Details see this post