Friday, February 10, 2012

Trina, I Beg to Differ

Trina Turk speaking at the Design San Francisco conference.

Interviewed by Erin Feher at the Design San Francisco 2012 event last week, Trina Turk was asked how she balances her life and multi-million dollar design business. She exclaimed, "Balance? I have no balance in my life! Everything I do are things I do for work -- looking at architecture, going to films, museums, house tours and vintage clothing shopping. Everything I do is somehow related to my work. There is no difference between work and play for me."

"There is no difference between work and play for me." I wrote down those words as Trina said them, thinking I'd like to tattoo them in my heart. Isn't that the ultimate balance? Where all endeavors, activities, work and creative pursuits come together in a harmonious, energy-generating and sustaining cosmic song that plays daily in the background of one's life. At least that's how I like to imagine it. 

Interviewer Erin Feher, Executive Editor of Californa Home+Design, wearing a TT dress.

Trina Turk, whose eponymous clothing line packs a powerful punch of Palm Springsy prints and bright colors, is a walking brand. And I mean that as a huge compliment. She wears her designs and she wears them well. With shops in places like LA, Palm Springs, New York and Bal Harbour, Trina has both coasts covered. At one point she dabbled with her fabrics making pillows for display props in the stores. They sold so quickly, she ventured into interior design with Trina Turk Residential, opening a shop with home furnishings in Palm Springs. And she's also has a line of indoor-outdoor fabric with
F. Schumacher.

Trina says she designs her clothing for a flattering fit on different body types and sizes. I don't have anything by Trina (yet) but my friend Debra who does agrees. Trina describes the traits of her customer: she's not a wallflower, she's practical, she's outgoing, likes color and likes the casual sophisticated style of cocktails by the pool mid century. 

When asked who would be the one person she would like to work with if she could, Trina instantly responded, "Rudi Gernreich. He was known for designing the topless bathing suit. But more than that, he did modern, simple graphic clothing that anyone could wear. He was not elitist." 

In 1964, Gernreich designed the monokini,
modeled by his muse Peggy Moffitt (with a cool Vidal Sassoon haircut).
Photo by William Claxton.

For a new source of inspiration, Trina mentioned a recently published book "Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960's by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp. In 1960, LA was an art desert and suddenly a group of artists like Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Judy Chicago and John Baldessari came together and made art happen. The book is described as "snappy and gossipy" and a "page-turner." I think I know one thing that Mr. Matt's getting for his Leap Year birthday.

Photographer: Julius Shulman, Architect: Albert Frey, Raymond Loewy House, 1947
Modern archival print from vintage negative. Palm Springs Art Museum.

Ask the question Trina asked herself which started a fashion design empire: "What would I wear to a party here?"

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! Trina is also doing a lot of great design for men and her new home furnishing and men's stores are scheduled to open in Palm Springs in the next month or so.