clos-ette case: Trina Turk

Posted on October 10, 2012 by Melanie Charlton

We associate the fabulous Trina Turk unequivocally with sunshine. Make that circa 1968 Palm Springs sunshine –which every closet could use a little bit of, no? Bright, bold dresses, glamour-girl bikinis, cheery separates that look like they’re made for poolside cocktails –they’re all part of the native Californian’s eponymous line of mid-century chic. No wonder the likes of Elizabeth Banks and Megan Hilty are fans. Here, the designer gives us a peek inside her closet, and chats vintage shopping, favorite splurges, and more.
clos-ette case: Trina Turk

How would you describe your personal style?

I like clean lines and simple silhouettes, in black and strong colors. If I’m going to wear a print, it’s usually a bold print. I also like big jewelry. I’m pretty tall, so I feel like small jewelry just gets lost. I tend to avoid pastels, little ditsy prints, and anything that’s super ruffly or girly. I generally like things a little more tailored.

What do you collect?

Pretty much vintage everything: vintage Scandinavian modernist jewelry, vintage caftans and vintage hats, vintage kimonos and vintage obis.

So how do you keep all these collections under control?
I have to say [my closet] is not as organized as I would like. I dream of the day I have a bigger area in which to contain my stuff. The main thing for me is just diligence –if you don’t try hard, it can fall apart really quickly.

Trina Turk's celebrity dream closet

How much fun is this closet? 

What’s your ideal shopping experience?

My husband Jonathan is my favorite shopping partner because he used to be a fashion stylist, so he was a professional shopper for many years. We could pretty much have fun shopping anywhere: the vintage shows in LA, a souk in Marrakesh, the Palais Royal in Paris...

What's the most cherished item in your wardrobe?

I wear my mom’s original white gold wedding band every day. I love it because there’s an inscription inside from my Dad to my Mom in broken Japanese.

And your favorite designers?

In terms of vintage designers, I love Pauline Trigère, Rudi Gernreich, Donald Brooks, and Bonnie Cashin. As far as current designer clothing, I’ve bought the most Celine and Lanvin recently. I also like Vince –which is kind of one of my competitors, but I think their things are very nicely designed.


Two of our fave looks: The Alps blouse and Hollywood Hills feather jacket

What do you splurge and skimp on?

I definitely splurge on shoes and bags –those are things we don’t make yet under my own label. Occasionally, I’ll splurge on a piece of vintage fine  jewelry. As far as my favorite budget purchases, I buy these J.Crew v-neck t-shirts to wear as pajamas.

Whose closet would you like to raid?

My number one person is Iris Apfel. She has an amazing wardrobe and an amazing collection ethnic jewelry. If all her clothes were in my size, it would be a miracle and a dream. I’d also like to raid Marisa Berenson’s closet, Tina Chow’s, and Diana Vreeland’s.

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