Fresh off a fantastic showing at New York Fashion Week, Trina Turk is returning home to Palm Springs to close Modernism Week 2014 in signature style. Besides designing the pool terrace at the first-ever Modernism Week Showcase House, the undeniable doyenne of California style, elegance, and colorful sophistication is also delivering the closing lecture of Modernism Week at the Rancho Mirage Library. The lecture will be followed by a sold-out reception at Sunnylands, which hosted President Obama and the Prince of Jordan just a few short days ago (see Obamageddon!). We caught up with Trina last week to talk about her inspiration and more.
Your clothing is known for referencing mid century modern style, especially its fun and glamorous Palm Springs side. What sparked your interest in that era? Was it something that you grew up with or did you discover it later?
I grew up in California in the 60’s and 70’s, so the aesthetic of that time period must have somehow sunk in. In the early 80’s during my “new wave” days, we all looked back to the late 50’s and early 60’s for inspiration. Currently, our clothing references mid century primarily through print. I’ve always been attracted to the bright graphic patterns of mid century design. We make it new through styling, fabrication and fit.
Tell us a little bit about your home in Palm Springs. What drew you to the desert?
Our home in Palm Springs is called The Ship of the Desert. It’s a 1936 Streamline Moderne house by architects Erle Webster and Adrian Wilson. We first considered purchasing a home inPalm Springs in the early-mid 1990’s when my husband, Jonathan Skow, was working in the desert often on fashion photo shoots. At that time, there were some real bargains on mid century homes.
As well as your clothing line and your homes in Silverlake and Palm Springs, youʼre also known for having an exquisite collection of mcm furniture and accessories. What was the first piece you found? Whatʼs your favorite piece?
Some of our earliest midcentury furniture purchases were at thrift stores in Seattle–probably Heywood Wakefield pieces from Value Village or the Salvation Army. It’s hard to say what my favorite piece is now, but I love our giant dandelion sculpture–possibly by Jack Boyd–that we purchased from Fat Chance at the Palm Springs Modernism show several years ago.
Youʼve done your second collection for Schumacher (a line of indoor / outdoor fabrics). Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to do a fabric collection?
The Schumacher partnership came about when we were interested in printing some of our iconic Trina Turk patterns on fade/water/stain resistant indoor/outdoor fabric. We had experiemented with printing on cotton canvas from our apparel fabric suppliers, and it just didn’t hold up outdoors. Schumacher happened to be considering an outdoor line at the same time, and everything just clicked.
Youʼve designed for the Christopher Kennedy Compound for Palm Springs Modernism Week. Can you tell us a little bit about your design? Which fabrics are you using?
We are creating a pool area using a combination of new and vintage patio furniture with cushions in green and blue colorways of Trina Turk Indoor/Outdoor for Schumacher prints: Peacock in Pool, Beauty Bark in Sulfur, Soleil L.A. in Aqua, Zig Zag Weave in Laguna and Carmel Coastline in Laguna. We will feature new, made-in-Calfornia Haskell designed patio furniture, along with vintage Van Keppel Green sun shades, and Trina Turk ice buckets, pillows and towels.
Youʼre giving a lecture at Sunnylands on Sunday, February 23rd. Without giving away the whole talk, what is it about the house and about Walter and Leonore Annenberg that youʼve found so inspiring?
The presentation I’m doing on the 23rd is called “Sunnylands Chic”. It’s about how the style of Sunnylands is so inspirational for current style in the desert , and how it relates to Trina Turk. For anyone interested in architecture, interior design or landscape design, it would be impossible not to be inspired by a visit to Sunnylands.
Tickets are still available for Sunnylands Chic, Trina Turk’s lecture at the Rancho Mirage Library. The reception at Sunnylands is completely sold out.
Trina Turk and Sunnylands Chic Lecture and Reception
February 23, 2014
3:30pm to 6:30PM
Cost: Lecture only $30 / Reception SOLD OUT (purchase tickets online)
Rancho Mirage Library
71100 Hwy 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270