Trina Turk is quick to laugh, to notice an architectural element that stands out, to draw on her Southern California background for inspiration. Since 1995, she’s been inspiring forward thinking women who believe that fashion doesn’t mean being a victim, embracing her figure flattering clothes with a vehemence that made Barney’s NY, Fred Segal LA and Saks Fifth Avenue embrace the West Coast-based designer who threw the rules out the window from the very beginning – and leading her to relationships with Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus and many fabulously chic tastemaker boutiques around the nation.
Having quickly evolved into a multi-million dollar business based on creating wearable skirts, pants, blouses and dresses that are chic, yet casual. Turk is the kind of free-spirited look that transcends age, location and even occupation. It is that rosetta stone approach to pretty that makes the Palm Springs-based arbiter of day-to-night, office-to-dinner something more than standard issue wear-alls.
With influences ranging from Nancy Drew to Marlo Thomas’ “That Girl” and the many variations on Mary Tyler Moore, the 2005 Fashion Achievement Award winner at the Los Angeles Fashion Awards is a perfect mirror for the certain girl who makes C. Orrico her world.
And this is quick taste of the esprit du vie who shall be gracing the Palm Beach store for a very rare personal appearance on March 22.

CO: Your clothes are so wearable, yet they’re superchic, supercute, super sexy. How do you do it?
TT: I think if a woman is going to be sexy, she has to be very comfortable, especially in her clothes. Let’s be honest: fussing with an outfit just isn’t sexy.
CO: And that comes from a practical place?
TT: Well (laughing) I know what I do in a day. You’re busy, active, working… When you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, you put on your outfit, then you don’t want to think about it again.
CO: Well, what inspires you?
TT: Fabrication… Fabric is something we love, and it’s the most important part of what I do! We just got back from Premiere Vision, which is the premiere show for fabrics that happen two times a year in Paris. We were looking at the new developments, what’s coming and that gets you inspired. Plus I have a huge collection of vintage things.
You have to put that fabric together in a style that makes people want to put it on, something that looks great on them. But it starts with the fabric.
CO: Is anything else inspiring?
TT: I’m very inspired by my environment in Los Angeles. It’s super diverse. I love the architecture, all the cultures that are going on here….and then the thing I love about Palm Springs is how mid-60s and ‘70s it is. Their architecture and being in the desert! There’s a lot of prints and color… they’re definitely not shy. No, it’s very cocktail by the pool, very bold fashion.
And in Palm Springs, it’s a place where I can’t wear black. It truly begs for color.
CO: You started your career with OP… Did Ocean Pacific influence you?
TT: I didn’t realize it at the time. But I learned how to do the prints, to work with color, even how to work with combine color to make beautiful fabrics.
It was just junior clothing, but it gave me the tools to do what I’m doing today.
CO: Do you surf?
TT: I never learned how to surf… My brother was the surfer. I spent a lot of time at the beach. When you’re a kid in Southern California, you don’t know it’s “a culture,” you just live in it, and it manifests. But it’s not something you’re thinking about…
CO: Still escape is a big part of what your clothes provide! Even sitting at work…
TT: Our women are professional… a lot of interior designers, graphic designers, realtors. These are women who have a bit more freedom and creativity in how they look going to work. And they all understand the varying modes of escape: it can be the Cayman Islands or a massage, but they embrace that.
We get a broad range of women who understand that… We get Moms and teenagers, both shopping in our store; maybe not buying the same pieces, but they’re both finding things they love. In Palm Springs, we’ll even get older customers, who have a very young attitude and have taken care of their bodies; they want clothes that reflect that, which is great.
So we try for a classic American look, and I’d prefer people to think it’s chic more than sexy. If we err on the side of chic, then I think we’re okay.
CO: That’s certainly Palm Beach! Is there anything you hope to see while you’re here?TT: I’ve only been there in the summer, so this is my first visit ‘In Season.’
I hope to see people wearing wild colors, walking around. I hope to see what I have in my head. I may not, but it would be so cool to see people wearing all the brightest colors… and my husband and I are also looking forward to seeing all the vintage furniture stores on Dixie Highway.
CO: So you’re going to have fun while you’re here?
TT: We have fun all the time. People sometimes think I’m this really happy person, because of the line… but it’s really because we all love what we do. That leaves its mark: the happiness and the optimism just come out in the clothes.

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