Trina Turk

Hosted by
Fashion designer Trina Turk reflects on the music that inspired her while she was studying design at the University of Washington, including a band with notable hairdos and deconstructed music and a punk band that struck a nerve. She tells Anne Litt about the performer whose unique style is coming back around and reveals the upbeat music that inspires her creative collections.

For more:


1.) The B-52's - Dance This Mess Around
2.) X - Los Angeles
3.) Grace Jones - La Vie en Rose
4.) Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares for Me
5.) Jo Stafford - Smoking My Sad Cigarette


Anne Litt: Hi, this is Anne Litt from KCRW and I am here with Clothing Designer Trina Turk. We are going to talk about the music that has inspired her over the years…Hi Trina

Trina Turk: Hi Anne

Anne: What songs do you have to share?

Trina Turk: Well I have mostly female vocalists, which is something that's always been my favorite. B52's "Dance This Mess Around" is a song that I loved when I was in Design School. I just think that the B52's were such a stylistic thing at that time in the early 80's. I was fairly obsessed with music and fashion, I loved everything about it: the album cover, the style of the band, the hairdo's…

Song: B52's "Dance This Mess Around"

Anne Litt: When did you first hear the B52's?

Trina Turk: Well I guess I must have heard it at a Dance Club--or maybe on the College Radio station at the University of Washington. This is a great song, because it's very deconstructed…not really following any normal pattern of any normal song.

Anne Litt: I'm here with Trina Turk. This is the Guest DJ Project; the song is the B52's "Dance This Mess Around"…Trina, what's your next song?

Trina Turk: X, "Los Angeles." I just remember the first time I heard it…It was so intense and energetic and definitely struck a nerve. We would go to the shows when they would come to Seattle and the raw energy of this song was something that was very appealing to me. At the time I remember that I had a maroon Corvair and so I would listen to it in my maroon Corvair…I loved all of their albums. I think I had them all on the same tape.

Song: X’s Los Angeles

Anne Litt: Its X, "Los Angeles" I'm Anne Litt here with Trina Turk, part of the Guest DJ Project. Trina, what's your next song?

Trina Turk: The next song is Grace Jones' "La Vie en Rose". We actually had fashion shows when we were students in Seattle and this song was one that we used for a fashion show. It was actually a fashion show that was on the bar of a nightclub, like that was the runway… the bar, it was called The Vogue.

Song: Grace Jones' La Vie en Rose

Trina Turk: It's just so romantic, and kind of glamorous in a way…Grace Jones of course is definitely a representation of this Fashion-slash-Music thing. I think her whole style is kind of back…like her jersey jumpsuit with a hood--who doesn't need one of those?

Anne Litt: I'm Anne Litt here with Trina Turk on the Guest DJ Project on The next choice is something slightly different, its Nina Simone "My Baby Just Cares For Me".

Trina Turk: The first time I heard this song, I just was like, ‘What is this song? What am I listening to?’ The song is just very light-hearted and so cool.

Song: Nina Simone’s "My Baby Just Cares For Me

Trina Turk: Its just one of my all-time favorites. I think it's probably a lot of many people's all-time favorites, because it's such a distinctive thing. The way she plays the piano. It's just an amazing song.

Anne Litt: If you're sitting down to work on a collection, is this something that you would put on?

Trina Turk: Yeah, I think this one is definitely a litttle more upbeat than some Nina Simone, so I would say yes just because the clothing that we do is pretty optimistic. So, you know, I don't really listen to “downer music" when I'm trying to do something creative…

Anne Litt: Do you listen to "downer music' some other times?

Trina Turk: Probably not actually, now that you mention it…

Anne Litt: I'm Anne Litt, I'm with Trina Turk it's KCRW's Guest DJ Project and Trina has brought in a 45, an old Columbia Records 45 and I want you to read what it is…

Trina Turk: The song is called "Smoking My Sad Cigarette" and its Jo Stafford. I like the song because we found this 45 and we'd never heard of it before but it's really a fantastic song. This one actually is this very sad ballad. You can just imagine her sitting all alone smoking her sad cigarette (laughs)

Song: Jo Stafford’s Smoking My Sad Cigarette

Trina Turk: Its very moody and cinematic, like you can just imagine what this woman looks like and what she's wearing and what she's doing--it's really a great song.

Anne Litt: I'm Anne Litt, with Tina Turk here; it's KCRW's Guest DJ Project. Trina thanks so much for joining us on today.

Trina Turk: Thank you, it was so much fun to come to KCRW for the first time.





Anne Litt