CREATIVE COUPLE: Jonathan Skow and Trina Turk. Courtesy of Trina Turk.
Our favorite L.A. places: Trina Turk and Jonathan Skow.
By Emili Vesilind
Published on November 10, 2009
Designer Trina Turk is famous for her bold mid-century prints and empirically wearable designs. But in certain L.A. circles, she’s also known as one-half of a fashion power couple -- with her husband, photographer Jonathan Skow.
The pair, who met in apparel design school at the University of Washington in 1981 (Skow ended up switching majors to marketing before graduating), conceptualize and produce all the imagery that comes out of the company — with Skow art directing, styling and photographing every ad campaign and look book (no small task, considering Turk designs ten collections a year).
“He’s pretty involved in every aspect of the business, but he doesn’t really have a desk at the office,” Turk says. “His title is ‘director of inspiration,’” she adds with a laugh. “He even has business cards.” The couple – who were hitched by the justice of the peace in Las Vegas in 1985 – inhabit one of the most gorgeous modernist homes in L.A.: an airy architectural wonder in the Los Feliz hills designed by J. R. Davidson.
Their love of streamlined design from the era recently manifested into Trina Turk Residential – a home-design store concept that launched in Palm Springs and (only a few weeks ago) in Bal Harbour, Fla.
Another of the couple’s perrenial amours is their eclectic Eastside neighborhood – where Thai spas and organic eateries are tucked in between nail salons and quirky gift shops.
We chatted with Turk about where she and Skow — as a couple — love to hang, shop and grab a bite. The haunts and havens are, unsurprisingly, superbly stylish.
Home and Gifts:
OK Store and Gallery
We became acquainted with Larry [Schaffer], the owner of the store, through modernist activities – he lives in a Schindler house. His shop has such an interesting mixture of things. It’s very curated, and feels like someone’s personality, which I love. I bought a ‘60s modernist Danish ring when I was there – he used to collect the stuff and is starting to sell it.
8303 W. Third St., Los Angeles. 323-653-3501, http://www.okstore.la/.
Owner Gerard O’Brien … carries mid-century crafts and artisan-type objects, pottery, woodworking, furniture and textiles. He’ll have a throw that was hand-woven by Maria Kipp or a hand-carved, one-of-a-kind chair. We bought a couple of tapestries for the showroom by Romeo Reyna – these huge weavings, really beautiful stuff. It’s California Arts and Crafts, but not bad Arts and Crafts – sort of higher end. He also has sort of groovy, hippie-but-chic decorative objects.
601 N La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. 323-938-1515,
Over the years, we’ve bought a lot of furniture from those guys. I just think they have a really clear and refined aesthetic that’s very appealing.
1618 Silver Lake Blvd., 323-660-1500, http://www.lawsonfenning.com/.
Their whole mission is [to buy] and serve locally sourced, and we both read all those books by Michael Pollan, which got us thinking about, Where did this food come from? Should we really be eating raspberries in December?
2943 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. 323-662-4740. Local in Silver Lake. Photo courtesy of UrbanSpoon.com
We usually go here for breakfast. It’s super-low key, you can sit outside, you can roll in on Saturday morning without too much effort. And the food’s really fresh and tastes great. And it’s good people watching as far as what are people in Silver Lake are wearing.
3524 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. 323-664-0404.
The Trails Café
If you drive up into Griffith Park about a half-mile, using that entrance that’s just off Los Feliz Blvd. after the Western Ave. bend, there’s a little thing that used to be a refreshment stand. They have these little miniature fruit pies that are so good ... I’ve only ever eaten the pie, but I think they have sandwiches, too. You feel like you’re sort of not in L.A. — like you’re at a campground. It’s really cute and odd. You feel like you’re in the woods.
2333 Fern Dell Dr., Los Angeles. 323-871-2102,
Pilates Plus Silver Lake
I was doing Pilate's forever, but I wasn’t really going anywhere. This is this chain this guy started; it’s really much more difficult than regular Pilate's, but it’s based on traditional Pilate's. It’s more aggressive. It’s designed to change the shape of your body, and I think it’s really working. It’s not an easy little work out. It’s addictive, actually.
2630 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake, 323-660-0300,
We get Thai massages at the Raven on Rowena in Silver Lake. It’s very low-key and not fancy. I used to go to Burke Williams, until I discovered the Raven; then I realized that Burke Williams is useless. Some people I know have been and thought it was too intense. For someone expecting a bird’s-chirping massage experience, it’s not that. It’s simple, it’s reasonable and you feel fantastic.
2910 Rowena Ave., Los Angeles, 323-644-0240,
http://www.theravenspa.com/. The Raven Thai spa. Courtesy of The Raven.