Trisha Dunn is an interior decorator and the owner of OGVA Design. She’s also a true fashionista who adds a pop of color to any occasion. Her blond hair, blue eyes and bright outfits light up a room when she walks in, and if you ever run into her, you’re likely to see her carrying a Chanel or Louis Vuitton bag.
Growing up in Escanaba, Michigan, in the state’s Upper Peninsula, Dunn wasn’t always into fashion the way she is now, but she’s always had style. A former competitive figure skater, Dunn and her mother designed and sewed her ice skating costumes for several years, beginning when she was 8 years old, and she picked up her mother’s knack for styling, designing and sewing when she was living in Australia in her 20s.
In addition to working as an interior decorator, Dunn is also a jewelry designer, with her own brand called Tart by Trish. Her custom bracelets—made by hand with materials like agate and quartz stones—are abstract art for your arm. Here’s a peek into her closet.
As a child, were you into fashion?
“I would say I was into expressing my individual style. From a very young age, I enjoyed dressing up in ballgowns, heels and large costume jewelry. I never grew out of it. Growing up in a small town wasn’t advantageous for having ‘fashion’ at my fingertips, but I always had my own style and way of putting colors and textures together to make something fashionable and flattering, moreso than being concerned about specific name brands and labels.”
Describe your style in five words.
“Colorful, classy, fun, put-together and ‘Trishified.'”
Who do you look up to when it comes to fashion?
“I respect and can’t argue with Coco Chanel’s classic staples and elegant lines. However, being from a small town, I didn’t have any one person directly in my view that was of any fashion inspiration. I looked mostly within for that and I guess to the TV and magazines in general.
“As I have gotten older, though, looking back, I do really appreciate my grandmother for her bright printed dresses, fur coats for every occasion and ostentatious jewelry. She was an individual and I think individuality and creativity are the foundation of how to wear fashion.”
Who or what got you into fashion?
“I don’t think there was ever a beginning and I doubt there will be an end. I think it was always an innate interest inside. It was really one of the first ways that I could express my personality.
“If I think about it, there are a few poignant influential points: I was a competitive figure skater, and that initially got me interested in working with material, noticing fashion and how to design something that would translate on the ice that was interesting and eye-catching. My mom enabled me by sewing what I created on and off the ice until I could sew myself.
“In college, my minor was in fashion merchandising, and that opened up avenues and allowed different ways of appreciating textures and aesthetic lines. Now my biggest inspiration is travel. Traveling the world opens that fashion file. It gives easier access to beautiful and unique pieces.”
What is the most interesting item in your closet?
“I’d say one of the gold and quartz wrap bracelets I originally made from a jewelry line I created called Tart by Trish. I was traveling around Asia over a decade and a half ago and I met a gentlemen who had agate and quartz. We quickly got acquainted and I started importing stones from him and making bracelets for friends and a small network.
“I usually always have one on and it adds interest and a pop of color, even with a simple dress or T-shirt and jeans. I also absolutely love a new Louis Vuitton bag I just purchased in Paris. It’s from the designer Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton. She’s 94 years old, fabulous and oh so colorful with her latest prints.”
What makes the items in your closet different from most people’s?
“Most everything I own has been ‘Trishified,’ as my friends have labeled it—meaning it’s been altered with pizzazz. From shoes to shirts, I usually embellish, add length, zip it up the side for tailoring, add gold, add fringe, add racing stripes, add rhinestones, add paint, add, add, add—or make from scratch if I can’t find what I’m imagining.”
Are you into designer clothing, shoes and purses?
“Although material items don’t define a person, a favorite piece can make you feel special if it’s attached to a genuine experience. I am more into a specific item I love, more so than a brand, but for me, some brands just work and stand the test of time. Louis Vuitton and Chanel handbags are my go-tos. I also love Generation Love blazers in all the colors, Joe’s skinny jeans and Golden Goose and Giuseppe Zanotti sneakers.
“I’m also a fan of Lulus rompers and jumpsuits. For everyday wear, Adidas track jackets for casual and bright, and J.Crew Nelly Gori coats for colder weather—they always keep things looking put together.
“I really love Reem Acra and I think her gowns are exquisite. Universally, no matter who is designing for the label, Louis Vuitton is my favorite.”
Which item is your favorite designer bag, shoe and purse?
“At the moment, my favorite bags are a bright coral pink Louis Vuitton clutch, a fluorescent yellow zippered clutch, also from Louis Vuitton, and an everyday shoulder bag that has a traditional L.V. pattern with colorful polka dots all over it.
“In addition to bags, one of my Tart by Trish quartz bracelets from my jewelry line is always a staple, plus a magenta leather Generation Love blazer with gold buttons that fits perfectly off the rack and, lastly, a mint green suede pair of Golden Goose sneakers I could walk and have walked miles in.”
What else should we know about you as a fashionista and your style?
“Fashion is what you buy and style is what you do with it. I love seeing when people take their creativity and make fashion their own. We need more of that in the world. Throw out the rules and write your own.”