Multi-talented local artist Maja Ruznic is a special San Francisco breed; she’s as adept with a paintbrush and canvas as she is with a frock and baubles. To see how this über-creative lady mixes her interests in art and fashion (her mother is a vintage dealer), we hiked over to Maja’s eclectic Potrero Hill home-studio to peep her on-the-spot sartorial creations. Be sure to get inspired by her artful getups after the jump!
R29 READER BONUS: Tell us in the comments about your most creative summer ensemble and one lucky reader will get a custom artwork by Maja!
Photos by Carolina Ramirez
How does fashion influence your art and vice versa?
"My style is largely influenced by my mother who re-furbishes vintage clothing. And as an artist, the sense of mending something that has no value and infusing it with life again is a huge part of my practice. The ball in the picture I actually made out of clothes that my mother could not redeem and I took it upon my self to make her ‘rejects’ into a piece of art. I also got this yellow vest from my mother’s collection and always knew that I wanted to wear it with a yellow dress, since I love to wear different shades of the same color together. The boots give the look a more urban feel."
Where do you shop for your clothing?
"I love to get clothes from my mom, who sells incredible vintage clothes at various flea markets around the Bay Area. I am lucky that I often get the first pick! Aside from my mother’s closet, I also like to shop at Wasteland, Crossroads, and Buffalo Exchange. Once in a while I will find a cool gem at Goodwill. And Zara is my go-to place for simple dresses!"
Do you have any style icons?
"I often find inspiration in artists who work with textiles and fabric. Performance artist Nick Cave is someone who I absolutely love. My philosophy on clothes is that everyone’s body is different and there is no reason why we should blindly follow trends. I like to work with what I think looks good on my body—whether or not it is in style."
What's your philosophy when it comes to accessorizing?
"I love silver jewelry and believe that more is definitely more! I am picky, however, with the jewelry I buy, as every piece has to have a story. For example, this ring with no stone is a purchase I made after graduating from college. It used to have a beautiful turquoise in it, which was destroyed after years of hand washing and showering. (I never took it off!). I like the other turquoise ring because the stone is yellow-green, as opposed to bright blue. I learned from the store clerk that this is because it never got the proper coating that would make the turquoise keep its bluish-green color and that over time, it would disintegrate. I loved the ephemeral quality of the un-coated turquoise and the idea that it was somehow damaged and would soon break due to its imperfection."
How would you describe your style?
"Like my art practice, which is multi-media, my fashion style is also not uniform. Depending on my mood, my outfits can range from elegant to ridiculous! With this outfit I was going for a relaxed, simple, gypsy look, with minimal emphasis on the ‘gypsy’ part. I try not to make a certain aesthetic take over the entire look. And as a tall woman, I like things that make me look even taller—like this high-waisted DKNY skirt. The navy top is a flea market find that I fell in love with instantly. Overall, I like to feel sexy without exposing too much skin."
Your hair is amazing! Do you have any tips?
"Masha Parshay is the only person I let touch my hair. She takes her time and treats every curl like it is special. Because my hair is very dry, I am obsessed with good products. I use Bed Head Foxy Curls Shampoo and Curly Sexy Hair Conditioner. I also like to put Jojoba oil into my hair after washing as a leave-in conditioner. I hardly every use a blow dryer and usually let it dry naturally. I don’t mind it when it looks a little crazy—but I do tame my beastly bangs with a straightening iron."
Readers can check out Maja's work in a group show at Million Fishes Gallery , now through Sunday, July 24th. Get more information here and be sure to stop by her live performance at the show's closing.