To Shana Kroiz, clothes are a backdrop for her jewelry.
The brooch designer, who is also the director of the Maryland Institute Jewelry Center, keeps her clothes simple to accent her sculptural enamel work.
"I want my outfit to look like it was designed for whatever piece of jewelry I'm wearing," says Ms. Kroiz, 28, whose work is currently featured at the OXOX0 Gallery in Mount Washington.
What makes you a great dresser?
I wear basic clothing and exciting jewelry. I go for lush fabrics: silks, chiffons and satins. I would never wear patterns or low-cut tops. Then there are my studio clothes -- usually mock turtlenecks and jeans.
Do you have a good-luck outfit when you're working?
I wear a pair of orange jeans I bought in Hong Kong with a rust-colored mock turtleneck. That makes me feel like my work -- colorful and vibrant. My new series was done in that outfit.
How does being a jewelry designer affect your style?
I used to wear whatever was the latest fashion. Now I don't even read Vogue anymore. I'm more into finding simple clothes -- A-line dresses mostly -- that work with my jewelry.
Which outfit best sums up your style?
A long black chiffon dress that's triple-layered. It's fitted at the waist and then flows out. It's a nice frame for my brooches. I do wear all the latest shoes. I have 25 pairs that I wear regularly.
Why are shoes so interesting?
The forms are terrific. They relate to jewelry. And you can change your look with shoes and jewelry. My favorite is a pair of short boots. They're patchwork brown and black suede with a square toe.
What kind of reaction do you get to them?
People sometimes laugh when I wear them. And occasionally they'll say, "God, your shoes are weird."
What's the most embarrassing thing in your closet?
There are plenty of those. I used to wear a lot of bright colors -- fuchsia, purple, green. I had a pair of lime-green tennis shoes, but my father has them in his attic now. He keeps all the things I want to give away because he thinks I'll want them again.
Where do you shop?
Nordstrom Rack, Cignal, the Bead and Something Else.
Who was your fashion role model?
My Aunt Emmy. She has always been the epitome of style. I learned less is more from her. She works with her husband, my Uncle Stanley, who's an interior designer.
Does being around art students have an impact on your look?
Not too much because I was an art student myself in New York. I LTC did all those things. I dressed wild and dyed my hair pink, so it doesn't seem as appealing. I'm actually glad to not be doing that anymore. It takes a lot of work.
Is there anything you've learned from them?
I like the way they take pajama bottoms or a slip and turn those into fabulous outfits. Students remind me that the fabric is the most important part.
Anything you'd most like to add to your wardrobe to make it complete?
A leather jacket. I like leather because it lasts. It improves with age.
Do you know some dressers? Let us know. Write to Mary Corey, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.