MAJA RAVN SCENOGRAPHER AND COSTUMIER
August 1, 2019

As one of Denmark’s most artistic and sought after costumiers and scenographers, Maja Ravn is more aware of the power of clothes than most.  Her personal style is inspired by international fashion as well as the tailors she works with at the theatre, though it’s become less noisy the more well known she’s become. 

How do people dress at the theatre?

I work in a lot of different theatres, but most of the time I work at The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. It’s interesting to observe the actors transition to and from the stage. They’re developed like a photograph once they walk onto the stage, and until then they tend to walk around in yoga pants or sweat suits. They need to strip themselves of their personality and style in order to be able to portray and enhance whatever character they’re playing. I tend to do the same, to downplay my sense of self and personal style so that I can focus on the clothes I’m creating.  In a way you notice people’s personalities more when they’re wearing more neutral clothes, and I guess that’s what we all tend to do at the theatre. In that way the theatre isn’t the most interesting place clothing-wise, but of course the costumes compensate for that. 

What matters most to you when you buy new pieces of clothing?

I work with some of the most talented tailors in the country, and that privilege has affected me a lot. I’m inspired by the craftsmanship and beauty of the costumes they create, and the tailors remind me that I have to make an effort with my clothes. I don’t want poorly constructed clothes, I’d rather have a few, pricey items than a lot of cheap clothing. Creating clothes is a craft, and I’m in awe of the costumes the tailors create at the theatre. When I buy clothes for myself I look for the same sense of detailing, silhouette, quality and cut. Creating clothes like that is costly, and if I had all the money in the world I’d wear crazy beautiful outfits every day. While I tend to stick to classic and somewhat sexless staples, nothing makes me happier than watching a girl walk down the street in a colourful, gaudy dress. Sometimes I’m seized by spring, by a want of poetry or of curiosity, and then I put on a playful dress. I should do that some more, actually. 

How has your style changed over time?

My style was a lot more boisterous when I was younger, especially when it came to colours. I think some of it had to do with a sense of belonging and visibility in the world: The less visible I felt, the more visible I wanted to be with my clothing. These days I don’t make my mark with clothes, so I’ve become more invisible clothing-wise. Perhaps I’ve moved a bit too far in that direction, though, I could definitely be more creative with my clothes. I used to experiment more with combining very casual clothing with luxurious pieces, I liked playing with the balance between the perfect and the imperfect. I don’t do that so much anymore.