“There are characters and dreams that I like to carry with me, through my choice of attire,” says Zoë Bleu, whose style is a striking blend of Edwardian formality and a whimsical otherworldliness. “Depending on the day and how soggy or dry my heart feels, I may become a woman mourning her lover, cloaked in dark hues of violet, red and green... or a child bride, abandoned at the altar... I never want it to make sense.”
Flitting between her native LA and New York, the 21-year-old currently designs subversive, deconstructed pieces for Nautae, an art and fashion collective formed alongside her two best friends, artists Arielle Chiara and Darius Khonsary. A peep through her Instagram reveals a similarly raw aesthetic and obsession with texture, where morphed macro-shots of stoned fruit and wet flowers run through her feed.
From a childhood spent roaming naked in Big Sur to walking for Moses Gauntlett Cheng’s AW15 collection (she is best friends with David Moses), Bleu evidently feels at home with the alternative and avant-garde. This year, she'll pursue acting with starring roles in new feature The Institute and Lifetime movie Mother May I Sleep With Danger.
As for what kind of advice she would give to those yearning for the confidence to be their true selves, Bleu recommends ignoring the outside world completely: “Close your eyes and ears to anything and anyone that tells you you’re not doing ‘it’ right and own your power. Whatever makes you feel like the highest version of yourself... wear it.”
Text Monique Todd