On Friday evening, Clarence Fuller’s Signs of Love made its premiere at the Brooklyn Film Festival, kicking off the weekend event. The film follows a struggling young man named Frankie (Hopper Penn), who meets a deaf woman named Jane (Zoë Bleu), and suddenly has hope for love. For Bleu, seeing the project finally hit the big screen was surreal, as it was filmed in 2020. “It was my first premiere for a film that I’m a part of,” says Bleu. “It was my first time seeing the film. It was really crazy to see myself on screen. I also never got to see a lot of the actors perform, because [we shot it during] COVID, so I’m really proud of everyone involved.”
Bleu learned sign language with the help of a tutor in roughly three weeks—no easy feat. “It was really difficult to learn—it’s hard to memorize all of the movements, and I wanted to do it correctly,” says Bleu. “But it’s such a beautiful language.” Through the experience, she says she became a better actor. “I learned to listen to people’s body language, and understand how people communicate through the way they move,” says Bleu. “It gave me the opportunity to learn how to use my body as an instrument to communicate.”
Given how meaningful the project and premiere was to the star, Bleu wanted her red carpet and after-party looks to feel just as celebratory. To do so, she leaned into a Neo-bohemian aesthetic, which was glamorous and in-line with her own quirky style. Ahead of getting ready for the event, she snapped some fit pics in a handmade, corseted Agata Ferrari Bravo dress. For the premiere, she then wore a striking Gucci dress on the red carpet that made her feel like “the most fabulous chicken that ever lived.” She was instantly drawn to the feathered bolero sleeves and all-over crystal embellishment. “It was giving Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy birthday, Mr. President’ dress,” says Bleu. “I love the way Alessandro took a classic bombshell Hollywood shape, and made it modern with a built-in bralette and amazing crystal work. I felt really overdressed compared to everyone—but I’m always overdressed.”
For the after-party, Bleu switched into a Puppets and Puppets gown including a strapless silk bodice. “The back had 10 giant iridescent raw silk bows on it,” she says. “It almost felt like a tail—I went from the most fabulous chicken that ever lived, to the most fabulous reptilian that ever lived.” The look’s accessories were also a standout for her. “The shoes were gold Mary Jane shoes with a Swiss cheese wedge,” she laughs. In general, the star has been leaning into quirkier throwback fashion choices lately. “I’ve been gravitating towards long ‘90s dresses with little kitten heels,” she says. “And little cardigans—very simple, Audrey Hepburn vibes.” That whimsical aesthetic is nothing new for the rising style star. At the fall 2020 Gucci show, she wore a free-spirited red boatneck dress, and on her Instagram, she’ll also show off architectural Nusi Quero corsets or sculptural Alaïa jumpsuits.
Now that the film has premiered, Bleu will be shifting gears towards a bevy of new projects now. For one, she wrote a short ballet film that will come out soon. “It’s also all about body language,” says Bleu. “It’s inspired by the Butoh dance theatre, which was created by Kazuo Ohno [and Tatsumi Hijikata] in the 1960s in Japan.” She will soon also be launching her own clothing line, which will have both couture and ready-to-wear assortment. “It’s everything I’ve dreamt about my whole life: I’ve been designing and sketching for about 10 years,” says Bleu. “We have the couture team in London, where we’re working with old pattern makers who have worked with Alexander McQueen, and our ready-to-wear team is in Mexico.” She also has two under-wraps films coming up, though she has her sights set on fusing both her love of cinema and fashion in the future, too. “I love acting, but what I really want to do is do costume design for film,” she hints.
Below, see Bleu’s three enchanting looks from the Signs of Love premiere.