Editor – Justin Howard @Jthnomad
Stylist – Zoë Battles @stylebattles
Photographer – Tracey Morris @traceymorrisphoto
Make Up Artist – Cheryl Calo @cherylmkupart
Inspired by the threat of a ‘Nuclear Winter’ with such recent events as the reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan and the visual narratives of films like the Matrix trilogy and Jupiter Ascending by the famed Wachowski siblings – we asked ourselves what would couture swimwear look like in a futuristic society dealing with a nuclear winter. Here is stylist Zoë Battles’ vision of what that would entail.
Justin Howard – You created the vision of ‘Nuclear Winter’ – what’s the story behind it?
Zoë Battles – All I know is I was going for a futuristic look after seeing what Cheryl Calo, the make-up artist, wanted to do with the eyebrows.
Justin Howard – What is your philosophy about the ART of fashion?
Zoë Battles – The ART of Fashion has to be unique, and with quality pieces that make a statement without saying a word. If you can translate an emotion, an era or brand message through the style, then that is a true piece of fashion ‘ART’. Only a skilled master craftsman can to do a Haute Couture piece as well.
Justin Howard – What’s your favorite part about conceptualizing a shoot?
Zoë Battles – After I review the treatment and mood board I love walking the racks at costume houses and PR showrooms to find the right pieces. There is something magical about translating an idea into a reality. It is truly a creative process that has to happen organically. Things fall into place as intended.
Justin Howard – What are some of your accomplishments as a stylist?
Zoë Battles – Mainly, dressing the industry’s most notable celebrities for nearly twenty-five years now. One of the most memorable accomplishments is working with the music icon, Cher, on many many projects, …. Personally a dream of mine came true when I opened my clothing & accessories boutique (2004-2008 on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, CA), called Rubyjean.
Justin Howard – Do you consider yourself an artist?
Zoë Battles – Definitely. Both of my parents are accomplished artists. I definitely get my creativity from them. It was art all day everyday in my house as a kid.
I believe every home should have an huge art studio, massive sculptures, paintings & drawings, gigantic art installations pieces and art supplies.
Justin Howard – Where do you find your inspiration?
Zoë Battles – My parents inspired me as a young adult. Work inspiration comes from a challenge I am given. Recreating looks of the past are usually my most favorite jobs. Working with music artists and coming up with one-of-a-kind looks keeps the juices flowing. Excitement inspires me, a beautiful model, other creative people.
Justin Howard – How would you define your personal style?
Zoë Battles – I’m a Rock-n-Roll hippie at heart. My daily uniform is pretty much tight jeans, concert shirts of my favorite bands, leather fringe bags and cool jewelry. I love the whole BOHO chic look. It’s perfect for me.
Justin Howard – How did you get started in styling and costume design?
Zoë Battles – In 1992 I was taking the audio engineering & film production course at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. I quickly met all the right people. The most important was the big record label at that time called Ruff House Records. They hired me as a production assistant on a music video with their recording artist called Kriss Kross. I got bored on set after 2 hours and asked to help the wardrobe lady. I thought it was fun to see the guys look so silly with their pants backwards. Besides their music, wearing those pants backwards is what made them so huge. Everyone in the world was talking about it.
It blows my mind how fashion can really make someone into a huge star. That experience certainly inspired me and I moved to Hollywood with $500.
Justin Howard – As a stylist what is the most challenging part of your job?
Zoë Battles – Working with clients with champagne tastes and a beer budget.
Justin Howard – Who is your most influential fashion designer?
Zoë Battles – There are so many new and old designers I love. The first that comes to mind is Christian Dior. Haute Couture makes me the most excited. I appreciate the skill and time that goes into each piece.
Justin Howard – What is next for you?
Zoë Battles – Current I am working with these two amazing female music artists that I am very excited about. Both are fantastic are the dynamic combination of being both singers & talented songwriters. The best part is their talent on guitar and bass. I love chicks that rock! Check them out –
Ariel Bellvalarie @Ariels_Music
Nik West @NIKWESTBASS