A black Triumph sits at the doorstep of Miss Balas’s atelier in a small quite street just around the corner from Rue de Rivoli. Upon entering I’m greeted by a cool husky voiced Alice. Admittedly she had spent the previous night out, and it’s expected because this girl has inner night demons and then she is overtly talented when we are talking perfectos and art direction. She gives me a run down of her travel photos because travel features heavily in her life and mind. This is an introduction to Alice Balas.
I do pretty much everything concerning the brand I created 8 month ago, called Alice Balas. It is a mono product fashion brand, based on the iconic biker jacket that Irvin Schott created in the 1920. The concept is to create unique pieces and customised jackets for people. Produced in Paris with the best leathers, I want every jacket to have a special life, for a special person. It is not so much about being fashion, as the “Perfecto” is, I think, a timeless and essential piece of any dressing.
The art of photography..
I have a deep passion for photography since I was very little. I do a lot of photography myself with old film cameras such as a Nikon FM2 or a Rolleiflex. I have always been working with images. I am much more a visual person than a word one… It is a lot about an aesthetic, influences, references and visual stories.
Day to day..
I go to my studio in the 1st district of Paris with my motorbike, do some work there then I usually have different meetings to go to or a portrait to shoot, which I do at my flat or in a studio. Probably a drink with friends at Le Puebla or Perchoir, then dinner in a nice restaurant or at my place as I like cooking for my friends. Then either a run with the Paris Running Club or I take in a movie. Sometimes maybe party at Le Baron or Montana.
I like to have a consistency in some way whilst keeping all the jackets unique. I can travel to India or South America to buy vintage and precious material, and do a few pieces with what I find. Sometimes I like to push the limits and work a few jackets into pieces of art. I also love work collaborations, with artists for instance, to create a print, or to work directly on the jacket. There are a million possibilities and it is just the beginning.
I think there are some great Turkish artisans that could be interesting to work with to re-create and re-invent. A mix of modernity with ancestral technics is very interesting.
The Balas moto..
Keeping faith on what you want, what you like, what you create and not listening too much to the people around who tells you to do this and that.
Can you tell us about five objects that surround you every day that you consider important and describe each?
Unfortunately I have to say my iPhone. It is super practical but also sometimes too much…
My motorbike: a Bonneville Triumph black that I got for my 30th birthday. I love riding in Paris, at anytime. It is a beautiful feeling.
My moleskin notebook: I write and draw a lot, ideas, references, to do list… Anything.
My red lipstick, always matte. It makes you feel pretty and confident in any situation.
My “perfecto” jacket. I wear it in all conditions. A thin or thick perfecto, with a big coat in winter over the top or with just a thin shirt underneath. It can be black, green, red, silver …!