Through The Looking Glass: Alice Jane

Alice Jane looking effortlessly cool in a complete A-Jane ensemble

It is a warm sunny day as we arrive at the A-Jane showroom in the heart of Bangsar. The stylish founder and self-professed fashion composer Alice Jane, greets us, swathed head to toe in an androgynous A-Jane ensemble: striped shirt and pants from her latest collection. “Style is a configuration of who you are,” says the 37-year-old designer. “From your personality, attitude, thinking … everything is reflected in how you dress yourself.” As it appears, her clothing label bears an uncanny reflection of her style: minimalist with an air of architectural rebellion.

Mood board for A-Jane’s current collection

According to Alice, her mother sparked her interest in fashion at an early age. “As a child growing up, I would watch my mother put together an outfit on the sewing machine. She then taught me the basics of garment constructing. That was how we would bond,” she reminisces.

Schreiben: Double (Grido II) by Helmut Lachenmann, Alice’s all-time favourite composer

Prior to launching her eponymous fashion label in 2015, Alice studied film, electronic, and new music at University of Music Freiburg, Germany. “Growing up, I’ve always thought I was going to be a musician. However, that all changed when I developed a passion for fashion during my time in Europe,” she explains. Upon returning to Malaysia, she decided to fuse all her favourite elements in life—abstract music, composition, and fashion—together into a singular body of work. The result? A range of modern and unique pieces that emanate an effortless cool look when worn together.

With a hectic schedule that includes travelling back and forth from Johor Bahru (where her studio/headquarters is located) to Kuala Lumpur, meeting with clients, and handling production, she ensures that her daily outfit encompasses something functional and comfortable. So, on any given day, you will find Alice in an oversized crisp white shirt, wide-legged pants, comfy oxfords, and quirky extras.

Alice remixes classic silhouettes with unconventional styling pieces

After a quick change of outfit at the Bangsar showroom, Alice steps out in a different selection from her upcoming collection: tailored shirt with cascading ruffles, nautical-inspired striped palazzo pants, and a pair of navy foldover leather fringe sandals. “Nowadays, I hardly go shopping. Most of the time, I’d wear clothes from my brand,” Alice reveals, before confessing to having a soft spot for collecting oxford shoes from brands such as Acne Studios, Church, Marni, and Céline, just to name a few.

Alice also speaks fondly about the designers she admires, citing Simon Porte Jacquemus as one of her favourites. “He brings a new level of freshness to the fashion scene with playful designs that are both commercial and conceptual,” she says, and proceeds to proudly point out her shared trait with him: “Did you know that he was also a self-taught designer?”

Alice put together her debut collection for Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready To Wear 2017, which was shown at Pavilion KL in August. At the time of writing, Alice said of the debut: “I’m excited to present and hear the response and feedback from the industry. I have a few tricks up my sleeve.”