Renowned artist and costume designer, Jason Alper originally hails from our home town of
London. Over the course of his career, Jason’s had a huge influence on the world of popular culture,
collaborating with the actor Sacha Baron Cohen to bring the characters of Ali G, Borat and Bruno
to life through TV, film, magazine covers and public appearances. Imagine Borat without his lime
green mankini? Ali G without his wet-look shell suits, or Bruno without his outrageously camp
fashionista wardrobe? Jason’s 15 year collaboration with the actor has a lasting legacy.
Always one to push the envelope, Jason is now focussing on his main love, art, and lives in the
sunshine city of LA. Jason invites us in…
What makes you happy?
Living in LA, it’s hard not to be happy all of the time: the backdrop here is nothing short of
breathtaking. There’s never a moment that I take being here for granted. Originally from London,
I’ll never forget those grey skies and windy, wet days. Most days here are around 90 degrees and
I don’t even own a jacket! Maybe knowing that in the back of my mind is the thing that really
makes me happy.
How do you stay positive in challenging situations?
As a rule I never put myself in situations that I’m not comfortable with. I thrive on pressure and
always keep a laid back approach to everything I do, always maintaining a level head. I like to
take a breath and stop for a moment. I simply think instead of panic! It really is that simple. I’ve
never encountered a problem that I couldn’t find a solution for.
What inspires you?
I’ve always been far more visual than academic. I have a photographic memory so I have
amassed an insane databank of images in my mind that I continuously draw upon. Interestingly
enough, I’m rarely inspired by film or TV. But I notice everything around me and have learnt with
age, that it’s the simple things in life that usually spark a fire in my belly during the embryonic
stages of my design process.
How do you rebalance when you feel over stretched?
Rebalance doesn’t exist with a 2 and a 4 year old at home! There’s never time. I enjoy driving
around the streets of LA late at night. I f ind it’s the best place to listen to music and have a word
with yourself. Failing that, a nice Barolo with my wife helps.