• Top by Kain; jeans by Current/Elliott; necklace by Isabel Marant; belt by Gucci; cuff by Carolina Bucci

    It is Saturday evening. I am at Jessica Alba’s house in Beverly Hills, cozier than any interviewer has a right to be, in a chair the actress painstakingly sourced from Craigslist, re-stuffed and reupholstered, my feet perched atop a footstool she insisted I rest them on (only after she admired my boots, identifying them with a knowing “Marant” whisper). But the truly surreal element? I am singing the theme tune to ’80s children’s TV show Thundercats. And, just as the moment appears to reach a peak of incredulity, Alba tops it, with a perfectly timed, full-of-gumption, “Ho!” (If you’re still nonplussed, I recommend a YouTube search; the out-of-body nature of this situation will quickly make itself apparent.)

    This, though, is pure Jessica Alba. A woman who manages to appear

    all at once otherworldly – a creature of such physical perfection she could have been conceived in an MGM lot – and yet, exactly like the girlfriend you will meet for brunch later this week, complete with flaws, frustrations and a willingness to be totally herself, for better or worse.

    Tonight, having just returned from a child’s birthday party, 31-year-old Alba is relaxed and in typical weekend mother-and-wife mode. Life appears to be in balance – a notion the actress puts paid to immediately. “I don’t balance. I’m so embarrassed I was late [Alba was still on her way home when I arrived], but I was cleaning up and trying to be a good auntie to the birthday girl and a good friend to my girlfriend. I don’t balance well. I just try to do the best I can.”

    The evening routine swings into action and an adorable four-year-
    old Honor, Alba’s eldest daughter with entrepreneur husband Cash Warren, has time for a quick hello to “Mommy’s British friend” before she’s off to change out of her party dress and brush her teeth. Alba herself is clad in blue jeans and a

    “I don’t BALANCE [work and home] WELL. I just try to do the BEST I CAN”

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