Pushing The Conceptual Boundaries of DesignStaying In Style
Alston Stephanus, one of Indonesia’s most prominent jewelry and accessories designers, made a brief comeback to his homeland to celebrate his 11-year journey of creating fine jewelry that has been sought after both in Indonesia and abroad.
Held at the prestigious The Dharmawangsa Hotel in South Jakarta and attended by his close friends, colleagues and socialites, Alston returned to the city after a decade of studying in the UK, Singapore and the US. Alston used his time abroad to extend his knowledge on global philosophies and find creative inspiration - both of which heavily contribute to his designs. It also helped him to widen his network and make new connections for his jewelry line Alston Stephanus Accessories, which was first established in 2005 in Jakarta.
Throughout the years, Alston has created hundreds of jewelry designs and accessories, many of them in collaboration with artists and notable fashion figures. In December 2012, he designed the Bird of Paradise headpiece for Italian actress Tea Falco, which she wore on a special occasion at Milan’s La Scala Theatre.
In December, Alston crafted seven elaborate masks for the opening of an exhibition by Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno for her Takarabune collection at California’s Nucleus Gallery. The masks were part of the opening performance called “The Dance of the Seven Lucky Gods“. The masks were also showcased at Alston’s recent event at Dharmawangsa, along with numerous pictures documenting the show.
“I’ve known her [Junko] since 2002 and she is one of my idols. She personally contacted me about the show’s opening, which was about Japanese mythical creatures,” Alston recalled.
Despite his success on a global stage, Alston, who was born in 1987, has never forgotten about his roots: he always infuses Indonesian culture - mostly Javanese as his ancestors come from the island of Java - into his works, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces of art with a Victorian touch.
“Indonesia is a very [culturally] diverse country and although I haven’t touched all cultures yet, I would love to do so,” he said.
Alston loves to push boundaries and uses high quality material, most of which are sourced locally, such as rare stones, beads, brass and silver to create stunning necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, brooches and - his specialty - headpieces.
In fact, he feels that one of his greatest pieces ever was the headpiece and scepter he made for Miss Indonesia 2005 Nadine Chandrawinata when she competed in the Miss Universe pageant - and won second place for best costume. Alston Stephanus Accessories has also been the official jewelry brand for the annual Miss Tourism Indonesia pageant since 2008.
Alston’s stunning collections have been showcased in countless of events, including Taruna K. Kusmayadi’s fashion show “Lomba Perancang Mode” (2005), F. Widayanto’s “China Dream” (2010), Disney’s D23 EXPO Mousequerade Costume Competition in the “Best of Star Wars” category (2015), and many more.
Besides Indonesia’s cultural heritage, Alston said, his inspiration “comes from feminine energy and entity, either from an actual person like [American actress] Dita von Teese, or from [something more conceptual] like Mother Earth: plants, insects and animals.”
For more information, visit www.alstonstephanus.com