Since 2005, his name has been well known in the Indonesian fashion industry, but who would have thought, that this accessories designer just turned 24 years old last February 10? Somehow, at his young age, Alston Stephanus and his creations have a superior quality. He is an avant-garde accessories creator with complex detail, breaking all pre-existing conservative styles. His hand-made works are innovative, consistent, and character defining.
His Inspiration Comes from the Baroque Era
Our records show that the Alston Stephanus Accessories brand can be traced back, edition after edition, as one of the more popular brands used by Le Mariage. So many of our fashion pages have been enhanced with the sophisticated masterpieces of Alston Stephanus. One has to admit, that Alston’s unique attention to detail makes his brand of accessories very difficult to substitute.
On the day that Le Mariage visited the Alston Stephanus Accessories boutique to borrow some pieces for an upcoming photo shoot; we got an unusual feeling when we entered. There we are in Pondok Indah, in an elite area in Jakarta, standing in this dark and quite room. It soon became clear that this specific setting was created for a very dramatic and glamorous impression. The dominating black wall leads into the living room and gallery space, which are separated by a massive tree that soars up to the ceiling. Under a crystal lamp that Alston made, there are two large showcases facing one-another where he displays his collection of colorful accessories; some of which are hanging on the tree branches as well. In the corner of the room, there is a window dressed with black curtains that faces the garden where birds will sometimes perch and sing to break the silence. What a stark difference this boutique is compared to others that are mostly bright romantic white and full with the sparkling silver.
This Jakarta-born man has intentionally designed his boutique to reflect the Baroque era, which took place at the end of Renaissance. “My boutique concept is influenced by fairytales from the Baroque time period. I love fairytales so much, that I decided to incorporate some of their elements into my boutique,” says Alston, helping us to define his concepts. In history, European art between 1600-1750 had many significant breakthroughs. Rebelling from tradition, the combination of light and color was a visual characterization of that time. Confident artists created their masterpieces to have soul, emotion, and strong distinctive features. That essence is what Alston took to make his boutique concept and he applies it to each of his handmade accessories. He has courage to express his ideas, which makes his accessories blossom. The combination of Swarovski crystals, natural stones, precious metals, French lace application, and feathers appear unexpectedly to make an amazing work of art. He also does not hesitate to combine European and Indonesian styles. The result? Classy accessories that look completely different to what’s been made before. “My inspiration also derives from peacocks. The bird’s ever-changing colors make it look beautiful and elegant,” explains Alston about the color choices of the accessories.
Character is Quality
When beauty and quality are perfectly combined, something truly remarkable is made. “I believe that accessories are different according to everyone’s character, and my work reflects that. It’s challenging way to explore my talents,” Alston states when describing the quality of his work. Even though much of his time is spent in college activities, this double-degree student of Regent’s American College, London and Webster University, London, still finds the time to keep exploring his creativity.
Alston tries to handle each client personally, believing that a one-to-one client base it best for his brand. He does not hesitate to go to the workshop to melt and combine metals to the exact specifications of his clients. Although, recently, much of his time is spent in the United Kingdom, he still holds videoconferences and phone calls with his team in Jakarta to lead them into creating new accessories.
Young and Talented
Looking back to his beginnings as a designer in 2005, Alston soon started to encounter a higher demand in his accessories. This led him to create the Alston Stephanus Accessories brand we know today. At the age of nineteen, he was trusted to design a crown, scepter, brooch and earrings to be used by Nadia Chandrawinata, Indonesian Miss Universe 2005. His designs won second place in the Miss Universe 2006 National Costume competition in Los Angeles, California. In 2008, he got the opportunity to collaborate with fashion designer Florence Liem for the Hong Kong Fashion Week in Wan Chai, China. In the same year, the El John Indonesia Foundation asked him to be the official designer of the crown and accessories for the winner of Miss Tourism Indonesia every year.
Alston’s achievements can be accredited to his strong will, solid team members and, great mentors. Those three keys of success give a spirit to Alston and his team to create the most ideal accessories that will never go out of style. “I don’t follow trends, because that’s one of the most important characteristics of being different,” says Alston. Talking about his mentors, he mentions two women, “First, my mother. For me, she’s not only a mother, she a teacher, a best friend – a friend to share everything. The second one is my late grandmother. She gave me a red pendant that I always wear.”
The Story of a Future
Alston’s concentration and success in the accessories world does not limit him. His interests also lie in horse riding. As an equestrian athlete from the Falco Riding School Stable, Jakarta, he represented West Sumatra in the 2004 National Sports Week (PON), in South Sumatra. In 2008, he competed again in the same category, but representing East Borneo. This young soul has dreams. Alston will graduate university next May, with renewed commitments to working hard. His ultimate goal is to, “Have the opportunity to have my accessories worn by Ms. Dita Von Teese. She is my idol, my muse, and my inspiration. I also hope I can participate in the multisport SEA Games in the categories of horse mounting and dressage.”
Writer: Elisabeth Riris