“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one,” John Lennon.
Bling is his thing, but his work defies glitz and the quicksilver nature of fashion. Simon Alcantara’s muses tend to be exotic, adventurous and whimsical; his jewelry as enduring as those modern women who inspire him, each piece mimicking her enduring paradox: femininity combined with personal power. Designs created by a former professional dancer also naturally incorporate the idea of beauty in motion: parts shimmy and shake, capturing the light.
Celebrated fashion designers such as Oscar de La Renta, Balmain and Mary McFadden, who share Simon’s aesthetic, collaborated with the metal artist, helping him establish his namesake label, officially launched in 2000. (In 2004, he was accepted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America.)
More than 850 pages of editorial ink confirm the fact that Simon’s creations, fashioned from precious and semi-precious stones, bone, exotic woods, leather, mother of pearl and precious metals, are totally modern, chic and sensual.
Simon Alcantara first came to Telluride about five years ago at the invitation of a close friend who worked at Beau Staley’s Dolce Jewels, 226 West Colorado Avenue. Since 2008, he has returned to town every year for the Telluride AIDS Benefit fashion show, often donating his pieces for the catwalk. This year, he will simply be an enthusiastic member of the audience at the gala.
A trunk show featuring Simon’s latest work “Dream Phase,” is now on display at Dolce through Sunday, March 3. The collection is, in part his grandfather’s legacy.
“In order for us to manifest anything we must first imagine it. I was blessed to have a grandfather who taught me how to make any day into a magical adventure and that’s the greatest gift I have ever received. I learned to see beyond the obvious and took look for beauty at every turn. In this my latest collection, I feel I have found my voice as an artist. I am now certain of all the techniques I have repeatedly practiced. With my brain out of the way, the voice from my heart can come through.”
At Dolce, Simon feels he has found a perfect home in Telluride.
“Everyone who knows Beau knows he is one of the sweetest men around. The first time we met was on the hour-and- and-a half ride from the Montrose airport to Telluride a few years back, we spoke as if we had known each other for years. It’s been that way ever since and every year our friendship grows deeper. I feel very at home in Dolce because artists as well as designers are represented there. Beau, Natalie and Andrea, as well Illianny (who is one of my dearest friends) and Susan before them, have a great appreciation for art and design. It is great to be someplace you feel your work is valued and being represented in an authentic and meaningful way.”
Simon Alcantara is a native New Yorker born to Dominican parents. As a teenager, he received scholarships from several prominent classical ballet schools and danced professionally for years in both soloist and principal roles. Always holding a passion for designing jewelry, as a hobby he would develop pieces and ultimately cultivated a loyal fan base of aspiring and professional ballerinas. Years later, after a severe injury cut his dance career short, he redirected his focus on creating fine jewelry full time.