Eve of En­chant­ment

A FAIRY TALE IS BROUGHT TO LIFE AS VAN CLEEF & AR­PELS LAUNCHES ITS HIGH JEW­ELLERY COL­LEC­TION IN WHIM­SI­CAL SPLEN­DOUR AT A HIS­TORIC CHÂTEAU IN FRANCE, WRITES Em­i­lie Yabut-ra­zon

Hong Kong Tatler - - Spotlight -

Rainy skies had cleared by the time the first lim­ou­sines ar­rived at Château de Cham­bord, two hours from Paris, for the global launch of Van Cleef & Ar­pels’ lat­est high jew­ellery col­lec­tion, in­spired by the French fairy tale Peau d’âne. It would be hard to find a lo­ca­tion more apt than the 16th-cen­tury Loire Val­ley château, which looks as if it was built for a fairy-tale princess.

After alight­ing from their mod­ern-day car­riages, the roy­ally at­tired guests were led to the château through elab­o­rately man­i­cured gar­dens bor­dered with grass sculp­tures of myth­i­cal beasts. Once in the main hall, they were served canapés and cock­tails as masked dancers in me­dieval cos­tumes per­formed and bird han­dlers dis­played mag­nif­i­cent owls and other feath­ered friends. Cham­pagne and hors d’oevres con­tin­ued to flow as guests ex­plored the château and its spec­tac­u­lar dou­ble helix open stair­case, re­put­edly de­signed by Leonardo da Vinci.

A Scot­tish bag­pipe band even­tu­ally piped the guests to din­ner, lead­ing them to a lav­ishly ap­pointed red-and-gold ori­en­tal mar­quee set up be­side the cas­tle. Inside were vel­vet-lined chairs and ta­bles el­e­gantly dec­o­rated with

crys­tal gob­lets and thou­sands of colour­ful bou­quets. Be­fore guests en­tered, a fan­tas­ti­cal pa­rade passed by, with a royal car­riage, princesses, ele­phants, uni­corns, jesters, fire­breathers and men with deer heads.

Dur­ing the elab­o­rate five-course din­ner by Miche­lin-starred chef Marc Me­neau, mod­els pre­sented pieces from the new high jew­ellery col­lec­tion. The meal ended with a per­for­mance of songs from the movie Peau d’âne by opera singers Natalie Des­say and Lau­rent Naouri, ac­com­pa­nied by fa­mous French mu­si­cian Michel Le­grand, who com­posed the movie’s score. A daz­zling 30-minute fire­works dis­play, per­fectly timed to a clas­si­cal score, brought the fes­tiv­i­ties to a fit­ting con­clu­sion. Van Cleef & Ar­pels cer­tainly suc­ceeded in recre­at­ing the mag­i­cal world of a fairy-tale princess.

ON PA­RADE A PRO­CES­SION OF MYTH­I­CAL BEASTS, ME­DIEVAL CHAR­AC­TERS AND PRINCESSES WEAR­ING SPEC­TAC­U­LAR JEW­ELS

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