THE TALE

Hong Kong Tatler - - Spotlight -

Peau d’âne, which trans­lates as “don­key skin,” is the story of a princess who es­capes a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion dis­guised in a don­key skin and even­tu­ally finds true love. Writ­ten in verse by Charles Per­rault and pub­lished in 1695, it’s one of France’s best-loved fairy tales. The princess flees be­cause her griev­ing fa­ther, un­able to find a wife more beau­ti­ful than his late queen, pro­poses to her. The princess is ad­vised by a fairy god­mother to make her con­sent con­di­tional on the king giv­ing her a se­ries of gar­ments that would be im­pos­si­ble to make, such as a dress as bright as the sun. But the finest tai­lors suc­ceed in cre­at­ing them, so the princess flees to the for­est dis­guised in the skin of the king’s prized don­key and be­comes a scullery maid. One day a wan­der­ing prince hap­pens along … and they all live hap­pily ever after.

French di­rec­tor Jac­ques Demy adapted the story in 1970 for his mu­si­cal film Peau d’âne, star­ring Cather­ine Deneuve as the princess and with a score com­posed by Michel Le­grand. The film, which imag­ines a fan­tas­ti­cal world of mys­ti­cal crea­tures, re­splen­dent gowns and mu­si­cal in­ter­ludes, was dig­i­tally re­stored by the Demy fam­ily in 2012 in co­op­er­a­tion with Van Cleef & Ar­pels. The project was the per­fect fit for the jew­ellery house, given the en­chanted mo­tifs it has used since the 1940s.

MU­SI­CAL NIGHT FRENCH OPERA SINGER NATALIE DES­SAY PER­FORMED AT THE GALA DIN­NER

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