Just after my birthday a few weeks ago, Mackenzie took me to Paris for a whirlwind trip – just 24 hours in the City of Love! Whilst there, I was invited to participate in an incredible High Jewellery workshop at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, the historic Parisian jewellery maison.
Van Cleef & Arpels was founded in 1896 by Estelle Arpels and her husband Alfred Van Cleef at 22 Place Vendôme in Paris. Often featuring flowers and animals, their timeless, iconic pieces have been worn by style icons such as Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor.
The masterclass takes place steps away from the stunning Place Vendôme, in the beautiful and majestic Hôtel de Ségur. You can book to take part as well and wow, what a fascinating, magical experience it was!
The whole day was like a dream, we took a walk along the river in the morning, had lunch at the Ritz, and then trotted over the road to begin the masterclass.
Over the course of two hours, I was able to experience firsthand the various steps involved in creating jewels: from the sculpting and modelling of the wax (my favourite part) to the carving of the metal, learning various different clasps that hold diamonds and other gemstones, and the ancient technique still used to polish gemstone settings. Expert jewellers guide you through the whole process at your very own workshop desk, complete with a professional white coat and magnifying glasses! Yes, I loved that.
One of my favourite parts? At the end of the workshop, I stopped by Van Cleef & Arpels’s window and while admiring the jewels, I realised I could see past the sparkle and appreciate the knowledge and exquisite craftsmanship that go into each work of art. I left so inspired – couldn’t recommend this workshop as part of your next trip to Paris, enough!