having evolved from a purveryor of equestrian gear to one of the planet's most coveted luxury brands is no mean feat. and while each item from its elaborate product range flaunts a flawless haute artisanry, the house of hermès likes to step it up a little by way of special showcases. the so-called festival des métiers is a traveling event which rallies a group of highly skilled hermès artisans and has them demonstrate how meticulously crafted whatever it is they're making, and how top quality is in fact the opposite of today's mass production. coinciding with its 10th anniversary in the netherlands, hermès has brought the festival des métiers to amsterdam – that's an absolute first for the calvinist country – where it has quite appropriately set up camp at de hollandsche manège, the oldest riding school in the country. a total of eight artisans, each with a booth of their own, demonstrate their refined skills, ranging from saddle making and crafting an iconic kelly bag, to painting porcelain plates, and printing exuberant silk scarves [on through apr 10 / open: 11am-6pm / closed on apr 4]. location: de hollandsche manège, entrance is right next to vondelstraat 179 [oud west].