What is this Diner en Blanc we have heard whispered about? “At the last minute, the location is given to thousands of friends and acquaintances who have been patiently waiting to learn the “Dîner en Blanc’s” secret place. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space.” The concept is simply to enjoy a refined dinner, and bring together people from diverse backgrounds with all the glamour of court society.
The first Diner en Blanc in Los Angeles took place in 2013 on the streets of Beverly Hills. The primary host in LA is Aymeric Pasquier, one of the original founder’s sons. The tradition began in Paris over 25 years ago, where they have hosted dinners at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Champs-Élysées. There are now 60 annual dinners held all over the world.
What happens at Diner en Blanc? Guests first dress head-to-toe in white. That is white, not off-white, not cream, white. From photographs of past events, style is the order of the day, mixing fashion with a bit of artistic playfulness. Each couple then brings a card-sized table, two white chairs, white place settings and a picnic to a pre-selected location. Centerpieces are encouraged. Alcohol may be pre-purchased over the website; it is not BYOB. Any other instructions will ostensibly be included in the invitation. Although the event is technically free, there is an $8 membership fee. This year there is a fee of $35 to offset costs of services like licenses, lighting, bus rental, and “surprises.”
The dinner will take place Thursday, August 27, 2015 and that’s all anyone knows. The location is kept top-secret. Diners will be informed when and where to meet, and will then be transported to the dinner. How do you get invited? You cannot buy your way in. As the saying goes, “It’s who you know.” Previous attendees and volunteer leaders, along with their guests, will be “phase one,” and will receive their invitations first. These members are then each able to sponsor one person and a guest, who will comprise the second phase of invitations. Now this is where you come in. There is also a certain element of luck. Applications for the waiting list are now being accepted on their website. Lucky guests will be notified by email on Thursday, August 20, at noon. The best part of all? Next year, you will become phase one guests and have the ability to sponsor others.