Last night, I was having drinks in Bryant Park when suddenly, a sea of people dressed all in white took over the park. My friends and I couldn’t help but stare in wonder and a little bit of envy, wanting to know what exactly was going on, and at the same time, wishing that we were a part of it. It felt like it had come straight out of a movie, perhaps a Gatsby related event even. Whatever it was, I was determined to find out: I needed to know. My opportunity arose when, upon entering the ladies room, I saw one of those such white-clad people fixing her makeup. She was happy to share the much coveted information with me. The name of the event: Dîner en Blanc.
I had never heard of this event and immediately took to googling. Dîner en Blanc is relatively new to New York, as this was only the third annual event held here. It originated in Paris twenty-five years ago, by François Pasquier, who, having just returned home after living abroad for a few years, decided to throw a dinner party with all of his friends. Each of his friends brought a friend, and everyone wore white. Thus, Dîner en Blanc was created.
Dîner en Blanc is highly exclusive. To be able to participate one must either receive an invite, or be randomly selected from their waiting list. The events are held in public places that are usually crowded and were not meant to host this type of thing. The locations are not disclosed until thirty minutes prior to the start of the festivities, then guests scramble from their designated meeting places in order to get there and set up. Everyone is dressed head-to-toe in white, bringing with them everything that they will need: a table, two white folding chairs, a white table cloth, a picnic basket with food and tableware.
Last night, four thousand people were at Bryant Park for Dîner en Blanc. Four thousand. When I described it as a sea of people, I was not exaggerating. I put myself on the waiting list and hopefully will be one of those people next year.