On Monday night, youth exercised in its full colors (or white, as it were) descended upon Lincoln Center in New York. The positive energy was palpable as thousands streamed into the iconic courtyard dressed in elegant white. An unspoken connection travelled in the looks between these strangers; they were all there to be a part of Le Dîner en Blanc.
Le Dîner en Blanc first began humbly in Paris in 1988 as a way for François Pasquier to reconnect with friends after time abroad through a picnic in the park. It became a tradition, repeated year after year and growing in size and scope until it became what it is today; a flash mob feast held in outdoor landmark spaces in 22 cities across 5 continents.
Tom Wolfe, meets Nikki Beach, meets iconic city scape, these romantic gatherings are organized entirely by word of mouth and social media. A funny combination of precise planning and spontaneity, the dreamlike dinners are a willful exercise in glamour and revelry and in the creation of something special and unexpected on what could be, any other night.
The dinner site is concealed until the last-minute and guests are directed to meet in groups at predetermined rallying points around the city. These persons dressed entirely in white begin to appear talking animatedly on street corners and in subway cars, inspiring quizzical looks from passersby as they descend en masse toward the night’s revealed location.
Diners are asked to bring their own tables, chairs, and food for the feast and make no mistake, this is no paper plate picnic; from baskets emerge candles, flowers, fine china, crystal goblets, and polished silverware. Partygoers wear masks and feathered headdresses, wigs and fascinators, saris and suits. Together, they create an exotic sea of white, dining and dancing and in the same manner in which they arrive, they are gone again without a trace of the revelry left behind. A pop up feast more living art than dinner, at once silly and special and beautiful, Le Dîner en Blanc transformed Lincoln Center. It inspired and if only for a few hours, beat back the imminent end of summer in high style.