Last night's Dîner en Blanc Chicago event took place near the McCormick Tribune Campus Center (32nd and State Street). I was thrilled to take Industry Buzzz's LuTonya Lang with me this year. Here are five things to know about the event.
1. The elegant tradition was born in France.
Le Dîner en Blanc was founded 30 years ago in Paris by François Pasquier and his close friends. Pasquier recalls, “My family and I lived in Tahiti for several years in the 1980s and upon our return to Paris, we wanted to celebrate with our friends. Our garden was too small, so we decided to host a picnic in the Bois de Boulogne. To make it easier to find each other, we agreed to dress all in white. The dinner was such a complete success that we decided to repeat it again the following year, and again, and again…until eventually, we had more than a thousand guests!”
Today, a whopping 70 cities around the world—from Singapore to Chicago—host their own versions of Dîner en Blanc.
2. The event is budget-friendly, but it’s invitation only. (Here’s how to get an invite!)
So, here’s what happens at Diner En Blanc: 1. You register. 2. You wait. 3. You get the invite, and you your friends dress in white and meet at the secret location for dinner. You can bring your food, or you can purchase food and have it delivered. Follow Dîner en Blanc Chicago on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so that you’ll know when the registration period begins.
3. Once invited, you must follow the dress code.
This can be hard to do for some fashionistas, but the dress code is uninterrupted white. So please respect this tradition. (And, when we all dress alike, it’s a beautiful thing--especially when it's time for the Napkin Twirl!).
4. People will stare--embrace it!
Once the secret location is revealed, you will join a crowd of thousands to meet there. The general public may not be ready to see so many people dressed in white at the same time, so just smile and wave as you make it to your destination.
5. Prepare to make new friends.
You will never meet a stranger at Dîner en Blanc Chicago. There’s something about eating together in an open space that brings people closer. Be prepared for kindness, compliments and meeting your new best friend.
Dîner en Blanc Chicago will forever change you.