The Magical Dîner en Blanc in L.A.!
on 17/11/16 at 12:07 pma woman walks into a bar..., EVENTS
Last week, the magical pop-up Dîner en Blanc arrived at the Los Angeles Music Center. What luck climate change because evening temperatures hovered in the high ’70’s. The scene of attendees gliding around all in white - everything white! – unfolded on the plaza between the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Mark Taper Forum like an enchanting, dreamlike scene from a Hollywood musical. As choreographed columns of guests streamed in from all directons, alighting from charter buses and on foot, tables and lights were set up across the plaza, while evocative, French-tinged music played in the background to convey the mood that something very special was happening.
For the uninitiated, Dîner en Blanc describes itself as “simply a friendly gathering whose sole purpose is to create a magical evening, where guests are in good company, and in an environment which is both unusual and extraordinary.” It’s a “pop-up picnic” of over 2000 people all dressed in white and, according to Dîner rules, “strictly no ivory, no off-white, no beige!” But it is hard to tell the difference in the dark and, let’s just say, there were many shades of white. And an occasional pair of black boots. Flashes of color here and there. But no matter. As I said, everything had to be white from the tablecloths to the napkins to the chairs. Even some of the food was white! And to accompany the food, delicious, delightful Apothic White wine, the official US wine partner of Le Dîner en Blanc, was available. The night before, the generous Apothic folks hosted a tasting of their latest white, red and dark blends at the intimate Love Song Bar downtown, accompanied by tasty charcuterie, white bean bruschetta and other appetizers that happily showed up at Le Dîner’s hospitality lounge at the Music Center.
The spectacle of arrival lasted nearly an hour. Once everything was set up and everyone was seated, the host announced that dinner could commence, but not before everyone raised their white napkins above their heads and whirled them around in the air. This tradition symbolizes the start of the meal and it’s quite the sight! Walking around Dîner was a captivating, head turning experience – people in their original white outfits, the unique table settings and the glow of the lights made everyone look lit from within. The beautiful mood of camaraderie and bonhomie was infectious. People were friendly and chatty, eager to show off their creations, which included numerous light up Eiffel Tower table decorations, a wedding canopy, a pillared “under the sea” table complete with nets, sand and Neptune’s shells, elegant floral arrangements, white tutus and an extravagant peacock feather headpiece. A gang of a dozen or so white-wigged women (and a few men) roamed the plaza as playful guests cavorted in the fountain at its center.
Participants eagerly waited in lines of up to 50 or more long snaking along the Mark Taper Forum’s reflecting pool to have their pictures taken at Apothic’s popular photo “booth”—it was more like a step and repeat–while sipping Apothic White, trying on their carnival masks and making new friends. Once dinner was over, the music took a rhythmic turn and, suddenly, there were dancers twirling about on the plaza ‘floor’. People posed for pictures in front of the gorgeous fountain and sculpture as their backdrop and many selfies, of course, were taken.