Leave it to the French to take a casual picnic to the next level...

Le Diner en Blanc

If you want to attend the chicest picnic in the world, you might not be surprised when I tell you you’ll have to come to Paris for that. Leave it to the French to take a casual picnic to the next level, dress code, decor, and location, location, location. It’s called Le Diner en Blanc and it takes place once a year in June in the French capital.

Paris Rendezvous

The history of the Diner en Blanc is a very Parisian story. One summer evening nearly twenty years ago, a Parisian gentlemen invited some of his friends for a picnic dinner in the Bois de Bologne in the west of Paris. In order to easily find one another in the large park, he suggested they all wear white. The dinner was such a success they decided to continue the tradition. Each year the dinner grew and today one can expect about 10,000 people to show up for the Diner en Blanc, which translates to the “dinner in white”.

But here’s the catch, no one except the organizers know the exact location of the event until thirty minutes prior. One hour before the event the location is released, but only travels by word of mouth — no website, no tweets, no nothing. Just phone calls from friends to friends to spread the word. All at once the masses begin showing up dressed in white and setting up their picnic tables, candelabras, and dinner plates. Some of the spectacular locations have included the Palais Royal, Place de Vosges, Notre Dame, and Place de la Concorde.

The choice for this year’s location for Le Diner en Blanc seemed a natural one, the beautiful Place Vendôme. Place Vendôme has been undergoing some renovations the last two years, with the historical obelisk at its center and the iconic Ritz Hotel both obscured with scaffolding for far too long. Now that construction is finally finished and the Ritz newly reopened, Le Diner en Blanc here last week was the unofficial inauguration of the Place Vendôme’s return to its glory as one of the most stunning places in Paris.

We truly lucked out with the weather this time, as the dinner took place on a warm summer evening from dusk until dawn beneath the stars. If you haven’t guessed the dress code, it’s head to toe white. For my makeup I kept it summery and simple too, with Dual Finish for a clean complexion, my Vanilla Pop Juicy Shaker, and my French Nude Color Design palette to create a subtle smokey eye that was warm just like the night. And because at Le Diner Blanc a picnic dinner can easily turn into a white night out past one’s usual bedtime, I spoiled my skin with a healthy dose of Advanced Génifique the several nights since to recoup the hours of beauty sleep I forewent in the name of fun…

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