Dressed from head to toe in fabulous white attire, New Yorkers emerge from their corners of the city for an unrivaled celebration of fine dining, pomp and circumstance, and spontaneity once a year. Party goers bring their own food, tables, chairs, cutlery, and tablecloths to transform a mystery location into a temporary center for fine dining. This event, titled Dîner en Blanc, is returning after a two-year hiatus to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
On September 19, Dîner en Blanc will occur at an undisclosed location. After two years of Zoom dinner parties and a dearth of events for dressing up, New Yorkers will once again congregate across the city to travel to a dinner party celebrating lavishness and community. The dress code is white and elegant only.
The very first Dîner en Blanc took place in 1988 on the initiative of François Pasquier who decided to gather a few friends in the Bois de Boulogne on his return to France after living abroad. To find each other in the park, they all wore white. The dinner was such a success that they decided the next year, each person would invite some other friends and the event grew organically into the 10,000 person dinner it is today in Paris.
Since Dîner en Blanc International Co-Founder Sandy Safi brought this exclusive dinner party to New York, it has been replicated across the globe in 6 continents, 40 countries, and 120 cities. During its 2019 event, Dîner en Blanc New York City hosted 5500 guests in Rockefeller Park in Battery City. The event’s waitlist reached 80,000 people by the evening of the event. These hopefuls yearn to finally join the elegant festivities after its two-year hiatus.
Throughout the evening, Dîner en Blanc celebrates visually breathtaking moments. In the past, the waving of thousands of cloth napkins marks the beginning of the dinner, while the sound of trumpets marks the time when diners must clean up their belongings. Diners must leave no trace of this unforgettable evening.
“If you’re there at 5:30, there’s nothing, there’s a few speakers,” Safi told Untapped New York. “Then at 5:31, arrival starts and you’ve have thousands of people and by 6:00, 6:15, they’re set up and ready for dinner. So they’re all playing a part in making this event happen.”
New York’s Dîner en Blanc is most remembered for its fashion. While some guests make their own elaborate white hats, others show up in floor-length gowns. In one of the fashion capitals of the world. New Yorkers who live for high fashion and fine dining celebrate the spontaneity that makes New York unique.
“Every city’s got its thing,” Safi told Untapped New York. “Some cities are more about the music or the food or keeping it simple, but New York and the fashion trends is something else across all of the cities.”
Dîner en Blanc is available for you to register until September 19. Whether you join the festivities dressed from head to toe in white or simply watch droves of individuals dressed in white moving across the city, you will know when the event is occurring. Its simple presence begs for recognition.
“After a couple of years of COVID and not having opportunities to [dress up], I think people in New York specifically will come out in style,” Safi told Untapped New York. “What I’m hoping for is a lot of diversity in what I’m gonna see at the event. New York. There’s no other way to put it.”
Next, check out photos from New York City’s Diner en Blanc in 2019!