A SEAT AT THE TABLE
Le Dîner en Blanc Takes Kingston …. Again
As sunset descended upon the manicured East Lawns of Devon House, so did the sea of white that is known to accompany the Parisian-inspired Le Dîner en Blanc. Over 600 stylishly clothed guests, readied with picnic baskets and striking table top décor items, were ready to enjoy Kingston’s third staging of the opulent event.
As tradition dictates, the clandestine location was kept secret from the eager patrons until the very last minute, although speculations started swirling very early as to where the “top secret” event would be hosted this time around. Le Dîner en Blanc is hosted locally by husband-and-wife events tetrad, the Chow Society - comprising of Leisha & Brett Wong and Imani Duncan-Price and Stephen Price.
Duncan-Price told The Desk at 13 West that the historic background of the striking Devon House played a large role in the location being selected.
“When choosing Devon House as the location for this year’s event, we wanted a place that would be representative of DEB Kingston, that would be about celebrating our city. And so we thought this beautiful mansion with so much history, built by Jamaica’s first black millionaire [would show] our colonialists that we too could make a difference and take a stand.”
Developed by Francois Pasquier and friends in 1988 over in The City of Lights, Le Dîner en Blanc has since grown to more than 70 cities worldwide. As the origin story goes, Pasquier wanted to gather a group of friends for a party, but he didn’t have enough space in his Paris apartment. He asked his friends to bring a friend and a meal and meet at Bois de Boulogne dressed in white so those who weren’t already acquainted could identify the group.
And so the tradition continues, featuring:
WHITE HOT STYLE
Fashion and personal style were at the forefront of the event, with some patrons choosing to gently toe the line separating stylish uniqueness from fashionably scandalous. While some did not fully adhere to the “all-white-everything” dress code, the fashion did not disappoint, with some going above and beyond to make their fashion statement heard.
Almost as important as the fashion are the table decors and Le Dîner en Blanc guests did not disappoint. From long stemmed orchids to decorated balloons, the elaborate “tablescapes”, were quite the exploit.
LET THE PARTY BEGIN
The lighting of the sparklers signifying the opening of the dance floor came about an hour too late for some patrons who had already flocked the crowded floor to start the party.
Duncan – Price said the organizers are not interested in having more than 1000 guests attend the event, at the same time dispelling popular notions that the event is exclusively for the wealthy.
“While we want new people to experience Le Dîner en Blanc, we want to maintain the traditional atmosphere of having a picnic with friends and family. It’s about people who really and truly want to do it. You do not have to be rich to come here, that’s not the issue. It’s more understanding that the setup is a part of the process, bringing your food to the event and committed as friends and family and having a good time. So, it’s not about exclusivity, it’s about maintaining that type of feel in the event.”
Duncan-Price said it is refreshing to see more people from different backgrounds being interested in the experiencing the event. She said part of the reason for bringing Le Dîner en Blanc to Kingston was to introduce a new type of entertainment experience.
Catch more of the night's most interesting looks below:
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