Diner en Blanc 2014 is only a few weeks away. The world’s most elegant pop-up picnic will be taking over a secret Brisbane location on October 11. Both of us will be in the crowd.
If you’ve attended Diner en Blanc in the past, you know that there are a lot of rules to participation. They may sound exhausting and not at all fun when you try to explain them to someone who has never been, but these rules are what makes this such a delightful and particularly, such an aesthetically appealing event. All white – linens, table decorations, dresses, suits, flowers – it looks incredible on the night. You may need to do a bit of shopping to kit yourself out in your head to table whites but if you shop smart, everything you buy you can use again in the everyday or put it away for future Diner en Blancs
Here is a little guide for some places to look for your ‘blanc’.
‘Elegant’ is the key word here. No shorts or thongs, no t-shirts, it must be elegant.
I have spotted some women wearing their former wedding dresses to DeB, which I think is marvellous! For many, this may be the only other occasion they may ever get to wear their most beautiful gown.
Fortunately for the rest of us, with DeB held a little later this year, it will be easier for women to look elegant in their sun dresses. Though keep in mind that as the night does on, it will get chilly. Also, while we all find it so tempting to wear heels on a night out and we know they look so good, wear flats. You will be walking around on grass, carrying items to and from the spot and on your feet dancing for a couple of hours. White sandals or ballet flats are the best choice of footwear.
Men have it a little tougher, though I suspect many men love having an opportunity to buy a white suit. Can be pretty tough to find one though. I would love to see the white linen suit brought back into fashion. It would be perfect for Brisbane summers and looks incredibly stylish.
If you’re choosing separates because you already have a nice white shirt, the sneaky way to find white trousers is to shop for cricket pants. Shorts and t-shirts are no permitted. White vans or similar can be purchased from Kmart, Target or a DFO.
If you want a good guide for where to shop for men check out this post by Blonde Ambition.
If you’re having trouble with clothing – male or female – I recommend heading to any of Brisbane’s better op-shops or else the Airport DFO.
Tables and chairs
Tables are more difficult. For 2013 I purchased this wooden folding table from Ikea that I thought would be fine, but it was too small to fit our food, decorations, ice bucket and plate. you are allowed a square table within the proportions of 90cmx90cm and I recommend you use all the space you can. Here Ikea is your friend. you can buy a white table and chair set for $159, though you will still need a white table cloth. This is not ideal though, as the table is not square.
The colour of your table does not matter as you must cover it in a white table cloth. Not plastic, linen or cloth of some kind.
I heartily recommend anyone attending Diner en Blanc to purchase a trolley. I got one like this last year from Bunnings and it was a terrific decision. Tables and chairs plus basket of food, decorations and so on gets very heavy and unwieldy. Do yourself a favour and buy a trolley. It need not be white, you can hide it from view under your table.
Diner en Blanc asks that you bring white crockery and non-plastic cutlery. However, because of liquid licencing laws you must use plastic ‘glassware’. It is surprisingly hard to find nice sturdy plastic glasses rather than cheap throwaways – of course, once you’ve bought them, they should last you forever. You can look in all the usual places – Kmart, Target, Woolworths, Coles. It would also be worth looking into the kitchenware section of Myers, though perhaps not David Jones. You can also purchase a range of proper plastic glassware online through store such as Polysafe, Swish Plastic, The Party People (they have skull cups, if you want something elegantly macabre) or Viva Glassware to name a few.
Having some fun with decorations
In previous years, DeB has held a best-decorated table competition and some people have gone all out. They aren’t having one this year, but that is no reason to keep it plain. My table are planning on floral centrepieces, scented candles and anything else we can lay our hands on. One important thing to remember is that whatever you bring with you, you must take away, so nothing like glitter which will leave a mess. You should be able to buy your decorations with a bit of searching or some online shopping of home wares stores or more creative locations such as Made It or Etsy if you want something a little different.
Here are some glorious suggestions; scented candles; battery-operated lanterns; flowers; fairy lights (remember to get white), candle lanterns, a white high tea stand – both pretty and practical, a white picnic basket – this one contains a full picnic set.
So there is a few suggestions for most of the things you will need. You may well need to spend some money on ‘setup’ but everything you buy should be re-useable. You needn’t buy new either – check out eBay, Gumtree and opshops for great second hand items.
See you on the dance floor!