Dînner En Blanc / by Didier Young

Every summer in Toronto, you may happen upon groups of people dressed head to toe in white with their luggages in tow. While you may be lead to believe that this is the beginning of a spiritual movement, those people are most likely heading to a secret location to have a white themed dinner. Le Dînner En Blanc started in 1988 and is now a unique cultural phenomenon that occurs in over 40 cities around the World. Every year for the past 28 years, the exclusive event has had people purchasing tickets, dress in the purest of colours, pack up meals and cutlery and waiting at specific meet up spots until they are told the day of where the dinner will be held.

This year’s Toronto supper took place in the newly created Canary District, a location that was originally the athlete village during the 2015 Toronto Panam Games. As part of the legacy of the Games, Toronto’s newest neighbourhood became a beautiful residential area that reinvigorated the East End. The location created the perfect magical setting for the dinner in white and introduced the area to many unsuspecting eyes.

All white settings.

Ready for dinner.

I was honoured to attend this year’s event with Nordstrom as part of the prelaunch of their Toronto stores on September 16th at CF Toronto Eaton Centre and October 21st at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. As part of the Nordstrom delegation, the meal was catered to by Food Dudes. Upon arrival at the location, we were all in awe of the beautiful setting for the event, especially the different installations that were dispersed throughout the grounds. Between adessert station from Metro and a wall of giant white balloons, one could also find Nordstrom’s bird cage, a white human sized cage covered in fresh floral arrangements and featuring a swing. Needless to say, the lineup for the birdcage never waned during the night.

Live violinists romanced the crowd.

The beautiful Jill and Jodi in front of the balloon wall.

Before the dinner begins, attendees are expected to hold their white napkins and swing them in the air to announce the beginning of the meal. As the meal started to arrive, we were all being romanced by violinists filling the air with sweet notes. Midway through the night, sparklers were handed out and the whole grounds looked like a clear night sky, filled with constellations shining bright like diamonds. As the night proceeded, the violinists were replaced by a DJ and everyone took to the dance floor to the sound of Ace of Base and Rihanna.

The beginnings of a meal.

A fashion family that dines together, stays together.

The experience was enchanting and we all enjoyed the fun night. I can’t wait to find out where next year’s dinner will be held and how they will manage to top this one. For now, I will bleach my clothes and hang them in the closet because labour day is nearly upon us.

-Didier