Hubert Burda Media

Hong Kong’s expecting a White Christmas

Harken to that singing … something is descending in a blizzard of snow-white extravagance.

Securing a confirmed invitation to Diner en Blanc has always been a mad scramble in every city I’ve lived in. The first time I heard of it was in the Hamptons. Seated amid fairy lights on a balmy summer evening at Ruschmeyer’s, all the New York-based cool girls who had managed to get invitations – thanks to friends in the know – were talking about taking their white picnic tables out from basement storage and which vintage store sold the best white slips for the party.

“What is this?” I asked. Turns out people love to dish on an open secret. Everyone wanted to tell me something about it. “It’s the chicest secret outdoor picnic and it happens across the world.” Another girl tells me, “Everyone has to dress in white or they won’t let you in, and all the linens, tables and chairs that you bring are also white. There’s a competition at the end for best dressed and best table decor!” Some couldn’t help boast, “It’s hard for people to enter, you have to be invited by friends of friends. The whole thing is secret, including the location, up to the very last minute but I have a friend who might know already.”

I immediately signed up for the secret event when I returned to Philadelphia. Getting your name down, even if you miss the event, is apparently key and helpful for the future. Despite not being part of the chosen crowd that year, my name was already in the system – and when I tried my luck upon moving to London, I was granted a coveted invitation. I found my all-white outfit (no ivory or off-white garb allowed), ordered my hamper from the appointed caterer and made my way to the edge of the Thames for a memorable night of riverside revelry.

This year, Diner en Blanc is hosting the elegant outdoor affair in Hong Kong for the second time. As always, the location will only be announced the day before the event, which is taking place on December 16. At the office, we’re already brainstorming our white outfits and planning the table display. Sign up and join us. It might not snow here, but in characteristic Hong Kong style, we’ve found our own way to have ourselves a white Christmas.

Diner en Blanc 2012 in Paris, Photography by Gonzalo Fuentes
Diner en Blanc 2012 in Paris, Photography by Gonzalo Fuentes

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