Perth’s Optus Stadium was flooded in white on Saturday night, as 2400 guests descended onto the sports field to enjoy a party-by-invite-only Le Dîner en Blanc.
Guests were asked to meet at train stations across the city to be publicly transported to the secret venue. And public the spectacle was, with intrigued onlookers asking what on earth was going on with all these people dressed in white head-to-toe.
A few folks actually asked if we were a part of a cult to which we joked that, yes, we were the Cult of Fabulousness.
Arriving at the stadium, it was left up to the well-heeled punters to set up their own table, chairs and dining accessories. While the wait for ordered drinks was way too long (45 minutes for this thirsty guy), there was no delay in mixing it up with fun folks.
Music came courtesy of DJ N. Dorse who managed to do brilliant things with the art of the mashup. He was accompanied by hip-hop harpist Michelle Smith, who added a sense of high culture to the affair, even as her strings were keeping up with the likes of handbag house and dirty rap (Cardi B’s WAP, harp-style, anyone?).
Patrons at this year’s Dîner en Blanc were apparently a whole lot friendlier than those at events past, according to folks who have attended all five annual dinners hosted in Perth so far.
“Less attitude and a fun mix of people from all walks,” is how one patron at our table described it.
By the middle of the evening, every guest was given a sparkler to light up, which sounds kind of twee at first, but once it was lights down, the overall effect of 2400 sparklers waving in the night was pretty spectacular. I actually got goose-bumps, and it reminded me of the big parties I used to attend in Sydney in celebration of Mardi Gras.
In all, this year’s Le Dîner en Blanc was a well put-together affair, and a fun, stylish night. My only gripe is the cost of some of the beverages – which had to be pre-ordered and with a wine list that featured wines ordinarily priced at $8 such as the Grandstand Sauvignon Blanc Semillon hiked to $38 for guests who’d already bought an event ticket for $62.
That said, the entry fee to the dinner party is worth it, considering the access to exclusive location. After all, who can say they’ve enjoyed a three-course meal on the same field the Eagles landed their eighth straight win, eh?
By the end of the night, at around 11pm, guests had packed up their belongings, put away their rubbish, and left the site as if the party had never happened, but with a headful of magical memories.
And, as if the gods really were on our side, an hour or so later, just after midnight, news arrived that over in the U.S., Joe Biden had just won the presidential election, beating Donald Trump by a great number of votes.
Now that’s a connotation that’ll be stuck with me in connection to a fab dinner party. It was as though we were celebrating the good news to come.
Guests of Le Dîner en Blanc are asked to bring their own foldable table and chairs or to hire these through the event organisers. We ourselves opted to hire through WED Style, fine providers of decor for any special occasion, be it weddings, parties, even events such as Le Dîner en Blanc. Visit the WED website at www.wedstyle.com.au.
Social photography by Ben Roccamante and Antonino Tati.