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Fashion White Out at Le Dîner en Blanc Nairobi 2016

Le Dîner en Blanc is a global epicurean phenomenon, which was launched in Paris in 1988 and now is celebrated once a year in over 50 cities worldwide.  Fashion is a core element of this elegant dinner – a strict all-white look for both men and women, who are also encouraged to wear hats and even masks. I have known about this beautiful event for some time, especially since it was celebrated in Nairobi last year for the very first time. I was excited when the organizers suggested to partner with Style Yetu for the second edition of the party and even invited me to be one of the fashion judges. I gratefully accepted the invitation and immediately began to plan my outfit with a designer.

You can imagine my devastation when just a week before the dinner the designer texted me that something was not right with the dress! It did not turn out as we both had envisioned.  I was literally heartbroken to find myself sent back to square one. But then I remembered a Nigerian crochet designer who I know is passionate about this craft and asked if we could get something ready in less than a week!  And luckily he accepted to go out of his way to meet my deadline and worked day and night throughout the weekend to produce his masterpiece. He spent a whole day working on the crochet dress and another day weaving in all the fringes by hand! A true labour of love.  I was the happiest girl when I picked up the parcel from the courier last week, just a day before the dinner.

At Dîner en Blanc you bring your own food and wine, but since I was one of the two style judges all my gastronomic needs were provided for, and I spent much of my time on the job so to speak, walking around and looking at people’s outfits, and most had certainly brought their A game and some looked truly amazing as you can see on this post on Style Yetu.  I enjoyed the  food and wine, the mingling, chatting and dancing as well as the performances which set the party on fire. The evening started out with a drizzle and my assistant lent me his jacket at some point, but it ended up being the most beautiful night ever.

People often ask me what happens to such statement pieces after I wear them.  I’ll give some of them away, while some are returned to the designers, some I re-work and a few I keep. But this definitely is one piece which I shall never let go. It is my first 100% handmade dress and I shall keep it safe in my closet; and maybe my 3-year-old daughter Nielsine will one day wear it as a vintage piece.

Makeup by @debbynash, Dress by Eddie Okolo