Thursday, October 4, 2012

Harvest Noir

This past Sunday, I had the privilege of being my friend's plus-one at Ottawa's secret, chic picnic, Harvest Noir. Only hours after learning the location (you receive an email at noon and are to arrive promptly at four), 1,500 people of all ages gathered on the front lawns of City Hall in their most stylish black apparel, to toast the harvest, and in our case, wine and dine in the rain. 

In only it's second year, Harvest Noir has not only doubled in size, but it has quickly become one of the most sought after social tickets of the season. The evening is comprised of three acts, each unique and breathtaking.

ACT I: The Secret Picnic
Elegantly-dressed diners head to the secret destination toting picnic baskets stuffed with locally-harvested food they've prepared, set up a feast at their assigned tables, and celebrate the harvest with friends and family. Guests will enjoy the dining experience of the year, accompanied by glasses of fine local bubbly, wine and beer, and refined live music by a 13-piece orchestra. (Official event description, sourced from

Despite the fashionably late rain, which arrived ten minutes after the picnic started, it was a fabulous evening, if not for the people-watching alone. With men in tuxedos with tails and top hats, and ladies in hooped skirts and fascinators, and even a gorilla suit, Harvest Noir was like dining at Downton Abbey, if only the Dowager enforced a strict black-only, steampunk-inspired dress code.

Our table decor
The lighting of the burner - a true team effort to ensure we had a hot meal

ACT II: The Pop-Up Parade
After cleaning up our table, we were given sparklers and followed a marching band from City Hall, through Confederation Park to the N.A.C. 

Throughout the parade I happened to walk behind a girl wearing the most fabulous wings. 
So, naturally, I had to take a picture. Creepy, I know, but how could I not!?

ACT III: The DJ DanceParty
Once we arrived at the N.A.C. the party really began. With three different dancefloor, each table had been assigned to a room. Ours was the Classic Room, so we danced and sang the night away to oldies tunes - everything from Mungo Jerry to 80s rap. I loved it all!

The only time we weren't on the dancefloor was to watch the fashion show and marvel at the hula hoop artists who'd taken over the foyer. 

One of the highlights of Act III was when a choir started to sing "We are Young" by Fun. and everyone in the N.A.C sang along. You really can't beat the sound of 1,000+ voices singing together.

What I Wore

As soon as I was invited to Harvest Noir, I knew exactly what I was going to wear: the strapless, bubble dress I'd worn to my University graduation. It's been sitting in my closet ever since just begging to be worn. So Harvest Noir was the night.

In keeping with the Harvest theme, I thought it was only appropriate to wear gold leaf accessories (the bartender was thoroughly impressed by my dedication to the harvest).

My original lookDress - Jacob; Tights - Zellers;
Boots, Necklace, Earrings, Clutch - Aldo; Watch - Fossil

For an outdoor evening event, where rain was expected, I knew that a cashmere cardigan was a must - plus, the pearls made it feel very Harvest Noir appropriate.

Cardigan - Joe Fresh

And finally, to top off my look, the chicest of all rain apparel: a trench coat and umbrella.

Trench - H&M
My Harvest Noir date, Alayne, and I - before the rains started.

Thankfully we took photos before the rain *really* started, because before long I looked like this (Alayne, on the other hand managed to look stunning, as always):
Half-way through the picnic and still smiling, after at least two hours in the rain.

Even though we were soaked, Harvest Noir was a fantastic night. So much so that we've already decided we can't miss 2013; rain or shine.

All photos in this post are my own. For official event photos check out Jake Wright - they're amazing!

Let's Connect:


  1. Super cute blog! You're too cute! xx.

  2. what a cool event! there was recently a 'white party' picnic thing here in la but i missed it. cute dress!

  3. Usually it's all about the white dining parties so this is so cool! Love your outfit!

    Alexandra xo

  4. What an awesome summary, I love it! :)


    1. Thank you - means so much coming from you!
      It was an amazing event, can't wait for 2013!


  5. What an awesome summary of Harvest Noir. I loved it!



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