Pret-a-Reporter

This Is How Tory Burch Throws a Perfect Parisian Picnic

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Tory Burch

A Moroccan-themed lounge area, a star-studded guest list and a performance by Lauryn Hill are involved.

To celebrate the opening of her first Paris boutique, designer Tory Burch threw an evening picnic off the Place des Vosges, turning a courtyard into a Moroccan palace.

The North African country was an inspiration for Burch's fall collection, after a recent trip there in which she visited Yves Saint Laurent’s famous Majorelle Garden and shopped at the local souks for treasures. Burch used the theme as the touchstone for her picnic planning as well.

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"Morocco is one of my favorite places," says Burch. "We wanted to do something unusual, and once we chose the venue — the garden of the Hotel de Sully — it all came together."

Burch erected white tents around the courtyard, complete with sofas, poufs and lounge areas filled with overflowing vases of peonies. The center of the courtyard was covered with Moroccan rugs, pillows, silver trays and tea lights to boost the boho-glam factor. The garden felt like Marrakech's Mamounia hotel, except for the fact that, when you looked up, you were reminded that you were in the shadows of 17th century Paris.

"It was a truly incredible evening — one that surpassed my expectations," says Burch. She kept the guest list tight with pals, including Jessica Alba, who flew in just for the picnic; Dianna Agron; and Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing.

Any Angeleno worth her weight in juice would have loved the menu: light cucumber, melon and carrot were served first, with fresh-squeezed-orange-juice stations set up around the party — a nod to the stands that surround the bustling Jamaa el Fna square in Marrakech — serving throughout the evening.

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As guests lounged on the throw rugs and grass, the delicacies increased to rounds of traditional spinach spanakopitas before moving on to silver bowls of couscous and tagine.

Burch also understands that there must be the right mix of music for a perfect party — she had Q-Tip spinning soul classics before Lauryn Hill took the stage for a powerful performance of songs including "Ex-Factor."

It was a night to remember, not only for guests but for host Burch as well. "There were so many amazing moments, but Lauryn Hill’s performance was one that I will never forget."

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