Oscar de la Renta

Start with a breathtakingly magnificent lake and a pollution-free, blue sky forming a seamlessly perfect backdrop.  Add a view of the lake from a lakeside estate so grand only few in the world can own it.  Paint in a white sand beach, cabanas swathed with hundreds of yards of breezy white fabric, a white clad runway and seating for 650.   Dot this landscape with a culture-clad crowd wearing summer dresses, hats, designer espadrilles, seersucker suits, fedoras and sunglasses, and you get the closest thing the West Coast has to an East Coast summer party:  The Annual Oscar de la Renta “Save the Lake” fashion show fundraiser. 

After soaking in this picturesque scene, who wouldn’t want to spend generously to “Save the Lake”?   Attended by Oscar de la Renta himself, this year’s show was another fantastic success. It was once again held on Lake Tahoe’s “Billionaire Row” (Lakeshore Drive), and, as usual, many of the neighborhood’s other homeowners were in attendance- also having an interest in protecting Lake Tahoe’s pristine beauty.

My table- a young group of pretty San Francisco ladies who, thanks to the Bay Area’s never-ending technology boom, made their Oscar shopping budget at an early age.  It was a delightful opportunity to get the younger-set’s take on the fashion, in addition to the up-to-the minute report on the adequacy of the bar service.  It made me want to be 28 all over again- complete with the wooden leg, hangover immunity, focus on making every moment in life a cocktail party, and the ability to rock a white short-shorts romper the way one young lady did with flying colors.  (Think pool party model in one of the framed pics at Jonathan Adler). 

Color was the theme for Resort 2015.  There was shocking pink, tomato and a couple of hot pink & tomato combinations- all of which were absolutely lovely.  The lemon ball gown was a breath of fresh air, and the gold embroidered tulle flutter sleeve gown left me breathless.

The oohs, aahs, and iPhone cameras came out at my table in response to the sexy, black, illusion embroidered tulle, tea-length cocktail dress.  It was both suggestive and elegant at the same time.  Despite its yards of gorgeous pink satin of the ladylike train, the gown looked quite like the one Taylor Swift wore to this year’s Metropolitan Costume Ball – the pale pink embroidered, satin-faced organza gown – and went by my table quietly.  Not to worry, the rest of the show’s attendees loved it.

Applause was generous for the children models and roaring for the magenta cellophane cloqué strapless ball gown.  The gown’s fabric was so light that the movement of the model was enough to give it body.  But on this magnificent day, the light Tahoe breeze ballooned inside the billowy gown, bringing some of the crowd members to their feet.

The post-show auction and shopping tent were a testament to Oscar de la Renta’s enormous talent.   Selling for over $60K, the Oscar de la Renta Exclusive Fashion Week package was the live auction’s highest selling lot.  There was a mad rush to the shopping tent post auction and both the tent and dressing rooms were quickly packed.  A few spirited competitions throughout the tent, of shoppers to be the first to “call” pieces for themselves, kept the energy high.  Within minutes after the tent opened, one excited young woman called out from the dressing room to her mother that so-and-so had already bought the wedding gown.  The team from Saks was writing orders and calculating as fast as their fingers could work. Everyone seemed quite pleased with the day.