INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Many a designer sandal was sacrificed to the fashion gods as hundreds of fashionistas, socialites, environmentalists, and others trudged through the sandy beach to find their appointed tables for lunch at the annual League to Save Lake Tahoe benefit Saturday, Aug. 4, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue. Oscar de la Renta was not in attendance this year, but step-daughter Eliza Bolen filled in for him to present the Resort 2013 collection with his fabulous fashions, all assembled under the tent on the beach of gracious host Kern Schumacher's Incline Village lakefront estate.
No forecasted thunderstorms dared to rain on the parade of haute couture, which has become one of the highlights of Tahoe's summer social season. Patio umbrellas were at a premium to shield all those meticulously maintained visages and keep those well-heeled patrons cool. Delicious chicken Ballotine for more than 550 guests was whipped up and served by Moody's Catering of Truckee before the fashion festivities began. Christie's sent a professional female auctioneer to auction off the big-ticket live auction items. The New York Fashion Week package as Mr. de la Renta's personal guest, along with four and five figure fashion gift certificates from Saks Fifth Avenue and Oscar de la Renta's collections garnered the highest bid of $28,000. Squaw Valley's Olympic skier-led dawn patrol package (with several “gold” season passes thrown in) sold not once but twice and rang up an $18,000 auction price tag. When all was said and done, a cool half million dollars was raked in for the League's coffers.
The Resort 2013 collection offered up classic feminine de la Renta design elements like his iconic ruffles, intricate embroideries and laces. There were of course show-stopping ball gowns, tempered with some fresh, sassy and unexpected looks like a gingham print full length ball gown and short cocktail dress, and a recently launched children's collection. The audience just ate it up as the kids ambled down the runway. Included in the collection were his de rigueur black and white ensembles, a fresh and bold royal blue palette, his ever present LBD's (little black dresses), printed florals, figure-flattering carnation cocktail dresses, an evergreen collection featuring a solid green peplum column gown, and silver and gold metallics.
“We were very pleased with the sold-out turnout this year,” said the League's fresh new executive director Dr. Darcie Goodman-Collins. “Having the event in a new location on a different side of the lake gave a different and energizing perspective. We engaged a new group of individuals and included a younger generation of supporters this year.”