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Oscar de la Renta Worries, but Wants to Help Keep Tahoe Blue

De la fabulous. I was for real when I said I was heading to Lake Tahoe for Oscar de la Renta's annual fashion show luncheon. Along with Saks Fifth Avenue, and held at the gorgeous Fritz family estate in Sunnyside, the event was like no other. If you've never been to the outdoor haven that is Tahoe and are wondering how Oscar de la Renta's elegant clothes would work, the designer himself wasn't sure at first. He told me "The first time I was told I was going to show on an open space I was worried about evening clothes — are they going to look good on a lake? In fact it looks very wonderful, it translates really well." It's true. Oscar's chic-turned-exotic collection fancied quite well on the stark white Saks runway surrounded by yellow lily-topped tables and mountainous beauty.


The show was followed by an auction and lunch and these people were serious. The highest bid — $22,000 — went toward an Oscar de la Renta New York fashion week package. If I were a richie, I would have bid on a week stay for me and five friends at Oscar's Tortuga Bay villas. Um, yeah.

To read the rest and to see what the de la fabulous event was like, read more.

Oscar took over this event from Bill Blass in 1995 and usually shows his latest Resort collection. The designer's favorite part of this Summer event is spending time in Tahoe. "The lake is unbelievably beautiful, it’s a privilege to spend time here. It's wonderful that people preserve the lake for future generations. I just try to enjoy the lake and be with friends." The event benefits Keep Tahoe Blue, a nonprofit that helps preserve the alpine lake.

Oscar was a pleasure to interview. I caught him before he zoomed away on a speedboat, we chatted in the sun on the pier. He was very elegant and relaxing; I will always envision him in his cornflower blue blazer, olive skin, smiling, with the blue lake and mountains in the background.

Oscar's inspiration is "Always women. Trying to make clothes a woman would fall in love with. Especially in these times. I have never been in a time for a designer as challenging as now, when the consumer is much aware of fashion. The woman, when I started designing clothes for in the '60s, is very different from the woman today. Today she is independent, makes her own decisions, and purchases." Interesting! Oscar is one designer who's creations have transcended generations, a testament to his design skills and consumer savvy. But as Oscar said, it's all about making clothes a woman would fall in love with.

What did Fab fall in love with? The adorable chic tweed suits and hats in the beginning of the show — an ode to the current obsession with all things French. And a black and white ikat print dress; no one does ikat better than Oscar. The purple and white ikat set played a part in my fantasy of Tortuga Bay.

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Photos courtesy of Drew Altizer

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