A chic crowd of more than 650 guests gathered beneath the pines on the Fritz family’s estate in Lake Tahoe Saturday for the 40th annual League to Save Lake Tahoe/Saks Fifth Avenue luncheon and fashion fund-raiser.
Guest of honor Oscar de la Renta staged a show of his 2010 resort collection, continuing a tradition started beside the lake in 1969 by his pal Bill Blass in collaboration with Saks Fifth Avenue.
“I can’t believe Bill founded it 40 years ago. It’s extraordinary,” said the designer, as he greeted pals such as Barbara Brown and Sally Debenham and posed for iPhone portraits. “I love this event because it’s like family, so relaxed.”
There to enjoy the al fresco lunch and show were Mara Fritz, Emmy and Dolph Andrews, Suzanna Allen, Sally Swing and Alexis and Trevor Traina. Trevor’s mother, Dede Wilsey, was obviously taken with what she saw coming down the runway, ordering several gowns for San Francisco’s winter social season.
And despite the absence of big client Google executive Marisa Mayer, a stalwart de la Renta fan, all the other ladies were in shopping mode — at 4 p.m., Boaz Mazor was still knee-deep in tulle as he supervised fittings.
“Doomsday is over,” he proclaimed happily, just in time for the upcoming openings of the fashion house’s stores in Moscow and London.
As for de la Renta, he is taking a Zen approach to the current retail climate.
“My fashion wisdom comes from gardening,” explained the designer. “This is a difficult time for many, but I am not in crisis mode. Like the seasons of gardening, there is a time to plant and a time to harvest, and now is a time to weed. This will pass.”