Oscar de la Renta may be without a designer since Peter Copping’s departure last month, but the dresses were still the main attraction at the annual luncheon and fashion show at Lake Tahoe on Saturday, which drew a sold-out crowd of more than 640 guests from California. The Saks Fifth Avenue-sponsored runway show featured 70 day, evening and bridal looks from the resort 2017 collection against the shimmering blue backdrop of Lake Tahoe.
“Eliza and I love participating in this show at Lake Tahoe every summer because it raises funds to preserve one of the most beautiful places in the world, a national treasure,” said Alex Bolen, chief executive officer of Oscar de la Renta since 2004, mentioning his wife, the late de la Renta’s stepdaughter. “It’s an extraordinary tradition, with a devoted group of people involved, all very much like family.” He skipped addressing Copping specifically but said, “As a company we are now very focused on realizing a beautiful spring collection to present at [New York] Fashion Week on September 12. We are also actively continuing our search for a new designer and are making good progress.”
The League to Save Lake Tahoe’s annual benefit has been a beloved tradition since 1969 when Bill Blass, barefoot and in shorts, presented an impromptu show to a handful of friends on the beach. Since 1995, Oscar de la Renta has been the headliner. This year, the fashion show was held at the Schumacher family estate.
Fans of the show, which has raised over $21 million, have included Nan Kempner, Diana Dollar Knowles, Marissa Mayer, and Dede Wilsey. The decor of this year’s event, by J. Riccardo Benavides, included Baroque pinewood chandeliers, with white canvas parasols to shelter guests from the ultrabright high-altitude sun. After the runway show, guests and clients dashed to the trunk show tent for first dibs on the newest designs.
Later, the Bolens headed to the nearby Reno airport to catch a red-eye home. After landing for a few hours in Manhattan, they would then move on to Moscow and St. Petersburg with their three sons to visit the Kremlin, the Hermitage and Pavlovsk.
“Eliza arranged everything,” said Bolen. “I’m looking forward to visiting the Gold Room and the Diamond Room at the Hermitage. The diamond-encrusted saddles, diplomatic gifts to the Romanovs, are said to be amazing.”