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LADIES OF THE LAKE: More than 450 of Lake Tahoe’s most fashionable, including Dede Wilsey, Carol McNeil, Therese Post, Fritzi Huntington, Dixie Westergard, Sally Debenham, Emmy Andrews and Agnes Murer, turned up to greet Oscar de la Renta last weekend when he sailed in on a vintage yacht to show his fall and resort collections lakeside at the biennial “Save Tahoe” foundation luncheon, held at the home of Jack and Sue Lennane. De la Renta offered a moving tribute to Bill Blass, who had collaborated with Saks Fifth Avenue on the event for more than 35 years before Oscar stepped in four years ago. “This year, we lost a great friend of the lake, mine — and yours — Bill Blass,” he said. “Today, you will see my show, but I do not think I can do as well as Bill.”
But the ladies just couldn’t get enough of de la Renta, who sailed with the Andrews, lunched with the McNeils, hosted a private dinner with Saks and signed 150 copies of his new book “Oscar de la Renta” at the lunch.
Stalwart fans like Diana Knowles lead the rush at the trunk show, ordering up a storm. But while Knowles picked out pieces from the designer’s resort collection, why didn’t she buy from the fall line, too?
“Darling,” she cooed, “I bought the entire fall collection in March.”
MODEL BEHAVIOR: Lauren Bush isn’t above lugging a body bag of a backpack across Europe, as long as the pack contains a pair of Manolos. Fresh from a six-week overseas excursion, the 17-year-old model breezed into Escada’s Fifth Avenue store to catch its Tuesday night fashion show, wearing a black strapless Escada dress and the aforementioned stilettos. Earlier in the day, Escada design director Brian Rennie zipped her size-4 frame in and out of a handful of dresses. Her sleek physique stems from vegetarianism — something she adopted at the age of four after figuring out the chicken is the egg. “It was a moral decision for me. Once I put it together, that didn’t sit well with me. I was a pretty strong-willed kid.”
The European trip was part business, part pleasure. She helped Tommy Hilfiger open his store in Düsseldorf, and went to work on her own designs with a sketchbook and swatches — a get-well gift for her tonsillectomy from Hilfiger’s sister Ginny Hilfiger. But Bush also took in the Spanish Steps, polo matches in England with The Duke of York, and the night life in Ibiza.
Back in the States and in between meetings with cosmetic companies about potential modeling gigs in New York, Bush squeezed in some tennis and tooled around on her new Vespa. (She had the wheels painted Princeton orange). Looking ahead, she’s not stressing about packing up for her freshman year. Standing amidst a pack of photographers at the Escada store, she laughed, “This isn’t my normal life.”
FASHION FEAST: Dolce & Gabbana fans will have a chance to savor food and fashion at Nick and Toni’s restaurant in East Hampton this Friday. The invitation-only luncheon will feature a runway show of the designers’ fall collection, as well as one-of-a-kind pieces like a chinchilla coat and fringed ponchos. The designers themselves, however, will not be present, as they are still on holiday.