“The tradition of partnering with Lake Tahoe, fashion at Lake Tahoe, started in 1969 and we have been a part of the League to Save Lake Tahoe for 47 years—if you can believe that,” Roopal Patel, Saks Fifth Avenue’s fashion director explained with a smile on Saturday afternoon. Patel, chic in a black and pale blue midi-frock, was in Lake Tahoe for the first time ever to attend the 21st annual Oscar de la Renta fashion show. Saks’s partnership with De la Renta began in 1995; before that, from 1969 until 1995, Bill Blass was the designer who showed his collection each summer at the lake. “For us, it’s a very historical, natural, and organic partnership that formed years ago and has really done a lot of good for the community. It was a sustainable idea before sustainability was in vogue, shall we say?” Patel said. “All of the money has been raised to support the League to Save Lake Tahoe. I think collectively combined, in those 47 years, between Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta, the League to Save Lake Tahoe has raised 16 million dollars to keep the water of Lake Tahoe crystal sparkling blue.”
Over 640 guests descended on the Schumacher Family Home in North Lake Tahoe for the presentation, live auction, and luncheon. De la Renta’s stepdaughter and step-son-in-law, Eliza and Alex Bolen, introduced the show, stating that it was the first time the collection was seen by the public. Patel discussed the importance of the relationship between De la Renta, Saks, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe. “It’s such an incredible partnership because it really does come from a genuine love of nature and the beauty that Lake Tahoe provides as a natural landmark. Oscar de la Renta has been a champion of that partnership with Saks 5th Avenue for so many years. It’s even more special today because of the legacy that Oscar de la Renta has left behind. It’s very symbolic of what Oscar stood for on so many levels.” De la Renta’s signature look is characterized by original shapes and unique silhouettes, rich textures, brilliant color, and incredible embroidery. All of these things were on display at the show on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Drew Altizer
This year’s event raised $870,000 for the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the most popular live auction item was tickets to attend De la Renta’s upcoming fashion show in New York. Two bidders were fighting for the tickets, but luckily, De la Renta’s team decided to double the experience and let each of the bidders win the prize. For $50,000 the bidders purchased an experience that includes two front row seats to the Oscar de la Renta fall 2017 show at Fashion Week, a $10,000 gift certificate to shop the De la Renta collection with help from Boaz Mazor, the brand’s executive at large, and a private tour of the company’s atelier. The luncheon was quite the feast and featured a Mediterranean antipasti plate with grilled vegetables, hummus, mixed olives and sea salt crackers; open-faced sirloin sandwich on crisp ciabatta; heirloom tomatoes, grilled asparagus, Nueske’s bacon, and horseradish gribiche; with local berry cobbler in a mason jar for dessert. Tahoe Blue Vodka poured cocktails and Blue Moon Brewing Company and Mumm Cordon Rouge were the beer and wine served at the sunny event. Notable guests in attendance were Dede Wilsey, Barbara Brown, Stephanie Marver, Mary Beth and David Shimmon, Dr. Carolyn Chang, Karen Kubin, and Aldophus Andrews.
Our conversation with Patel ended on an important note for Bay Area trend-setters. What should San Franciscans being wearing this fall? “San Franciscans are going to really enjoy a lot of the textures,” Patel said. “It was a rich, decadent, and lush season full of incredible fabrications. Velvet was one of the main standout fabrics that we saw across all categories, so you’re going to see not just incredible velvet dresses, but you’ll see great velvet jackets, great velvet handbags, great velvet shoes. Leopard was another trend that we saw across all of the runways this season. Great leopard capes, shoes and bags. Military was a very strong trend that marched down the runways as well.”