Oscar de la Renta’s Fashion Show at Lake Tahoe
For generations old-guard San Franciscans have summered at Lake Tahoe in the picturesque Sierra Nevada. The sapphire blue lake, one of the largest and deepest alpine lakes in North America, measures 22 miles long and 12 miles wide. With its split personality — a third is in Nevada, the other two thirds is in California — the area boasts something for everyone.
The lure of the Lake is its old-fashioned charm of outdoor life and family fun: swimming, boating, water skiing — in wetsuits because its cold — fishing, camping, picnicking, house partying, hiking or just lazing on the beach.
But if that’s too quiet, the Nevada side offers exciting excursions to sample casino life that plays 24/7. You just might get lucky and win enough to pay for your trip.
An annual tradition at Lake Tahoe is the Oscar de la Renta fashion show and luncheon sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue to benefit the League to Save Lake Tahoe. This year Oscar’s 2006 Resort collection was presented at the west shore Fritz estate, which everyone adored. Many guests beat the summer traffic on Highway 89 by arriving in their own boats.
Chaired by Emmy Andrews, Mara Fritz, and Ann Johnson, the popular social event drew more than 600 supporters and raised over $500K, enough to make the environmentalists ecstatic. The audience put on its own fashion show, donning hats in all shapes and colors, to ward off that California sun.
Oscar, himself, arrived with his official entourage, which included son-in-law and CEO Alex Bolen, aide-de-camp Boaz Mazor, President of Saks Andrew Jennings, SF Saks GM Clinton Paul, and personal shopper Therese Post, the gal to know at SF Saks.
Of course the regulars were on hand: League board member Emmy and Adolphus “Dolph” Andrews, Jr.; Joe and Edith Andrews Tobin; Gordon Andrews and family; and Diana Dollar Knowles’ son Joseph Hickingbotham with his son and daughter-in-law Jay and Jessica Hickingbotham and their baby daughter Jacqueline.
Others included Ann and Charlie Johnson (Franklin Fund); Mara’s daughter Jacqueline Fritz; Joan and David Traitel; Rev. Warren and Sally Debenham (good friend of Oscar’s and the late Bill Blass); Adria and Dante Bini, Diane Chapman Kelly; jeweler Klaus Murer; Theodore and Ellie Killebrew Brown (former owner of Heavenly Valley ski resort); Helen O’Hagan; Jeanne Jackson and philanthropist Diane Lloyd Butler.
Later, the Emmy and Dolph Andrews clan hosted a dinner for Oscar at their north shore Brockway home where all enjoyed the beauty of the night with the twilight vistas of Lake Tahoe beyond.
On a nostalgic note, the late Nan Schlesinger Kempner, a born and bred San Franciscan who was a regular at this fashion event, was deeply missed by all her pals. Nan, who married into New York aristocracy when she married Thomas Kempner of the Loeb family, never forgot her roots and her friends back home.