Oscar de la Renta Resort: A Day in the Sun

Oscar de la Renta Resort 2012

Red Carpet favorites from the runway, Oscar de la Renta Resort 2012, at Lake Tahoe:

Click here for social scenes from the event.

Set against the backdrop of pine trees and the Sierra Nevada mountains, the runway on the lawn at the Fritz estate seemed to breath new life into Oscar de la Renta’s 2012 resort collection. Showing the resort collection outdoors, under sunlight, gave it context and brought the clothes to an audience more likely to wear them than a room full of critics and industry insiders. Some 650 Oscar de la Renta fans attended the afternoon fashion show, a benefit for the League to Save Lake Tahoe, on August 6, 2011. Click here for social scenes from the event.

Synonymous with American royalty, de la Renta’s collection reflected the refined elegance that made him the popular choice of First Ladies Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, whose inaugural gowns he designed. In this collection, gowns were forged in sunburst colors, black on white and in twinkles of gold. Tiers of ruffles floated in the wind as sequins catching the sunlight sparkled. Necks were adorned with gold statement necklaces, and curtain tassel jewelry hung from ears. Dresses with corseted busts, bell-shaped skirts, fishtail trains and large bows inspired by the 19th century were juxtaposed with brushstroke prints and dresses cinched with skinny or wide leather cutout belts to mix the past and present. Models were topped with straw boater hats, traditionally worn by men in the 1800’s, adding a quirky, modern twist on an old theme.

De la Renta has expanded his fan base outside the White House into Hollywood where actresses Eva Mendes, Tina Fey, Freida Pinto and Lea Michelle have been spotted in his 2011 resort collection. Other glamorous stars seen in his designs include Anne Hathaway, Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson.

For the ladies who lunch, tweed and embroidery were shaped into knee-length jackets or boleros and fitted atop of fresh sundresses. Dresses were shapely: wrapped, layered, tiered and ruffled in painter’s prints or simple white. A few paneled, print shift dresses were thrown in the mix for the power executive. De la Renta seemed to cast a wide net with his cocktail dresses that ranged from slim-fitting, belted, solid brights to glittery, bejeweled and lacy numbers. Anything for the fans!

After dressing Jenna Bush for her wedding, he lost the highly publicized battle to Vera Wang for the nuptials of other former First Daughter, Chelsea Clinton, earlier this year. De la Renta’s wedding gown was a testament that he’s not losing any sleep over it. The frothy, strapless, tiered ruffled gown was a vision for every bride-to-be in the audience imagining herself in it.

While you may not be looking for a tangerine ball gown for your next trip to Maui, this additional “resort” collection is more than just filler between seasons. De la Renta delivers a substantive collection useful to the style set and celebrities in warm climates like ours while his gowns remain the epitome of respected elegance and sublime glamour. Miko Heidi Laube

Photos by Drew Altizer Photography

— Also see Oscar de la Renta at Lake Tahoe 2014Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show at Lake Tahoe 2013Oscar on the Lake 2012SF to Tahoe for Oscar de la Renta 2011 and Oscar by the Lake 2010.