Keeping Lake Tahoe Blue

November 8, 2013 Updated: June 24, 2015    

By the lake, by the lake, by the beautiful lake,
You and I, you and I, oh! how happy we’ll be.

I was humming this slightly altered version of Mitch Miller’s song as beautiful people from the Bay Area and beyond gathered at the sprawling grounds and magnificent gardens of Kern Schumacher’s 5-acre lakefront estate in Incline Village. 

An afternoon of elegance and luminous lifestyle awaited this crowd of 600 on the shores of stunning Lake Tahoe, in support of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. 

This year’s event paid tribute to Diana Knowles (1917–2013), co-founder of the show in 1969, bringing high fashion to Lake Tahoe in an effort to raise funds to keep Tahoe blue. Her dedication to this effort has helped to generate over $15 million for the lake. 

A new volunteer program, Eyes on the Lake, teaches water recreationists at Lake Tahoe how to identify invasive aquatic plants and report sightings. Aquatic invasive species are one of the major causes of Lake Tahoe’s clarity loss. 

With “Keep Tahoe Blue” on everyone’s mind, the adoring fans were ready to toast Oscar de la Renta with Tahoe’s own Tahoe Blue Vodka and to view the designer’s dazzling 2014 Resort Collection of spectacular couture, worn and gracefully pirouetted by 19 gorgeous models. The crew of 20 dressers, along with Saks Fifth Avenue’s sophisticated hairdos and makeup, definitely made it an afternoon to remember and cherish. 

Oscar de la Renta, famous for designing some of the most glamorous creations to ever hit the runways or red carpet grand events, delighted the crowd by attending this year’s fashion show after an absence last year. His shows, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue, have raised millions to benefit the League’s work.

Though he calls New York City his home, de la Renta clearly reaffirms his love for Lake Tahoe’s beauty. 

“I realize it will be very difficult to look at my clothes when you are surrounded by such beauty,” he said as he greeted the guests. “So if you can, please forgive the clothes.” With this modest apology, the green light was on for the runway show to begin. 

Meanwhile, artist Nataliya Tyaglo was on hand to create a luxuriously blue Lake Tahoe in oil on canvas, with fashion show in the foreground. The painting was auctioned at $7,500.

As I observed with awe and admiration this spectacular event, I felt honored to be in the company of three amazing legends in action: Oscar de la Renta, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Lake Tahoe.

De la Renta’s grand finale message was, “Let’s keep Tahoe blue—one of the most magical places in the world.” 

For more information on the League’s work, please visit www.keeptahoeblue.org. Artist Tyaglo’s work can be viewed at www.nataliyatyaglo.com.

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