Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Louda Collection Exhibition at The World Bar

Contemporary dancer Coco Karol performs among mannequins in the upstairs space of The World Bar

Friends and followers alike mingle with models clad in Louda Larrain's celebrated couture Monday evening at Trump Tower's The World Bar. Here, familiar faces--and some new ones too--come to celebrate art and indulge in the handcrafted artistry of Louda before the beloved couturier trades the streets of NYC for the sands of Hawaii next month. Meaningful strums of Finnegan's guitar solos greet guests at the door. Cocktails and laughter abounds as one wades through the crowd. Louda and husband/famed photographer Gilles may be found deep in the crowds--deep in conversation among friends. Upstairs, an unexpected surprise awaits as strains of Jose Luis Navarro's electric violin accompany dancer Coco Karol, clad in a child-sized Louda creation. 

Louda Collection Jackets on display, inviting the curious to try them on

With curiosity at heart and swatches in tow, Louda arrived in Paris in 1996. A creative flair, a unique style and a little good fortune soon earned collaborations with Chanel, Lagerfeld, Dior, Larcroix, Ungaro and others. Years later, Louda's New York City debut came by way of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, under her own fashion label Louda CollectionUsing a self-developed secret technique Louda crafted dresses, jackets, headpieces and other works meticulously by hand. During her tenure in NYC, Louda has evolved her creativity by crafting bespoke pieces made from discarded umbrellas--straight from the streets of New York! Transforming polluting materials into something beautiful, Louda brings back to the streets of New York the fruit of what many rainy days have brought her.

 Lovely ladies garbed in Louda Collection runway dresses

A couple years ago, I was lucky enough to stumble on the studio at 95 Grand street. A quick introduction around a comic-infused white dress in the window turned into nights of exquisite dining with varied guests at the Larrains' table, watching Gilles prepare for photoshoots, listening to the famed flamenco guitar and forming lessons learned from sharing life experiences. The energy... passion.... generosity... and freedom channeled by the salons, the conversations, the interactions between Gilles and his cherished LuLu.... I'll miss it, but I'm happy to have experienced the lighthearted wisdom and forged friendships, and I will achieve a richer happiness as a result of it, both today and years from now. From the stylish sights of Soho to the scenic shores of Kauai, Good luck Louda and Gilles :)!

Hand-stitched winged woman on a Louda Collection creation

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