Photography by Arthur Eisenberg.
Louda Larrain may just be the best kept secret in New York fashion. Sure, she’s shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, been featured on Japanese television, and received attention from the French fashion press. Her work has even caught the attention of George Clooney (ask her about that sometime). But because her one-of-a-kind fabrics are so time and labor intensive, very few people are able to get their hands on them. And since the pieces are eye-catching in a distinct and recognizable way, owning one is like knowing the secret handshake of a very exclusive club.
Louda gave a few hundred people a fresh look into the clubhouse at the Russian American Foundation‘s “Our Heritage Through Fashion.” The well-attended event was the kickoff to the 7th Annual Immigrant Heritage Week and was packed with the city’s Russian cultural elites and several gently pandering politicians. Like with Williamsburg’s Hasidic Jews, city officials must have decided that the Russian immigrant community will vote as a monolith and therefore are more than willing to make appearances and speeches at their swank events.
Though several designers presented, Louda opened the affair with a bang. It’s already been said a thousand times, but Louda’s obvious strength is her unparalleled fabric design. She also has an eye for personalization. Louda explained, “You see that as I’m making one of a kind pieces, I don’t really make seasonal collections. I made pieces that were adjusted to their [her clients and models’] personalities.”