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Nightlife profile: Luis Machicao 

Maybe Charlotte's claim to fame isn't high-end fashion, but with couture custom designer Luis Machicao calling this city home, who's to say we're not far from it? Originally from Peru, Machicao has been in the Charlotte area for 10 years. He's showcased his designs worldwide, from Paris and Milan to New York Fashion Week. And on Saturday, April 30, he will partner with South End business Groove Salon as one of the designers featured in Fashion Soul, a runway show taking place in the parking lot between Dharma Lounge and Marigny. Fashion Soul is a part of South End Soul, a festival celebrating all things creative in the South End community.

Creative Loafing: Tell us a little about your background.

Luis Machicao: I have designed for theater, opera, a couple of movies and TV programs back in Peru. I was also the fashion designer for the former presidential family.

While I was studying sociology in school, I visited Paris where I discovered the fashion world was ruled by men. I just fell in love with the runway world. I moved there to work as a designer. About 13 years ago, I moved to the U.S. and opened a house of high fashion in Houston, Texas. There, I did some beauty pageants and bridal gowns. Ten years ago I moved to the Carolinas.

What do you anticipate from Fashion Soul?

I think it's going to be a great success for South End. A lot of people are so in touch with fashion. I hope to show at the event that, I'm an American now but I still utilize Latin flavor in my designs. I want to show something a little different from what they're used to seeing. My designs are very old-fashioned. It's very different from the modern style that everyone is doing.

What kinds of pieces do you plan to showcase?

When you see my collection, you'll see the influence of Christian Dior or Chanel. I'm going to showcase 10 pieces from my last three collections. Of course, I'm going to show two or three pieces from this year's, which is very 1950s, very Jackie O, Aubrey Hepburn-style. And then I'll show some pieces from my "red" collection, which was last year's collection. This was based on the Hollywood divas of the 1930s — long gowns with trains. And probably my "black" collection. It's very avant garde, and it was my collection from last winter.

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