Maybe Charlotte doesn't get big names like Armani or Marc Jacobs to color our city personally with their fashion designs, but that certainly doesn't mean we're floating in a fashion black hole. Originally from Peru, Couture Designer Luis Machicao has been in the Charlotte area for eight years. He specializes in women's clothing but is now getting into men's swimwear, and his work has most recently been seen in runway shows for the Catawba Care Coalition and the Junior League.
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 11 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. Eight years ago I moved to the Carolinas.
What brought you here?
Because of the weather. It’s phenomenal; you have four seasons here. I love the people here too. My customers are so nice, very warm. The people here made me feel welcome.
What have you done here locally, as far as fashion and design?
[In addition to being a fashion designer] I also own a granite company, Metropolitan Marble and Granite Countertops. I love to design kitchens.
Last year, I was a designer in the grand finale of the NC Fashion week here in Charlotte. Right now I'm working on my 2010 spring/summer collection for NC Fashion Week in September.
I've also been a costume designer for a couple of plays in community theater.
How can people find your designs?
I am a custom fashion designer. That means you call me, I arrange an interview, then I design a one-of-a-kind gown or suit for you. I never repeat my designs. It’s always one of a kind. So you won’t see my stuff in a shop or anything.
What do you think is popular in fashion for spring?
Fashion designers never agree on colors for each season. To me, I think pastel colors, like baby blue, very light green. Also adding an accent, like gold shoes. For example, wearing a pale green vest, simple with nice gold stilettos, like Manolo Blahniks.
Fashion right now is very eclectic. You can find very elaborate outfits, but at the same time you can find very simple. Nothing in the middle, everything’s extreme. Its either very busy or very simple. Those are the tendencies for the spring/summer season.
A lot of people are using red. Red is an in color. That’s why I’m using red for my spring summer 2010 collection, because I know it’ll be good for a year.
Sunglasses need to be big, huge, very Jackie O. Always with a nice shawl or a scarf around your neck as an accessory.
Fuschia is very in now, too.
If you'd like to contact Luis Machicao for his custom design services, call him at 704-449-4452. Visit his web sites:
(photo by Bryan Miller)