One of the things I love about writing this blog is that it forces me to seek out any precious glimmers of creativity and passion that otherwise would pass me by. In the past I would never have visited a dressmaker´s studio after briefly chatting in a street market. But writing about Seville gives me the licence to be nosey, to take an extra special interest, to scratch below the surface, and I love it.
This was how I found myself inside Isabela Arias´ studio on the corner of Pasaje Mallol and Calle Moravia. Pasaje Mallol is a fairly unremarkable looking street, but is one that contains a high proportion of Seville´s creative energy, with the artisan rich Corralones of Plaza Pelicano at one end and the various artist workshops lining Pasaje Mallol itself, you can practically feel the creativity in the air as you pass by.
Isabela who works under the name Hisabelia, is a designer with a background in theatre costume design and the dramatic arts. Brought up surrounded by dress making and design, it was a foregone conclusion that she would end up cutting patterns and running up wondrous creations.
But life as ever can take you to places you never imagined and in Isabela´s case motherhood and the challenges of working around bringing up a child have brought new inspiration to her work.
Unsurprisingly as well as her one off creations aimed at adults, she has found great joy in creating super cute outfits for children. When I say cute, I don´t mean in the sickly sweet 1950´s way most parents choose to dress their children here in Seville. Hisabelia´s designs are like mini versions of stuff I´d like to wear, fun dresses in interesting fabrics with an eye for detail that you won´t find on the racks of Zara or Mango for kids.
But that´s not the end of the story. A time spent working from home confined to the kitchen table, Isabela for sake of space moved into the world of miniature fashion, in the form of bespoke dolls wearing exquisitely made outfits that look like they could be straight out of a Tim Burton movie. Each doll has a story to tell from the dastardly moustachioed fox to the slightly grotesque but lovable gonch with the Pinocchio nose. Then there is the Dior style chic mademoiselle, dressed in stripes and nonchalantly wearing a flower in her hair, who I´m sure has had some romantic tryst with the aforementioned fox.
As with all of Isabela´s work, these are individual works of art, and not something to grab off the shelf and discard at a moment´s notice. As she call´s it ´Slow design for happy people´. And as a child, if I had been decked out in Hisabelia designs whilst clutching one of her dolls, I would most certainly have been a happy little person.
Contact Isabela in advance if you want to pass by her studio, but she is definitely delighted to show you her work or talk through any design needs you may have including revamping any old clothes. You can also order online if you´re not based in Seville.
Hisabelia (Isabela) Calle Pasaje Mallol 31
Tel 622 887 461