Artist wakes from operation to find she’s an international fashion designer

Isa Levy's Man&Woman artwork

Isa Levy's Man&Woman artwork - Credit: Archant

Not many people wake up from a hip operation to find out they are an international fashion designer.

Isa Levy's Man&Woman on a dress

Isa Levy's Man&Woman on a dress - Credit: Archant

But for 68-year-old Highgate artist, Isa Levy it was a delightful surprise during her recovery period.

Originally an actress, Isa did not turn to art until her late 40s and had no artistic background.

But she has gone on to exhibit in a range of spaces including St Martin in the Fields.

After 20 years she stopped painting to complete her Masters in psychotherapy which as an arts psychotherapist she now combines with her passion for art.

Isa Levy. Picture: Mark Walton

Isa Levy. Picture: Mark Walton - Credit: Archant

Two months ago she started transferring her art work onto clothes after being approached by design studio shopvida.com


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“They liked my work and got in touch with me. They said it would look very impressive on their products especially the abstract ones. The idea behind it is to approach designers direct and then the public can choose their custom-made design and fashion item which will be made up in India employing otherwise unemployed workers. It’s an interesting idea to give designers and makers more global recognition without meeting each other.”

Vida aims to help manufacturers in developing countries to collaborate with designers in a fairtrade style process that works to improve the quality of life of those involved.

Isa is currently just four purchases away from reaching sales status. When she hits that target, the company will start manufacturing her clothes internationally.

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“I think my images look really great on the scarves and shirts and dresses, especially the abstract ones. They are very colourful, joyful and celebratory.”

She is concerned that sometimes people can feel put off by certain art forms and hopes her fashion contributions will make her work more accessible.

“Fashion is something that is accessible on a global scale. Even as an actress I wanted to bridge the gap between the audience and the performer I wanted to bring together the creative spark of every individual.”

Although she is well on her way to being an international fashion designer, she has not forgotten her roots and uses her love for art and psychotherapy to help others in her Highgate community.

“In my own right I wanted to share what I’ve learnt with others. By doing the masters it gave me the words and understanding to integrate my own experience as a performance artist to a visual artist.

“I needed to find the relationship. It meant closing the door on the world to find myself.

“Not the actress, the real self I need to open the door of my studio and say look here’s someone who done a journey through life, the dark to the light and it’s all been recorded.

“That’s what a client is also doing, finding the light, freedom and peace of mind.”

Once she gains sales status, Isa hopes her designs will be available in North London fashion shops.

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