Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen wears shirts produced by university students on TV
By Sarah Wood
University of Gloucestershire fashion design students produced the unique shirts worn by host Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen in his latest series of Changing Rooms, now showing on Channel 4.
Alex Willcock, Matthew Stanley and Natasha Read, with support from senior lecturer in fashion, Margaret McDonough, and technical demonstrator, Nicole Hofgartner, turned Laurence's original fabric patterns into the bespoke shirts he wears in each of the six new episodes of the long-running home improvement show.
Maximalist interior designer Laurence turned to the fashion design department at the university because, with time pressing, he knew they would be able to produce high-quality shirts for him to wear on TV at short notice.
The students produced two shirts for Laurence for the start of filming and then, while he was on set, made four more for him for the rest of the series.
He can be seen wearing the distinctive shirts in his own inimitable style in the latest series, as he helps families and friends work against the clock to renovate a room with the help of professional interior designers.
The project provided students Alex, Matthew and Natasha with an extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate their fashion design skills, knowing their finished products would be seen by millions of TV viewers.
Alex Willcock said: "Being a first-year fashion design student and knowing a garment you have produced will be on TV, worn by a creative individual who appreciates the hard work which goes into producing it, pushed me to want to go above and beyond with the quality and detailing of the garment.
"Being able to say, that as University of Gloucestershire students we have collaborated with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to transform his interior design prints into a 3D form and mixing interior with fashion, to help push his brand further and display his ideas and prints with a tailored shirt, is the best reward by far."
Margaret McDonough said: "When Thomas Mills, one of our former fashion students who now works for Llewelyn-Bowen Design, contacted us and explained the situation, I knew it would provide our students with a fantastic real-world experience, reflecting the demands of industry in terms of meeting deadlines and responding to the client's needs.
"Working with the beautiful prints Thomas had developed from Laurence's original drawings was an added bonus and made for an exciting collaboration between fashion and interior design. Exactly the kind of challenging experience we what for our students."
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen said: "I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to the staff and students at University of Gloucestershire, who came to the rescue when I needed six new shirts for the latest series of Changing Rooms.
"They really did go above and beyond the call of duty, and I'm ever so grateful to them for their time and effort in making the shirts for me - they've done a wonderful job.
"The shirts are of an exceptionally high standard. I'm over the moon with them and I was extremely proud to wear them on Changing Rooms."
Picture credits: Llewellyn-Bowen Designs
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