A HAT designer from Chester is top of the fashion stakes.
Laura Apsit Livens, who works out of a studio in Bridge Street, has been awarded Creative Entrepreneur of the Year from her alma mater, the London College of Fashion.
Former Christleton High School student Laura, 23, received her award at the British Film Institute last month for her collections, her bespoke work and collaborations. Her prize includes a spot at the Centre for Fashion Enterprise market entry programme worth £2,500, a creative advice session with Bracket Creative worth £250 and a cheque for £250 to help with her business.
The designer’s creations have already caught the eye of the rich and famous.
Quirky singer Paloma Faith was seen wearing one of Laura’s hats on BBC2’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks, broadcast in November and Laura has designed a piece for the Duchess of Westminster.
Whilst studying for her degree, Laura secured an internship with royal milliner Philip Treacy, working on a selection of hats for the wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton in April 2011 - including the controversial fascinator worn by Princess Beatrice.
Laura said: “I loved it and I think she was very brave to wear something so experimental. It was based on the love-knot design of one of the Queen’s brooches and of course it raised thousands of pounds for charity when it was sold at auction.
“It was a great experience working in London at the time. We worked all through the night.”
Laura also sewed Swarovski crystals onto Princess Eugenie’s blue hat and worked on the royal wedding hats worn by Victoria and David Beckham.
After graduating, Laura worked as a freelancer for Jane Taylor before moving back home to Chester, where she met Adam Williams and Annabel Mount Kirk, owners of designer womenswear store The Editeur.
Laura works in the studio above The Editeur, where she sells in store and online at www.the-editeur.com in the exclusive section.
For more information on Laura’s work visit www.lauraapsitlivens.co.uk.