Sick Chic: UK Hospital Gowns Get Designer Makeover

DiscoblogBy Smriti RaoFeb 10, 2010 4:24 AM


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You would think this bit of news would be coming out of Paris, but Britain has moved a step ahead of the French sartorially by giving their hospital gowns a designer makeover. No more shifty, drafty paper gowns with bits of anatomy barely covered (there's another reason why it's called the I.C.U.); the new gown design aims to retain patients' modesty and make their hospital stays a little less revealing. The Design Council of Britain is all set to unveil the new designer gowns made by Ben de Lisi, who has dressed the likes of Kate Winslet. The new gowns are part of a project to improve dignity across the National Health Service. Ben de Lisi told the BBC comfort was top of his mind when he designed the outfits.

"The old hospital gown was hideous, embarrassing, ill-fitting and probably ill-making too. You are away from home, ill, and in hospital and you have to wear this horrific garment with your arse hanging out. Give me a break. I wanted the new gowns to feel fabulous and aspirational." De Lisi's NHS collection, in his signature printed fabric, also includes pajama bottoms, nightwear and slippers.

Unlike many designer clothes, these gowns are a clever mix of functional and practical, says de Lisi--they allow patients to retain their modesty, but also give doctors access to the patient's body via convenient "entrance points" in the gown. De Lisi stresses that these gowns do not tie in the back, to avoid the aforementioned arse issue. However, the hospital gowns won't be introduced to NHS facilities till 2011, which means patients who want hospital haute couture will have to wait a bit. Related Content: 80beats: California Hospitals Confess Their ErrorsImage: Ben de Lisi

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