Kate opted for a dress by Saloni London for this evening’s pre-tour reception at Kensington Palace.
The Duke and Duchess met young people from Bhutan and India in advance of their visits to those countries.
Some of the guests were Indian entrepreneurs supported by the UK’s Trade and Investment Global Entrepreneur Programme.
Tonight’s function gave the Duke and Duchess an opportunity to learn first-hand about the places they will be visiting, getting a sense of contemporary culture in both countries. They were also given some dietary input by one guest; more from The Daily Mirror:
Model Neelam Gill, whose family is originally from the Punjab, said: “For my generation [William and Kate] have always seemed cool and approachable and I felt they were just that in person. “It was really sweet seeing them as a couple.”
She added: “She told me that she loved Indian food so I told her that she’d be fine with the spices. But William told me that he struggles with the spices so I told him to watch out.”
Many of those attending the event were students. Below, William is seen speaking with Chevening scholarship students; that program works to develop future leaders by offering scholarships and fellowships to study in the UK.
Moving to what Kate wore, we show the Saloni Mary Illusion Dot Dress in navy blue. The floor-length frock is a rayon/silk blend featuring a high ruffled neck, full-length sheer sleeves, a sheer/illusion plunging neckline incorporated into the bodice, an exaggerated keyhole opening on the back above the hidden zipper, and a satin (I think) sash-style belt.
A view from the back, with thanks to The Daily Mirror’s Victoria Murphy for so generously sharing her photos.
In this image you can see that Kate added a modesty panel, or lining, to the top.
Below left, a better sense of the fabric’s texture and weight. On the right, another piece crafted of the same material.
Saloni says the dress will be available for pre-ordering on the company’s website very soon.
The brand was founded by Indian-born Saloni Lodha in 2007; more on the designer from Richard Palmer’s piece in The Express:
Ms Lodha, who moved to London in 2004 after a spell in Hong Kong, comes from a family of Marwaris, an Indian ethnic group that originates from Rajasthan. Her grandfather owned a fabric shop and all the women in her family only ever wore sarees.
She has described how her heritage has influenced her designs. “I always keep in mind my Indian heritage while designing but don’t translate it literally into our clothes,” she said.
“I think the way we as a brand celebrate bold colours and patterns is our way of bringing the spirit of India into the collections.”
We expected to see Kate wearing a new dress or two from this designer on the tour. The Duchess was first seen wearing the brand at a Fostering Network engagement in November of last year, the company’s Martine dress.
In addition to its own ecommerce site Saloni is carried at Matches Fashion and Net a Porter; there is also a small selection of pieces at The Outnet, the discount arm for Net-a-Porter. Below we show a few current-season pieces, the Molly Silk Shirtdress is on the left ($595) and the Jess Textured Crepe Dress ($595).
Kate accessorized with her Cassandra Goad Temple of Heaven earrings.
The Duchess wore her Rupert Sanderson Malory heels.
One more photo showing Kate in the dress.
We’ll close with a Press Association video from the event.
- Richard Palmer’s story in The Express is here, Rebecca English’s story in The Daily Mail is here, Victoria Murphy’s Daily Mirror story is here & Emma Spedding’s piece in The Telegraph is here
- PopSugar’s photo gallery is here and another is here, People magazine’s story is here,