The Duchess wore a traditional ensemble to begin the first full day of the Pakistan tour.
The Duke and Duchess started a busy day of engagements in the nation’s capital with a visit to the Islamabad Model College for Girls.
The couple wanted to “champion the importance of quality education, particularly for girls,” thus the decision to make the school the day’s first stop. A video as Kate and William arrived.
Thee Royal couple is here at QAU school. pic.twitter.com/Ml5TBI0dun
— Inamullah Khattak (@Khan_Inam1) October 15, 2019
People’s Simon Perry reports, “The royals beamed as they entered the school side-by-side before greeting teachers and meeting with a classroom full of kindergarteners, whom they sweetly introduced themselves to and interacted with.”
A Palace release notes Kate and William “heard about how the students are benefiting from Teach for Pakistan, a fast-track teacher training program.”
Teach for Pakistan operates in under-resourced schools that serve families from disadvantaged backgrounds.
ITV reports that “According to the United Nations annual Human Development report, most Pakistani girls will drop out after primary school and on average, go to school for seven years. Barely 27% of girls in Pakistan attend secondary school, the report said, compared to nearly 50% among boys.”
And for those in school, the quality of education, particularly for girls, varies across the country. We return to the People piece, quoting area education officer Mohammed Sohailkhan:
“In recent years there has been gradual progress in understanding how important education is for girls and young women. There is a realization of what it can mean in terms of jobs and prospects,” he said. “I can’t paint you an entirely rosy picture. It does still fluctuate wildly, particularly in rural regions, where there has traditionally been cultural barriers towards this, notably in terms of sending girls away to college. But these barriers are slowly being broken down.”
There was a lovely moment when a young student told the prince that she was a big fan of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. William responded by saying, “You were, really? Oh, that’s very sweet of you. I was a big fan of my mother too.”
No one will be surprised to see the Duchess reveling in time with the students.
The couple preparing to leave.
They said goodbye to the children before heading to the day’s next stop.
That stop was at Margalla Hills National Park, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Below, a file photo of the Park.
The park is more than 40,000 acres and considered one of the most accessible in Pakistan because of its location close to the nation’s capital.
The Park faces threats of encroachment, poaching, wildfires, invasive species and littering, according to a Palace news release.
Among the mammals making their home in the park: the leopard, barking deer, wild boar, jackals, and red foxes.
There is an enormous variety of plant species as well as 250 varieties of birds.
Kate having a giggle.
One of the day’s tasks was making camera traps that will help students discover more about the wildlife living in the park.
Now for our look at what Kate wore for the first two engagements of Day Two of the Pakistan Tour.
The Duchess was in a traditional salwar kameez (salwar is the loose-fitting trousers; the kameez is the fitted tunic) and dupatta (long scarf) by designer Maheen Khan. Below, a better view of the two tones seen in the soft silk chiffon dupatta, and a closer look at the intricate embroidery.
Here you have an opportunity to see a side view as well as another look at the front.
More from an interview the designer did with Images:
“I stock my clothes at O’nitaa in London and that’s where the Duchess’ style team first spotted them. They are a very savvy team of young stylists and they picked up some clothes to show them to the Duchess and then, reached out to me,” she explained.
Some of the designer’s other work shown online at O’nitaa.
Back to the Images story.
“They chose a selection. One, they chose off the rack while they also asked me to create some bespoke designs. I signed a nondisclosure agreement which meant that I could only talk about it when they allowed me to. I feel that the Duchess has a very classy, elegant personal style and I created my designs along those lines.”
She added that the one thing she felt was necessary to her look was the inclusion of the dupatta: “The dupatta is a lovely accessory to the dress and it is completely Pakistani. And there are orders coming in for the design already!”
And this from a People story, quoting shop owner Onita Prasada:
“Maheen is minimalistic in her styling, and she is very much in the opinion that a garment must not carry you, you must carry the garment. She is one of the pioneer designers in Pakistan and Kate wears it so naturally,” says the shop owner, who has been sourcing clothing and jewelry from Pakistan and India since her boutique opened in 2009.
Working in the fashion industry since 1972, Ms. Khan is known for her embroidery prowess and has contributed work for theatrical films, including Snow White and the Huntsman and Cinderella. Pakistan’s Daily Times reports, “Khan is the proud recipient of the Silver Shield from the government of Pakistan in recognition for her tireless efforts to establish a fashion industry in the country.” Below, a 2013 Facebook photo showing embroidery work on Cinderella costumes.
In addition to her couture line, the designer also offers a brand called Gulabo, which she says was “born of my love for Pakistan and all things Pakistani — the love of colour, the spicy food, the romance, the poetry and the love of life in the streets of Pakistan.” Below, you see Ms. Khan after her Gulabo runway show at Fashion DNA Pakistan, held during London Fashion Week in February 2017.
O’nitaa does not offer ecommerce at this point, but online retailer Studio by TCS is selling two of the pieces seen today.
The kameez is available to order ($360) and is described as “A periwinkle classic kameez paired with a trouser and a two-toned chiffon scarf.” The matching scarf is sold separately at TCS ($92). (I do not see the trousers offered online.)
Today’s look brought the inevitable comparisons to designs worn by Diana, Princess of Wales when visiting Pakistan.
— Pakistan News (@pakistaninews) October 15, 2019
Ms.Khan eschews that notion; more from BBC Urdu:
But the designer behind some of the outfits says any similarity with what Diana wore is just a coincidence.
“As far as my designs for the Duchess are concerned, I didn’t have any particular idea or colour in mind,” Maheen Khan told BBC Urdu.
“I understood that she needed something simple, classical because she’s fond of elegance.”
This group photo from the school visit speaks perfectly to the planning that goes into a tour wardrobe. Clearly the color of the students’ uniforms was a factor in choosing what the Duchess would wear.
The blue was also a vibrant contrast to the browns and greens of the national park and the rangers’ uniforms.
Now for the day’s accessories, starting with a pair of New Look heels ($38) worn by the Duchess for the school visit.
The point-toe ‘suedette’ shoes feature a chunky 2″ heel with a goldtone buckle. They are out of stock, but I have included the link in case you want to see more photos of them. Many thanks to Carly of Kate Middleton Style for her shoe ID.
While it would only be noted by most if paying very (very!) close attention, the Duchess switched to another pair of shoes for the National Park visit.
She brought back her Russell and Bromley Xpresso Flats (£195, roughly $250 at today’s exchange rates).
Kate’s earrings are the pair by Pakistani retailer Zeen that was first seen last night for the couple’s airport arrival.
They are Zeen’s ‘Beaded Chandelier Earrings’ ($10).
We will see you shortly for our look at the second look worn by the Duchess on Day Two of the tour!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Many of you know how important it was to me when launching WKW that there be a sense of community, not just here but also on social media. That remains a focal point of What Kate Wore. Never did I think I would be the beneficiary of that community spirit the way I have been since undergoing emergency surgery last week. In finishing today’s post, I have struggled to find a way to say how grateful I am for your incredible support and kindness, but find myself ill-equipped to articulate how much that has meant to me as I recover and get back on track. The comments here, on Facebook and Twitter, your messages and emails, all speeded the healing and underscore how remarkably fortunate I am. A thousand ‘thank you’s and cyberhugs for easing this process and making it ever-so-much easier.
This Royal Family Channel video offers roughly 1:30 of the school visit.
Here is roughly :55 of the school visit.
AFP has about 45-seconds of the Margalla Hills visit in this video.
- Learn more about the Teach for Pakistan program here; visit the organization’s Facebook page here; its Twitter feed is here and Instagram page here
- the Evening Standard’s coverage is here; an ITV piece is here; the Telegraph’s story is here; the Daily Mail’s piece is here
- a People story is here; a Daily Mail fashion story is here; a Hello! article is here
- the Images story is here; a Pakistan Daily Times Maheen Khan article & interview is here; an outstanding profile piece on the designer may be seen here in Aurora, an advertising trade publication