It wasn’t just the Duchess who wowed at a reception in Islamabad tonight, the final engagement in a very busy day.
Prince William’s traditional sherwani coat was a hot topic of conversation on social media and among the fashion cognoscenti. Here is a video from The Telegraph of the couple arriving in a tuk-tuk.
The occasion was a reception celebrating the relationship between the UK and Pakistan.
Below, the Duke and Duchess with the former British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew and his wife, Joanna Drew, a fellow diplomat and a Director in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Built in 2005, the unique design was proposed by Arif Masoud, and won out against 21 other submissions entered in a nationwide design competition surrounding the themes of strength, unity, and dedication.
The four petals represent each of Pakistan’s four major cultures: the Punjabi, the Balochi, the Sindhi, and the Pakhtun. Three smaller petals that stand between the four larger ones represent minorities, Azad Kashmir, and the trial areas. A star and a crescent representing the flag of Pakistan sits in the very center of the monument,
Below, a file photo of the monument.
This offers a look at some of the monument’s detail work.
The reception showcased Pakistani culture.
The BBC reports there were people from “Pakistan’s business, music and film industries, as well as members of the government” at the party.
The Duchess speaking with a guest.
I *think* in this photo we see the Duchess chatting with designer Maheen Khan, who created several of Kate’s ensembles for the tour. On the right, fashion designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, better known as HSY.
Prince William also delivered remarks at the function.
I am struck by the great strides Pakistan has made since its birth seventy-two years ago.
The view from this hill would have been quite different when my grandmother, The Queen, first visited over half a century ago. Looking out, one would have seen the beginnings of a city under construction, yet to become the great capital that it is today.
And with successive visits by my mother and my father, this view has continued to change, with the city constantly growing and with it my family’s affection for Pakistan.
Now for our look at what Kate wore to this evening’s reception.
She was in a Jenny Packham design that appears to be based on the ‘Georgia’ gown from the a/w 2019 runway collection. Below, the dress as it was shown at Moda Operandi in a rose pink color ($5460) and in a silver shade at Harrods ($4053).
The frock features sequin-covered fabric in a tailored design with a row of crystal embellishment accenting the waist and neckline. You can see Kate had the crystals added to the cuffs as well. It looks like her shoulders may be softer than what is seen on the ready-to-wear dresses. Many thanks to Katie for pointing out the similarity to the Georgia design!
Below, a closer look at the cuff and waist embellishment.
And a view showing the scalloped edges and intricate beading on the scarf.
The sandals are done in metallic leather with ankle straps and a small buckle at the ankle. The heels are from the Red Carpet Collection, a selection of iconic styles in ‘luxurious fabrics and adorned with glamorous crystal embroidery.’ Thanks to Innominate_93 on Twitter for the shoe ID.
The Duchess wore her hair partially up.
She had on a new pair of earrings from O’Nitaa, the Chelsea boutique where several of her tour outfits were sourced. Rebecca English reports in her Daily Mail story that the “£290 earrings were gold plated with uncut crystal stones and were made especially for the duchess.”
Thank you to UFO No More for also sharing their earring information.
And now for something a little different, a brief foray into what William wore. Like Kate, he wore a hue referencing Pakistan’s national color, green. The Duke was in a traditional sherwani created by Pakistani formalwear label Naushemian by Nauman Arfeen.
In his Daily Telegraph column, Stephen Doig noted:
“He’s normally more accustomed to pristine Savile Row suits by Gieves & Hawkes or trusty chinos with standard blue shirts and desert boots, but Prince William drew the flashbulbs away from his wife during the couple’s tour of Pakistan today in a traditional jewel-toned sherwani.”
Prince William’s decision to adopt full sherwani dress shows a marked departure for the men of the royal household – his father and grandfather on their tours of the same country stuck to their traditional suits, while Prince William has broken rank to be the first to don the region’s formal attire.
We learn more about the sherwani from The Telegraph article:
Popular for weddings and formal events across India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it’s decidedly ceremonial and has rich ties to Pakistan’s history. When the country was declared independent in 1947, its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah was known for wearing the sherwani, and it’s compulsory uniform for officials during state occasions.
It is a signature Naushemian design, the brand’s traditional nine-button sherwani, crafted of fabric woven at a Naushemian factory. A tweet from the designer with additional information about the piece.
Our signature traditional nine button down sherwani. Materials used are turquoise self embossed jamawar fabric hand woven from our factories. Intricate embroidery in turquoise on sleeves,back motif and buttons. Finished to perfection to fit ROYALTY.@Nauman_Arfeen #Naushemian pic.twitter.com/gpuiiiSYS3
— Nauman Arfeen (@Nauman_Arfeen) October 17, 2019
The Duke referenced the look during his speech, more from this People story.
As he gestured to the buttons running down the front of his long coat, William told the fellow guest: “I see all these men here wearing ties and I don’t have to.”
And in Nauman’s case the Duke himself pinpointed his design when he visited the store.
“I got a call from O’nitaa and she asked me if I could quickly make the turquoise green sherwani for a special client who was there at the store at the time,” recalls Nauman.
“I asked her who the client was and she said that she would tell me later. I talked to her after a while and asked her to send me a picture of the sherwani that she had been referring to so that I had a clearer idea. She said that she couldn’t because the clothes were now in the palace. I was confused. ‘What palace?’ I asked,” he laughs.
And from The Express Tribune:
Arfeen also explained how William’s team did a complete background check on him to make sure that he wore someone credible. “They looked into my previous work, my label, my shoots paying a tribute to the Sikhs which aroused quite a controversy, while I was only trying to make peace. In short, they checked everything!” he shared.
The designer’s reaction via his Facebook page:
“An honour all the designers dream for!! Humbled and grateful to dress The Duke of Cambridge and make my nation Pakistan proud! How the #dukeofcambridge gracefully carried our heritage and tradition, though wearing it for the very first time! The selection of green colour for this historical event, first time ever, A Royal adorn a traditional outfit of any country and winning millions of hearts. Again Thank you for all the warm wishes and blessings from everyone and those who were associated in this, this truly made the nation Proud I am touched by all the acts been done by the ROYALS.”
It looks like the designer is producing a very similar style for retail sales from this November 2nd Twitter post.
Launched for the world to grab! Thank you all who made this happen! @TehminaKhaled @ZoreedR @Nauman_Arfeen @MikeNith1 @MarkRakestraw #shahwani #sherwani #royal #naushemian #naumanarfeen #globallaunch pic.twitter.com/u3I5CshXuA
— Nauman Arfeen (@Nauman_Arfeen) November 2, 2019
The Duke wore evening slippers by Arthur Sleep.
It looks like the Cashmere style (£333, about $430 at today’s exchange rates), a classic evening look made in England of cashmere woven in the Scottish highlands.
One more look at the Duchess this evening.
This was today’s third ensemble.
To read about the Maheen Khan periwinkle salwar kameez worn for the day’s earliest engagements click here. To learn more about the couple’s midday meetings and the Catherine Walker/Maheen Khan green/white outfit, click here.
The Duchess has added several engagements to her schedule, including an event tomorrow, November 7th. Here’s a quick overview; more detailed information, including the timing for several events, is here on the Kate’s Calendar page.
- Thursday, November 7: The Duchess joins Prince William for the launch of the National Emergencies Trust at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
- Saturday, November 9: The Duke and Duchess will join HM, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the annual Festival of Remembrance at Royal Albert Hall.
- Sunday, November 10: Remembrance Sunday events are held today.
- Friday, November 15: The Duchess of Cambridge, Royal Patron of EACH Hospices, will visit the charity’s new hospice ‘The Nook’.
- Monday, November 18: The Duke and Duchess will attend the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.
The Royal Family Channel offers roughly :50 of the Duke and Duchess arriving.
This :45 is also limited to the couple’s arrival.
This covers William’s speech and other elements.
- The Evening Standard‘s story is here; a BBC piece is here; The Daily Mail’s coverage is here; a Daily Mirror piece is here; The Telegraph’s story about the reception is here
- People’s article about the reception is here; a PopSugar gallery is here; the Fug Girls post covering all three ensembles worn today may be read here
- Stephen Doig’s Telegraph column on William’s look is here; the full Images story about Nauman Arfeen is here; a Hello story about on the Prince’s traditional look is here; Simon Perry’s People piece about designer Nauman Arfeen is here; an Esquire story about the look is here