UMuhammad Asad Ullah
From their wedding dress to the clothes they opt for on international appearances and tours, what a Royal wears can tell us a lot about who they are, how they feel and the message they’re trying to convey. The Royal Family may not say much, but their fashion choices can kick off trends, make careers and promote social change.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (the British royal couple known as William and Kate among masses) are back in UK post their recent Pakistan tour, the first royal visit in 13 years. It has been, by all accounts, a highly successful five days of outreach. They met with Prime Minister Imran Khan (friend of William’s late mother Princess Diana) And schoolchildren. Played cricket. Saw many sights. Met the movers and shakers of Pakistan entertainment and fashion industry. And smiled for every photographer, paparazzi and person that came in contact with them.
These are culturally sensitive times, and those sensitivities are culturally relative. Their clothes made silent statements with cross-border respect, cultural awareness and outreach in focus. No detail, or earring, was overlooked. Kate Middleton and Prince William kicked off their tour of Pakistan by touching down at the Pakistani Air Force Base Nur Khan in Chaklala, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Suffice to say that our fascination with all things royal style runs deep and well, we know we’re not alone here, because we could see Kate trending on Instagram and Twitter like anything every few hours with her choice of wardrobes. Where people often took over social media to compare her fashion choices with what her late mother-in-law opted for during her visit to Pakistan, others just appreciated how gorgeous she looked with a 100 watt smile and that perfectly blow-dried hair.
Deplaning and the morning leg
As she landed, for Day 1, Middleton chose a special look: she wore an ensemble that recalled the late Princess Diana’s visit to Pakistan back in the 90s. The Duchess chose an ombré dress by Cathrine Walker, one of her favourite designers, and paired it with matching pants underneath. The ensemble appeared to be inspired by shalwar kameez – a mesh of a tea dress and a shalwar kameez. The look also bore a striking resemblance to the long, light blue button-up top and trouser combo that Princess Diana wore during her Pakistan tour in 1996. Middleton made the outfit her own by adding her signature nude pumps.
The next morning as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went out to learn about the work of Teach for Pakistan — an organisation that recruits and trains graduates and young professionals for a two-year fellowship in which they teach in low-income schools, and visited the Islamabad Model College for Girls, Kate paired nude ballet flats with a periwinkle shalwar kalmeez and dupatta by Pakistani designer Maheen Khan. The dress was fuss free with exquisite embroidery detailing on the neckline paired with a chiffon dupatta. Kate seems to have had loved Maheen’s design, no wonder she wore two outfits by the designer and also a pair of white pants that she had paired with her green Catherine Walker trench coat meets tunic, when she met the Prime Minister and President of Pakistan.
Meeting the president and prime minister of Pakistan
To meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi, Middleton chose an eye-catching emerald coat-dress by Catherine Walker. Then she added Pakistani labels to balance out the rest of her ensemble, including cream trousers from Maheen Khan, earrings from Zeen, and a printed scarf from Bonanza Satrangi. Her matching suede bag and pointed pumps finished off the look. We just loved how she tossed the crinkle embroidered dupatta as a statement. Middleton saluted local fashion without straying far from her signature style.
The glamorous affair
One word: Glam! The Duchess enlisted beloved British label Jenny Packham to help make her arrival to a reception hosted by the British High Commissioner of Pakistan one to remember, in a Pakistani ricksaw. She complemented the emerald green gown with statement earrings by Onitaa. To achieve an almost liquid effect while enhancing the body contours, Jenny was all about silvery emerald green crystals — encrusted with lace appliqués and embroidered with a generous amount of pearls and sequins. Almost costume-y in its unabashed glamour. Kate paired an emerald chiffon dupatta with the full length silhouette. Also, apart from Kate, William was wearing a matching emerald sherwani by Pakistani designer, Nauman Arfeen, and Oh! He looked handsome.
The Duke and Dutchess met the movers and shakers of Pakistani entertainment and fashion industry at the reception, including the likes of Mahira Khan, HSY and Mehwish Hayat among others.
Warm hues amidst picturesque mountains
After travelling to the north of Pakistan to the Hindu Kush mountain range in Chitral, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Chiatibo glacier in an attempt to highlight the climate crisis. For the trip, Middleton opted for a cowgirl-ready outfit that was chic.
Wearing a waistcoat by Really Wild, the mother-of-three looked ready for adventure, pairing it with a slip skirt, shirt and boots. Gold earrings and a pashmina shawl added an extra touch to the look. The royals were presented with traditional Chitrali hats and white coats, which Princess Diana also received during her visit to Chitral in 1991.
Touching down Lahore
Touching down in the city of Lahore the next day, the Duchess of Cambridge stunned in a white shalwar kameez by Gul Ahmed, which featured intricately embroidered jasmine flowers, the national flower of Pakistan. The ensemble was paired with an off-white shawl by Maheen Khan. Keeping the outfit sleek and chic she paired it with beige suede heels by Gianvito Rossi and a blush clutch by Mulberry. And later on, white sneakers and a pony tail when she headed out to visit National Cricket Academy in Lahore to stroke a bat or two.
Visiting Badshahi mosque
Kate Middleton sported a turquoise Shalwar Kameez by Maheen Khan for her official visit to the Badshahi Mosque. The well-structured silhouette featured a gold trim that perfectly matched the gold detailing on the front panel, an embroidery drawing inspiration from the Egyptian motifs and calligraphy. Her head scarf with gold pipping looked as traditional as it could.
A fashionable farewell
For the final day of the royal tour, Kate wore a cream Elan kurta with black embroidery, Gul Ahmed pants, UFO earrings, and J.Crew nude heels, and carried a black Smythson purse. Kate later changed in a Beulah black blazer coat, a white tunic, white pants and black Russell & Bromley flats before she and Prince William attended their final event, a visit to Islamabad’s Army Canine Unit, where they met dogs and puppies trained to identify explosive devices.
Stylists game strong
Here’s to the stylists that put together some fabulous looks for Kate, incorporating so many traditional and Pakistani detailing. Va Va Voom!
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