The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have begun their tour of Pakistan which features some sartorial highlights. Both the Duke and Duchess have made nods to their host country in their fashion choices.
The Duke and Duchess officially arrived the evening of 14 October. For the occasion, the Duchess chose a new bespoke creation from Catherine Walker. The aqua ombre dress and pants were similar to shalwar kameez, a traditional dress worn by people in some Asian countries including Pakistan.
In addition, Catherine opted for new earrings and a new clutch by Pakistani brand Zeen. This is the same brand we saw Catherine debut at the pre-tour event at the Aga Khan Centre in London. Zeen is the womenswear line of the ironically named menswear company Cambridge. Zeen describes its philosophy as “outstanding quality, premium fabrications and signature stitching while bringing fresh styles, attention to detail and innovative fashion to its customers.”
The first official day of the tour was jam-packed with engagements which meant that it was also a fashion-packed day. For the morning engagements, Catherine debuted a new periwinkle ensemble. The traditional kurta with trousers and scarf was by Pakistani designer Maheen Khan. This designer was very much atop most lists of designer predictions for Catherine this trip. She is one of the more internationally known Pakistani designers and has been described as the “Coco Chanel of the East” by Milan Fashion Week.
In addition to the Maheen Khan outfit, the Duchess repeated her Zeen earrings from the arrival. She also debuted new shoes from affordable UK retailer New Look and changed to her pair of Russell & Bromley flats for the event in Margalla Hills.
The Duke and Duchess made a quick change before meeting the President and First Lady of Pakistan at the Presidential Palace and attending a luncheon with the Prime Minister. The Duchess again chose Catherine Walker, one of her favourite design houses, debuting a bespoke green tunic from Catherine Walker. The colour is reminiscent of a green Catherine Walker coat Catherine has worn previously, and the buttons and other design elements are classic Catherine Walker elements.Embed from Getty Images
In addition to Catherine Walker, the Duchess of Cambridge again turned to Maheen Khan. This time, her white trousers are by the Pakistani designer. She again repeated Zeen earrings, this time the pair she first debuted at the Aga Khan Centre in London. She also wore a green chiffon scarf by Pakistani brand Satrangi. Satrangi is the womenswear offshoot of Pakistani menswear brand Bonanza. According to Satrangi’s website, they focus on selecting suppliers who “produce high-quality fabric, aesthetically appealing designs and intricately needled impressions to stay ahead of the innovation curve.” She completed the look with her green suede Emmy London shoes and clutch.
The most dazzling engagement so far was the evening reception in Islamabad at the Pakistan Monument. Kate chose another of her favourite designers Jenny Packham, opting for a custom glittery green gown by the UK designer. She paired the gown with a pair of statement earrings custom-made by retailer O’Nitaa. The retailer strives to be a leading player in South Asian couture and has its flagship store in London.
The biggest fashion surprise of the tour so far came from the Duke of Cambridge who stunned royal watchers and reporters by debuting a green sherwani by Naushemian at the event. Naushemian is a brand by designer Nauman Arfeen. On Instagram, the designer described William’s piece as the brand’s “signature traditional nine button down sherwani”. It’s described as being made from “turquoise self embossed jamawar fabric” and features “intricate embroidery in turquoise on the sleeves.”
William’s choice to go for a traditional piece by a local designer has dominated headlines which is a rarity for men’s fashion. There is no doubt still some sartorial highlights to come in the next few days, but already the fashion of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Pakistan has made a lot of headlines.