One more sleep to go!
Tonight, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will depart the UK to commence their week-long tour of India and Bhutan! The royal couple are scheduled to arrive in Mumbai on Sunday morning and head to the luxurious The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel where they will be staying. Click to read the complete itinerary.
Earlier in the week, the Duke and Duchess hosted a pre-tour reception at Kensington Palace. This gave the couple an opportunity to meet young people from India and Bhutan who are currently studying or working in the UK. Click to read more >
Also this week, a new engagement was added to Kate's calender. Kensington Palace announced the Duchess will host a charity gala on 22nd June. The £6,000-a-head high-society party will be in aid of the East Anglia Children’s Hospice, the charity of which Kate became a patron in 2012.
Below are my favourite repliKates of the week ...
Jill's repliKate closet continues to grow, and she has kindly shared reviews of her recent purchases! The first is the La Redoute bird print dress (for the Jonathan Saunders EDITION Black Bird Print Dress). The second is the Warehouse belted dress (for the Goat 'Vreeland' dress).
The La Redoute dress is 100% viscose, has a rounded neckline, a side zip and a front zip from the waist to the neck. The sleeves are ¾ length. The length of the frock is not that long – I am 5’ 2” and it sat just above my knee but as you can see in the photos it looks lovely with either stockings or tights. The dress is actually made in Romania. There are gathers in the waist seam on either side of the zip, and also in the waist seam in the middle at the back. It is a lovely fabric, but warning, it does crease very easily. The dress is very trendy and I love it. I have enclosed a close up of the gorgeous swallow designs in the fabric. It is also quite a tight fitting dress – with not much give.
My 2nd purchase was the Warehouse belted shirt dress from ASOS. As always ASOS is a fantastic company to deal with. I’ve never ever had one problem with them. The fabric is 100% polyester but a heavier fabric I felt than what you see in the photos online. It is quite shapeless (for me) however I would wear another belt with it rather than the tie it is advertised with. I have taken a close up of the sleeve (3/4 folded) and as you can see the fabric almost looks embossed – it is also quite a deep blue. The length of the dress fell just below my knees. I love both dresses and am overall pleased with my purchases.
ROYAL TOUR FASHION NEWS
Palace sources have revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge will be packing 12-15 outfits for the week-long royal tour of Indian and Bhutan. With over 21 engagements, we can expect her to make a few wardrobe changes each day of the tour.
So what will Kate pack for her visit to the subcontinent? A Palace source has revealed to US Weekly that there will be “colourful, flowy dresses; fitted jeans and trousers; and a lot of casual fits.”
Kate will also have to find space for her Brasher Hillmaster GoreTex hiking boots for when she and the Duke go on a six-hour trek to the Tiger's Nest Monastery, 3000m up in the Bhutanese mountains.
The Cambridge entourage are leaving nothing to chance. In February, Kate’s private secretary, Rebecca Deacon, traveled to the region for some fashion inspiration. “She took note of the colors of each local setting, lighting and sunset times” which helped the Duchess create a “look book,” for the tour, reveals a Palace insider.
Kate will most likely commission bespoke pieces from some of her favorite British designers, such as Alexander McQueen, Temperley London, and Jenny Packham. Below are a few examples of styles that may work for the tour from her go-to design houses:
The Duchess is known for her fashion diplomacy, often selecting pieces that pay homage to her host countries. She will undoubtedly embrace the vibrant colours and rich designs synonymous with Asian culture. She has already found inspiration from the East before, wearing two designs by Saloni, a womenswear label founded by Indian-born designer, Saloni Lodha:
It remains to be seen if Kate will reach out to other Asian-based designers for the tour. Duchess Kate Blog has done a stellar job at researching potential designers connected to the subcontinent. She suggests Naeem Khan, Sachin & Babi and Needle & Thread as possible contenders.
Naeem Khan is an Indian-American fashion designer, born in Mumbai. He is known for his intricately hand-beaded and embroidered gowns, as well as his extensive understanding of the rich textiles of his homeland. The designs below would be perfect for the glittering Bollywood gala on the first night of the tour.
Sachin & Babi is a New York based fashion label founded by husband and wife duo Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia, who are natives of Delhi and Mumbai. The pair are known for their attention to detail, love of textiles, embroidery and rich colour palettes which shows in their designs.
British brand, Needle & Thread works with artisans in India and the UK to produce exquisitely embellished pieces with contemporary appeal. The designs are reminiscent of Jenny Packham and Temperley London but at a moderate price-point.
Kate is also known for her thrifty style and we may see her repeat outfits she has worn before. The LK Bennett 'Lasa' blue poppy dress would be a fitting choice during her visit to Bhutan. The floral print would be a nod to the national flower of Bhutan, the Himalayan Blue Poppy.
I'm confident we will be seeing Kate in some of her most extraordinary outfits yet during this tour! I look forward to sharing all the fashion moments with you during the course of the week!