Monday 26 September 2016

Fashion mavens in a flap over Taj

Victoria Moss

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stand after posing for a photo on a bench at the Taj Mahal. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stand after posing for a photo on a bench at the Taj Mahal. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

What does one wear to re-create one of the most famous images of the mother-in-law you've never met?

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Yesterday's fashion conundrum might have just been the most demanding sartorial test the Duchess has yet faced.

But at the much anticipated Taj Mahal visit, Kate gamely and diplomatically rose to the challenge in a pretty azure blue and white embroidered dress by the American-Indian designer Naeem Khan.

The rest of her tour-drobe has been a vibrantly hued affair, but she neatly side-stepped any more Diana comparisons by steering clear of the bright block colours that the Princess of Wales so deftly adorned in order to stand out against the clean backdrop. Arguably, with its white base, Kate's dress left her a little lost in the pictures. But perhaps that was shrewd thinking.

Kate's dress is from Khan's resort 2015 collection. The NY-based designer is used to high-profile clientele; he created a bespoke gown for Michelle Obama's first White House state dinner and has dressed Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Emily Blunt for the red carpet, as well as Queen Noor of Jordan (30pc of his clientele is based in the Middle East).

Throughout this tour, Kate has weathered the scrutiny of her ensembles with panache and perfected the art of frockery, treading the fine line between promoting UK designers whilst also flattering her host country. She's been averaging three outfits a day.

Aided by PA and stylist Natasha Archer, she has kept to designers which have served her well in the past such as Emilia Wickstead, Jenny Packham and Alexander McQueen, balanced with high-street pieces from Topshop and online label Glamorous in order to relieve anyone who was starting to tot up the cost.

The best outfit was the dazzling Tory Burch maxi dress she wore for dinner with the king and queen of Bhutan, which provided serious wow factor. All of which does leave us wondering if Prince William, who has largely kept to Hurlingham-casual, feels a little over-shadowed?

Sunday Independent

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