Find Out What's Inside Princess Kate's Suitcase for India (and Why It Likely Includes a Kira)
The palace promises this will be the royal's "most colorful" trip yet!
Six days, 4,000 miles, the world’s most colorful region and the potential for 20 outfit changes: Get excited, Princess Kate fans. The India fashion extravaganza is about to begin.
With less than two weeks to go until Kate and Prince William embark on their official tour of India and Bhutan, it’s certain that the royal mom has every outfit for the six-day tour planned and ready to pack.
(After all, looking perfectly tailored doesn’t happen without a lot of work!)
Covering four regions of India and the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, palace representatives have called the trip “the most ambitious tour Their Royal Highnesses have undertaken . . . and the most colorful tour to date.”
Fashion-wise, it could be the royal mom’s most adventurous tour wardrobe yet. Known for her savvy sartorial nods to the host country she is visiting (case in point: her Lock & Co red maple leaf hat in Canada), Kate is sure to model some of the exquisite fabrics and sumptuous bold colors that define Indian fashion.
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With two glitzy galas to attend, we may even see a beautifully embellished sari – possibly by India’s most established designer Ritu Kumar, who is known for using traditional craftsmanship in a contemporary fashion and has a younger diffusion line called Label – Ritu Kumar. In business since 1969, Delhi-based Kumar also dressed the late Princess Diana, who wore a teal blue shalwar kameez (a traditional Indian outfit consisting of a loose tunic worn over trousers that narrow at the ankle) to visit a hospital in Pakistan in 1997.
Of course no official tour would be complete without a royal rewear, and the likeliest candidate is the cobalt blue Martine dress from Indian-born designer Saloni that Kate wore to an event in November.
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But perhaps Kate’s most thrilling look will be in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where the couple are set to meet King Jigme and his wife Queen Jetsun, who have been nicknamed the Will and Kate of the Himalayas. A country that fiercely guards its traditions, Bhutanese citizens were until recently required by law to wear national dress in public places at all times. Although less strict now, many of the largely Buddhist community still choose to wear the traditional outfit of the kira for women and gho for men, which dates back to the 16th century.
Made from a rectangular piece of cloth, the kira is almost the same size as a bed sheet. Designed to show off the richness of Bhutanese textiles, the usually elaborately patterned fabric is expertly wrapped and folded into an ankle-length dress, with a precise straight skirt. Worn over a long, loose blouse called a wonju with long wide sleeves, the outfit is accessorized with a jacket called a tego. Often in contrasting bright colors and made from exquisite silks, it’s a stunning look like nothing the royal has ever worn before.