Prince William took a break from his usual suits to wear a traditional sherwani, a long coat-like garment worn for formal occasions in Pakistan

By Simon Perry
October 16, 2019 12:08 PM
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The man who designed Prince William’s groundbreaking sherwani coat that he wore to a reception in Pakistan on Tuesday says that the royal carried it off “superbly” and “stole the show.”

“It doesn’t seem like he was wearing something for the first time,” designer Nauman Arfeen tells PEOPLE. “He knows how to handle it and carry it. That was simply superb.”

“It was my pleasure to design something for the royal prince,” Arfeen adds. “That was a dream come true.”

The Pakistani designer says the royal has innate style, which helped him pull off the look.

“Honestly, no one carries it like he did,” Arfeen says. “Usually people are more comfortable wearing the things they wear in their daily life – maybe a suit and tie and shirt. Most people get uncomfortable that they are not feeling right. But I noted he had no fuss and was so comfortable wearing it. It was amazing.”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince William
| Credit: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty

“I am happy and surprised in the way he carried it. It was absolutely stunning,” he tells PEOPLE. “He is a true prince.”

The designer is based in Karachi, which is a two-hour flight south from the capital city of Islamabad, where William wowed on Tuesday evening. And when he saw pictures of the event, he was more than impressed.

“You have to really feel you are wearing something that is making you happy and feel good,” he says. “And the way he wore the sherwani was simply fabulous.”

Nauman Arfeen Prince William Tunic
Nauman Arfeen’s sketches
| Credit: Nauman Arfeen
Nauman Arfeen Prince William Tunic
Nauman Arfeen’s sketches
| Credit: Nauman Arfeen
Nauman Arfeen Prince William Tunic
Credit: Nauman Arfeen

The moment was made all the more special with wife Kate Middleton by his side. The royal mom was stunning in a glittering green Jenny Packham column gown.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty

Wearing the traditional garb alongside chino pants was the correct way of wearing the sherwani, Arfeen adds. “It was a proud moment for Pakistan that he wore a green one.” (The color represents the green flag of Pakistan.)

Arfeen says that William “stole the show” — and that he even read in some coverage “that the prince had overshadowed Kate.”

“That is good news for me,” he says with a chuckle. “The people love it.”

Moments like Tuesday night’s reception have hints of diplomacy that are felt across the country. And the designer hopes that William and Kate are bringing a new focus to the positive aspects of the country of Pakistan.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

“After 9/11 you know what happened – all the reaction came to here,” Arfeen says. “The prince and the princess are today in the northern part of Pakistan, which is heaven on earth. They are enjoying each and every moment and giving a message to the world that Pakistan is a very peaceful country. So the main message is that this is a peaceful country – and that message has been given all around the world. That is a proud moment for Pakistan.”

“Things are changing here since Imran Khan became Prime Minister,” he adds. “We are glad William and Kate have come here and are doing things related to the people – like coming in the rickshaw and accepting the traditions of Pakistan and showing the culture and heritage.”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Arfeen says he might not be finished with William’s tour style just yet! The designer has been asked to provide more outfits — including some shirts. It remains to been seen if William will choose to wear them and set off another rare major style moment for the prince!