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Comment 11 SEPTEMBER 2012

Kate perfects diplomatic dressing on Singapore tour


From the maple leaf adornment worn for Canada's National Day to a cowgirl hat at the Calgary Stampede, the Duchess of Cambridge has mastered the art of diplomatic dressing.

On Kate's tour of Asia and the South Pacific with Prince William — also known to style lovers as a nine-day long fashion show — she took it to a new level.

What better way for the raven-haired beauty to pay tribute to her hosts, than her custom-made Jenny Packham dress.

Kimono style, the pink outfit featured a lovely De Gournay orchid pattern, the flower most closely associated with the country.



Hints of a kimono came through in the wrap detail and silk material making it a thoughtful homage to Asia.

The frock was also a nod to her first engagement at Singapore’s Botanical Gardens, where the couple had an orchid named after them.

With its floaty hemline, lightweight material and pale hue, it was perfect for the humid climate.

But the long sleeves and modest length meant the Duchess kept it demure.

It was latest in a number of gowns Kate has commissioned from British designer Jenny.

Their partnership has been red carpet gold in the past – Kate shimmered in thousands of sequins on her first engagement after her wedding courtesy of the Hampshire seamstress. Jenny also created a turquoise lacy number that she wore to wow at an Olympic gala.


Duchess of Cambridge

After flying the flag for British fashion, it was time for Kate to showcase some of Asia's finest talent. 

The Duchess changed quickly at Raffles Hotel – the grande dame of the colonial era where she and William are staying – stepping out in a silk dress by designer Prabal Gurung, who was born in Singapore and raised in Nepal. 

A printed frock with a striking purple and cream pattern, it was an elegant but ultra-modern choice for dinner at the residence of the country’s president, Tony Tan Keng Yam, with VIP guests. 


Duchess of Cambridge

The frock is from the Prabal Gurung Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which can be picked up at luxury department store Harvey Nichols in London.

And Kate, who just that day had been talking about her love of bargains, may have snapped it up for a snip of the original price – it is currently reduced from £1,770 to £710. 

Royal patronage must be a dream come true for Prabal, who revealed in 2011 that was one of his ambitions.

"The women I like dressing always have to have a strength of mind and real character," he said, speaking to Vogue.

"It's about the content of their heart and mind. Kate, like the First Lady [Michelle Obama], is representative of that ideal. She is very democratic in the way she dresses.


Duchess of Cambridge

"She never behaves badly and we live in a world where people become famous for falling out of a taxi drunk. And then there's Kate – poised, looking like she's enjoying herself and holding onto her integrity." 

Prabal, 38, has built a solid reputation as one of darlings of New York's style scene. He worked at Donna Karan and Bill Blass before founding his eponymous label in 2009.

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