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Dressing The Duke in sherwani: Exclusive with designer Nauman Arfeen

Prince William turned heads in a traditional jewel-toned sherwani designed by a Pakistani designer on Tuesday night, on the royal visit to Pakistan.

Initially, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton made headlines for wearing a dress by local designer Maheen Khan for first day’s engagements.

But Prince William won hearts as he stepped out in a bespoke sherwani by Pakistani brand Naushemian by Nauman Arfeen for the royal reception hosted by the British High Commission in Islamabad.

In an exclusive interview with ARY News, the Pakistani designer revealed how his sherwani design reached the Prince. Arfeen stocks some of his designs at a London-based multi-label store called O’nitaa, where clothes from other Pakistani and Indian designers are also on display.

“Prince William saw the traditional outfit at the store on his visit and he really liked my work,” Arfeen told ARY News.

The Karachi-based designer shared it might be a surprise for many that he didn’t take the Duke’s measurements. Arfeen’s London team contacted him after the sherwani was taken away from the studio.

“I got a picture in which the sleeves appeared short and there were fitting issues. I told my team to fix it. When I asked about its colour, they told me ‘It’s at the palace’,” he said.

This was when he got to know the order is for Prince William.”The palace got details of my brand and checked it’s credibility. After which we were contacted by the wardrobe manager telling us what they wanted,” Arfeen said.

The royal wanted a blue sherwani with green buttons but the designer sent him two options, a teal sherwani as well. He was informed that Kate will be donning green colour as well to highlight Pakistan’s tradition.

The Duke of Cambridge kept both the pieces and opted for the latter to complement the Duchess.

Arfeen delivered the sherwani in time although it was a long process. “The deadline given to us was Monday so we precisely took two days to complete the outfit by working on it day and night.”

Sharing details about how his brand went about designing the outfit, he said “My brand Naushemian has its own exclusivity. Our raw materials, even fabric is produced in-house which differentiates our sherwanis from that of other brands.”

Materials used for the signature nine button-down sherwani are self embossed jamawar fabric especially handwoven from Naushemian factories. Intricate embroidery in turquoise is done on the sleeves as well as back motif and buttons.

According to Telegraph UK, the Prince who is mostly seen in suits or chinos wore a traditional sherwani for the first time and that too by a Pakistani designer.

Arfeen said that it’s an honour for him to dress Britain’s future king. “It’s a proud moment for Pakistan that he chose a traditional outfit in green designed by a local brand.”

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