I got the sherwani ready for Prince William within two days, says Nauman Arfeen
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently touring Pakistan and the excitement surrounding their trip is on a high.
A constant deluge of photographs keep flooding media as the royals continue on with their itinerary and while their visit to a government school and various historical and scenic locales is acknowledged, the focus has particularly been on what they have been wearing.
It was a moment of patriotic pride when Kate Middleton wore an outfit created by local designer Maheen Khan on the first day of her tour. The Duchess has also been making waves for the local high street by wearing accessories by Zeen Woman and a crushed dupatta by Bonanza Satrangi.
And then, that very night, Prince William attended a reception hosted by the British High Commission in Islamabad in a bespoke sherwani by Pakistani brand Naushemian by Nauman Arfeen.
The sherwani was a patriotic Pakistani ‘green’ and followed the traditional nine-button silhouette. According to designer Nauman Arfeen, turquoise self-embossed jamawar fabric that is especially woven at his factory was used to construct the garment.
The fabric was then hand-embroidered in a single tone. The front was completely embroidered and there were motifs on the back as well as the sleeves.
“I had the sherwani ready within two days of getting the order from the Prince’s representatives,” says Nauman.
But how did the British royals get to know of Naushemian, a brand which enjoys great business in Pakistan but hasn’t made much of an effort at international marketing.
Like Maheen Khan, Nauman also evidently stocks some of his designs at a London-based multi-label store called O’nitaa. Maheen’s designs for Kate Middleton were selected by the Duchess’ style team from this store. And in Nauman’s case the Duke himself pinpointed his design when he visited the store.
Also read: Maheen Khan reveals how she ended up dressing Kate Middleton for her Pakistan visit
“I got a call from O’nitaa and she asked me if I could quickly make the turquoise green sherwani for a special client who was there at the store at the time,” recalls Nauman.
“I asked her who the client was and she said that she would tell me later. I talked to her after a while and asked her to send me a picture of the sherwani that she had been referring to so that I had a clearer idea. She said that she couldn’t because the clothes were now in the palace. I was confused. ‘What palace?’ I asked,” he laughs.
“The Prince actually put on the sherwani and took a picture so that I could understand where he needed the fitting to be corrected. Apparently, he had really liked it. We immediately got to work once we had his measurements. It is a hand-embroidered piece so we literally worked day and night and got it ready in two days!”
The Duchess wore a gown by Jenny Packham that matched the Duke’s sherwani. And she paired a dupatta with the gown. The country at large was smitten. The morality brigade, so unfortunately obsessed with the dupatta, were particularly happy.
Will the Duke be wearing more clothes by Nauman? “I did make some other clothes for him but I don’t know whether he will be wearing them,” says the designer.
The headlines are out in the international press, though, that Prince William has become ‘the first British royal to don a sherwani’. And the generally low-profile, business-minded Nauman Arfeen has had the honor of creating that sherwani. We couldn’t be happier.
We hope that, as the royal tour continues, the Duke and Duchess are seen in more clothes by Pakistani designers. According to our sources, it’s very, very possible.