Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Arrival in Bhutan Wearing Emilia Wickstead

Thursday, April 14, 2016

This morning, as the sun was just starting to color the dawn mist, William and Kate were already flying from Assam toward the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan. Excitement was sky-high for this visit to the exclusive kingdom in the mountains. The Palace tweeted this stunning farewell photo to India from their flight:

Kensington Palace

As the plane approached the Paro airport, William and Kate joined the pilot in the cockpit to watch the descent and landing. Paro is one of the most dangerous airports in the world and (allegedly) only eight pilots are qualified to land there. That might be because there is only so much demand for pilots into a nation that has not allowed many visitors, but it still highlights the skill needed to navigate the runway. Royal reporters were told not to panic of the turns felt sharp and close to the surrounding mountains!




The couple were greeted at the airport by Queen Jetson's sister Princess Chimi and brother-in-law Prince Dash.  Just as in India, it was a colorful arrival and traditionally dress children waited on the tarmac with flowers:


This is the most elaborate airport welcome that William and Kate have ever received. The fluttering banners, the red carpet with intricate rice art, and the royal welcome were all unprecedented. 



I want to pause to briefly discuss Bhutan because it is an absolutely fascinating country and as we will see over the course of the next few posts, an extremely rare culture and environment. Scrolling through the pictures I have felt, and I am sure this sensation is shared by many, that Kate and William have fallen through some portal back in time. This might be in part because Bhutan has been very closed off from the rest of the world until quite recently:
The secluded Himalayan kingdom – often described as the last Shangri-La – has always been fiercely protective of its Buddhist-oriented heritage. This explains policies like the country’s dress code, which requires Bhutanese to wear traditional robes, and the late arrival of television, first introduced in 1999, a day after the access to the Internet was also allowed.Even today, few can say they’ve been to Bhutan, a mountainous country sandwiched between China and India.
This quote is from the Wall Street Journal in a 2011 blog post in which the author discussed Bhutan's future tourism strategy:
[T]he country’s tourism council is very picky about what kind of tourists it targets. Bhutan is wary of going down the Nepal route, where budget travelers and backpackers swarm hostels and trekking trails. Instead, they want to make Bhutan a boutique destination, through a policy Mr. Wangdi sums up as “high value, low impact.”
To this end, Bhutan requires a $250 minimum expenditure per day, per tourist, although Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders are not bound by this. I think it is fascinating. I know it might rub some people the wrong way, but every country has the right to protect its heritage, culture, and way of life, so if this is the way that Bhutan has chosen to do that, I think it is within their prerogative. 



From the airport, the couple wended their way by car through the mountains toward the capital city Thimphu. Along the way, the paused to greet some of the young people giving them a ceremonial welcome:




Kate recycled a coat dress I frankly wasn't sure we'd see again. This piece is a custom design by Emilia Wickstead and you might recall that Kate wore it in Scotland for William's investiture into the Order of the Thistle--the prestigious Scottish counterpart to the Order of the Garter. 



I didn't love it when she first wore it. I thought it seemed short-wasted and oddly tailored and oversized. The shade of yellow was also unusual and although Kate pulled it off, I thought I wouldn't be sorry if we didn't see it again. I was surprised but pleased when the Duchess emerged this morning wearing it again, because it looked so much better today!



Kate has had it taken in, no doubt, and she has added a much needed belt that cinches in her waist.  Her loose locks help to balance the weight of the dress and she has chosen better accessories here. Against the muted greens of the distant hills and the reds and blues of the Bhutanese welcome, this dress finally found its moment. Second chances really are the best!



Quick note: we all love to see what Kate wears for the flights, and this morning she appropriately tapped the Tory Burch "Chrissy" dress. The intricate , floral-mosaic print of this dress was perfect for her transition from Assam to Bhutan.

Victoria Murphy

Victoria Murphy

 You probably remember that she wore this to a private engagement for Place2Be in 2014:



The couple made it to their hotel Taj Tasha to change...that's the next post!

21 comments:

  1. I agree that this dress looked better this time than the first time but I still don't care for it. Is it just me that doesn't like the way Emilia Wickstead insists on showing the stitching for the hidden buttons? I really, really don't like that and it seems to be one of her go to designs. Fortunately, the fashion for today goes up, up, up!

    Bhutan is so beautiful and, being such a small country situated between two countries with frequent unrest, I think it well within their purview to do what they need to do to protect their country and their culture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you Robin in regards to the external looking tacking stitch on Wickstead garments. It makes it look cheap, nasty and unprofessional. I really dislike her garments for this one reason. She is trying to make them look streamlined and then does that to them which seems to defeat the purpose.

      KiwiNic

      Delete
    2. Yes, Robin, I too agree that Emilia garments always look unfinished like the stitching you pointed out. I think they're great in theory, but need a more polished execution so they look complete and high-end.

      ~ A

      Delete
  2. I am loving this tour. So many beautiful outfits with colors and patterns that we don't usually see. It's exciting to see Kate in the flowy dresses she has worn the last few days. I really love them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe the coat is a yellow with gold threading, though this is not captured by the camera. I bet it translates better in person than in camera. In the sunshine, it would have glinted subtly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lovely introduction for them to a new country. Love the colour that the country has and Kate's colour worked in well. However, I don't like Wickstead finishing with the tacking stitch, making a tailored garment look tacky. Its not what I would call a feature as it just makes it look unfinished. The same can be seen on the end of the belt which looks like it sits up and over Kate's stomach. Not a hit for me the first time and not one for the second. But I do love the colour on Kate, especially with her hair down.

    KiwiNic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about the belt. I was so sidetracked by the other tacks I never got to the detail on the belt. For the cost of these garments I would hope they wouldn't have something on them that every first year HomeEc student learned was an absolute no-no.

      Delete
  5. Agree it looks better now. Rarely do I like coats with belts but this one helps. (Jane..there is a funny typo- it pulls in her WAIST not her WASTE!)


    Are we sure she didn't change clothes? I think the dress neckline and maybe the hemline would have shown under the yellow.

    ReplyDelete
  6. OH no!! Two Emilia Wickstead's so far are two too many!! I have long thought, and said on this blog, that they appear unfinished. I was hoping their absence from public sight meant Kate realized they aren't worth it. I think they have great potential but fall short every time.

    I love how bold she is being with patterns and colours, but I hope the remainder of the tour incorporates more local designers or locally sourced items. W&K look so in sync, and I love how the Bhutanese royals had gifts awaiting all the press at their hotel - that level of hospitality speaks volumes!

    ~ A

    ReplyDelete
  7. Full skirt, windy airport, was holding my breath awaiting another misstep. Youtube has some amazing video of pilots landing there. They were brave to want to join the pilot in tbe cockpit--I'd have been closing my eyes and praying.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I also was wondering how she changed? I thought I understood the press was on the plane with them. How did she do the change from the Tory Burch dress to the Wickstead coat dress? I would be grateful if someone knows how they make these changes. It seems like a logistical nightmare to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja from BavariaApril 16, 2016 at 2:37 PM

      A really interesting question. I wondered about that, too.
      So the toilets are way too tiny to change... maybe they sectioned off a small part of the seats & aisle with curtains so Kate could change her clothes there?

      Delete
  9. Alejandra RamírezApril 14, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    Excellent post! Love the photos and the extra information you gave of the country.
    I had no idea it was difficult to get there, in terms of money.
    Maybe one day we'll go there, right Jane?

    When I watched the live stream, your comments of the coat were on my mind and thought "Oh no, Jane isn't going to like it"
    i agree with you, the dress somehow looks better today than it did years ago. :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. i love this colour on Kate! ...but I agree with others who have deplored the Wickstead finishing. It is definitely styled better this time around & looks more polished. The addition of the belt has improved the look immensely. Love the nude heels, so much more appropriate than the black she wore last time around. Can't wait to see more of Bhutan! Kate didn't hold back in India & I'm hoping she steps it up even further in Bhutan. It's looking very hopeful so far

    ReplyDelete
  11. I echo the comments about EW's designs. Her pieces look unfinished. I wasn't crazy about this coat the first time, but I think the shoes and hat had something to do with it. The lighter accessories she opted for today softened the look, and the belt is a huge improvement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja from BavariaApril 16, 2016 at 2:35 PM

      Totally agree about the improvements at the dress

      Delete
  12. I love EM. She has been designing and selling the high-waist full skirted midi dress, a 1950's through back if you will, with a 21st century twist, for a while. Another British royal lady wears her designs and she looks great in them, without fail, speaking of the lovely Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

    I am just loving this tour--the culture, the colors, the people and William and Kate. It all seem to have come together beautifully.

    Having read about the fact that Bhutan consciously controls tourists / tourism, I wonder if they are prepared for the influx that will surely want to be let in to see their beautiful country after this visit of the Cambridge's -- just the mere fact that they visited has brought this country into the consciousness of the world and what a gem it is.

    As always, thank you Jane for another wonderful report--I really enjoy reading you blog.

    Best of luck with your studies.

    Regards,

    RW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...that should have been EW not EM: my bad!
      RW

      Delete
  13. That added belt looks cheap.She pulls off the colour.The hair looks esp. nice with those retro earrings
    I love the Tory Burch dress because of its pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sonja from BavariaApril 16, 2016 at 5:56 AM

    Bhutan looks so beautiful and you could really tell that the people were so excited to welcome them!

    I was watching the live stream from their arrival at the airport during breakfast. The dress looks so much better now! I didn't really like the first wear, just like Jane. But now with the belt (and to me the skirt also looked different) I think it is really pretty and to be honest, I was happy to see a 'typical western' garment again after the overload of different cuts and patterns in India (which I liked, but you also need a change sometimes) ;)

    Again, W & K must be so stunned and thankful to visit such an amazing country!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Il mondo è un libro e quelli che non viaggiano ne legge solo una pagina..................Viaggi in nepal & viaggiin Bhutan

    ReplyDelete

The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!