Tonight The Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on behalf of The Queen to showcase the work of the Commonwealth Fashion exchange. The initiative uses fashion as a common language and platform to help people understand the modern Commonwealth in a different way.
Launched today by the Commonwealth Secretary-General @PScotlandCSG, The Commonwealth #FashionExchange aims to create partnerships between established and emerging talent from across the 52 member countries. #CHOGM2018 pic.twitter.com/DAmCgJBzTi
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 1, 2018
Launched on February 1st, by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange aims to create partnerships between established and emerging talent from across the 52 member countries, in the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London this April. It will celebrate creativity, sustainable production and manufacturing, trade links and ethical supply chains across the fashion industry, from business and design to textile and fabric design and manufacturing, to craft and artisan skills.
Over the last six months, major fashion designers such as Stella McCartney (UK), Karen Walker (New Zealand) and Bibi Russell (Bangladesh) have partnered with artisan producers in small nations who exemplify traditional handcraft techniques and trades, with a view to creating a ‘skills exchange’.
The reception at Buckingham Palace will showcase the best of Commonwealth contemporary fashion and creativity with an exhibition of some of the bespoke fashion ‘looks’ which are the result of these exchanges. The Reception will bring together people from across the fashion industry, including designers, manufacturers, textile producers, and craftspeople.
A global audience will also have access to view the designs through an online exhibition to be created on the Google Arts and Culture website. This platform will create a new community and network, which includes an evolving directory of artisans and designers from across the Commonwealth countries.
Designers from around the Commonwealth, who represent the best in contemporary fashion and creativity, have been partnered with communities representing traditional hand-crafts and artisanal skills.
These designers have created looks which have been created and are to be showcased in Buckingham Palace tonight, before moving to the Australia House in London to be showcased to the public.
The headdresses displayed on each of the mannequins in the State Rooms were created using 6,000 pieces of reclaimed paper from the film Fast & Furious 6.
Video: the Duchess of Cambridge in Erdem and the Countess of Wessex in Burberry arrive in the White Drawing Room for the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange event pic.twitter.com/H0CphyGAN1
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) February 19, 2018
Duchess of Cambridge Catherine and Countess of Wessex Sophie arriving at the reception where the guest list included Princess Beatrice, Dame Anna Wintour, Caroline Rush, Stella McCartney ad Naomi Campbell.
The guests mingling around the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace during Commonwealth Fashion Exchange.
Duchess and Countess discussing the designs being showcased at the Fashion Exchange. The Countess of Wessex is patron of London College of Fashion. Both ladies are avid supporters and champions of British Fashion industry.
The Duchess of Cambridge met artisans from around the Commonwealth and heard stories such as this about a partnership between Karen Walker and a cooperative of women from the Cook Islands, who are expert in the craft of ‘tivaivai’.
Princess Beatrice also met the guests and talked to the designers and artisans from around the Commonwealth who had a chance to meet together at Buckingham Palace to showcase their work as part of the Exchange.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) February 19, 2018
After greeting the guests and taking a tour of the White Drawing Room Duchess and Countess moved to the Music room of the Palace to see more creations.
Catherine and Sophie admiring a design during the Fashion Exchange.
The Duchess of Cambridge talking to a guest.
For the night celebrating the Fashion talent of Commonwealth, Duchess of Cambridge chose a Floral Guipure Lace black and white Erdem dress while Countess Sophie was wearing a black Burberry dress.
Suzi Guipure Lace Dress is described as,
“Pretty floral lace takes on an unexpectedly graphic edge in striking black and white. The ultra-flattering fit and flare Suzi Dress hits just above the knee, and is finished with scallop edging around the ¾ length sleeves, neck and hem and soft gently frilled detailing at the waist. A deep V-neck finishes the flirty design. Nude crepe de chine lining.”
A closer look at the floral print of the lace dress that is available for £2,150.00.
Duchess paired the dress with Anita Dongre Kundan Pearl Drop Earrings she first wore during her UK-India year of Culture reception in 2017. The gold-tone earrings feature a bezel-set pale yellow stone with a round pearl drop.
and her Prada wavy cutout heels in black suede once again.
Catherine, who is in her 3rd trimester, has a very busy diary before she goes on a maternity break in April. Next, we will see Duchess and William on 21st when they will be visiting Sunderland.