The Duchess of Cambridge was quick off the mark in her promise to promote Indian designers during this week’s royal tour. For her second engagement of the trip on Sunday - a cricket match and tour of Mumbai’s most deprived areas - Kate wore a delicately printed georgette dress by Mumbai-born designer Anita Dongre.


Dongre, who started her label seven years ago, told The Telegraph that Kate’s PA-turned-stylist Natasha Archer got in touch a month ago to request some clothes for the Duchess. “Her stylist emailed us and and we sent her a look book, then she came in and got some pieces for fittings,” says Dongre whose Rajasthan-inspired designs are already popular in India, where she has eight shops.


However Dongre had no idea whether her designs had made the cut. “It was a real surprise. I was at home when I saw the pictures and was so delighted,” she says of seeing pictures of The Duchess playing cricket in her collection.


duchess of cambridge lakme fashion week anita dongre


Dress: pastel bridesmaid dresses


All the more surprising was the fact that The Duchess’s team had altered Dongre’s design. The “Gulrukh” dress - from the SS16 Love Notes collection - was originally full length and included a traditional stole in matching fabric. “In


India a lot of woman would wear this with trousers and a stole,” she says, pointing to the catwalk look from Lakme Fashion Week where the dress was shown in its original form. “Her stylist has taken the stole and converted part of that into the belt and then chopped it off so it can be worn as a dress. She’s amazing - it looks easy, breezy and so contemporary,” Dongre says of the DIY update by Natasha Archer.


"Her stylist has taken the stole and converted part of that into the belt and then chopped it off so it can be worn as a dress."


Archer - fondly known as Tash - began working at Kensington Palace as the Duchess’s PA but has added the role of stylist to her role over the past couple of years. She was first identified as one of Kate’s team of image-makers when she was seen carrying a suitcase into the Lindo Wing following Prince George's birth alongside her hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker. Since then Archer has been credited with helping Kate to become more glamorous, regal and bold in her style choices. But, according to Dongre, Archer’s styling contribution is even more significant than first thought: customising Kate’s clothing to make them appropriate- and original- for her royal appearances.


“She looked beautiful,” Dongre told The Telegraph from Mumbai. “I’ve always admired her sense of style. My clothes stand for a certain feminine elegance - I think she does the same.”


And it seems that the famous ‘Kate Effect’ - whereby any item worn by the Duchess rapidly sells out - is still in full force. “We’ve been inundated with orders - especially from the US and UK,” she says of the influx which promted her website to crash temporarily. So, in a savvy business move, Dongre is now also offering Kate’s customised version of the dress. “The dress is still available online because we’re taking forward orders. I had a very small run introduction but people are willing to wait for it.” The website currently says that there is a 2-week wait for a $236.60 version of the dress worn by the Duchess while the original is for sale with a 6-week wait for $591.50.


“The Indian media has gone completely gaga,” laughs Dongre. “Of course, we are now waiting to see what she wears next but it makes us feel very happy she’s wearing local designers.”


Dongre says that the Duchess does have more of her pieces so is “keeping her fingers crossed” that we might see Kate wearing another of her designs before the week is out.


See More: lace bridesmaid dresses