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UPDATED Royal Tour India: Bollywood Reception

As anticipated, the first day of the tour concluded with a glittering reception where numerous Bollywood stars were on hand to fête the Cambridges. The Duchess debuted a gorgeous, inky blue Jenny Packham gown - of course she went to one of her tried and tested favorites for this major event. Per Rebecca English of the "Daily Mail", the intricate beadwork on the dress was done by hand in India. The design of the dress appears to be giving a nod to the lehenga silhouette with the lovely additional of an embroidered stole/dupatta. All in all, the Duchess was ever-graceful. The Amrapali earrings were beautiful statement pieces, but like her hand-beaded clutch, were more of the lapis color. While I would have liked to see more colors at play (it is, after all, the Indian way), I do love that the design incorporated the traditional Indian beadwork element.
I would be remiss to cover this event without mentioning the significant other contingent that was present. That is to say, our filmi stars! Before we dive right in, I do want to note that I wish the Nawab and his Begum had been in attendance. After all, they are actual Indian royalty, na?
Much to my dismay, La Rai and La Shetty appeared to have made a secret pact with each other to not grace this event with anything but their most boring, most uninspired saris. Not that there was anything wrong with their embroidered saris per se, but both of these women very often go for this style, and neither of them added much in the way of color or hair/makeup. I think an elegant up-do would have suited La Rai like 1,000-times more than her usual flat and straight look. Shilpa Shetty wore Monisha Jaising. This is a standard look for our Sari Queen, but the elegant draping and what appears to be a tourmaline jewelry did elevate her look, slightly. Considering they are two of Bollywood's Ranis, I had sincerely hoped for much more from them.
Now for the good news. La Dixit also went the embroidered sari route, but dark grey embroidery on her net sari, brought it well into the formal, evening wear category. Graceful, elegant, age-appropriate (but not dowdy!), I love her look. Those jhumkis are to die for!
Also, no surprise here, but Sonam brought her A-game. While she sticks to the no-color theme, her Elie Saab more than compensates with creative design. Happily, Alia, Jacqueline, and Sophie (all in Manish Malhotra - was the reception sponsored by him?!) brought youthful style and color to the event. I think that Jacqueline's outfit in particular really summed up this event in a nutshell: the formality of a royal gala and the flair of desi design.

All of the men are but a footnote in this post; sorry guys, but with Aishwarya, Madhuri, etc and the Duchess of Cambridge in one room, y'all have to take a backseat. SRK arrived in a white tux. Thoughts?
Photos: @filmfare/@sonamakapoor/@madhuridixit/@shilpashetty/@ukinindia/chris jackson - getty/punit paranjpe - stringer/


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