New Delhi: Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are set for their maiden visit to India on April 10, and Indian designers are hoping that they add an Indian element to their classy dressing style.
Whether it is about using any indigenous crafts of India, choosing traditional saris or even dresses in Indian weaves, designers would like to see the uber stylish Duchess of Cambridge in something close to the country’s heritage.
In fact, she seemed to have made quite a ‘diplomatically’ impressive decision when she chose to wear an India-born designer’s creation when she had to welcome Indian and Bhutanese expats who live, work and study in Britain to Kensington Palace in London.
British royal couple to attend Bollywood gala in Mumbai
As for Prince William, Indian designers feel he would carry off a tussar tuxedo or a Nehru jacket with panache.
Ace designer Ritu Beri, who was among the first Indians to storm the catwalks of Paris over two decades ago, feels the good looking couple that they are, “she’d love to give them a modern flavour with an Indian touch” in clothes.
“I would definitely dress up Kate in a bright colour but without embroidery. To Prince William, I would give a Nehru jacket,” Beri told IANS.
Rahul Mishra, another name in the Indian fashion Industry who is doing wonders globally and is a regular on the Paris runway, wants to pick some pieces from his recent showcasing in Paris for Kate Middleton.
“I would like to dress the Duchess of Cambridge in beautiful bandhini in the form of western deconstructed kurta kind of look from my recent Paris show,” Mishra told IANS, adding that the idea behind choosing bandhini is because she is coming to India and it’s a very Indian craft”.
Mishra considers Kate “a breath of fresh air as a style icon”.
Designer Samant Chauhan, who works extensively with Bhagalpuri silk in his creations, would like the royal couple to add some silk to their wardrobe in India.
“I would suggest Kate Middleton a Bhagalpuri silk sari with nice jacket style blouse as I feel she is very classy and her personality oozes elegance. For Prince William, a tuxedo in tussar silk fabric in dark brown shade with plain white shirt and nice pocket square will work really well,” Chauhan told IANS.
A long and slim skirt in an ivory or cream with tone on tone hand embroidery can also look great on Kate, says designer Payal Jain.
“This could be highlighted with precious detailing like pearls and shells. It will be subtle and delicate. It can be teamed with a structured silk jacket, just covering the waist. The neck could be diving to allow for a simple pearl strand but, devoid of any embroidery,” she told IANS.
For Prince William, a taste of the local culture would be appropriate, Jain said, adding: “I would dress him in a black cashmere herringbone bandhgala suit. The fabric itself is exquisite and rich and does not need any embellishment. The lining could be vibrant, inspired by the age-old pashmina shawls of India.”
After flying to Mumbai on April 10, the royal couple will travel to New Delhi on April 11. They will be in Assam on April 12 and 13 to visit the Kaziranga National Park and pay tribute to the rural traditions of the communities who live around the park.
The royal couple will travel on April 14 to the neighboring Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and return on April 16 to Agra for a visit to the Taj Mahal, a Unesco World Heritage monument, at the conclusion of their two-nation tour. (IANS)
British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a no-confidence vote Wednesday after members of parliament voted overwhelmingly against her plan to divorce Britain from the European Union.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labor Party, announced he had filed a motion of no confidence in the government immediately after the result Tuesday.
If May loses, Britain would hold a general election. But most analysts say they expect May will survive the vote, and the minority Northern Ireland party she relies on to keep her minority government in office has said it would back the government.
Tuesday’s vote was the biggest parliamentary reversal ever handed a sitting government, with lawmakers — including more than 100 rebels from her own ruling Conservative party — refusing to endorse a highly contentious Brexit deal.
The government’s defeat plunges into greater disarray Britain’s scheduled March 29 divorce from the European Union.
EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday that after the British parliament’s rejection, the risk of reaching the deadline with no deal in place is higher than ever.
The much anticipated historic vote by the House of Commons of a draft deal, which took two years of ill-tempered haggling with European leaders to conclude, now throws up in the air the whole Brexit project, with major questions remaining unanswered about when Britain will exit the EU, how it will do so and even whether it still will.
Just 202 lawmakers backed May’s deal with 432 voting against her deal. The defeat dwarfed the previous 1924 record when then-Labor Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald lost a vote by 166, triggering the collapse of his government and a general election, which he lost.
After the vote, May complained “the vote tells us nothing” about what the Commons would agree to when it comes to Brexit.
Vote delayed in December
The defeat of May’s Brexit plan will give further momentum to a burgeoning campaign in the House of Commons, and among Remainers in the country for a second referendum, according to analysts. Remainers hope a replayed referendum would reverse the Brexit plebiscite of 2016, which Leavers narrowly won.
The vote on the deal, which was due in December but was delayed by the government when it became clear there was insufficient backing for it to pass, also leaves hanging in the balance May’s own future as prime minister. Her aides insisted at the end of a day of high political drama that she won’t resign.
“She is the person who has to deliver Brexit,” said British business minister Claire Perry, who said May doesn’t need to resign.
“There will be other attempts at this. There will be strenuous efforts to improve on the deal,” Perry said.
Earlier on Tuesday, May discussed post-defeat options and indicated she would plow on. Her officials say she will try to buy more time and return to Brussels to try to cajole EU leaders into a renegotiation.
But the sheer scale of the defeat throws into doubt whether even a reshaped Brexit Withdrawal Agreement would secure parliamentary approval in the future — that is, if the EU is prepared to reopen negotiations.
“Her Plan B, more of the same, is hopelessly optimistic,” said commentator Isabel Oakeshott.
EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker canceled an event planned in Strasbourg, France, Wednesday so he can remain in Brussels for possible emergency talks with May. May’s RAF jet was put on standby, readied for her to travel to the Belgian capital.
Juncker tweeted when news of the historic vote broke: “I take note with regret of the outcome of the vote in the House of Commons this evening. I urge the UK to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up.”
EU president Donald Tusk reflected the frustration of many in Brussels, tweeting: “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?”
As the vote neared, May’s aides made several last-ditch efforts to minimize the scale of the crushing defeat by offering amendments to the main motion on the deal that they hoped would peel away some of the Conservative rebels. But to their fury, Commons Speaker John Bercow, blocked their moves.
Labor’s Tulip Siddiq, who is pregnant, was pushed through the voting lobbies in a wheelchair after postponing a planned Caesarean section so she could vote against the Brexit deal.
Noisy crowd awaits word
While the drama played out in the House of Commons, outside the parliament, noisy, placard-waving crowds of Brexiters and Remainers mounted protests urging the draft plan be approved or cast aside. There was a hush among the protesters in the minutes before the result was announced.
May has until next Monday to offer a new proposal to the House of Commons, but it isn’t clear what she will propose. EU leaders have flatly rejected the possibility of renegotiations several times since the deal was concluded in November. But with Tuesday’s defeat, which followed five days of intense debate, British officials hope Brussels now may offer enough concessions to secure parliamentary backing on a replayed vote on an amended deal.
In the run-up to the vote, which the government was bracing itself to lose, May offered a series of carrots and sticks, pleas and warnings, to try to persuade unenthusiastic lawmakers to back her deal. To Brexiters, she warned it could result in Britain never exiting the EU. To Remainers, she cautioned it might lead to Britain leaving without a deal.
Final plea from May
Minutes before the vote, May told a packed and feisty House of Commons that they should “honor the democratic decision of the British people.” She said a vote against her deal would be a vote for “uncertainty, division and the very real risk of no deal.”
Corbyn countered that the “government’s own economic assessment clearly tells us it is a bad deal.” To accompanying jeers and cheers, he added, “This deal is the product of two years of botched negotiations in which the government spent more time arguing with itself than it did negotiating with the EU.
“We need to keep in mind that the vast majority of people in our country don’t think of themselves as Remainers or Leavers,” Corbyn said. “Whether they voted leave or remain two and a half years ago, they are concerned about their future. So, Mr. Speaker, I hope tonight that this House votes down this deal, and then we move to a general election.”
With the draft deal, May tried to square the circle between Britons who want to remain in the EU, or closely tied to it, and Brexiters. The withdrawal agreement would have seen Britain locked in a customs union with the EU for several years, while a more permanent, but vaguely defined, free trade settlement could be negotiated with its largest trading partner.
In the temporary customs union, Britain would have been unable to influence EU laws, regulations and product standards it would have to observe. And it would not have been able to implement free trade deals with non-EU countries.
The transition deal was agreed to avoid customs checks on the border separating Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. But British lawmakers who voted against the deal feared Britain would be shackled indefinitely to the bloc, even if a final free trade deal couldn’t be agreed upon.
Both Brexiters and Remainers claimed the Brexit agreement May negotiated would turn Britain into a vassal state, a rule-taker and not a rule-maker. Brexiters maintained the deal would keep Britain too closely aligned with the EU.
A huge range of possible Brexit outcomes has been opened up by Tuesday’s defeat. These include leaving the EU with no deal; a more managed no-deal exit — a pivot to Britain adopting a Norway-style relationship with the EU that would see Britain being half-in and half-out of the bloc; a second referendum; or a second vote after a renegotiation with Europe.
But with British politics in an uproar, with normally disciplined political parties fractured, it is hard to forecast what will happen next. While there are majorities in the House of Commons against leaving the EU without any deal, there are no clear majorities for any alternatives.
The defeat also opens the way for parliament itself to take more control of any future negotiations with the EU, setting the stage for an unprecedented constitutional clash between the House of Commons and No. 10 Downing Street.
A cross-party group of senior lawmakers headed by former Conservative ministers is conspiring now to sideline the embattled May by reducing the power of the government to control legislative business in parliament and giving the responsibility of future negotiations with Brussels to a parliamentary committee.
The group also wants to force May to ask the EU to delay the scheduled departure date of March 29 to avoid Britain crashing out of the bloc without any kind of deal. Another group of powerful lawmakers is drafting legislation for a second referendum. (VOA)