It's been a busy few days for mom-to-be Kate Middleton. After attending the BAFTAs last night in London with husband Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge hosted the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange reception at the palace on Monday along with Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.
The event, which was held in the midst of London Fashion Week, celebrated an exciting fashion initiative that pairs design talent with artisan producers from across the Commonwealth’s 53 countries. The participating designers all created looks as part of the project and their designs debuted at Buckingham Palace on Monday.
As it was a fashion event, Kate and Sophie both chose stylish yet chic looks for the occasion. The Duchess wore a black-and-white lace floral print dress from Erdem, which she paired with a black heels. The pretty piece showed off her growing baby bump, which she was seen cradling throughout the night. Sophie picked a simple black dress with red detailing by Burberry.
Throughout the evening, Kate and Sophie mingled with their guests, which included several household names like Stella McCartney, Naomi Campbell, and Livia Firth. They made a point to speak to each designer who created a piece for the exhibit.
Among those Kate spoke to was Nigerian designer Nkwo, who said the royal had been fascinated to learn about the heading process and how long it had taken her. “I explained to her that everything had been hand sewn. The only time a machine was used was for the lining. She couldn’t believe it," People reports.
“The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange has been such a wonderful experience. I really hope it will help to put us on the map – not as African fashion, but simply as fashion.”
The event comes just a day after Kate Middleton received rare backlash about her BAFTAs dress. The royal chose to wear a green dress instead of black to support the Time's Up movement, and the public had mixed reactions about her choice.