Naeem Khan Tells the Story Behind Kate Middleton's Taj Mahal Dress

We spoke to the Indian-American designer on the same day the Duchess of Cambridge wore his resort 2015 design for a symbolic homage to Princess Diana.
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We spoke to the Indian-American designer on the same day the Duchess of Cambridge wore his resort 2015 design for a symbolic homage to Princess Diana.
The happy couple close up. Photo: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

The happy couple close up. Photo: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

What a coincidence that Naeem Khan's romantic spring 2017 bridal runway show took place on the same day that Kate Middleton wore the Indian-American designer's dress in what will go down as a symbolic image that basically proves that true love will always prevail. (Honestly, if this story doesn't make you a little verklempt, you're made of stone.)

On the final day of their whirlwind royal India and Bhutan tour, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decided to take a scenic photo on a bench in front of the Taj Mahal — a bittersweet, but happy ending of sorts. See, back in 1992, Prince William's mother, Princess Diana, posed on the same seat — now known as "Lady Di's Chair" — solo, pretty much signaling her impending split from Charles four years later.

Kate and Wills reenacting Princess Diana's iconic photo in front of the Taj Mahal on April 16. Photo: Ian Vogler - Pool/Getty Images

Kate and Wills reenacting Princess Diana's iconic photo in front of the Taj Mahal on April 16. Photo: Ian Vogler - Pool/Getty Images

"It is so important because that’s where Princess Di sat, right?" the designer said backstage after his multi-culturally inspired runway show. "And her son is there — sitting on that same chair with his bride. That is a historical moment." 

"[Kate's stylists] called us," explained Khan, whose designs are also a favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama. "She was going to India — and she makes it a point to honor the designer[s] from that part of the world — and I was lucky enough to be chosen for her to wear something from me. [Her stylists] asked for certain styles and we sent it over. We were not sure she was going to wear it and there she was."

The soon-to-be historical dress is a piece from Khan's resort 2015 collection and, interestingly, was inspired by a totally different country. "The motif on it was very Mexican," he explained. "That collection was Mexican inspired, but it had many Indian influences in it. So you can take that dome and you can say, 'OK, it looks like a Mexican dome.' Or, 'does it look like an Indian temple?' It could overlap very easily."

To see more images from the Duchess's trip, head here.

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