A fascinating exhibition in Rotterdam showcases how fashion inspired the steward’s
outfits. The special selection has been made from the collection of more than
1400 uniforms from 523 different airlines. the CODE | Magazine has all the details…

Once upon a time in the golden age of flying, hopping on board a plane was a truly glamorous pursuit. Along with the glam haute couture-style uniforms worn by the staff –girls on stage!- the flight experience was like a performance in the air. Recently, many airlines like the Chinese carrier Ha and their designers have began to look back to the ‘jet-set’ era–and even the low-cost carriers are ‘bringing back the glamour’ with their retro styled outfits.

Cabin crew. Fashion is in the air | Exhibition

The exhibition “Cabin Crew. Fashion in the Air” in Rotterdam’s Kunsthal, offers a broad
survey of steward’s uniforms from different continents and decades as the outfits have
conformed to the dominant fashion image of the time, from functional and sober to refined and chic. The cut and colour of the uniform, the headgear, the form and pattern of the scarves, the blouse and the emblem – not a detail has been overlooked.
Some airlines have 
even brought in famous designers to design the outfits for their cabin crew.  For instance, Mart Visser designed the current KLM uniforms, and internationally many prominent designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Cristóbal Balenciaga have devoted themselves to the look of fashion in the air.  One of the highlights is the uniform of Braniff International, a US airline that no longer exists. The 1965 design by Emilio Pucci, appropriately nicknamed ‘The Air Strip’, required the stewardesses to keep changing a different item of the costume during the flight to surprise the passengers each time with a new look. The uniform even included a plastic space helmet to protect flight attendant’s impeccable hairdo from the rain.
In Greece, the renowned designers Yiannis Tseklenis and Sophia Kokossalaki signed the uniforms of Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines, accordingly.

Info: Kunsthal Rotterdam, until 4 February 2018


Ira Sinigalia

Courtesy of Kunsthal