Braniff International Airways hostesses in uniforms by Emilio Pucci 1965 Photo credit: Braniff International Public Relations Archives, History of Aviation Collection, UTDallas

Up in the air | #FashionInFlight

Do you remember the wonderful dresses of stewardesses back in the day? I mean the 50s, 60s or 70s. Colourful dresses for the ladies on board. Every airline had a unique uniform women had to wear (also like today – and the men too). But did you know most of the dresses were designed by famous designers?

The exhibition “Fashion In Flight: A History of Airline Uniform Design” presents eventy female airline uniform ensembles and additional accessories that date from 1930 to the present. “The styles and trends include nurse-inspired attire”, I never thought about it, but it’s true. Also it is influenced by a military look. Indeed there is more than the monochrome and plain full look. My favourite dresses are the retro looks. The hostess uniform of Braniff Internatioal Airways was designed by Emilio Pucci (1966). Absolutely amazing!

Braniff International Airways hostess uniform by Emilio Pucci 1966 Collection of SFO Museum Gift of Sandra C. A. Thomas in memory of Anne Karin Walker Photo credit: SFO Museum
Braniff International Airways hostess uniform by Emilio Pucci 1966
Collection of SFO Museum
Gift of Sandra C. A. Thomas in memory of Anne Karin Walker
Photo credit: SFO Museum

Masterminded by advertising executive Mary Wells Lawrence and unveiled in 1965, Braniff’s revolutionary new identity shocked the airline industry. For “The End of the Plain Plane” campaign, designer Alexander Girard (1907–1993) introduced a vivid color pallet, while Italian-born fashion impresario Emilio Pucci (1914–1992) re-conceptualized the airline uniform. Pucci’s 1965 Gemini IV Collection was multi-layered for inflight quick-change combinations of suits, tunics, and culottes. Pucci then introduced this 1966 Supersonic Derby outfit. The harlequin-print nylon jersey, tights, and bowler hat have Central American instruments and pre-Columbian art motifs. Footwear designer Beth Levine (1914–2006) created the striped calfskin boots.

You’ll find over thirty designers in the exhibition – Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood, Valentino, Pierre Cardin (he makes really comfortable shoes for stewardess, I had such stewardess-shoes, too. Feels like you are walking on clouds!)

This exhibition sounds very interesting and you can see it at the SFO Museum (San Francisco International Airport, International Terminal, Departures – Level 3 – Pre-Security).

#museum | SFO Museum (San Francisco International Airport)

#exhibition | Fashion in Flight

#until | January 08, 2017

#opening | from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Braniff International Airways hostess in uniform by Emilio Pucci 1965 Photo credit: Braniff International Public Relations Archives, History of Aviation Collection, UT-Dallas
Braniff International Airways hostess in uniform by Emilio Pucci 1965
Photo credit: Braniff International Public Relations Archives, History of Aviation Collection, UT-Dallas

United Air Lines stewardesses 1939 Photo credit: United Airlines Archive
United Air Lines stewardesses 1939
Photo credit: United Airlines Archive

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