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Published on : Friday, June 17, 2016
Fashion Takes Flight in New SFO Museum Exhibition Eighty-five years of airline fashion are now on view at San Francisco International Airport. Presented by SFO Museum, Fashion In Flight: A History of Airline Uniform Design celebrates this unique type of women’s wear with an in-depth look at female flight attendant attire from 1930 to the present. Featuring over 70 complete ensembles and accessories from the likes of Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Oleg Cassini, Vivienne Westwood and others, Fashion In Flight reveals the design history and evolution of the airline uniform, its iconic status in popular culture, and its dynamic relationship to the world of fashion.
The creations of more than 30 renowned fashion houses and designers are represented in the exhibition. Fashion In Flight traces uniform design from the pre-war and utility fashion eras, through the period of engagement with European couturiers and Hollywood costumers that produced extraordinary collections for airline clientele during the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, to today’s select designers who are keeping airlines at fashion’s forefront. Included are uniforms by Adolfo, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Pierre Balmain, Bill Blass, Pierre Cardin, Oleg Cassini, André Courrèges, Christian Dior, Halston, Edith Head, Stan Herman, Macario Jiménez, Christian Lacroix, Ralph Lauren, Don Loper, Jean Louis, Hanae Mori, Jean Patou, Emilio Pucci, Ben Reig, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vivienne Westwood.
As air travel dramatically increased over the decades, these designers were called upon by dozens of airlines to dress cabin crews in ways that projected brand identity, the excitement of the jet age, and the fashions of the times. The unique design challenges, opportunities, and successes in meeting these demands are reflected in the masterful and memorable uniforms on exhibition.