MUSCAT: The uniform of airline cabin crew staff holds a special position in the annals of fashion.
The passenger-service and safety staff who work for airlines—often referred to as flight attendants—have worn costumes made to denote a certain job in the workplace, portray the identity of their business, and reflect current trends for more than 85 years.
These frequently at odds demands for singularity, diversity, and uniformity have given rise to a unique category of clothing that has greatly influenced popular culture’s social consciousness while posing incredible problems and opening up new creative possibilities for fashion designers.
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When creating uniforms for the air staff, fashion designers can turn aisles into runways as well. Airlines have long collaborated with fashion designers. In addition to many more, notable examples include Emilio Pucci and Roy Halston (Braniff Airlines), Oleg Cassini (TWA), Coco Chanel and Pierre Cardin (Olympic Airways), Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga (Air France), and Yves Saint Laurent (Qantas).
In June 2019, Oman Air launched a new uniform for its cabin crew. The design of the outfit and accessories was inspired by the “Sultanate of Oman’s rich colours, culture, history and heritage” and retained its recognisable turquoise hues, drawing inspiration from the Sea of Oman.
Whatever you want to call them—stewardesses, air hostesses, flight attendants, or cabin crew—the work they do can be tiresome and difficult in addition to the synchronised onboard choreographies.
Flight attendants work around fifty hours on the ground each month preparing for flights in addition to seventy-five to one hundred hours in the air every month. Although they have performed the roles of medic and courteous host, cabin crew members are professionals who are great assets for airlines. They keep passengers safe while pacing the aisle in outfits that help us comprehend the zeitgeist.
Especially when companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin will undoubtedly turn to fashion designers to add a little flair or elegance to future spacesuits given Elon Musk’s interplanetary goals and the growth of space tourism. The sky is no longer the limit in terms of aviation and fashion – True that!