Vivienne Westwood x Virgin Atlantic

The role of an air hostess is synonymous with glamour, don’t you think? In particular, old-school glamour; think cat-eye sunglasses, mid-height heels, nipped in waists and jaunty neck scarves. The polished appearance of the cabin crew is a physical representation of their ability to cope with any drama. Perfectly poised, they somehow manage to multi-task while delivering a beaming smile to customers, regardless of their real mood or the inevitable stress rising behind the curtain, like heat rising on an oil-slicked pavement in a hot holiday destination. The cabin crew ooze confidence and a sense of control, reassuring nervous passengers and keeping tipsy passengers in check, all the while retaining the friendly exterior we so love to see when exhausted from travelling. There’s something about the life of the cabin crew that makes me wish it was me up there; jet setting around the world, drinking pina coladas beach side on my day off, with equally glamorous colleagues, while wearing Vivienne Westwood.

What? you didn’t hear? That’s right – Virgin Atlantic cabin crew wear Vivienne Westwood to work!

In aid of the airline’s 30th anniversary, Dame Vivienne Westwood has been enlisted to update the  Virgin Atlantic cabin crew uniforms. The new uniforms have been designed with originality and sustainability in mind; a top priority for both Westwood and Branson, the uniforms will be upheld through intelligent cuts, beautiful tailoring and a polyester yarn made from recycled plastic bottles and a non finish, to extend the life and colour of the garments.
Talking of which, the garments have been designed with an elegant, retro feel; Westwood has redesigned the iconic cabin crew look with a feminine red jacket inspired by the Betina jacket (early 90s) with a matching red pencil skirt (by the way, why can’t I find one anywhere?) with a cheeky dart to the rear. Ooh-er! Sounds rather fabulous, no? The retro vibe comes from 40s French couture cutting, an endless source of inspiration for Westwood; the double breasted drape coat for women epitomises the glamour of the 1940s. The British designer has also updated the classic red shoe with her iconic hourglass heel, while for the men, she’s used Savile-Row as her inspiration – a sharp, three piece suit with a contemporary twist – it comes in a deep burgundy Oxford weave wool. Too. Freaking. Good. I actually can’t decide if I’d rather be male or female cabin crew! I really, really love the men’s suit.

What I love most, though, is the recurring hand drawn wing designs – they appear across all of the team’s uniforms – and the new addition of bags for ground staff, which have been introduced by the Ethical Fashion Initiative in Nairobi, in collaboration with the International Trade Centre, United Nations. It’s practical fashion, with a conscience. Well, it is Dame Vivienne after all.



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