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!
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.