This month we celebrate all things fashion. Our Top 10 airline uniforms for 2015 are a real feast for the eyes. This is one category where product from 40 years ago is still pitched against the very latest products on the market, and some of these products really do stand the test of time. We are have seen a resurgence in bringing glamour and colour back to the skies, with the dearth of grey and humdrum suits from a decade ago being swept aside for a more modern representation of air travel. In our top 10 these is a great mix of iconic looks, sharp cuts and bold vibrant colour, and it is this mix that has really set our leaders ahead of the pack.
10. La Compagnie [new]
This new underdog on the Trans-Atlantic business market has made a real stamp on our Top 10 lists this month. La Compagnie has made their product stylish and effortless, and their new uniforms tie in harmoniously with the cabin product. These chic threads have been designed by the French fashion house Vicomte A. We are digging the female crew who wear stylish yet practical culottes and a Celeste blue silk scarf, and the super smart male crew, who wear a blue knitted tie and grey three piece suit. This uniform is both modern and stylish, feeling less like corporate attire and more akin the kind of suits we expect to see if the trendiest bars both sides of the Atlantic.
7. [joint] Virgin Australia [new]
A true Project Runway, Virgin Australia’s uniforms, designed back in 2011, were the brainchild of Project Runway Australia winner Juli Grbac. The sassy and bright red female uniforms stand out in an airport, adorned with their silk purple scarfs and trailed by the male cabin crew in dapper three-piece suits or waistcoats. The thin black belt on the girls red dresses cinch the waist and bring a sexy curve to the look. We love the bold look of Virgin’s uniforms and Virgin Australia’s simple sleek and elegant look helps give the airline a very iconic brand image.
7. [joint] ANA [new]
Created by world-renowned New York fashion designer Prabal Gurung, ANA’s clean, modern and minimalist uniforms match the carrier’s brand aesthetic and will be worn by more than 13,000 of the airline’s employees. The designs, which mark the 10th generation of ANA’s uniform look, feature a combination of light gray jackets and charcoal skirts and pants, enriched with amazing eye-catching accents of ANA’s trademark blue. We love these sharp outfits, which match the future-savvy look of a Japanese brand. To differentiate each of the uniforms, Gurung created brightly colored scarves and aprons that feature modern Japanese flower patterns, a nod to the airlines Japanese heritage and innovative brand and service outlook.
7. [joint] Korean [-6]
Designed back in 2005 by Gianfranco Ferré, the head-turning Korean Airlines uniform still stands the test of time. The airline hasn’t featured on our list again purely due to the simple elegant tailoring, but also due to the “impeccable grooming standards that Korean Airlines enforces for its crew, matched by the decorum and posture of the crew, even after a long haul flight” as designer and Thedesignair judge, Nicholas Oakwell states. The wonderful mix of simple eggshell blue, whites & creams and gravity defying neck scarves and leather gloves help to encapsulate the sheer elegance of the airline. The shirts feature a water-like sheen to them, which contrasts the more structured tailoring of the rest of the uniform.
6. Virgin Atlantic [+4]
Vivienne Westwood’s designs for Virgin Atlantic may be a love/hate design, but it’s certainly identifiable and has growi on us (matching the rising position in our list this year), and a welcome change from the incumbent uniform that has been around for years. Westwood has definitely put her stamp on the uniform, mixing a bit of British heritage, with the more ornate silhouettes famous to the British fashion designer. The elements we really love include the fake label detail on the men’s jackets, which is quite innovative, and the Clubhouse uniforms including the colour blocked ‘faux-bow’tie.
5. Malaysia Airlines [new]
Here’s a new entry in our list (and may not be around next year if the imminent rebrand changes the uniforms), but one that always makes us smile when we see them in an airport. Designed back in 1986, Malaysia Airlines introduced is own original Sarong Kebaya uniform for its female flight attendants. Designed by the School of Fashion at Mara University of Technology, the iconic Batik material with bamboo weave pattern became synonymous with the airline. Five slightly different designs help colour code the staff depending on their role. Malaysia Airlines’ historic and beautiful designs have definitely stood the test of time.
4. Singapore Airlines [-2]
Now one of the longest (if not longest) serving uniform in the skies, Singapore Airlines hasn’t changed it’s ‘Singapore Girl’ design from Pierre Balmain in over 40 years. The iconic figurehead of the airline has been used in almost all of their marketing campaigns. The uniform came to light when Malaysia-Singapore Airlines ceased operations on 1 October 1972 and Singapore Airlines took over as its successor. “Singapore Girl” was coined in 1972 when the French haute couture designer, was hired by Singapore Airlines to construct and update the Malay “Sarong Kebaya” as part of the cabin crew’s uniform. This uniform is well deservedly up here as it has survived the test of time, still looks contemporary, luxurious and symbolizes the heritage and distinction the airline has earned over the years.
3. China Eastern [-]
Yet again, China Eastern features on our Top 10 uniforms, but deservedly so, the new airline uniform by Christian Lacroix is ‘simple elegance’ redefined. The uniform might mistakenly be identified as Air France’s uniform, with fitted navy blue dresses and red accessories, mirroring the French national colours. But there is no mistaking the simple and powerful image these professional uniforms convey. Pushing itself forward as an globally recognized airline, the airline is employing designers from around the world to create a truly international brand and employing Christian Lacroix is a prime example of what its doing right. We love the pill-box hat, the oversized belt and the button down fronted dress. Something is to be said about understated luxury.
2. Etihad [new]
With a subtle nod to its Italian connections (now being a partner in Alitalia) Etihad instructed Italian Haute Couturier Ettore Bilotta. Created at his atelier in Milan, the new uniform cleverly merges dramatic elements of old world haute couture from 1960s Paris and Rome, with the more contemporary fashions evident on the runways of London, New York, Milan and Tokyo. We have to admit, we love the uniforms, they are stylish, well executed and showcase the airline as a truly modern airline. The colour palette is expertly managed both complementing the interiors and standing out in the airport. It’s the fact that both male and female uniforms have been lavished with the same care and consideration, delivering a complete and unified look.
1. Qantas [+4]
Parisian based, Australian born fashion designer Martin Grant won Aussie flag carrier Qantas top spot in our Top 10 Uniforms for 2015. Qantas has successfully shown that airlines don’t have to be drab and boring. Celebrating the Aussie spirit, we love how bright and vibrant these uniforms are. With a wide array of accessories such as black Macintoshes with red accents and Trilby hats or black shoes with red soles, the uniform is feels more like a coordinated wardrobe than a uniform.
The showstopper here is definitely the women’s tops. With a strong and daring diagonal colour blocked design, these uniforms nod to the Qantas red triangle logo, but with the addition of fuchsia, become contemporary dresses that we would actively go out and purchase on the high-street. Men have tailored suits, with bold graphic ties that match the look and feel of the women’s wardrobe. Grant’s capsule collection features over 35 designs meaning that the uniforms will continue to surprise and look fresh for years to come.