On Tuesday, British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood officially took the wraps off the uniforms she designed for Virgin Atlantic airlines.
Unveiled at a party in London -- at which the entertainment included Blondie -- the collection will be standard issue for some 7,500 employees of the long-haul airline including, most visibly, the cabin crew, pilots and ground crew.
(But not, alas, Virgin America employees, who, last we knew, were still kitted out in Banana Republic threads.)
When the designer and the airline announced the collaboration back in May 2013, one of the watchwords was “sustainability” and that flight pattern was apparently a lock -- features of the resulting collection include the use of a polyester yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, a nano finish to help retain color and extend garment life and new bags for ground staff that are a result of a United Nations collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative in Nairobi.
But, like Westwood’s namesake collection, the ‘40s-inspired uniforms for the high-flying jet set don’t sacrifice beautiful design and strong tailoring. Standouts include the bright red cabin crew jacket -- inspired by the Bettina jacket Westwood designed in the early '90s -- paired with a matching red pencil skirt and red shoes with an hourglass heel (a Westwood signature).
The men don’t make out too badly either – they’ll be wearing sharp-looking three-piece burgundy wool suits inspired by Savile Row tailoring.
The new 22-piece uniform set officially takes wing on Virgin Atlantic flights and in airports starting Sept. 1.
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