Fashion in Flight exhibition shows the uniform designs of the Golden Age of Travel

Back in the early history of commercial flight, air travel was regarded as a luxury with only the wealthy being able to afford regular flights. Now commercial air travel is treated like being on a public bus and pilots are considered glorified bus drivers. Movies like ‘Catch Me If You Can’ showed what air travel used to be like in the 1960’s, and it was a time when people dressed up for air travel, being a pilot was a prestigious job and flight attendants were the envy of many. This was the Golden Age of air travel when Pan Am ruled the skies. Much like today, where design and aesthetics play an important role air travel, flying in the Golden Age was a time when the flying experience, the visual look of the cabin, the silverware and the stewardess’s uniforms, was designed by some of the world’s best designers.

The SFO Museum located in the San Francisco International Airport recently launched an exhibition showing the stewardess uniforms from the 40’s till present day in “Fashion in Flight: A History of Airline Uniform Design.” Have a look at a side of air travel most of you have never experienced and check out the SFO Museum website for more information.


Transcontinental - Western Air hostess uniform by Howard Greer 1944

Trans World Airlines hostess uniform by Oleg Cassini 1955

Pan American World Airways stewardess uniform by Don Loper 1959

Braniff International Airways hostess uniform by Emilio Pucci 1966

United Air Lines stewardess uniform by Jean Louis 1968

Air France stewardess uniform by Cristóbal Balenciaga196 

Pan American World Airways stewardess uniform by Frank Smith for Evan-Picone 1971

Trans World Airlines flight attendant uniform by Valentino1971

United Airlines flight attendant uniform by Stan Herman 1976

Qantas Airways flight attendant uniform by Yves Saint Laurent1986

Aeroméxico flight attendant uniform2008

Virgin Atlantic Airways flight attendant uniform by Vivienne Westwood201