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This Airline’s Uniforms Are Making Us Want To Quit Our Jobs

Growing up, I wanted to become a trolley dolly – for the want of the uniform if nothing else. It was just coming out of the golden age of flying and air hostesses were glamorous, exotic, sophisticated, and chic in their three-piece button up’s, complete with little hats, striking lips, and a complimenting court shoe. Over the years, the industry has lost its lustre somewhat, but this airline aims to give new heights to uniforms again by dressing its staff in bespoke couture uniforms that are fit for any runway.

The new Hainan Airlines bespoke uniform

 Hainan Airlines – located in the People’s Republic of China and the fourth largest airline in the country – collaborated with esteemed couture designer Laurence Xu to create one-of-a-kind uniforms for the Chinese airline, which were revealed at Couture Week in Paris last week. The new uniforms were designed with a classic aesthetic and with modern elements in mind, while simultaneously reflecting on traditional Chinese culture with beautiful motifs and striking colours.

Laurence Xu drew inspiration from traditional Chinese dresses called Cheongsams. Pieces also feature Chinese-influenced prints, such as the Roc – a mythical bird. The dresses are low-hemmed to mimic traditional Cheongsams and are “tulip-shaped to emphasise, in equal measure, elegance, femininity, aesthetics and practicality”. the addition of a cape and hat introduces and incorporates Western influences and popular culture.

Fashion forward

The couture update originated from the airline’s desire to expand to a greater audience – particularly international flyers (hence the Western influences). Their daring approach to traditional uniforms is exactly what the industry needs in a period where more energy is spent on savings and cutting luxury for passengers. What’s more, it’s a matter of fact that we’re more likely to perform our best if we look and feel the best – which is as good an excuse as any to get your boss to make the shift to Couture.

Irish Couture

Did you know our own Aer Lingus was one of the first airlines to introduce bespoke couture? Sybil Connolly Paul Costello Irene Gilbert, and most recently, Louise Kennedy. However, the last update was back in 1998 so could it be time for a fashion update?

The unveiling of the most recent Aer Lingus uniform on The Late Late Show in 1998. Designed by Louise Kennedy.

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