British Airways is not normally associated with mile-high fashion. Their old uniform, a silky geometric print blouse and grey wool skirt designed by Paul Costelloe back in 1993 seems well out of date to most travellers and fashion followers alike. Surprisingly, it was only in the year 2000 that stewardesses were allowed to fly without the frumpy red, white and blue boater hats, highlighting that BA has never been quick to adapt to change or score high on the fashion style-stakes. Costelloe's look, which incorporated BA's old colour scheme, has been given a re-fitting in BA's attempt to implement change in a commercially difficult moment. The "old" image has now been revamped by daring designer Julien MacDonald, who's aim it was to put "the glamour back into flying," by creating a new figure-hugging silhouette reminiscent of the retro uniform. MacDonald wasn't shy to remark the old uniform was unflattering and "looked like someone's granny queuing for a bus." Since the 70s, BA has commissioned international designers, which include Costelloe, Hardy Amies, and Roland Klein to create its uniforms. Other famous designers have ventured into sky-couture, with Yves Saint Laurent designing for Qantas, Calvin Klein for Scandinavian Airlines and Ralph Lauren for TWA. The new uniforms for British Airways, which were unveiled yesterday, are Julien MacDonald's take on a retro and 50s influenced ensemble. Famous for his sexy evening frocks favoured by the likes of Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue, MacDonald updated the uniform for a modern, image-conscious BA. Costelloe, who told the Guardian yesterday: "MacDonald should stick to designing evening slapper stuff," said he felt flattered people where still talking about his design after 10 years. BA staff tested the new uniform and chose it themselves.

 

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