Unseen British Airways photos reveal how iconic cabin crew uniforms have changed

The BA fashion runway: From the swinging sixties to today… unseen photos reveal how iconic cabin crew uniforms have changed over the years

  • The photos include uniforms from 1967,  1972, 1977, and 2003, the last time the uniform was redesigned
  • The current BA uniform dates from 2003, but is set to be redesigned in time for the firm’s centenary in August 
  • Photos show how cabin crew uniforms have changed significantly as societal trends have shifted  

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A wonderful selection of previously-unseen photographs showcasing the uniforms of air stewardesses who helped to ferry passengers around the world have been released by British Airways for its centenary this year.  

To mark the occasion, it has opened up its archive to the public for the first time to share never-before-seen memories of key moments from its history, including Winston Churchill’s first trans-Atlantic flight in 1942.

Among them are brilliant photos of air stewardesses posing in uniforms from 1967, 1972, 1977, and 2003, the last time the uniform was redesigned. 

As part of BA’s celebrations in August to mark 100 years since it was formed, it is to release a new uniform, but the firm is yet to go into detail on how different the new design will be.  

The current uniform was designed by former Givenchy designer Julien MacDonald and is worn by staff including cabin crew and check-in agents.  

As well as the uniforms, the collection showcases hundreds of historical photos and videos, as well as articles explaining how British Airways evolved from a single-engine De Havilland aircraft to what it is today.  

A wonderful selection of previously-unseen photographs showcasing the uniforms of air stewardesses who helped to ferry passengers around the world have been released by British Airways for its centenary this year. Above: Stewards from BEA, which merged with BOAC to create the British Airways name in 1972, pose in the 1967 uniform. It was made from terylene and worsted material. 

To mark BA's centenary, it has opened up its archive to the public for the first time to share never-before-seen memories of key moments from its history, including Winston Churchill's first trans-Atlantic flight in 1942. Above: The 1967 royal blue kit had a shorter skirt than the previous design, reflecting changing societal trends. It was designed by Hardy Amies, who was dressmaker to The Queen from the time of her accession in 1952 until his retirement in 1989.

To mark BA’s centenary, it has opened up its archive to the public for the first time to share never-before-seen memories of key moments from its history, including Winston Churchill’s first trans-Atlantic flight in 1942. Above: The 1967 royal blue kit had a shorter skirt than the previous design, reflecting changing societal trends. It was designed by Hardy Amies, who was dressmaker to The Queen from the time of her accession in 1952 until his retirement in 1989. 

Above: Hardy Aimes was also responsible for this BEA uniform from 1972. He designed it to allow the expression of individuality achieved by interchangeable colours of the blouses and scarves based on the strong red, white and blue theme associated with BEA. The short Tutankhamun hat is in French blue, trimmed with BEA red

Above: Hardy Aimes was also responsible for this BEA uniform from 1972. He designed it to allow the expression of individuality achieved by interchangeable colours of the blouses and scarves based on the strong red, white and blue theme associated with BEA. The short Tutankhamun hat is in French blue, trimmed with BEA red

As part of BA's celebrations in August to mark 100 years since it was formed, it is to release a new uniform, but the firm is yet to go into detail on how different the new design will be. Although according to cabin crew blog Paddle Your Own Kanoo, Burberry has been enlisted for the job. Above: The first official British Airways uniform, from June 1977. It was designed by fashion house Baccarat Weathersall.

As part of BA’s celebrations in August to mark 100 years since it was formed, it is to release a new uniform, but the firm is yet to go into detail on how different the new design will be. Although according to cabin crew blog Paddle Your Own Kanoo, Burberry has been enlisted for the job. Above: The first official British Airways uniform, from June 1977. It was designed by fashion house Baccarat Weathersall.

A smart red-lined jacket and skirt, with optional flared trousers in white pinstripe, of the finest quality was chosen for the classical tailoring style. The cloth was lightweight but hard-wearing wool worsted. A shoulder bag of dark blue leather, a small-brimmed hat and a belt matching bearing the BA logo completed the outfit.

A smart red-lined jacket and skirt, with optional flared trousers in white pinstripe, of the finest quality was chosen for the classical tailoring style. The cloth was lightweight but hard-wearing wool worsted. A shoulder bag of dark blue leather, a small-brimmed hat and a belt matching bearing the BA logo completed the outfit.

The 1988 uniform of Scotland's flagship carrier British Caledonian, which was taken over by British Airways in 1987. The key elements of British Caledonian's uniform were the kilt and the various tartans. Tartans can be divided into Clan, Hunting and Dress; dress tartans were worn mainly by ladies and the tartans used by British Caledonian were adopted from clans originating in different parts of Scotland.The airline is remembered for its tartans.

The 1988 uniform of Scotland’s flagship carrier British Caledonian, which was taken over by British Airways in 1987. The key elements of British Caledonian’s uniform were the kilt and the various tartans. Tartans can be divided into Clan, Hunting and Dress; dress tartans were worn mainly by ladies and the tartans used by British Caledonian were adopted from clans originating in different parts of Scotland.The airline is remembered for its tartans.

The 1993 uniform was designed by Irish designer Paul Costelloe. It combined a classic styling and informality in a stunning pinstripe and collage design, reflective of BA's worldwide multi-cultural interests and worldwide operations. The women's uniform was a classic tailed single-breasted suit in the corporate colours of red and navy blue, designed in a specially created pin-dot wool fabric. A silky crepe geometric print blouse in red, navy blue and grey complemented the suit.

The 1993 uniform was designed by Irish designer Paul Costelloe. It combined a classic styling and informality in a stunning pinstripe and collage design, reflective of BA’s worldwide multi-cultural interests and worldwide operations. The women’s uniform was a classic tailed single-breasted suit in the corporate colours of red and navy blue, designed in a specially created pin-dot wool fabric. A silky crepe geometric print blouse in red, navy blue and grey complemented the suit.

A BA stewardess proudly models her 1993 uniform. The hats later became optional. As well as the uniforms, BA's collection showcases hundreds of historical photos and videos, as well as articles explaining how British Airways evolved from a single-engine De Havilland aircraft to what it is today

A BA stewardess proudly models her 1993 uniform. The hats later became optional. As well as the uniforms, BA’s collection showcases hundreds of historical photos and videos, as well as articles explaining how British Airways evolved from a single-engine De Havilland aircraft to what it is today

The key elements of British Caledonian's uniform were the kilt and the various tartans. Tartans can be divided into Clan, Hunting and Dress; dress tartans were worn mainly by ladies and the tartans used by British Caledonian were adopted from clans originating in different parts of Scotland.The airline is remembered for its tartans.

The current uniform, which dates from 2003, was designed by former Givenchy designer Julien MacDonald and is worn by staff including cabin crew and check-in agents. At the time of its release, Mr MacDonald said: ‘As a designer for some of the world’s most glamorous women, it was a great challenge to design a uniform that is worn by such a large number of staff of different ages and sizes.’ The design is meant to reflect the airline’s British history. It is made from wool.  


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