18 December 2013
Once, traveling by plane meant entering a parallel world, characterized by a rarefied and elegant atmosphere. The hostesses wore uniforms created by great fashion designers (like Emilio Pucci, Mary Quant, Pierre Balmain), while the stewards welcomed their guests onboard in white tuxedos. Their smile was the airline’s visiting card. Flight was supposed to be a delightful experience, one to be repeated as often as possible. The interior design reflected the values of society: the table linen was made of silk, the glasses of crystal, the trays put together with maniacal care. Every aspect was planned down to the smallest detail. The writer and designer Keith Lovegrove has devoted a book to this subject, with the title Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet. Divided into four sections (Fashion, Interior, Food, Identity), the volume analyzes the evolution of design in the airline industry from the 1920s to the early years of the 21st century, through contemporary documents, photographs, posters and brochures. The result is a homage to the grand style of the past. Nostalgic. A source of both joy and torment for the enforced habitués of low-cost flight. Published by Laurence King.