NAC Flight Hostesses in the summer of 1959
Air New Zealand celebrates its 75th birthday this year and the New Zealand Fashion Museum is commemorating the occasion with an online exhibition which charts the fascinating history of the airline's uniforms. Starting back in 1940 when a military style was the look du jour, through to the current koru printed uniforms designed by Trelise Cooper, the uniforms reveal alot about our sartorial history as a nation. Many of the uniforms were created by some of the country's top designers including Zambesi, Barbara Lee and Isabel Harris among others, whose intriguing stories are also documented as part of the exhibition.
The NZFM's exhibition complements an exhibition that opens today by Air New Zealand at Auckland Museum, which contains many pieces of the airline's storied history and has previously enjoyed a successful showing at Te Papa earlier this year. Many replica uniforms were made as part of the exhibition and the NZFM has interviewed the women responsible for creating them, who often had to try and recreate the garments from nothing more than old photographs. It was also interesting to discover that Air New Zealand (then named TEAL) had uniforms designed by Christian DIor in the sixties that were made in New Zealand under the El-Jay license by Gus Fisher.
You can browse the Air New Zealand Uniforms exhibition online at the New Zealand Fashion Museum now or visit the Auckland Museum's Air New Zealand 75 Years exhibition until May 22 2016.
Flight Hostess in Air New Zealand's Nina Ricci of Paris uniform in the 1970s
Flight Hostesses in TEAL military style uniforms in the 1940s
Images © Air New Zealand