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New Turkish Airlines uniforms raise cabin crew glamor stakes

From strutting past bright-colored houses to exploring Istanbul's spice markets, ...

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 3:31 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 3:31 PM

From strutting past bright-colored houses to exploring Istanbul's spice markets, Turkish Airlines new cabin crew uniforms are multipurpose -- at least if the glamorous photo shoot is anything to go by.

Celebrating 85 years of criss-crossing the world, the airline has revealed a chic new look for its flight attendants courtesy of Milan-based haute couturier Ettore Bilotta. British photographer Miles Aldridge shot the looks in iconic destinations in Istanbul.

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The red-and-gray-accented symbolize a fusing of Eastern and Western influences, in acknowledgment of Turkey's position on the map.

Haute couture cabin collections are becoming increasingly common. Earlier in the 2018, Delta Airlines upgraded its uniforms courtesy Zac Posen. A year earlier, China's Hainan Airlines premiered a fashionable range for its flight attendants at Paris Couture Week Fall/Winter 2017.

A couple of years ago Ettore Bilotta also designed Etihad Airways purple-themed uniforms, while Vivienne Westwood memorably gave Virgin Atlantic crew members their iconic style.

Istanbul influence

The launch of Turkish Airlines' new look will coincide with the opening of Istanbul New Airport. This under-construction transport hub has ambitions to be the biggest airport in the world and is due to open in late October 2018.

Fashion designer Bilotta says he took the spirit of Istanbul as the starting point.

"This city has been a melting pot for art and civilization for centuries and has a rare richness as a common heritage of many cultures," he says. "I wanted to bring elements from traditional calligraphy and mosaics together with the new interpretations of Turkish motifs, which emphasize modern lines, into foulards and ties to reflect a contrast and duality."

The city forms a striking backdrop to Bilotta's designs. The resulting publicity photographs wouldn't look out of place in a fashion magazine spread.

On rotation include Wizard of Oz-style red pumps, smart gray-flecked trousers and red statement blazers.

Turkish Airlines insists the catwalk-ready looks are also effective in real world scenarios. Cabin crew pitched in to give their feedback through the process and the designs were tested on long-haul trial flights in different climates.

"While maintaining traditional elements of Turkish design and culture, our new uniforms are professional and stay true to a culture of hospitality, just like our airline," says Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee M. İlker Aycı.

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