Vivienne Westwood designs new uniforms for Virgin Atlantic

Punk icon fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has created two new eco-friendly looks for staff on Richard Branson's airplanes. 

Sir Richard Branson has hired Dame Vivienne Westwood for a brand new project, designing a range of updated, green uniforms for his Virgin Atlantic staff.  

Branson was keen to stress the importance of Virgin's rock 'n' roll ethos when it came to the choice of designer: "when we were choosing the designer for this project, we wanted to work with a group of people who share our spirit of adventure, who believe in challenging the status quo and creating something truly memorable." 

Naturally, the new women's outfit comes in the classic Virgin red. The double-breasted jacket and pencil skirt are nipped in at the waist, and pleated with a 1940s French couture influence. "My clothes have always got a very strong dynamic rapport with the body -- they are very body conscious, they help you to look glamorous, more hourglass, more woman. I design things to help people to hopefully express their personality," said the designer.

Meanwhile, the men's looks were influenced by classic British tailoring. Westwood opted for a new version of the three-piece-suit made famous by London's Saville Row, produced in a rich burgundy with grey shadow details under the pockets. 

Most important to Westwood was a commitment to producing the garments (which will be worn by around 7,500 of Virgin's staff) in a sustainanble and eco-friendly way: "I am always trying to find fabrics that are more friendly to the environment" she asserted.

Recycled cabin crew bags will be produced for Virgin by the Ethical Fashion Initiative, in collaboration with the United Nations-backed International Trade Centre (ITC), while the fabrics for the outfits will come from Closed Loop Recycling (a process that takes used clothing fibres and recycles them into new materials). 

Staff will be seen in the new looks from June this year, with further fittings and feedback expected before a full roll-out in 2014.

This isn't the first time that the world's of fashion and aviation have mixed. Just last month, Victoria's Secret and Mango model Miranda Kerr unveiled the Australian national carrier Quantas's new uniform designed by fellow Aussie Martin Grant.

Virgin America staff are dressed by Banana Republic, while in January 2013 it was announced that American Airlines would be redesigning their cabin crew uniforms with the help of Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco of New York-based fashion label KaufmanFranco.

Watch Branson and Westwood discuss the project:


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