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Vivienne Westwood designs Virgin Atlantic uniforms


Doyenne of the fashion world Vivienne Westwood has been unveiled as the new uniform designer for Virgin Atlantic.

The one-time Queen of Punk, famed for her flamboyant designs, has brought a futuristic touch to the airline's iconic red uniforms, with a feminine and flattering silhouette for female crew and a sharp Savile Row-inspired three piece suit in burgundy wool for the men.

The women's uniform features a pencil skirt with "a cheeky dart and double pleat" at the back.

ABOVE: Vivienne Westwood's female crew uniform marries function with form

Westwood, who has seduced the fashion industry with her daring and unconventional take on style for over 40 years, was inspired by 40s French couture cutting techniques and classic tailoring heritage in creating the uniforms.

"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," the designer said. "I design things to help people to hopefully express their personality."

ABOVE: The male crew's uniform fuses a traditional British look with a contemporary feel

Many items of the new uniform will be produced using recycled materials, including recycled bags for the ground staff which will be produced for Virgin through the Ethical Africa Programme, in collaboration with the International Trade Centre. They'll be made using recycled canvas, reused roadside banners, unused leather off-cuts, and recycled brass, produced in the Kibera slum, Nairobi.

"I am always trying to find fabrics that are more friendly to the environment - working with Virgin Atlantic they managed to research into this and find more eco fabrics," said Westwood.

ABOVE: Vivienne Westwood with Richard Branson... say cheese!

Richard Branson said the airline wanted to work with a team who shared "our spirit of adventure, who believe in challenging the status quo and creating something truly memorable."

"Our current uniform has been around for more than 10 years and we have seen other airlines start to copy it," he added.

The collaboration between Westwood and Virgin Atlantic is a long-term project, with emphasis on original design and sustainability. Crew will start trialling the new uniforms from July before they're rolled out in full in 2014.

Take a look at Westwood's designs, above - along with an exclusive photo of Westwood with Branson - and let us know your thoughts on Twitter @stylistmagazine.



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