What a shame style got lost in transit…
Martin Grant is bringing back something long lost to Australian airports – glamour. The Melbourne-born, Paris-based fashion designer, known for his sophisticated style has been commissioned to whip up a new batch of uniforms for Qantas hosties.
Grants’ will be the tenth incarnation of the national airline’s uniform since 1959, following designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Emilio Pucci, George Gross and Harry Who. His brief is simple: elegance and wearability, two words that have the ability to transcend any fashion disaster.
Pity this won’t extend to all travellers, because for us normal folk airports have become a den of excess, reckless eating and drinking and shopping for stuff we don’t need. In other words they’re a playground for slobs. And spoilt slobs at that who demand massages at midnight, gamble at dawn and drink beer with every meal.
Yes, airports are a hedonistic time warp where any sense of normality is eradicated by primitive desire or sheer want and need. It’s an experience best summed up by a friend’s Facebook update on the first leg of his recent overseas holiday:
Hash browns and Heineken. gotta love airport lounge breakfast [sic].
Who knows what makes those bright lights, white counters, fatty carbs and inflated prices so irrestible once you make it beyond the transit gates, but like anything that offers instant gratification, the airport experience is fleeting. Leaving you unsatisfied, feeling cheap, unwashed, hung-over and out of pocket.
American designer and writer Chappell Ellison blames poor design for our experience of the modern airport. She says air travel has lost the glamour of the 1970s jet-era, a period defined by Pan Am, modernism and “beautiful, clean structures that shunned ornament.”
And it’s been replaced with badly designed airports, desperately in need of renovation that smell of “lost luggage”. While out of date bathrooms and tacky public furniture have de-valued the travel experience so much that its barely worth getting dressed for.
Ellison says its bureaucracy: too many stakeholders wielding equal amounts of power over the management of American airports makes it impossible for designers to make permanent changes without fighting big business tooth and nail.
Yeah, okay that might sound good on paper, but we Aussies have nobody to blame for our slothful airport habits. As our own Ant Sharwood put is so eloquently here on The Punch a few months ago, airports are our secret shame.
They’re one of the only places in the world that we can by three bottles of scotch without looking like a dero, indulge in plane spotting or fork out $14 for a small carton of orange juice. But do we really have to do it all wearing trackie daks?
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