Perhaps the most famous costume designer ever to grace Hollywood was a lady named Edith Head. With 35 Academy Award nominations and a record eight wins, she is the woman with the most Oscars ever.
Miss Head’s first win was for the 1949 film The Heiress, starring Olivia de Havilland and her was last for the 1973 film The Sting. Virtually all the famous actors and actresses from that era wore her designs in a film. She also created uniforms for Pan Am.
Pan Am by Edith Head
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was a major airline that linked the United States to the world. At the time, they were one of the most recognisable global brands, second only to Coca-Cola.
Fashion designers have long been used to create airline uniforms. Perhaps most famous of all is Emilio Pucci who did six collections for Braniff between 1965 and 1974, before going on to do the Qantas uniforms the same year.
When it comes to Pan Am, the uniforms depicted here were the collection introduced in 1975. The flight attendants could elect to wear navy blue or “Pan Am Blue” which is the lighter colour in the photos. These uniforms were in service until 1980.
Airlines changed uniforms quite frequently back in that era. For some airlines, a clothes might last only a couple of years before being redesigned. It’s a far cry from today when the outfits are kept seemingly forever.
Aviation people will also know that Edith Head designed the costumes for two very famous films. The blockbuster Airport from 1970 featured yellow and grey uniforms for Trans-Global Airlines, and Airport ’77 also featured her creations. In fact, the latter was the very last film she did costumes for.
Edith Head died on 24 October 1981 at the ripe old age of 83. Her creations in film will live on as long as the films do, and that should be quite a long time.
Did you know Edith Head designed the Pan Am uniforms? Have you seen them in the flesh or perhaps were working for the airline at the time? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.