As many of you might have guessed, employees of PVP tend to be overly susceptible to the occasional OVRP (Obsessive Visual Research Project.) Second only to our love of plaid, we are very partial to collecting every shred of information ad snapshot we can get our hands on regarding the nostalgia saturated Jet Set chic airline culture of the 1960's and 70's; an era we refer to here at PVP, as: ECWW, (Eye Candy With Wings.) Our favorite AOTM (Airline Of The Moment) is BI (Braniff International), who, in 1965 brilliantly hired Italian fashion icon Emilio Pucci, and textile guru, Alexander Girard, to completely overhaul the Braniff image... and amidst all our extra curricular research, we stumbled upon an amazing coincidence.... BRANIFF HAD BUFFALO PLAID!!!! PLease read on...
Braniff Stewardesses were called "Hostesses" and were outfitted with uniforms & accessories composed of interchangeable parts which could be removed and added as needed. Pucci adopted a Space-Age theme in redesigning the Stewardess Uniform, including plastic bubbles (resembling Captain Video helmets) which were intended to be worn between the terminal and the plane to prevent carefully coifed hair-dos from being tousseled by the whipping wind on the runway and the the threat of inclement weather. Unfortuantely, the Space Bubble was discontinued after about a month. Not only did the helmets crack easily, there was no place to store them once onboard the aircraft, and with the advent of jetways in many modern airports, their cause was rendered obsolete. However, today, vintage Pucci garments and accessories designed for especially for Braniff are considered highly sought after items of couture.
Girard (pictured below with black and white plaid) was born 1907 in New York, raised in Italy, educated in Britain, and made famous back in America by redefining modern textile design. In 1945, he joined the cult icon company Herman Miller and remained there until the 1970s.
GIrard used fellow Herman Miller design colleagues, Ray and Charles Eames' furniture in the terminals and splashed Braniff ticket counters, terminal lounges, and airline interiors with 7 color schemes and 56 total fabrics. Known to friends as Sandro, (Italian short for Alexander,) Girard died in 1993 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, his home since 1953.
Orange,red and mustard yellow Plaid Peruvian Wool blanket designed by Alexander Girard from Herman Miller designs. Two blankets were designed, the other was blue, dark blue and green (Not shown.)