Liam Rudden: Remember travelling the airways in style?

Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet. Picture: Comp
Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet. Picture: Comp
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LIVING the high life. The golden age of air travel was always about fashion and flair (probably to take minds off the dangers of hurtling through the atmosphere at 500mph). From the monochrome silver service formality of the waiter/stewards on the earliest passenger flights in the 1930s to the futuristic space-age tunics forced on many stewardesses as late as the 1980s, style was, and is, the thing.

Today, of course, cabin crew uniforms, while still tailored by some of the top designers in the world tend to be more functional than decorative.

Now, if like me, you have always been fascinated by air travel (no such things as budget airlines when I was a kid, went everywhere by ferry), Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet, by Keith Lovegrove, is book you should search out. Packed with photographs charting the history of air travel, it gives an intriguing insight into life in the sky.

Focusing on fashion first, it’s quickly obvious that for every stylish uniform there has been an equally outlandish one - watch for Olympic Airways famous Olympic rings motif outfit.

There’s even a rare shot, taken on board a 1955 Air France flight from Paris to Edin-burgh, in which couturier Christian Dior and his catwalk models prepare for their arrival in the Capital.

Airline food, too, has changed. Forget paying through the nose for a ding-burger, images of a 1957 galley capable of producing fresh gourmet meals are a tasty treat.

Quirky, witty and well-researched this is a book worth browsing more than once.

Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet, by Keith Lovegrove, is published by Laurence King Publishing, £9.95