Airline: Identity, Design and Culture

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9783823854609: Airline: Identity, Design and Culture
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Half a century ago, airline stewardesses wore double-breasted suits and perky cloth hats: in-flight refreshment consisted of a thermos of ice water: and passenger seats were fashioned out of tubular aluminum covered in wool. Today lucky air travelers are treated to fine wines, gourmet meals, personal television monitors and even the chance to sleep in a real bed, while the rest of us make do with increasingly skimpy leg room and a bag of peanuts. From utilitarian to luxury, from sensible to chic, from humdrum to kitsch, the evolution of air travel is one of the most dramatic and fascinating reflections of our changing culture, and it is colorfully and whimsically documented in this unique collection of photographs and entertaining text.Air travel has a unique, global style unlike any that exists on earth. Airline examines every aspect of this style, from the exterior and interior design of planes to the advertising and haute couture. It uses hundreds of photographs and archival illustrations to show how the world has changed -- and how it is in some ways very much the same. Dotted with intriguing bits of trivia and ephemera it documents the history of in-flight service and the changing role of the stewardess from nurse to sex-object and back again: shows how airlines use art and interior design to distinguish themselves from their competitors: explains the development of the class system, and features ridiculous and awe-inspiring decorating schemes (some of which never got off the ground) developed to offer travelers the ultimate in luxury at 35,000 feet. Brimming with fun and historical relevance. Airline offers an armchair travel experience unlike any other -- a high-altitudetechnicolor trip down memory lane and into a world that many of us will never enter and that some of us know all too well.

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Review:

"...a delicious evocation of air travel's sometimes spotty design past and a window into the sleek future." -- National Geographic Traveler, November/December 2000

... blends history, sociology and style with stunning graphics in an exploration of this lofty realm. -- USA Today, September 22, 2000

... it is a loving look back at air travel when it was still considered exotic and exciting....A great gift... -- The Briefing, CONCORDE in-flight magazine, September 2000

... more (thank God) entertaining than scholarly..might make the most worn-out businessman rediscover the romance of flying. -- OCEAN DRIVE, October 2000

“...(Lovegrove) recalls the hot pants and knee boots worn by Southwest Airlines stewardesses in the early 70’s..." -- New York Times, August 13, 2000

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