During a flight from Amsterdam to New York yesterday, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and its passengers reminisced about KLM uniforms over the years. In the run-up to the airline’s 100th anniversary on 7 October, the aisles were transformed into a catwalk where crew members modelled the KLM uniforms and related accessories of the time.
Catwalk in the sky
From hats to pleated skirts and from women’s trousers to gloves – the KLM uniform has seen many faces since 1935. “But it has always been elegant and stylish,” says Cliff Muskiet, KLM purser and initiator of the airborne fashion show. This was clearly seen during the catwalk in the sky when crew members showed off uniforms from 1957 to the present day. While the show mainly featured KLM clothing, there were also examples from KLC and NLM, all from Cliff’s private collection. Cliff Muskiet is a true enthusiast, with a collection of 1,577 plastic boxes, stored at home, containing uniforms from 563 airlines.
Start the show
The passengers were informed about the unique fashion show at the start of the flight and they responded enthusiastically. Muskiet: “At a certain point, the voice of our senior purser resounded through the cabin. He also works for a radio station and therefore had the perfect voice to accompany the models and tell the passengers about the history of the uniforms. Of course, safety on board came first throughout the event.”
Muskiet also chose all the garments for the show. “It seemed like a great idea in the run-up to our 100th anniversary to give our passengers an opportunity to see KLM’s different uniforms over the years. But, in this case, worn by our own colleagues of course! Changing and taking care of the make-up was very exciting, given the limited amount of space available onboard. All things considered, everything went on very well.”
From Nina Ricci to Mart Visser
The fashion show in the sky tied in nicely with the World Fashion Week that kicks off next week in New York. But it also speaks for itself because there is much to tell about the history of the KLM uniforms. “Few people know that we have only been wearing the current – and very recognisable – blue colour since 1971,” says Cliff Muskiet. “And famous designers such as Nina Ricci and Mart Visser have often worked on them. It’s great that crew and passengers responded so enthusiastically. It was certainly a special event in the run-up to KLM’s 100th anniversary!”
The passengers were so enthusiastic that they even gave the crew a round of applause on arrival at the airport in New York.
Amstelveen, 04 September 2019