One of the many initiatives to mark Qantas' 95th birthday in November is a quirky pop-up exhibition at its Sydney Qantas Club featuring a collection of 44 Barbie and Ken dolls wearing their own bespoke Qantas uniform.
The display showcases the changing fashions of the times, from the roaring 1920s when open cockpits meant Qantas pilots wore flying goggles and leather clothing to stay warm, to the flamboyant prints of the 'air-hostess' uniforms during the 1970s disco era such as the bright green and blue floral patterned Pucci dresses.
Mr John Willmott–Potts, a late former Qantas long-haul flight attendant, put together the uniforms over a 22-year period while selectively matching them to a Ken and Barbie doll from the same era.
After Mr Willmott-Potts passed away in 2010 he donated his entire collection to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney.
Paris-based, but Australian-born designer Martin Grant created the mini version of the latest Qantas uniform, which Qantas will donate to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney.
Qantas Group Executive of Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth said the pop-up exhibition celebrates 95 years of pilot and flight attendant fashion for the airline.
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“This collection is truly something quite special and the fact that a former Qantas crew member personally created these uniforms as a hobby shows the passion our people have for the airline. We’re excited to share them with customers as we prepare to mark our anniversary, especially given they have never been on display as a formal exhibition before.
“There are some eye-catching uniforms that form part of our 95 year history, including the bright green and blue floral patterned Pucci dresses from the mid to late 1970s, to the bomber jackets with fur trimmed collars worn by Qantas pilots before the second World War.
"Special mention to the Yves Saint Laurent flight attendant uniform from the late 80s with its oversized shoulder pads and heavy gold trim that was right on trend during that era”.
Qantas will display the 44 dolls for a four week period in the Sydney Qantas Club.