Pan Am Glam

Yesterday’s post, which took a look at the Chanel Spring 2012 Couture Collection, got me thinking about Pan Am Flight Attendants.  I don’t know if you’ve watched the show or if you are familiar with the airline and the mystique surrounding it, but it was truly considered the most glamorous career.

Nelle (who is one of the people behind the NGO World Resource Group in Honduras, where Lukus and I visited back in November) was a Flight Attendant for the airline starting in 1979 (she did her training in Honolulu- tough life!).  The term stewardess was no longer used (and frankly, Nelle went by Sky Goddess anyways), but the style continued.  Everything from the uniforms to the white tablecloth meal service made flying a stylish event.

I asked Nelle if she had a photo from the era of Pan Am glam and she didn’t disappoint!  This was taken from inside the engine of a 747, I think it is safe to say that Pan Am work had the potential to be a lot of fun.  I was especially excited to share this photo, as Edith Head designed these uniforms!

Now this image has much more to do with the airliner setting of the Chanel show than today’s air travel.  Don’t you wish the skies were still this chic?

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  1. I like the uniforms and the photo. Re-pinned on pin-interest :)

  2. About 2 years when I was thinking of doing a major drastic career change, I looked into becoming a flight attendant. It sounds so appealing in the beginning, but then you realize the long hours, the small wage, and of course, rarely being home, and I realized it wasn’t meant for me.

    But every time I travel, I still think back to it…. it always appears appealing until you start to think realisticallly about it.

    they make it look fun and easy =)

  3. Wow I love the picture!!! I love the show (Pan Am) and I’m so sad this isn’t like this anymore!

  4. omg great photo! love how much fun they were having. the weirdest thing is i was downtown in the garment district at my old sewer’s building the other day and there was a new showroom where she used to be filled with pan am merchandise–the cool bags, etc. kind of surreal, i guess someone must’ve licensed it and is putting it out again.

    xo mary jo

  5. I love Pan Am…. everything about it… someone who travels overseas quite a bit I would love for Pan Am era to return. Every year the service….the uniforms….the flight attendants are getting worse and worse.

  6. I wish that it was still like that! I remember my mom telling me that all she wanted to be was a Pan Am girl. Great picture, by the way.

  7. Well, Lexus, you really did it! What great memories of some wonderful days and the most incredible coworkers. The hardest thing about quitting flying, for me, was losing the camaraderie we shared. Oh, and free First Class travel anywhere in the world. Oh and the Beluga and DP. Oh and dinner in Bella Roma or Paris and and and… I think it is funny you like the Edith Head. Some crews actually had bonfires on beaches around the world and burned them! If you had a trip and were downline the day the uniform change took place you had to take both uniforms and wear the Adolfo home. And you are right, training in Honolulu was such a burden… 😉

  8. I have not watched the show, but my friend was an attendant. She loved it. She gave it up for her family, but regrets it in part. She traveled all over, and was perfect for it. I can see her in her blue delta uniform now.

  9. that was the time when they used to be nice and glamorous! haha!

  10. Oh my gosh, how cute is that?! And anything Edith Head did was fabulous by association. 😉

  11. Lovely tribute to my Crew Party friend Nelle and the glory days of Pan Am.

  12. Fun photo! I remember reading a series of books about flight attendants when I was a young teen, and thinking it sounded like a great time. Then I grew older, became a major feminist, and decided it was *not* the job for me! It would be wonderful to travel though – if you had any time between flights to check out your new surroundings!

  13. What a fabulous job. If I weren’t such a ‘family gal’ I’d be all over that job, the glamour being a sensational perk.

  14. Connie Forbes says:

    Proud Pan American World Airways Stewardess/Flight Attendant JFK BASED 1989-91
    Honored to have worn Silver Wings and then the beautiful Gold Wings
    It was the most amazing opportunity~ I can’t imagine my life now…without the experience, the friends and the appreication for culture, places of interest….and the sweet memories it has gifted.
    And, World Wings International continue to carry the torch into the future, of our Hearts & International love.

  15. what a great story! And yes, the chanel couture screamed pan am! I can’t believe edith head designed these.. what a lucky gal working at this company!

  16. Sandy Clarke says:

    I flew for Pan Am from 1979-89, JFK & SFO bases. As Pan Am flight attendants we were provided a life style and experiences like no other airline could provide…or ever will provide. We know how fortunate we were and are. The best thing is that we have all reconnected because of social media…we get to share our stories and relate experiences that only another Pan Am flight attendant could understand. And, of course, the Pan Am show has us excited all over again! I hope everyone is watching it!

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