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The Vintage Aviation

29 January 2014

The old photography exhibition called "Air France and KLM: The History of The World Airlines" gives a great opportunity to take a look at the history of passenger transportation from a cultural perspective.

The exhibition is dedicated to the anniversaries of the world's largest airlift companies. In 2013, the French airline "Air France" celebrated its 80th anniversary. And in 2014 the Dutch airline KLM is celebrating its 95th anniversary.

The exhibition presents a selection of photos from the 1930's to the 1960's, which show the history of the airlines. In the pictures you can see the first small aircrafts and small airports, which look so different from the modern airliners and spacious terminals which are made of glass and concrete. Also these pictures tell the story of discovering the sky, reducing the distances between the countries and changing the people's perception of the world. It is known that at first people believed that an invention of the plane was a wonder. People were amazed by its technologies, but many of them were afraid to fly. Then the celebrities set a good example.

The visitors can also see the pictures of the famous passengers on board: such as Sophia Loren who was going to Geneva for a few days and Charles Aznavour on board to Mexico. Among the VIP-passengers there were a great jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, and Princess Grace of Monaco. There are some rare pictures related to our country: for example, there you can see the Russian ballet artists going down the step ladder, when they arrived for tour. Also you can see a picture of the first plane that flew from Amsterdam to Moscow in 1958.

The highlight of the opening day was the unusual fashion show. There was a runaway in the halls at Erarta where the models showed the Air France flight attendants' uniform of different time periods. Moreover, the uniforms were created by the top designers, including Pierre Cardin and Nina Ricci. Nowadays passengers can see the uniform designed by Christian Lacroix in 2005 on Air France flight attendants.

As for the opening ceremony, there were some guests of honor such as Yennes de Mol, a Dutch consul in Saint Petersburg, the representatives of the airlines and their regular customers.

about the exhibition
text by Olga Safroshina, photo by Vitaly Kolikov