Snapshots show how the airline launched the 'designer uniform' and tackle fashion's most infamous eras, including the swinging sixties and seventies, as compiled by James Draper for the Mail Online

They've long added a touch of glamour to the friendly skies.

But Air New Zealand's staff uniforms have been on a gruelling journey since it first launched in 1940 - as these vintage photographs reveal.

Navigating turbulent fashion trends over the past 70 years, its crew attire has embraced everything from chic tailoring to garish patterns. Often with hilarious results.

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Air force: A military inspired look was adopted by the first air stewardesses, in 1946. Epaulets on male and female crew indicated rank. Photo / Air New Zealand
Air force: A military inspired look was adopted by the first air stewardesses, in 1946. Epaulets on male and female crew indicated rank. Photo / Air New Zealand

First, they were influenced by WWII, which gave them a formal and military aesthetic, before they went clean, white and clinical for the fifties.

A decade later, in the sixties, they introduced the first designer uniform - by Christian Dior, no less - then got playful with prints in the seventies and eighties, before eventually settling with today's Pacific Wave look.

To celebrate this rather entertaining evolution, here are the airline's most memorable wardrobe moments.

Liberated: The uniform between 1958 and 1961 was heavily influenced by the post-war era with female cabin crew wearing what resembled a 'nurses' outfit. Photo / Air New Zealand
Liberated: The uniform between 1958 and 1961 was heavily influenced by the post-war era with female cabin crew wearing what resembled a 'nurses' outfit. Photo / Air New Zealand
Hats off to them! The Dior-designed uniform defined the golden era of airtravel, along with immaculate detailing and accompanying hat. Photo / Air New Zealand
Hats off to them! The Dior-designed uniform defined the golden era of airtravel, along with immaculate detailing and accompanying hat. Photo / Air New Zealand
1970s: Dubbed the 'lollipop' or 'jellybean', this vibrant uniform saw female staff wear short A-line dresses in a range of pastel colours. Photo / Air New Zealand
1970s: Dubbed the 'lollipop' or 'jellybean', this vibrant uniform saw female staff wear short A-line dresses in a range of pastel colours. Photo / Air New Zealand
Reverting to more formal designs: In 1976 the airline launched a uniform created by Nina Ricci, which relied on the overstated collars that defined the decade's style. Photo / Air New Zealand
Reverting to more formal designs: In 1976 the airline launched a uniform created by Nina Ricci, which relied on the overstated collars that defined the decade's style. Photo / Air New Zealand
Dressed to impress: female flight attendants certainly embraced the eighties trends with structured jackets and jaunty hats. Photo / Air New Zealand
Dressed to impress: female flight attendants certainly embraced the eighties trends with structured jackets and jaunty hats. Photo / Air New Zealand
Today: the current cabin crew uniform was launched in 2010 - staff wear koru swirls and ferns with 'twilight pink', while ground staff mix it up with 'godzone green'
Today: the current cabin crew uniform was launched in 2010 - staff wear koru swirls and ferns with 'twilight pink', while ground staff mix it up with 'godzone green'