Hainan Airlines’ cabin crew uniforms show how Particularism works

2 min read
Hainan Airlines’ cabin crew uniforms

At the Paris Couture Week in early July, China’s Hainan Airlines presented their new cabin crew uniforms which were designed by Laurence Xu.

They “combine elements of classical, time-honored Oriental aesthetics and the silhouette of a modern Western suit, infusing new vigor and fashion into the attire.”

The Design Air Magazine says they “absolutely love the interpretation of a Cheongsam, a stylish traditional Chinese dress for women usually worn on more formal occasions … the elegant vibrant and iconic design will now be one of the most identifiable in an airport … We love the new designs: modern, sleek and elegant.”

The Traveller Journal is of the view that the “new designs are among the most beautiful uniforms the industry has seen. Not since Etihad introduced its Ettore Bilotta-designed uniforms in 2015 has there been so much excitement or glamour surrounding in-flight couture … an aesthetic fusion of East and West.

According to the airline, the new print reflects a Hainan aircraft that has just taken flight and features ‘the roc’, a mythical bird denoting strength in Chinese culture.”

I of course have bias. To me, the dress is amazingly glamorous. It retains all the necessary characters of a woman’s ‘cheongsam’ and incorporates certain practical adaptation as well as Western style so much so that foreigners may like it. It is a down-to-earth showcase that Universalism which standardizes everything is boring (German theorist Carl Schmitt says it is dangerous to humans), and we should turn to appreciate Particularism whose another name is Pluralism.

Clash of civilizations can be prevented. Each civilization has its own distinctive and undeletable characteristics, yet they all evolve over time and react to the outside world. Civilizations can co-exist peacefully so long as we know how to respect and tolerate. Once we uphold this value, it will be great fun for all of us to share the beauty of all these fusions.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

Tony Simon

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