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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Flight and fancy: Etihad chic at New York Fashion Week

As airlines increasing struggle to get well travelled passengers to pay attention to the all important safety video, Runway to Runway is a stylish solution

Etihad partnered with renowned British designer Julien Macdonald OBE to launch the promotional fashion film, which features over 17 couture outfits by the designer.
Etihad partnered with renowned British designer Julien Macdonald OBE to launch the promotional fashion film, which features over 17 couture outfits by the designer.

Given that it is an official supporter of 17 fashion week events around the world, it was no surprise that Etihad Airways had created its own chic little VIP lounge in a corner of Skylight Clarkson Square, the building that is at the heart of New York Fashion Week.

The airline used the occasion to unveil a new safety video that takes its inspiration straight from the world of fashion. Etihad partnered with renowned British designer Julien Macdonald OBE to launch the promotional fashion film, which features over 17 couture outfits by the designer, and draws parallels between the production of a high-end fashion show and the preparation that goes into ensuring a safe and comfortable flight.

The new film, which will be available to watch on board from late autumn, aims to entertain as much as it informs, taking a charmingly tongue-in-cheek approach to an otherwise serious subject. As airlines increasing struggle to get well travelled passengers to pay attention to the all important safety video, Runway to Runway is a stylish solution.

In the video, an Etihad pilot takes the viewer across a runway and through a door that magically leads into the backstage areas of a Julien Macdonald fashion show.

Model Montana Cox and Ehihad flight attendants at Skylight Clarkson Sq in New York City. Rabbani and Solimene Photography / Getty Images for IMG Fashion
Model Montana Cox and Ehihad flight attendants at Skylight Clarkson Sq in New York City. Rabbani and Solimene Photography / Getty Images for IMG Fashion

Here, models don oxygen masks to escape a cloud of hairspray; they try on life jackets as if they were the season's must-have fashion accessory; don safety belts over embellished couture gowns and move into brace position as they are getting their hair done.

Hijab model Halima Aden was at the screening and I asked her what she thought. "I thought the film was super funny," she says.

"Etihad wants to merge the worlds of fashion and flight and I thought this video did that really well. They captured what a fashion show truly is."

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