Air Time

Amelia Earhart's heroine chic takes flight once more.
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The recent opening of the ICP's exhibition on Amelia Earhart (and the debut of the book Amelia Earhart—Image and Icon, ICP/Steidl) has rejuvenated a marked curiosity in the young pilot's short life…and longstanding style influence. As the first woman to journey by plane across the Atlantic in 1928, her legend revealed much more than a courageous spirit—Earhart became a symbol of liberation, adventure, and what was newly possible for women. That, of course, extended to what they wore.
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Fall/winter '07 runway looks from Prada Donna, 6267, and Karen Walker
Earhart herself favored a funkier approach to the classic aviator gear of the times. More Katharine Hepburn than Charles Lindberg, her look was earmarked by trim-fitting flight jackets, close-cropped aviator caps, and slouchy high-waisted trousers. Today, designers like Karen Walker and Miuccia Prada are tapping into the heroine's free-spirited, tomboy mystique but with more refined trappings expressed in adorned skullcaps, skinny flight-suits, and super-girl capes. It's a utilitarian feel that's both nostalgic and androgynous. A powerful reminder of that message of liberation, which thanks to Amelia, will be forever chic. —Christene Barberich & Piera Gelardi
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Fall/winter '07 runway looks from Belstaff, Ruffian, and Vena Cava
Amelia Earhart Exhibition: Image & Icon, May 11 through September 9, at International Center for Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas (at 43rd Street), New York City; 212-857-0000.
Amelia Earhart's heroine chic takes flight once more.
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