Air Time

Amelia Earhart's heroine chic takes flight once more.
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.
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
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.

More from Politics

R29 Original Series