memories of the ’80s – where did the jetsetters go?

In the decade that focused on big hair, bold clothing and and excess, so did the travel choices.

Travellers in this decade were all about the United States of America, thanks to the power of television and media, which meant we all aspired to go clubbing in New York City and have access to the high end lairs of Beverly Hills.

We event got interested in cuisine in a new way – it was all about skinny pizza and sushi and the first chef name we all knew – Wolfgang Puck – who was redefining California cuisine for the A list and then the masses.

But travellers did leave the confines of North America – Japan was seen as an emerging spot to lose oneself in the culture (no doubt fueled by the tv mini series Shogun based on the popular novel by James Clavell), a fascination for West Berlin (as the Cold War heated and cooled between Reagan and Gorbachev) and on the wildly exotic Thailand, which had become a consideration for those wanting a new paradise.

Cruises became all the rage, as the upper middle class could start sailing and the industry started to grow, encouraging travellers to traverse the Mediterranean and Caribbean by ship to see the assortment of hot spots. Multiple countries in one trip – now that seemed like the perfect way to travel in this decade.

But one continent got a lot of attention – Australia. Thanks to the popular culture’s focus on all things Aussie like the endless amounts of contemporary music from INXS and Men at Work we also had the infamous Crocodile Dundee in the form of Paul Hogan.

We were fascinated with the land downunder and it was added to the bucket lists of many of a highschool student, who wanted to disappear into the clutches of Sydney for a year, learn to cook prawns on the barbie and come back with the accumulated knowledge of a place that seemed to be the new wild west.


memories of the ’70s – where did the jetsetters go?

In the 1970s, those who wanted to travel were the lucky few – the age of of travel was still for the wealthy – but the destinations were an interesting assortment of the familar cities and the up and coming regions.

Europe was ever so popular, especially with so many travellers in Canada recent immigrants or with family in the western nations.

The beautiful jetsetters were spotted lounging in St. Tropez, located on the French Riviera in southern France. A place where being seen on the beach was key and no one went swimming in the Mediterranean.

Another place that the A listers went to see was Tehran, Iran – then under the rule of the Shah, the country was not a conservative place, but a playground of the rich and famous, who wanted to hob nob with European royalty.

Other up and coming spots were Hawaii’s Kauai, the tropical paradise of Bali, California’s Napa Valley, New York’s Soho district and for families, Walt Disney World in Orlando, which had just opened in the early 1970s. But the majority of travellers all wanted to go to the hot spots of Mexico.

Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Guadalajara, Ensenada, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta were on everyone’s list, especially the latter two for their reputation as drawing wealthy eccentrics and Hollywood stars. Cancun was still a place of deserted beaches and developer plans.

In the 1960s Richard Burton came to Puerto Vallarta to film, Elizabeth Taylor followed him here, and the two (both married to others) bought casitas and created their own place.

These casitas are now called Casa Kimberley and can be toured by visitors, with almost all the furnishings displayed dating from the 1960s and 1970s when the couple spent time here.

In 2014, Mexico is now the playground for the tourist and the everyman, but its charms are come from the idyllic past.



memories of the ’70s – Braniff International Airways

The unique design and decor of the 1970s took on the friendly skies with the unique approach of Braniff International Airways in this decade.

An airline since the 1920s, Braniff International Airways decided to make its mark in the 1970s partnerships with artists and designers – all because of new owner Troy Post, who took ownership of the airline in 1965.

Post decided to take a radical look at gaining ground in the competitive airline industry with using design and style to differentiate his airlines. He hired advertising agency Jack Tinker Associates, and created a team with architect Alexander Girard, fashion designer Emilio Pucci and shoe designer Beth Levine.

Girard recommended the airplanes be painted in a solid colour, instead of the previous Braniff red, white and blue, with a smaller, distinctive BI logo.

Planes were now seen in orange, turquoise, purple, baby blue and yellow. Seven colours were originally chosen by Girard for plane exteriors, which was then increased to 15.

Aircraft interiors, gate lounges, ticket offices and the corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas were all converted with these bold colours, and enhanced by art from Mexico, Central America and South America.

Braniff stewardesses were now called hostesses, and were given several options for uniforms, all designed by Pucci and Levine. One of the initial items was a clear helmet, but was soon dropped as there was no place to store them on-board the aircraft.

The new marketing campaign included Andy Warhol, Sonny Liston, Salvador Dali, and the Playboy Bunny as happy passengers – with the marketing tag line “If You’ve Got It, Flaunt it!”.

In 1971, Pucci welcomed a new Braniff airline which was named “747 Braniff Place” with a showcase at the Dallas Hilton Hotel of the latest uniform designs for Braniff staff.

The airplane was the 100th 747 built by Boeing and became the flagship of the airlines. Dallas-based retailer Neiman Marcus chose 747 Braniff Place to fly to Europe to shoot a new fashion campaign for the store.

In 1973, artist Alexander Calder was hired to create a new exterior for planes, which was named Flying Colours, and was showcased in Paris in 1975, while in 1977, Pucci was replaced with American designer Halston, to design the uniforms for Braniff Airlines hostesses.

Known for style, the airline was the talk of the industry, despite its average passenger load hovering at 50 per cent. But with the deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 came major changes and a direct hit on the financials for Braniff International Airways.

Declaring bankruptcy in the early 1980s, Braniff made a mark on the industry with distinction that hasn’t been repeated.