50 years of flying high: Singapore Girl - Here to stay

Half a century on, evolution rather than revolution is still preferred for the national carrier's image

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Madam See Biew Wah, 73, was the first to don Singapore Airlines' sarong kebaya. As the iconic uniform turns 50 this year, the former air stewardess remembers the day she modelled it for French designer Pierre Balmain.
Top: Ms See Biew Wah in the SIA sarong kebaya in the 1970s. She modelled for renowned French couturier Pierre Balmain, who designed it. Above: Now 73 and retired, Ms See lives in Kuala Lumpur with her husband, a former SIA station manager. The iconic
The iconic Singapore Girl in her timeless sarong kebaya uniform. PHOTO: SIA
Top: Ms See Biew Wah in the SIA sarong kebaya in the 1970s. She modelled for renowned French couturier Pierre Balmain, who designed it. Above: Now 73 and retired, Ms See lives in Kuala Lumpur with her husband, a former SIA station manager. The iconic
Now 73 and retired, Ms See lives in Kuala Lumpur with her husband, a former SIA station manager. PHOTOS: SIA, LIM YAOHUI
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When her supervisor asked to see her, stewardess See Biew Wah did not think much of it, until she saw renowned French couturier Pierre Balmain in the room.

Next thing she knew, she was on a flight to Paris to model for the man who would design the now-iconic Singapore Airlines (SIA) sarong kebaya.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 16, 2018, with the headline Watch video: Meet the original SIA Girl. Subscribe