DALLAS, May 8, 2009 / FW/ — Almost everyone had written something about Star Trek XI. In fact, in this website alone, there are at least three articles about it. Chances are, even if you are not a Trekkie (or a Trekker) you have read several well-written reviews of the film, so I will not bore you with another review of the storyline but rather look into the costume design.
Michael Kaplan whom BAFTA bestowed the Best Costume Design award for 1983 for his work in “Blade Runner” is credited for the Costume Design of Star Trek XI. Though most fashionistas do not probably know Kaplan’s name, the American costume designer’s work on “Blade Runner” had inspired many designers that include Paris-based Hussein Chalayan and Barcelona-based Jose Castro.
As already have been mentioned so many times, Star Trek XI is a reboot. So what have changed? What did Michael Kaplan keep? And what is he proposing that might change the way we look at futuristic fashion? (MINOR SPOILER ALERT HERE)
First, Michael Kaplan kept the mini skirt that Lt. Uhura was wearing, including the color red, though a different shade this time.
The silhouette had changed a bit, i.e. it had been updated for today’s fashion hence the mini skirt did not look like something Twiggy would have worn, but something that Gemma Ward would have been seen wearing walking down the runway.
Second, tight pants are out. A cornerstone of Star Trek and futuristic dressing, figure hugging trousers for both male and female had been changed to the more wearer friendly loose fitting styles.
Remember Jeri Ryan who played 7 of 9 in Voyager? When the series ended after a 7-year run (no pun intended), when asked what she would do first thing, Jeri Ryan was quoted saying, “I’ll burn my costume.”
Third, the gold, blue and red designations of Starfleet personnel had been retained. Chris Pine (James Kirk), John Cho (Sulu) and Anton Yelchin (Chekov) are wearing gold for being part of the command crew.
Zachary Quinto (Spock) and Karl Urban (Bones) are wearing blue which is designated for science and medical personnel while Simon Pegg (Scotty) and Zoe Saldana (Uhura) are wearing red for engineering and communications.
These color designations for Starfleet “departments” are consistent with the original series released in 1966 – 1969. As already have been mentioned, there have been changes in the silhouettes, wherein it obviously follows that details have changed like the delta Starfleet insignia.
Changes in uniforms have always been part of the Star Trek franchise, so it is surprising that in this new reboot, Michael Kaplan and J.J. Abrams had decided to keep the uniform as close as possible to the original. But, then again, J.J. Abrams changed so many things that perhaps, keeping the uniform was emblematic, i.e. the vision stays the same.
After having seen the movie, as a long time Star Trek fan, I would say that J.J. Abrams and the new Star Trek crew did more than just a fine job in capturing the essence of Star Trek. Like a favorite perfume that has been rebottled, repackaged and a new face to represent it, Star Trek XI boldly goes where NO ONE had gone before.