klingon or kawakubo? 50 years of 'star trek' costumes

Fashion nerds (and regular nerds) rejoice! A new book, 'Star Trek Costumes: Five Decades of Fashion from the Final Frontier,' explores the seminal series’ most iconic style moments.

by Emily Manning
19 October 2015, 4:05pm

Shahna (Angelique Pettyjohn) from "The Gamesters of Triskelion," wears a classic Theiss design.

From Patrik Ervell's techy fabrics to Rodarte's futurist short films, fashion loves a good sci-fi fantasy. Earlier this year, we rounded up the genre's ten most out of this world sartorial moments in movies (hello Jean Paul Gaultier for The Fifth Element), but when it comes to cosmic costume design, there's only one show that boldly goes: Star Trek.

The costumes created for the episode "Mirror, Mirror" suggested the hedonistic lifestyle of the alternate universe crew.

Spanning the entire franchise (that's twelve films and six different television series over 50 years), a new book, Star Trek Costumes: Five Decades of Fashion from the Final Frontier, explores the origins, evolution, and influence of the intergalactic series' wardrobe. From the classic Starfleet uniforms to flamboyant Ferengi frocks, Star Trek: Costumes dissects design's role in creating a dynamic new universe.

Theiss's costumes for Vina (Susan Oliver), an earlier captain's woman to an earlier captain (Jeffrey Hunter). 

The book not only contains exclusive behind the scenes photography and rare concept art, but examines just how these visionary designers realized a bold new future. Although the series is set in 2286, it's compelling to see the ways in which its costumes have changed from late 60s silhouettes to today's super light synthetics. Plus, some of these looks are seriously chic by any runway standards -- is it Klingon, or Kawakubo? 

Star Trek Costumes: Five Decades of Fashion from the Final Frontier is available here.

The new, improved field jackets had something few other items of Starfleet-issued clothing have: pockets! 
Durinda Rice Wood helps dress a Borg for the species' debut.

Designer William Ware Theiss and actress Susan Oliver during filming of the Star Trek pilot, "The Cage."


Text Emily Manning
Photo provided by Insight Editions. © 2015 CBS Studios Inc. © 2015 Paramount Pictures Corporation. STARTREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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star trek costumes: five decades of fashion from the final frontier