Kittens, we pitched a costume analysis for the fine folks at StarTrek.com and wouldn’t you know it, they took us up on the offer:
From the bouffants and Beatle boots of The Original Series to the metallics and shoulder pads of Next Generation, to the military uniforms of Enterprise and even all the way to the lens flares and Apple-inspired aesthetic of the J.J. Abrams films, the look of Star Trek has always reflected the aesthetics of the time in which it was originally produced. As both a long-time fan and someone who’s written a good deal about the semiotics of costume design, I’ve always enjoyed the idea that, for instance, in the era of The Original Series, there was a minor vogue or trend for styles inspired by “mod” earth styles of the 1960s. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds; history is replete with examples of people cycling through short bursts of fascination with styles of the long past, like the classical Greek revival that inspired everything from architecture to women’s hairstyles and dresses in the Victorian era.
Go and read the whole thing, in which we not only attempt to encapsulate the history of Star Trek costume design, but explain why the characters of Star Trek: Picard dress so differently now and why they seem to love knitwear, linens and leather so much.