The show revisited a universe viewers had not seen since the 1960s, taking us back to the familiar starship Enterprise. But its 24th-century look was pretty different from what fans remembered of The Original Series, especially when it came to the characters’ wardrobes. Contemporary late ’80s early ’90s influence led to some amazing costumes, which have become the focus of an entire Tumblr blog created by Charlie Beckerman and Anna Marquardt.
They are the masterminds behind the Fashion It So, which examines the futuristic fashions seen on The Next Generation. Marquardt, who has a background in costume design, told the Daily Dot that she and Beckerman had watched the show as kids, but it was watching an episode together randomly one day when the fashion caught their eyes. In particular, this jacket.
“I have a longstanding love of clothes and costumes, and so we were like ‘Oh, let’s just start a Tumblr and talk about that jacket,'” Marquardt said. The pair posted the photo and commented about how it looked like a car interior. At first, they just did it to make themselves laugh.
“Then we started getting more into different outfits in each episode, and then they became sort of episode recaps.”
Fashion It So began in 2010, and because Netflix wasn’t streaming episodes of The Next Generation then, the pair relied on other sites and BBC America reruns to watch it. This meant finding screenshots for their posts was difficult. Both these challenges have become easier in recent years. Now the show is streaming on Netflix, and Marquardt said they’re able to find high-quality screencaps on TrekCore, a fan-run Star Trek website.
Fashion It So’s posts often feature fun commentary about an episode’s plot alongside the entertaining thoughts on the characters’ clothing. Marquardt and Beckerman have explored episodes from all seven seasons of the show, keeping track of their progress with the help of a spreadsheet. According to Beckerman, their main goal is to touch on every episode and revisit those that may have only received short posts in the beginning.
While they still have a lot to explore, they’ve already discovered some interesting things about the fashions of The Next Generation. Beckerman has found that the first season fashions are much different from those seen in later years.
“In the first season they’re clearly like, ‘OK, we need space fashion and we have a budget of $5,’ and I’m sure it was more than that, but it wasn’t a lot more than that, so they’re certainly using a kind of resourcefulness especially that first season, and I’d say the second and third seasons, to kind of envision this world,” he told the Daily Dot. “Especially after some of those early first season episodes they were trying to make it look less schlocky, less like how the The Original Series looked.”
Beckerman has also enjoyed seeing some of Star Trek‘s fashions of the future come true. He’s actually had some “sightings in the wild” of Star Trek-like style. According to Marquardt, similarities of some modern fashion to The Next Generation clothing design might be due to the current ’90s fashion revival.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that futuristic costumes cannot be extricated from the time period in which they’re created. Even though we’re looking at a futuristic series, the clothes are so obviously from the late ’80s and early ’90s. The color palettes and the silhouettes and all of the sort of trappings of the costumes are super placed in that time,” Marquardt said.
While the duo will likely find themselves making more interesting observations as they continue to examine The Next Generation, their adventures have thus far been popular with followers who eagerly enjoy and share each new Star Trek fashion breakdown.
Among their many fashion finds, Beckerman and Marquardt have some specific favorites you might want to check out. Below are just a few that stand out.
For Marquardt, the outfit Beverly Crusher wears during the season 7 episode “Gambit” stands out, especially her teal leather beret!
“I’ve said this multiple times on the blog, but it’s a ’90s thing to have the Crayola bold box color scheme, so it’s like raspberry and teal and eggplant. Nothing’s primary, everything’s a little bluey-tinged but she’s wearing this big oversized coat and big shirt underneath and then a teal leather beret on her red hair that was just stunning,” she said.
“A lot of my favorite ones are where whoever was designing the costumes clearly was making a global choice for a set of people,” Beckerman said. “I don’t know if it was trying to make a trend, or make a sort of call sign, but the one that’s coming to mind right now is ‘The Most Toys’ where Data gets kidnapped by this guy who’s kind of like the Collector from the Marvel universe. Everyone’s got this one short sleeve, one long sleeve, one crazy thing going across, and you’re just like ‘You really thought about this, you spent some time.’’ And you know, ‘well done,’ but I like those a lot.”
A style Marquardt singled out that will be very familiar to Star Trek fans is the jumpsuit. Marquardt said she has “a lot of personal feelings about jumpsuits.”
“I frequently enjoy a good jumpsuit. Worf’s baby momma K’Ehleyr wears a lot of very good jumpsuits, and she’s a badass… and of course Deanna Troi wears a lot of jumpsuits,” she said. “The jumpsuit is a big futuristic (type of) clothing, and so I really enjoy that, and I do think that there’s a bit of the ’90s thing happening and now jumpsuits are sort of trendy in our own time.”
Keiko and Guinan
As Beckerman put it, the outfits that are really fun are those you have to look at for a second to try to figure out what’s happening.
“The one that’s jumping to mind even though it’s based off a traditional (Japanese) wedding dress is Keiko O’Brien’s wedding dress, where it’s like ‘Let’s take this thing, but move it into the future’ and then she comes out and you’re just like ‘Yes!’ You just let it wash over you, and basically also anything Guinan wears too is just great,” he said.
Screengrab via TrekCore/YouTube