As it is a landmark work of science-fiction, Star Trek is best known for its science. Nifty gadgets like the tricorder and replicator predicted technology like cellphones and 3D printers. The iconic 1960s show also dealt with issues both philosophical and political.
Yet the Original Series does not get enough credit for its fashion. The bodysuits, dresses and coats could have come off the runways of Paris and New York. Brilliant costume designer Bill Theiss pushed boundaries and went where no hemline had gone before.
We put together a runway show of our own. Here are some of the most memorable looks from three seasons of Star Trek.
1. Rigelian cabaret girls in "Shore Leave"
Who could forget these Dr. Seuss–gone–Las Vegas looks? Certainly not McCoy, who conjured up these fantasties of Rigel II on the Shore Leave Planet.
2. Kelinda in "By Any Other Name"
The Kelvan beauty was one of Star Trek's most memorable women — and she got to wear pants. More specifically, this baby blue backless jumpsuit. Charlize Theron could pull this off on the red carpet.
3. Miranda Jones in "Is There No Truth in Beauty"
Not to be confused with "Miss Amanda Jones" of Rolling Stones song fame, this doctor sported a sheer, bejeweled layer over a floor-length dress in sea-colored camouflage. Turns out, those aren't beads. It's a sensor web to aid the blind.
4. Mea 3 and Eminiar guards in "A Taste of Armageddon"
Okay, so the uni-pant-sash-suit get-up worn by the guards makes them look a bit like a tube of toothpaste. Mea (Barbara Babcock) more than makes up for them with stunning draped crop-top over black leggings.
5. T'Pring and Vulcan executioner in "Amok Time"
Though you wouldn't know it by Spock in his blue uniform, Vulcans have a pretty progressive, rather pseudo-feudal-Asian fashion sense. Spock's wife, T'Pring, shines in all-silver. The executioner strikes an imposing figure with that face mask.
6. Maab and Capellans in "Friday's Child"
Capellans love fringe. Maab spiced up what looks like a medieval crusader's outfit with gold tassels and a green sleeve. With topknots and pink fur, the other men push their looks into more Teletubbies territory.
7. Shahna and Tamoon in "Gamesters of Triskelion"
Or, Lady Gaga meets Katy Perry four decades early. Shahna's silver swimsuit is fit for the pop stage, while Tamoon rock more of a Batman-villain-based-on-cotton-candy-vibe. Sean Connery seems to have had the same designer in Zardoz
8. Khan in "Space Seed"
You don't cast Ricardo Montalbán and hide his chest. Showing off his chest must be part of his contract.
9. Spock in "Assignment: Earth"
Star Trek could also nail sleek contemporary (well, contemporary to us) looks. Spock sports a lot of hats to hide his ears in this one, none better than this wooly cap. The trench with hidden buttons is très GQ. It just goes to show you that Theiss could do fashionable everyday menswear as well.
10. Irina Galliulin in "Way to Eden"
Ah, yes, the infamous "Space Hippies" episode. While most of the, er, space hippies look over-the-top and sash-happy, Irina's two-piece floral dress is rather fetching.
11. Isis in "Assignment: Earth"
Yep, another one from "Assignment: Earth." We almost went with three, as Roberta's sherbet-colored minidress is mod heaven, as well. Instead, we went with Isis, the shape-shifting cat woman, mostly to toss her into the coolest Catwoman debate of Batman
12. Fabrini guards in "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
In the future, men will wear argyle muumuus over black leggings. Well, at least the men of Fabrini will.
13. Deela in "Wink of an Eye"
Have no doubt, Star Trek
was indeed produced in the late 1960s. The asymmetrical jumpsuit of the Scalosian woman looks ripped from the background of Laugh-In
, albeit with a cutting edge Heidi Klum look.
14. "Elaan of Troyius"
Elaan is a true fashion icon of the Original Series. Played by France Nuyen, the character sports a handful of stunning costumes in the episode. She first appears in this lavender Wonder Woman–esque suit, and the camera pans up her to take it all in. Later, she is covered in silver leaves
15. Marta in "Whom Gods Destroy"
No list would be complete without a green alien. The Orion woman is best known for her skimpier Jolly Green Giant swimsuit, but we dig this argyle-watercolor top in pink and green.
16. Losira in "That Which Survives"
Speaking of Catwomen, here's the real deal, Lee Meriwether, who played the Batman frenemy in the 1966 movie. Here she sports a midriff-bearing grape overalls thingee that screams modern day Brooklyn.
17. Troglytes in "The Cloud Minders"
A hybrid of the Fantastic Four villain Mole Man and firefighting bikers, these tough guys also look a bit like the 2015 citizens in Back to the Future 2
18. Kara in "Spock's Brain"
Eat your microchip out, Apple Watch. Kara the Eymorg is eye candy in this pink and purple zebra minidress with thick pleats in the front. She a little junior, a little marching band color guard, but as Tim Gunn says, Theiss "makes it work."