It’s the Women Who Decide Hemlines in Outer Space
The 1960s were fashionably wild! Vibrantly colored fabrics were cut into new styles and shapes that hadn’t been seen before. Defiant and rebellious not only on the street but also making their impact on movies and TV shows. It’s not surprising to me that Star Trek would also be fashion-forward with the designs of futuristic uniforms. Bill Theiss designed the instantly recognizable utilitarian Starfleet uniforms, but it wasn’t until Grace Lee Whitney “Yeoman Rand” herself approached Theiss with the idea of implementing the fashion styles of the day that miniskirts emerged! Whitney was quoted in an interview for Cinefantastique magazine saying,
“In fact I was the one that made them (Theiss) do that. My concept of ladies in space were not to look like men, I read a lot of comic books as a kid, and I just saw the ladies as looking as we did. The dress, black stockings, boots, and the legs. I thought it was outstanding.”Grace Lee Whitney
One might assume that men designed these revealing costumes for their tastes. It’s nice to know that the women of Star Trek were influencing their costuming and dressing to their own preferences. When asked about wearing the iconic mini-skirted uniforms on-screen, Nichelle Nichols has been quoted as saying, “I was wearing them on the street. What’s wrong with wearing them on the air? It was the era of the mini skirt. Everybody wore miniskirts.” The ladies of the USS Enterprise crew were intelligent, strong, and feminine! Yeoman Rand served for almost thirty years, aboard the USS Enterprise under the command of “Captain James T. Kirk” (William Shatner).
Offered in the Heritage specialty Star Trek Auction Feb. 22nd, is Yeoman Rand’s signature red Starfleet Uniform with integral miniskirt and black leather, zippered knee boots. A beautiful relic from a game-changing TV series.
The costumes of Star Trek were always reaching to the future while remaining grounded in the trends and issues of the culture of the day. In the visionary universe of Star Trek, from inception, the creators were committed to representing a future unhindered by prejudice, discrimination, or the limits of the moment. They placed women in their places of expertise and authority. The female crew of the Enterprise stood on their own two feet and THEY decided how much of their own two legs to show!
Bidding frequencies open!
Catherine “Cat” Mansfield
Franklin Todd says
Another interesting article!