Saturday, January 2, 2016
Good on my old friends and colleagues Paula Block and Terry Erdmann for being such a holiday hit: Their new must-have coffeetable book Star Trek: Costumes, Five Decades of Fashion from the Final Frontier was smack front and center (right) in the foyer at my local Barnes & Noble this season!
So, if your Christmas haul didn't include enough of a Trek fix, and maybe somehow the "real" James T. Kirk story is not your cup of tea… maybe you need a heavy-duty dose of Star Trek's incredible costume history… in coffeetable book form (i.e., tons of big photos).
And that's just what you get in Star Trek: Costumes—the other early entry in the book bash for Trek's 50th anniversary. A huge tome of reprinted, rare and exclusive all-new photos of Trek's finery for any cosplay need out there, this must-have is fresh from Paula & Terry via Insight Editions. Due to our distantly uncrossed paths I can't get you a vidchat here yet (as with David Goodman and other authors in recent months) but take it from me: This is amazing. Including a wonderful intro by TV and film Trek's longtime costume maestro Bob Blackman about his daily life for 16 years, four films and four TV series.
Star Trek: Costumes is 208 pages in 9 1/4 x 12 3/4-inch hardback format, over an inch thick, and covers it all— like the subtitle says, from "The Cage" through Into Darkness. Most of all, Paula and Terry have not only done a host of new interviewing but, for those giants of Trek tailoring and modeling who have passed—led by the great original series' costume designer and motif-maker, Bill Theiss of course—they have pulled together nuggets and insights from others as well from a zillion scattered sources to accompany these vivid, living images.
The photos are incredible—including all the new imagery of mannequin-adorned iconic designs—but the text is every bit the insight icing on that costume cake.
The best part is, as with any good Trek research effort, they have have come up with bits that were news to me, too. Anyone who can still give me a fanboy moment after all these years digging in Trekland myself is hardly a dunsel in my book! One was bellydancer/actress Tanya Lemani's revelation that her Kara outfit was a plastic skirt and her own bra, adorned with even more plastic to cover cleavage at studio insistence. Or that the original Motion PIcture Klingon uniforms had been out on loan and tour for five years and had to be rebuilt or recast from tatters for ST III.
Most of all, I was tickled and very appreciative to Paula and Terry for a shout-out in the thank-yous, and for annotating some writing of mine from some hot-and-heavy details-talking time with Bob and the film costume designers. Thanks, guys! We'll do that vidchat AND I'll get mine signed then.
Yes, you'll want this one for your shelf for ages. It may even be up in after-holiday sales, now.
Here's some sample spreads, including memories from our lovely friends Mike Forrest and Barbara Luna: