Since the first season of “The Original Series,” fans have been inspired not only by the uniforms worn by Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the crew but sometimes, the costumes worn by the guest stars as well.
Thanks to the talents of costume designer William Ware Theiss, those uniforms are now iconic. In fact, they’ve been both rebooted (for the Kelvin series of films) and reimagined (for the “Strange New Worlds” series). What started to illustrate simplicity and a futuristic look became one of the things that professionals and fans remembered and made sure to recreate.
“Star Trek’s optimistic vision of the future is a visual language big on streamlined shapes, primary colors, and metallic accents, and it’s an invitation to rethink what qualifies as ‘modern’ in the first place, writes Vogue’s Janelle Okwodu.
In her article, Okwodu shares multiple examples of high fashion, which was inspired by Star Trek. These could one day make their way to fashion racks near you.
But, for those who want to wear this futuristic look right now, check out Volante Design’s Trek-inspired line. Fans looking to update their cosplay uniform might want to check out Etsy. For advice on how to look your very best when cosplaying TNG, check out the “Fashion It So” blog.
Hair in the 23rd Century
Theiss was not limited to the clothes but also created what went on the actors’ heads. This was not necessarily hair. Many fans recognize the wig worn by actress Grace Lee Whitney (who played Yeoman Rand) as one of several iconic hairstyles from TOS. Rand’s hair was almost as large as her entire head and as gold as Rumpelstiltskin’s straw.
According to an article on StarTrek.com, Whitney credited the designer for creating the wig. She even revealed how they made it.
“It was composed of two Max Factor wigs woven together over a mesh cone,” said Whitney on StarTrek.com. “We just kept going back and forth to Gene [Roddenberry]’s room, and back and forth, and he kept saying, ‘No, higher.’”
Theiss was joined on TOS set by makeup guru Fred Phillips. It was Phillips who created the look of Spock’s ears (with the help of assistant Charles Schram) and also the eyebrows. The first incarnation of Spock’s eyebrows were “bushy,” according to Leonard Nimoy in this video interview.
Spock and his Yak Hair Eyebrows
Eventually, Phillips found a formula that worked. According to StarTrek.com, Phillips shaved the outside halves of Nimoy’s natural eyebrows before shooting started.
“Phillips filled in the shape of the new eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil, then painted over those lines with spirit gum,” Nick Ottens wrote for StarTrek.com. “The spirit gum was used to attach short lengths of yak belly hair, which Phillips cut from long stands, blending the small tufts into what remained of Nimoy’s own eyebrows.”
The look was iconic and often imitated. On the modern Trek shows, makeup artists and prosthetics professionals transform humans into Vulcans and Romulans by using latex and fake eyebrows — which were made of lace, not yak hair.
Perhaps inspired by the new Trek shows on Paramount+ or by something else entirely, the Vulcan look pioneered by Phillips is now part of high fashion on 21st Century Earth.
According to the British newspaper, The Daily Record, young women are enduring a new “cosmetic surgery” which turned “hundreds of women into Spock from ‘Star Trek.’”
The look is called fox eyes, and it was pioneered by social media and television star Kendall Jenner. According to the article, this new trend to “glow up” a woman’s eyebrows is compared to Spock, Bratz Dolls, and the witches in “Hocus Pocus.”
The company, called MCR Aesthetics, advertises this look on their website and Instagram page. MCR says that their “fully-trained team have the skills to achieve stunning results tailored to your individual needs.”
The Fox or Vulcan Look
Apparently, one does not need to use MCR to achieve this look. There are many tutorials on YouTube which show people how to transform their eyebrows too.
Like playwright and poet Oscar Wilde said, “life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” In this case, Earth does not have transporters or warp drives; it soon may have thousands of women walking around who look like Vulcans.