Yes, I like to write Star Trek fan fiction, don’t judge me. The Body Electric is a “what if?” where Timothy from the TNG episode Hero Worship continued on as a cast regular. He is adopted by Data and is manipulated by Lore into becoming a Borg.
I’ve been playing with this one for awhile, to go with my Data redesign. Lore lacks an iconic outfit, I think his Borg costume was the closest he got but it fell short of what it could have been. It was felt Batman abs. This should be Lore coming into his own, becoming a cult leader, he’s powerful and charismatic. That is all inspiring for a costume designer. With this design I wanted to show that he dresses to look like his followers but the jacket has an air of authority while also being a bit punk. They are a renegade faction of Borg after all. In my TNG universe Data was incomplete, he looks less human than Lore.
Throwback to 2016
I’ve always had a thing for redesigning Star Trek costumes, I think because the real ones are quite camp but have a lot of iconic elements. So it’s a lot of fun to play with as a designer. The intention with this redesign was to incorporate contemporary streetwear aesthetics. Something practical, versatile but that still feels like a uniform. It was also fun working with a replica of the velour used in the original series. It’s a textile so deeply stuck in the 60’s, it was a wonderful challenge to try to bring it into the 21st or even 23rd century.
I wish I still fit into that jacket, my chest and shoulders are broader now. Although it’s hard to tell because the jacket was designed to create a square silhouette. I can see where I made mistakes, where my tailoring could have been better. But one would hope to have that kind of perspective nearly four years later. I got a lot of compliments at the convention, including from Troy Baker! People genuinely wanted to wear a jacket like this, which is the best compliment of all as a designer, that it works outside the context of a costume. That’s the beauty of “Cosplay Couture” rather than cosplay, one is about accuracy and attention to detail, this other is about creativity and originality. Both can be equally impressive in their own right. But as a costumer, each allows me to express and explore different facets of my skills.
A redesign of the uniforms for Star Trek: The Next Generation
I looked at the Abrams films and Discovery and even Alien, as well as modern uniforms and fashion for inspiration. While I like the TNG costumes, they don’t look like official uniforms that would be worn in any context, they look more like superheroes, especially in season 1. I wanted to achieve something that would have the presence and authority of a military uniform while being practical, like a uniform someone could wear every day, all without departing too much from the TNG look, so of course it still had to be a jumpsuit.
I gave Data a bit of an upgrade or perhaps downgrade, I gave him a more modern haircut and emphasised his robotic qualities. I like the idea that he is incomplete, it reflects his character, plus it’s more readily achievable with modern make-up and effects. Ideally he should appear to be a soft gold colour, which didn’t always translate in the TV series. I have a lot of ideas as to how this costume and make-up could be executed, so I may make this costume at some point.