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Old November 2 2008, 03:38 AM   #56
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Re: The Kelvin's uniforms

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
Just for the record, I did read what you said (and it was worth saying). I think that the MARPAT thing is also extraordinarily goofy, too, though. It doesn't add anything practical, and the line I've heard from people in-service about that sort of thing (the other services have been talking about it as well) is that it's the inevitable result of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy... and that they think that the new uniform style is, well.. "FAAABulous." I get your point. It's just that the idea seems so... well, so over-the-top... that it does nothing but make me wince when I see it.
Cary, let me start off with how much I enjoy arguing with you; you're consistently rational and well-informed and even when I disagree with you, it's always fun. On this issue, I don't think we're quite going to be able to see eye-to-eye. The emblem-texture is an interesting idea, one that I'm not completely sold on, but is representative of the sort of over-the-top design textile technology that we see as goofy today, but probably dirt-cheap and easy by the 23rd century. Most of today's fabrics are made by weaving threads of one or more materials together, produced in vast batches, and sold in bolts. Whenever you look closely, you always see the weave, tight or loose. It's boring after a while, and I'd like to see something better come along. In "The Making of Star Trek", the uniforms were supposedly some kind of recycled material ... broken down after use and cleaned at the molecular level before being reassembled into something clean for the next use. Naturally no one then could afford to make a representative uniform on a TV budget. These days, I suppose you could make rubberized uniforms or maybe use silicone, for more flexibility, but it wouldn't be very comfortable. (Hmmm ... I should try spraying some "Dip-it" on an old t-shirt ....)

In the absence of that, this approach borrows from a new trend in real military wear to reflect, perhaps iconographically, the existence of new materials technology better than velour ever could. I'm sure if we looked closely at the actual, on-set shirts, we'd still see a weave, but the texture of the emblem suggests an unusual process that, while almost sure to become commonplace within ten years, is still new today.

Crap ... I just had a vision of a world populated with people wearing logo-textured sports clothes. Nike swooshes, NBA basketballs, Pepsi waves, etc. And I have zero doubt we're going to start seeing a lot of this real soon.

What next? Everyone gets little diamond-encrusted starfleet-arrowhead caps on their teeth for that extra Starfleet "bling?"
That was one of my complaints about "Wrath of Kahn" ... the duplicate emblem on the belt just worsened those overwrought uniforms.


But honestly, I see nothing of any kind being added to the uniform by virtue of this. It's there for "style" but for no other purpose.
I think there is some benefit in the way of "branding" uniforms so that you know the uniforms are genuine. Just like the MARPAT initiative. But I'd also expect by the 23rd century that making such a pattern would be almost as easy as sneezing into a Kleenex. But there again ... if it's so easy to make fabrics that way, why not? Can't Starfleet Quartermaster Command have just a little sense of style? Not that I think a Starfleet emblem texture is especially stylish.

And from a film-making standpoint... it wastes the studio's money on something which, at best, will never be noticed. As I've said before, if the audience actually notices this, that will only mean that the storytelling has left them so bored that they have nothing better to do than look at fabric patterns. NOT something that would bode well for the film.
No, no, no! It isn't Abram's job to look at fabric patterns. He hired a costume designer for that job and he or she brought their experiences and prejudices to the table, showing Abrams designs and swatches until he saw something he liked, just like any other motion picture. And the more I think about this, the more I realize my prediction about textured fabrics might be closer than I first thought -- I think Paramount is planning to market Starfleet-textured tie-ins. Damnit, I just hope I look good in command-gold underoos.

Well, the way I've always chosen to look at it is that the uniforms we saw all the time in Trek were one uniform option, not the only uniform available. During the first season, we saw a lot of other variations, but they eventually (mainly for cost reasons, I assume) stopped using variations and other uniform types, and everyone just wore their velour-of-the-day.[Psion: Agreed!]

In an equivalent to real, modern military uniforms, I'd say that the stuff we normally saw our heroes wearing was the "Class B" uniform.... the casual, daily-wear uniform. This would be typical for on-ship duty.[Psion: Agreed!]

There'd also be a variety of "class C" uniforms... depending on the job. Engineering jumpsuits, for instance, would be a "class C" uniform, while security guys would have a very different (combat-oriented) class-C. The class - C is the "working wear" uniform.[Psion: Awesome! Like some of the attire we saw in ST:TMP]

There'd also be a "class A" uniform. This would be something more along the lines of what I think you're thinking... and much more closely related to the ST-TWOK style uniform (which is really impractical for daily wear, IMHO).
No, I'm thinking more of a class B uniform, but all I have are vague notions for something that looks more like a uniform, while being somewhat informal and comfortable. Let me nip off to the 23rd century for a bit, and I'll come back with better ideas. And thanks for the Class A and B uniforms link ... I loved it!

Basil wrote: View Post
Well, they weren't supposed to look like contemporary uniforms (or as is less popular in sci-fi, 19th century European military attire with futuristic or creative flourishes) but like something plausible for a para-military, primarily scientific organization in a future of comparatively fantastic technology. Compared to Enterprise's 20th century exterminator or auto mechanic aesthetic, they're far more successful in this regard to me. I do wish the "gold" shirts were more of an olive color, though, as I believe that would have conveyed "uniform" more strongly, as well as done the whole red/blue/green thing.
If they weren't supposed to look like uniforms, then why does that Air Force Major recognize Kirk's get-up as a uniform? Yes, the outfits are supposed to look casual and comfortable compared to modern services, but I think the old uniforms fall just a little bit short of their mark. I still like 'em more than the TWOK get-ups, though.

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
Yep! I really liked the Enterprise costumes. Right down to the shirt and ties on the admirals.
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