Costume designer Gersha Phillips sat down with Donna Bishop for a live recording of Bishop’s podcast Fashion Talks, in association with CAFA, during Toronto Fashion Week today. The topic? Designing for the new series Star Trek: Discovery, and an exploration of how technology impacts style. “It was a bit daunting,” Phillips admits with a laugh, when asked to describe how it felt to create looks for a TV series as beloved and iconic as Star Trek. “I definitely felt the pressure from the fandom. I was quite scared about what they would think of our costumes!”
To prepare, Phillips says she watched old episodes of the original Star Trek series. “The aesthetics were inspired by the navy,” Phillips explains. “Being in the Federation is like being in the military. Everyone is healthy and fit.” To create the uniforms, Phillips did a 3D scan of each actor’s body to ensure a custom, tailor-made garment.
“We used sportswear fabrics with high-performance qualities. We wanted the suits to monitor the body. The panels check heart rates and vitals, so if anyone on the crew is in distress there’s life-saving technology.” Phillips and her team have worked with Canadian designers such as Evan Biddell and labels such as Greta Constantine to supplement the costumes they create in-house. “Greta Constantine collaborated on a couple of looks from the Vulcan episode,” Phillips says. “We are always searching for anything new, inspiring and different.”
Tickets for Fashion Talks are still on sale.