Star Trek’s Michael Kaplan Nominated For Costumers Guild Award + Check Out ST09 Costume Sketches

Today The Costume Designers Guild was the last guild to announce nominations for 2009 film awards, and once again Star Trek was on the list. Star Trek Costume Designer Michael Kaplan was nominated for his work designing the looks of the final frontier. More details below, plus check out some sketches from the costume designs for Star Trek.  



Star Trek costumes nominated
The Costume Designers Guild breaks up their nominations like the Art Directors Guild (which also nominated Star Trek). The three categories are: Fantasy, Contemporary, and Period. Star Trek was nominated in the Fantasy category, along with two other films (list via AwardsDaily):


  • Avatar (Mayes C. Rubeo, Deborah Lynn Scott)
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Monique Prudhomme)
  • Star Trek (Michael Kaplan)

This is Kaplan’s third nomination by the CDG. He was previously nominated for his work on Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) and Fight Club (1999). Perhaps the third time will be the charm. The 12th annual Costume Designer Guild Awards Event will be held on Thursday, February 25th, 2010, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

Costume Design Guild Award statue

Star Trek costume design sketches
Check out sketches for the costumes of Star Trek (from

Cadet outfits

Enterprise uniforms

Keenser’s outfit

Kelvin uniforms

Orbital skydive suit

Orbital skydive suit

Orbital skydive suit

Pike’s Admiral uniform

Nero’s costume

Scotty’s workshop outfit

Amanda’s Vulcan outfit

Spock Prime outfit

Young Spock’s school uniform

Star Trek nominated by 10 of 12 guilds
The costumers were the last to announce and so the final tally has Star Trek picking up at least one nomination from each guild except the DGA (directors) and the ASC (cinematographers). So far three guilds have handed out their awards and Trek won in two out of three (casting and SAG stunt ensemble). The rest of the guild awards are in February.

There are other award shows coming up as well. Star Trek is nominated for a Grammy and 2 BAFTAs. Oscar nominations will be announced next Tuesday.

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i’m fond of Spock’s collar and hood on his Delta Vega costume. i like how it forms a sphere-like shape.

I thought the costumes were perfect. They reflected the original series but with a modern spin. I almost wished the set designers worked the same philosophy, making new sets that had a passing resemblence to the original series.

Trek could actually win this category as Avatar doesn’t really deserve to win a costuming award. Although a lot of the costume design work in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was pretty imaginative and unique.

@2 Very much agree!

Hope Kaplan wins, he did a great job, the Admiral’s uniform looked straight out of TMP, and it looks great (better than the actual TMP one). Glad that they didn’t use the Vulcan child costume seen in TAS.

I liked the Starfleet costumes a lot (with special praise reserved for the excellent high-waisted Kelvin uniforms, a really beautiful touch of retro-futurism there). On the other hand, the “motorcycle cop” costume felt like something from “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” more parody than participation.

Overall, though, thumbs-up.

Nice seeing Pike in the TMP-admiral’s uniform design.

i loved the costumes in ST XI. There were a lot of nice flourishes with a homage to the old TOS designs. Congratulations to the costume designers.

Great stuff. The fact that the transition from the original series to the new movie interpretation is seamless.

The costumes were great and Kaplan deserves this nomination…with one exception, which has been mentioned before but bears repeating.

The women’s uniforms have no rank insignias! Not even a place for them. I like eye candy as much as anybody, but I’d also like to see this unbelievably sexist design corrected in the next film. At least give them sleeves like they had in TOS so they can show their rank.

Def. deserves the nomination….and the win!

Looks like the spacejump post got deleted. Unfortunate. I actually made some good points in that post.

Yea what happened to the spacejump article/posts? :(

I LOVED all of the uniforms in the new movie! Especially the cadet uniforms. Totally awesome. The Kelvin ones were nice, too. I hope someone puts patterns for these online soon, so I can make some for the convention circuit!

Also, very nice to see the nod to TMP with Pike’s uniform at the end of the movie.

Grats Michael, hope you win!

I’ll be honest: I don’t understand why “Avatar” got nominated in this one.

The military uniforms/outfits seem fairly standard issue and the civilian clothes don’t seem terribly far removed from contemporary designs. I’m guessing the costumers consulted on the Nav’i outfits, but, there wasn’t much there, either.

I’m sure I’m woefully underestimating the work that went into it, but, again, I don’t quite get it.


I agree, the way Spock Prime’s hood came apart was really awesome. It should totally be made by a retailer.


That would be cool seeing different types of uniforms in additional to the traditional TOS/TMP ones. I wish they would have a nice 20min scene in San Fran and show us how the city of the future looks, sorta like minority report or something, not just 5sec cgi/matte paintings.

I really like the costuming in ST. All designs were great. And I too liked the callbacks to the TOS era uniforms.

To comment on Spock’s Parka hood…it actually freaked me a bit given that the monster/alien they had just shoo’d away had a mouth that opened the same way as Spock’s hood. :)

Amanda’s dress is beautiful. Pike’s Adm uniform is…stately.

Great work Mr. Kaplan. Good luck.

#20 – I do remember, waay back, Gene R saying he intentionally stated away from Earth to leave it’s environment and “politics” somewhat of a mystery.

Not sure if anyone can confirm. But, I agree, seeing Earth and how we will live in the future (through the eyes of ST) would be cool.

Obviously, we have road and highways given that Young Kirk hauled around in that Vette.

I kinda thought everyone and everything would just beam around the planet. :)

Congrats to all involved. I loved almost all the costuming in this movie. I really wish we could get a good look at Pike’s admiral outfit, maybe next time.

I loved Spock’s hooded coat on Delta Vega, the hood was a great design and loved how it folded down.

The uniforms were an aspect I really loved because I felt they were very faithful to the uniforms in the Original Series.

The collars on Vulcan female dresses were a bit different but now that I have seen the film more I do like them, I always loved the Vulcan attire from the TOS movies onwards.

I loved the TMP nod to Admiral Pike’s Admiral uniform.

Thinking about t he costume designs there is a lot to love about his movie.

Actually I am in the mood to watch the movie again.

I think the Kelvan uniforms are the best in Star Trek except the ones for ST 2-6. The male cadet uniforms are very good but the female cadet & ship uniforms are so 60’s and so over. Misogynist much?


Well, I liked the cop. It was a nice connection between the kind-of abstract Star Trek world and mundane Earth. The way he talked and the uncertainty of him being a human or an android was very intriguing. In my humble opinion, having androids for such institutional and rules-driven tasks is acceptable.

My only problem with the kelvin uniforms is that they looked more like the TNG era late 24th Century uniforms, the ones from All Good Things…


To me, they looked like a post-Enterprise design, don’t you think?

partly they did now that you mention it but I felt they were very reminiscent of the late 24th Century

I have a question:

What were they thinking with the Kelvin uniforms?

I do like the Kelvin uniforms just think they belong in the 24th Century more than early 23rd

I too think the female uniforms are sexist, but so was TOS.

How did Avatar get nominated for this? The RDA suits are just normal military… the doctors just had lab coats and the annoying middle management guy who tried woefully to explain unobtainium just wore a suit.

Hell, even the Navi costumes are just cg’ed? How the frak did this get nominated… Star Trek has to win

Oh and… #30: I assume they were trying to bridge the gap between ENT Jumpsuits and TOS Uniforms… I for one love them

There aren’t androids in Kirk’s era on Earth. The cop was human(oid–may have been an alien working on Earth, who knows).

As for all this talk of “sexism”… Did you ever think that perhaps in the future, style and culture might be different than today’s interpretation? Maybe the uniform of choice is optional for a cadet or crewperson? Think of how someone in 1766 would have reacted to clothes of 1966, or 2010. Times change. At least the crew wasn’t in those awful TMP jammies. (Admiral 2-tone uniform aside, which rocked)

The Kelvin uniforms looked fine, but I’m confused by the division colors. Both George Kirk and the Captain wore blue. Are they both in the science division, or did the command division wear blue at this point in time. It looked like other officers were wearing a goldish uniform, so I don’t know what was going on. Perhaps I’m overthinking it.

Joseph Chapes

#26: “Well, I liked the cop.”

So did I.

I have a little problem with this particular award. This is one of those instances like WGA in which there should be a best adaptation category. Star Trek, like period movies simply adapted designs which were very clearly defined. So the bar on originality is immediately lowered for me, leaving them merely with execution. With very few exceptions, I don’t see a lot of original ideas here.

Perhaps that’s the two categories they should have: best execution, and best original design.

But wait, I am not done – I didn’t particularly care for the execution either. I didn’t care for the way many of the uniforms unattractively bunched up on the actors, or the way the fabrics looked cheap and ill fitting in some designs, the admiralty at Star Fleet for instance, etc. So I guess I have to pass on Star Trek for this category altogether. Definitely don’t see it winning. What what do I know about costume design guilds? LOL


Higher the skirts the better :) at least they weren’t wearing white stockings with high heels right? hehe

With Avatar special effects technology now, it would be cool having them do a complete rendering of san fran and or Qo’noS and just show us the awe of a future/alien city.

Any notice that the page on the Jump sequence is gone?

I was following, and enjoying that thread!

The uniforms on ST:Enterprise to me were the best ever. They were more practical and professional looking. More of a throwback to NASA. The pockets made the most sense. I do however think that Uhura looked fantastic in her mini. T’pol filled out her’s nicely as well in “In a Mirror Darkly.” She can meld with me anyday. Heh heh.

I liked the costumes, mostly.

I didn’t care for the cop at all–it took me out of the movie. He just didn’t look like he belonged. The design was fine, just not for this movie.

Also, Nero’s crew was pretty ho-hum. Standard stuff that you see on rough-and-tumble baddies. Much better than Shinzon’s squeaky S&M garb, however.

I think ST has a chance at the award.


I still fail to see how the Pike-era uniforms were basically the same for both genders (same style, anyways) but in the 2250’s (er, right?) the ladies were put into miniskirts.

…Just a thought. ;3

Loved the costuming in ‘Trek. Here’s hoping that it wins!

It was my understanding that the Pike Era was the early 2250’s. The original series was mid to late 2260s. The new movie was mostly during 2258.

I will point out that females in the new movie could choose either the mini-skirt look or the pants look. Please look at the deleted scene where Kirk is saying sorry to the Orion in blue. She was wearing pants and a uniform shirt with sleeves.

IMHO those sketches are fantastic. Really reflect the final product through the design, and emotion of character. Really good stuff here!

These costumes definitely should get an Oscar nod, if not win.
They’re really well-done. I’m very fond of the retro-futuristic look they had going.

god i feel sorry for the Red Skirt type of trekkie nitpickers. what a joyless form of fandom they seem to have. Star Trek was fun and looked great and the franchise is back in a big way and all they do is nag nag nag. Nothing would make these trolls happy

for the record i thought the costumes were great. When i found out the guy who did blade runner was doing the costumes I knew they were in good hands. Congrats to Mr. Kaplan and all his people.

In the The Cage the girls did wear pants but on their top the collar was thicker and looser.

only difference in TOS mini skirts that there were no sexy black tights in the new movie to go along with the mini skirts.

The only thing I felt was overdone on uniforms were the mini deltas, its was similar to a gripe I had with Brandon Routh’s Superman costume, why must there be little S’s in the big S on his chest. Seemed too much of a branding a la like the Doctor having Question marks on his shirt collars in Doctor Who in the 80s.

However the uniforms were spot on.

#47, thanks for your concern. For the record, I thought the costumes were great too. This is not an article about whether the costumes were great in Star Trek. Last time I checked it was an article about the costumes being nominated for a guild award for best costumes in a fantasy movie this year. By that measure, I do not think they are anything special. They are derivative of someone else’s designs, are not otherwise particularly innovative and the designers IMO are not as deserving as some of the other films. But I respect the work and appreciated the efforts and none of it caused me not to enjoy the film.


I assumed in the Kelvin era (post Ent / pre TOS) Blue was command (the way that command went from gold to red from TOS to TNG) and Gold was sciences and we just happened to see all science and command officers (and some doctors).