Sanja Hayes on costuming Insurrection

Some highlights from a December 1998 Star Trek Communicator interview with Star Trek: Insurrection Costume Designer Sanja Milkovic Hays (who is also working on the costumes for Justin Lin’s upcoming Trek reboot movie).

On getting the job:

“I was petrified! It’s Star Trek. It’s bigger than life! I literally brought a cartful of books and I kept talking. I knew I had to impress them because they had seen it all, done it all. I guess Rick [Berman] and Jonathan [Frakes] saw my enthusiasm. When the call came, I almost started to cry. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘I got Star Trek!’”

Costume concepts for Anij and Data

On costuming in SF:

“We all know what clothes mean in our world so you have to try to use those meanings as symbols. You don’t have time to evolve a character so, when the audience sees them, they have to know who the person is by their clothing. In science fiction and fantasy, you have to make the symbols…It has to be a mix of something the audience can relate to but it has to be new.”

On designing the Son’a outfits:

“The bad guys are always the best dressed on the screen…We ended up with a military jumpsuit that is metallic and shiny…The bars across the shoulders perhaps evolved from something that was once armour but now just shows a sign of rank. Even the helmet is something that looks leftover from armor but is now more jewelry. IT suggests a military nation that is rich and materialistic.”

Ba'ku costume concept art

On the Ba’ku outfits:

“My thought behind their look was that high spiritual development often results in simplicity. We also wanted something you couldn’t just go to the store and buy. We couldn’t use vegetable dyes because the budget wouldn’t stretch but we went for the same kind of natural colors and textures. We added the use of wraps tied around the body to avoid making the Ba’ku look like a complete hippie village.”

On the TNG crew costumes:

“We tried to make the crew look a little rebellious in keeping with the story, especially Patrick. That’s why I put him in a leather jacket. I wanted him to look very masculine and a little tough. I also thought because of his relationship with Donna’s character in the film, it would help him look very opposite of her. We also put Marina in leather and the Doctor, because of her role, we kept a little more serious…With Data, we came up with the idea of a vest because the little boy, Artim, is also wearing a vest. They look completely different, but somewhere, subconsciously, it registers that they are dressed the same.”

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