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Lt. Tasha Yar and her lost Starfleet Uniform Skant

Show of hands - how many Trekkies (Trekkers?) out there knew that Lt. Tasha Yar wore a Starfleet skant dress in an episode?

Much less the pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint?" It's alright if you hadn't noticed. I didn't either. To me it's an interesting glimpse into a show that was really only at the beginning of figuring itself out.

In the earliest days of STAR TREK: The Next Generation the production staff was a mixture of people new to Star Trek and those who had been part of Gene's staff during pre-production on The Original Series. Among them was TOS costume designer William Ware Theiss who had designed all the iconic uniforms and costumes worn from "The Cage" to "Turnabout Intruder."

His first task on TNG was to design all of the new Starfleet Uniforms from formal dress uniforms and standard duty uniforms to the dresslike "skants" which fulfilled Gene Roddenberry's edict that both male and female crewmembers were free to wear whichever uniform style they felt most comfortable with. To further Illustrate the idea that any member of the Enterprise crew could wear what they want (so long as it did not interfere with their assigned duties) - the last shot of the pilot was set up to drive the point home by dressing even the new action oriented, Security & Tactical Officer Lt. Tasha Yar in a skant. To be fair, she rocks it. It looks great, and shows the flexibility of the new uniform suite to adapt to different shipboard roles, and jobs.

She never wore it again.

I do understand. It would seem perhaps a challenging garment for a tactical officer to wear in the field, but aboard the Enterprise-D (described by some of the behind the scenes staff as a "Hilton in Space"), why not? It looks cool. It looks comfortable, and with its unique "skant" shorts design it could move and flex just as well as the standard Duty Uniform.

For whatever reason her skant never showed up again except on background actors, called "atmosphere" on set. Throughout the first season it would flit in and out of scenes, but it always seemed to be on its way somewhere else. A few years ago we got to examine an original TNG 1st season women's Ops gold skant. It was awesome to see Mr. Theiss' unique construction & closure methods up close. He was a master at fitting a costume to a person, and the skant we saw was no exception. So cool. Now, I can't be certain as the costume department’s assigned name tags had been removed, but I've always suspected that skant was Lt. Yar's lost dress. There just weren't that many operations skants built for TNG before the uniform dresses disappeared from the show entirely, so I suppose it's possible. Either way studying that dress was a privilege, and helped immeasurably during the development of our replica.

So, there's a rare piece of Star Trek: TNG lore for you - Tasha Yar's lost Uniform skant. If nothing else maybe it'll help you win your next round of Star Trek trivia. ;)

LLAP,
John

John Cooley 
John Cooley is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS.  

John Cooley July 08, 2020 0 tags (show)
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