Blog RSS

Blog

 

A Very Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you! 

I can go back through the logbook of my life and find mementos I've collected along the way. Like pins in a map, they mark the course I've followed from then to now. Tiny pieces of me I suppose, from all over my personal timeline. Here's two pieces that are about thirty Christmases apart.


The brighter red command tunic on the left there belonged to "Ens. John Cooley," and was a sort of early Christmas present from Dad in 1990. It was the new design of the officer’s uniform from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and my Dad purchased it from a table at a Convention in November of that year. 

It quickly became one of my favorite gifts ever. I mean, obviously, I still have it all these years (and sizes) later. Back in '90, it looked fantastic. Oh, maybe it's particular shade of red was a touch too tomato-like. Still...nothing's perfect, but this shirt was fun! It's com-badge was obtained on the same day - one of the spin cast metal TNG badges so common at conventions in the late Eighties/early Nineties. 

I wore that tunic whenever I could, conventions, costume day at school...really. Yeah, how many of you out there are THAT brave? No? Alright.  Anyway it was fun to wear, and when it just wouldn't fit anymore it was carefully stowed away in my archive.

To the right of that 90's era tunic under my tree is one of our contemporary TNG Command tunics. 

It's a different, and far more stage accurate interpretation of the Starfleet Uniform than my thirty year old original, but it's been just as endlessly fun. 

I've lived, worked, and played in that new tunic just as hard as my old shirt. And when it arrived, just like the original - I gleefully tore it from its packaging like a kid opening a present.


The 2020 Holiday Season is a bit different from the one that shirt came from - for all of us. 

Most of us will be in our individual homes, our extended family & friends safe in theirs too. Festive gatherings will happen, but in the myriad of ways our modern world has given us to communicate and share each other. 

It's a technologically interconnected world that Gene Roddenberry would absolutely have recognized as one he anticipated, and through his stories - prepared us for. 

We'll 'Hangout' with our co-workers, 'Zoom' with friends, and we'll 'Facetime' our family. And hopefully for all of us - all will be well.

"I don't pretend to tell you how to find happiness and love when every day is just a struggle to survive, but I do insist that you do survive, because the days and the years ahead are worth living for. One day soon, man is going to be able to harness incredible energies, maybe even the atom. Energies that could ultimately hurl us to other worlds in some sort of spaceship. And the men that reach out into space will be able to find ways to feed the hungry millions of the world and to cure their diseases. They will be able to find a way to give each man hope and a common future, and those are the days worth living for." 

~ Edith Keeler in "The City On The Edge of Forever" from Star Trek. 

Script by Gene Roddenberry from a story by Harlan Ellison

From all of us here at ANOVOS -

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Live Long & Prosper! 

ABOUT ME


John Cooley

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


 

Full article →

John Cooley December 25, 2020 0 tags (show)

My Holiday Picardigan

My Holiday Picard-igan

I love this time of year. I actually prefer fall and winter clothing. 

Sweaters and Jackets fit for the cold.
Scarves, hats, and gloves, 'cause I'm gettin' old.
Fireplace heat, Shakspeare plays, and tea.

These are a few of my favorite things. 

Sorry. That sentence got away from me, and what are you gonna do, it's the holidays. It's true though. This is my time of year, when I can break out all my favorite things and wear them whenever I want.


I went Christmas shopping last night and it was chilly. The malls out here in the west are outdoors, and with the wind a hoodie just won't do anymore. It can feel as cold as space itself. 

So it was time for what's become one of my favorite pieces from all the jackets we've made over the years. The Jacket of Jackets, the coat of many names - Picard's Casual Uniform Jacket, The PNNUJ, The Picardigan itself...Captain Picard's "Darmok" Uniform Jacket!   


It's just rad. 

I rock this thing wherever I can, whenever I can. I usually toss a gray t-shirt weight hoodie underneath it, and head out. 

And before anybody asks, yes...Com-badge and all. It's already so recognizable, what difference is a badge going to make? Besides, I'm too proud of a Trekkie to ever wear any Starfleet uniform item without its proper insignia.


The reason I think anyone can pull this thing off anywhere they go is because it's a carbon copy of the original, which was instantly cool the moment it first showed up in Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

I may have mentioned before that during the first commercial break in "Darmok" my best friend and I called each other and simultaneously shouted "Did you see Picard's Jacket!?" It was then that the mystique of this jacket was born, and it gained the first of its many names - "Picard's Nifty New Uniform Jacket," or simply the "PNNUJ." 

The one I'm wearing this moment is warm, leather suede with even the bottom closures found on the original jacket. It feels like a jacket worthy of the Captain of the Enterprise-D, the Federation's flagship.   

It looked fantastic on Sir Patrick and while I may not have the good captain's physique, I can still wear his jacket. 

And right now I wear it anytime I want without having to face down The Beast at El-Adrel (just try not to spill your Earl Grey tea, it is suede after all). 

It's ready for any adventure you can throw at it whether that's making first contact, or facing the dangers of last minute holiday shopping.


For this holiday season, I wanted to share a special gift. If you'd like to pick up your own Picardigan, here's a discount from me. 

Just use coupon code "johnsfavoritejacket" at checkout to receive my special holiday offer.



From myself, and all of us here at ANOVOS...

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Live Long & Prosper!

-John

ABOUT ME


John Cooley

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

Full article →

John Cooley December 23, 2020 0 tags (show)

30th Anniversary of the Classic TNG Tunic

So here we are in December at last.
A new year around the corner, and a chance to look back.

We Trekkies are fond of anniversaries, and as costumers an important one just passed us by. Thirty years ago STAR TREK: The Next Generation debuted the ninth episode of it's third season - "The Vengeance Factor," and with it came the final design of TNG's Standard Duty Uniform which now celebrates its 30th Anniversary!


The fall of 1990 saw The Next Generation finally hit its stride, and the next few seasons would be some of the best in the entire franchise. 

From "Encounter at Farpoint'' three years earlier, to "The Price" - the uniforms for the crew of the Enterprise-D kept evolving. Starting with original costume designer, William Ware Theiss, continuing with 2nd season designer Durinda Rice Wood, and finally with costumer Robert Blackman - the costumes changed considerably. 

Captain Picard and his crew began their trek through the galaxy in jumbo spandex "spacesuits'' (as the cast called their uniforms), but quickly discovered that they were just not comfortable over the course of long days shooting the series. 



In season two, Durinda Wood started the search for a solution to the numerous problems the one piece uniforms presented the crew, but concocting a new design eventually fell under the direction of season three's new designer. 

In the run-up to shooting the new season, Bob Blackman hit upon a two piece men's ensemble made of wool, and consisting of a pair of pants with a cropped, military style jacket. But the uniform wasn't finished evolving.


Outfitting the entire cast of a show with new costumes is an enormous expense for any production, let alone one already as costly as Star Trek. The uniforms were rolled out in phases determined by one's position on the call sheet. 

Thus Patrick Stewart always got the latest iteration first (along with Jonathan Frakes). A couple of episodes later, Brent & LeVar, and so on. 

The first version of these new uniforms were very heavily structured. With prominent dual seams running down the chest (think State Trooper and you know the style), and a couple of heavy darts on the upper abdomen. These details and others began to disappear starting with Captain Picard over the first handful of episodes until we reached episode nine. 

With "The Vengeance Factor" the final form of the TNG Standard Uniform had arrived. It was finally comfortable (I mean, "The Picard Maneuver" wasn't just for show), and looked fantastic!


The Next Generation Tunics have RETURNED!

Sign Up Now for FIRST ACCESS to these Iconic Captain Picard Tunics. 

SIGN ME UP!


This time marks the anniversary of those uniforms, and they've been a favorite of mine for the majority of my life. I've made them, worn them, sold them, and even had a chance to meet their designer. 



They define the 'The Next Generation' era of Star Trek  in a way no other 24th Century uniforms have. Don't believe me? They just returned (with just a few minor changes) in the new show STAR TREK: Lower Decks.



So Happy 30th Anniversary to Next Gen’s Standard Duty Uniform! Long may it reign!

ABOUT ME



John Cooley

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


Full article →

John Cooley December 14, 2020 0 tags (show)

In Review | Discovery S3E3 "Children of Earth"


"This ship bears the name Discovery. Never has that been more fitting, or more prescient. She has carried us into the future, and it will be our privilege to make that future bright. Let us begin. Together." - Captain Saru of the U.S.S. DISCOVERY



Ten weeks to go in the Twenty Three Weeks of Star Trek, and the adventure just keeps getting more intense, and more fun! Oh, there may be SPOILERS here, but then you've already seen up to this point, right?


Finally! Discovery has her commanding officer, and of course it's Captain Saru! I've actually been waiting for Doug Jones to sit down in that captain's chair for a while now, and while Discovery may have another captain in its future, for now Saru is the best Kelpian for the job.


Last week's episode "Children of Earth" also brought us viewscreen-to-viewscreen with what our world looks like in 3189. And it's weird.

Having seceded from the United Federation of Planets after The Burn, Earth is an isolated planet. Insular, and shielded from any who might prey upon it. It's a huge departure from the founding member & powerful capital world of the Federation.


On arrival the Discovery finds the EDF (Earth Defence Force) protecting the planet, and they mean business. Jonathan Frakes does an exceptional job depicting the concern and near paranoia of the EDF's officers, and how that contrasts against our ship full of Starfleet officers.


I'm having so much fun with Discovery's new season. The story playing out here is turning into one of my favorites in the entire franchise, and I can't wait to visit Trill in this week's "Forget Me Not." 

 LLAP,
 John


John Cooley

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

UPCOMING PRODUCTS

Full article →

Captain's Alternate Uniforms | Wraps

Did you know that from the very start of STAR TREK, a captain has always had the option of wearing a different uniform of the day from the rest of the crew? 


During TOS, Captain James T. Kirk often wore one of two Command Green Wraparound Tunics. The First of these (and my favorite) can be seen in episodes like "The Enemy Within” and “Court Martial”. 

I always thought it looked sharp. It's more structured and detailed than it's brighter second season counterpart. 


I especially loved it's early first season “reverse helix” captain's rank braid on the shoulders. 

Original Series costume designer William Ware Theiss was an absolute genius when it came to details and the braid on the shoulders is a perfect example. 

On one level you can see where the shape he's chosen resembles the gold oak leaf clusters (sometimes called "Scrambled Eggs" by military service members) that adorn the bills of Command grade officer's service caps in the Armed Forces. 

On another level Mr. Theiss is playing with a shape he used time and again and would eventually influence the design of the shoulders on his first season Next Generation uniform jumpsuits. 

STAR TREK™: THE ORIGINAL SERIES  

Captain Kirk Green Wrap - Season One

The green wraparound tunic Captain Kirk wears during the first season of Star Trek™: The Original Series is an optional tunic Starship captains are permitted to wear while on duty. The uniform displays his rank braid around the collar, and fastens using his Starfleet command division insignia.

Shop Now


The Season two wraparound tunic is a bit less structured and so more form fitting than the season one version. It's also a slightly different weight of wool, and a lighter, warmer shade of green than the earlier version. 

This style was worn in a number of episodes including "A Journey to Babel" and "The Trouble With Tribbles." Our replica of this famous uniform was designed with the invaluable assistance of the amazing Greg Jein. 

Jein was gracious enough to allow us to examine an original 1967 wrap from his incredible collection. From this original William Shatner screen worn tunic we were allowed to take measurements, photos, and patterns, which enabled us to reproduce an extremely exacting replica that matches the original in every way including fabric weight and color.

STAR TREK™: THE ORIGINAL SERIES 

Captain Kirk Green Wrap - Season Two

This tunic uses custom-milled and dyed wool fabric and features second season captain's rank braid on the cuffs, Starfleet Insignia on the wraparound hook and loop fastener, and even utilizes the unique system of elastic “hook and eye” straps that attached the hem of this high waisted tunic to the uniform’s pants.

SHOP NOW

We worked hard to capture the essence of these screen-used original uniforms, so no expense was spared in faithfully recreating both of Captain Kirk's wraparound tunics.  

 We had the fabric custom milled & dyed, and discovered that the only way to attain the correct look and complex cornering was that each piece had to be hand stitched. A process requiring no less than three workers to complete each replica.

Of course the tunics feature Captain Kirk's Starfleet Command Division Insignia on the wraparound hook and loop fastener of his belt. And both of them utilize a unique system of elastic “hook and eye” straps that were used to attach the hem of this high waisted tunic to the uniform’s pants.

I love these uniforms! Command Green, and ready for anything. 

Whether Captain Kirk was fighting himself, or trapped in a mountain of tribbles - he always looked cool in the final frontier!


🖖 LLAP,

 John

John Cooley

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


Season One Size LARGE

$750

Season Two Size LARGE

$675

Full article →

A Closer Look at Our Star Trek Discovery Uniforms!

The U.S.S. DISCOVERY has rocketed from the past to the future, and so have our Star Trek: Discovery Uniforms! These uniforms have been one of the most complex replicas we've attempted, with material, design, durability, and detail challenges unlike anything we've ever encountered before.

Full article →

John Cooley November 02, 2020 3 tags (show)

Trek R' Treat!

"Captain Kirk, can you hear me?

There is a curse on your ship.
Leave this place or you will all die."

 - The deceased Crewman Jackson to Captain Kirk in "Catspaw"

Crewman Jackson, dead on arrival in “Catspaw.” 


Star Trek was built for Halloween. No really. 

When one considers the origins of the franchise, there is a thread of "the creepy" in its DNA. In the history of Sci-Fi there is a close relationship with and appreciation for fear. 

Not too many years before Gene Roddenberry launched the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE on her maiden voyage another genius of that era had already created what was possibly the greatest sci-fi, fantasy & horror anthology series ever, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone.

William Shatner in The Twilight Zone episode, “Nick of Time” 



What Gene gleaned from Rod’s show was that anthologies are fun but expensive - with new people, locations, props and costumes needed week after week. 

One of Gene's ideas for Star Trek was that he could make a weekly Sci-Fi anthology series more cost effective by using a permanent cast, with standing sets, equipment, and uniforms.

 Of course the reality was that with high attention to detail, high production value (for the era) and setting it on a starship a few hundred years in the future guaranteed that Star Trek was still the most expensive show of its day.



Star Trek's initial concept as a mildly creepy anthology series is really evident in its early episodes. 

Come on, the first episode of The Original Series features a vampire!

Captain Kirk under the spell of the M-113 (Salt Vampire) creature in “The Man Trap.”  

Within the first handful of shows we're treated to death, mass insanity, duplication, murder, mad scientists, childish gods, ghoulish despots in disguise and more. 




Even “Lurch” shows up at one point. 

Ruk, an original android left behind by The Old Ones in “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” 


 As the series goes on there’s entities that feed on violent emotions, body switching, possession, and “Jack The Ripper.” 


Scotty, moments after being possessed by Redjac - also known as Jack the Ripper in “Wolf in the Fold.” 




Early Star Trek is creepy. 

And really aren't those the best episodes? 

The Original Series is hardly alone in exploring it's spooky side, but it was the best (in this author's opinion) at it. 



At some point or another, every Star Trek series has touched the etheric plane, and shown us everything from body horror to ghosts bound to candles. 

Beverly Crusher is the latest victim of a generational haunting in TNG’s “Sub Rosa.” 

But TOS’ "Catspaw" (which aired Halloween week in 1967) is the franchise's only intentional “Holiday Special”, and that's perhaps as it should be. 

The wizard Korob, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the sorceress Sylvia in “Catspaw.”  



It has it all - mindless zombies, sympathetic magic, aliens, witches, warlocks, dungeons, castles, and one very large black cat. 

Maybe that’s the trick. 

Star Trek and Halloween together make a perfect treat. Afterall, what could be more appropriate than overcoming one’s primal fear in the final frontier?

Starfleet Hand Phaser

Sign Up to our Priority List for FIRST ACCESS when this product is available. 

Sign Up


LLAP & Happy Halloween! 

 John

John Cooley

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

 

FLASH SALE

STAR TREK™ NEXT GENERATION Captain Picard "Darmok"
Uniform Jacket

 
Previously  $550
Sale Price $450

Full article →

John Cooley October 29, 2020 0 tags (show)

23 Weeks of Trek - Discovery Ep2 and the Future

Last week brought us the second episode of Star Trek: Discovery's third season, and some news about the future of the Star Trek Universe.


Last week's premiere episode gave us Commander Burnham's arrival in the 32nd century. "Far From Home" brings us the crew of the U.S.S. DISCOVERY herself, and it seems that everyone just kind of crashes into the future.


We've all just arrived in a lawless galaxy. Without the Federation & Starfleet, and with only limited travel possible - local traders, pirates, and petty warlords rule.


Look at that picture...saloon doors! If you ever wanted a return to Star Trek's early "Wagon Train to The Stars" concept, well here it is! New worlds to explore, checking in on settlements, assisting colonies. Connecting people with one another. That's what Star Trek always did best, and here it is again for all of us to enjoy & learn from.


All that, and mystery too. Where is Michael Burnham, what's happened to the galaxy in the 930 years that they've missed. Where is Starfleet, how did The United Federation of Planets collapse, and what's become of Earth?


We have enough adventures in 3188 to last us into 2021, and we can't wait to see what today’s episode brings us next! OH! And speaking of what’s next…


RESERVE YOURS NOW!

STAR TREK™ DISCOVERY Captain's Duty Uniform
is available NOW for limited reservations. Grab yours before they're all SOLD OUT!

SHOP NOW


In what was perhaps the worst kept secret in the universe, Star Trek: Discovery has OFFICIALLY been renewed for it’s FOURTH season! Pre-production has been underway for quite a while under strict Covid protocols which included requiring Discovery’s cast and crew to quarantine before filming commences in Ontario, Canada on November 2nd. Beyond Discovery - Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds are already in heavy development, and all three shows will be in production in 2021.


Between those shows AND Star Trek: Lower Decks seasons 2 & 3, Star Trek: Prodigy, Star Trek: Section 31, Short Treks, The Ready Room (and maybe some other surprises) the next few years are going to be an amazing time to be a Trekkie, and we couldn’t be happier! 


LLAP,
John



John Cooley

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

Check out our selection of STAR TREK™: DISCOVERY Collectable Model Ships!

Klingon Bird-Of-Prey

BUY NOW

U.S.S. Europa

BUY NOW

Vulcan Cruiser

BUY NOW

Full article →

Capt. Janeway Returns

There's been a lot happening in the STAR TREK UNIVERSE these days, and one of the coolest has to be the news that Kathryn Janeway is returning to that universe in Nickelodeon's Star Trek: Prodigy!

Full article →

23 Weeks of Trek | Discovery Returns!

FINALLY, The 23 Weeks of STAR TREK brings us the premiere of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY season 3!


I've only been looking forward to this season for four years! 

Discovery's first three story arcs were set in the 23rd Century in order to firmly establish the ship and her crew as having originated in an earlier era of Star Trek history. 

Following that Discovery's lead character, Michael Burnham, quite literally led the U.S.S. DISCOVERY into a far distant future. To a time and situation no Starfleet ship has ever encountered before. 

There's a different feeling going into this season than the last two, and a sense of wonder and excitement to see the story finally arrive at it's primary destination. 

Welcome to 3188!

Sign Up for First Access to the STAR TREK™ DISCOVERY Uniform

This STAR TREK™ DISCOVERY costume replica was created using reference taken from the original screen-used production assets.

Sign Me Up


Wednesday night a few of us were privileged to see the premier episode of season three, "That Hope Is You, Part 1." 

It's fantastic! 

The story is fresh, nuanced & complex, but deeply rooted in Star Trek lore. I couldn't have wanted more...except more episodes right then! 



Which they provided by surprising us with episode two, “Far From Home.” 

This is the strange new world we were promised back in 2016, and it's fascinating. 

There's a lot to unpack here. New problems & solutions, new friends, felines, & foes, and everywhere - HOPE


The situation the crew of Discovery faces this season is unique, but at every unexpected turn the response is invariably one of optimism. 

Sometimes it's not stated overtly. Sometimes it's expressed in an action rather than words, but it's always there. 

It's one of the overriding themes this season, and that's perfectly appropriate as that aspirational feeling is part of the very fabric of Star Trek.


The timing of all of this is remarkable, and I would be remiss not to mention it - as hope is something we all need in our lives. 

Eight months into a strange new world of our own, and three weeks from a historic election, we need Star Trek's primary lesson now more than ever.


Stated simply - There will be a future for us all, and it will be better than our today. 

Gene Roddenberry knew that to be the truth, and made it the guiding principle of STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES. 

Gene once observed that, “Star Trek was an optimistic show that said, ‘There is a future for us humans, the human adventure is just beginning.’" 

In a time when so many people were saying, ‘In 20 or 30 years, it’s all gonna go boom,’ it was a breath of fresh air to turn on the TV and hear them say, ‘Hey! We’ve just begun. Most of our adventures are ahead of us.' 

It’s a spirit of optimism.


Season three of Discovery shares that sense of optimism, and then some. It says "Ok, this is the hand we've been dealt, how do we win?" 

The answer is of course, together

Together, we can do amazing things. If "the Human adventure is just beginning," then what are we waiting for? Let's get to it!


LLAP,

 John



John Cooley

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

Check Out these STAR TREK™: DISCOVERY Fan Favorites!

Full article →

John Cooley October 26, 2020 0 tags (show)
top