Saturday, January 25, 2014

Crusher and Dax: Medieval Baebes

I always love when Star Trek does period clothes. There's something great about seeing period clothes in a futuristic setting.

Not too long ago, I was watching a rerun of the Next Generation episode, "Thine Own Self", and Dr. Crusher shows up at the very end wearing this fabulous green brocade Medieval style dress.

It doesn't get a lot of screen time, and we never get to see it full-length, but it's eye catching to be sure, and just look at that fabulous hair!

I toyed with the idea of recreating this dress to wear to TrekCon in Vegas. A friend of mine does an awesome Data, and had been talking about doing Jayden the Ice Man from the same episode, so it would be fun to have pics together. I began to do a bit of research on the dress, and then I realized that I had seen this dress somewhere else.

Jadzia Dax wears a green Medieval style dress in the DS9 episode "Way of the Warrior" that looks awfully familiar. Once I got a closer look at the fabric, my suspicions were confirmed - this was the same dress, with a little bit of a makeover. Here's a close-up of the fabric (from TNG), with a little added bonus - pockets!

As you can see here, it's a sort of swirly, floral-y brocade fabric. If you watch the scene itself, the fabric sometimes looks coppery and sometimes is green. It's really lovely.

Like I said, we never get to see Crusher's dress full-length, but we do see it as the camera pans up, and I snapped a screen cap of the bodice/waist.

It's an empire-waist dress with a wide band in solid green. There are lapel thingies that are in the same green, with a gold crinkle material underneath that. There's a white shirred inset at the neckline.

When the dress got it's makeover for Dax, they got rid of the white inset and replaced it with one in an iridescent green/gold colour, possibly the dress fabric, though it seems to have a more geometric or diamond pattern. The lapels, for lack of a better word, are now in a gold floral fabric, but the crinkled gold inner layer is still present. Instead of the solid green waistband, it's been replaced with one of muted gold fabric.

Luckily, we do get to see Dax's dress in full-length, thanks to the Christie's auction!

We finally get to see some of the details that we never see in the episodes. There is a gold guard along the bottom edge of the skirt, the same fabric that's used on the waistband, with a band of trim at the very bottom. It may be that the trim at the bottom is the same floral brocade that is on the lapels, it's hard to tell. The skirts are gathered mostly in the center front, and, I assume, the center back. The sleeves are straight and plain, and it seems that the little bit of lace at the cuff of Crusher's sleeve has been removed.

Also, Dax gets a nifty hat, where Crusher had her fabulous hair. Either way, it's a win/win.

I've already found a fabric that's nearly perfect for this dress, with the notable exception that it's white and polyester. I'm going to try some dye experiments with both RIT and iDye to see if I can get it to the color I need, but I'm pretty set on using it for this project because the pattern is just so perfect. 

I'm planning to do the insets as little undershirts, so I can switch between them with as little effort as possible. I'm trying to figure out how to make the lapels and waistbands interchangeable, maybe some sort of snap on system where I can just put the brocade ones on over the green whenever I want to change from Crusher to Dax, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. Since there's plenty of time before Vegas, there's lots of time to work it out, but I'm really excited to start on this one, so it's going to be finished way before August. The fun thing about this dress is that, since it's sci-fi, I don't have to worry about period construction techniques or accuracy! Let there be zippers!


  1. That is so awesome! (Love that they totally shopped their costume stores and reworked the dress for the DS9 episode (and that you caught it). Can't wait to see the results.

    Have you ever tried using extremely diluted fabric paint as a die? It worked pretty well on the poly-cotton broadcloths I tried it on before... since it's acrylic it might adhere better to a polyester than dyes designed for cottons.

    1. I haven't tried that before, but it's a great idea! I'll definitely do some tests to see if I can get it to do what I want. :D Thanks for the idea!