A fashion guide for all mankind


Pictures: Apple TV+

Space-age clothing has seen many on-screen incarnations, from runway-ready but impractical Paco Rabanne designs to Jane Fonda in Barbarelle to color-coded suits in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Despite its alternate history setting, Apple TV+ For all mankind sticks pretty close to the real thing when it comes to her NASA-approved clothing. The same goes for mission control and downed threads.

Costume designer Jill M. Ohanneson is no stranger to stories that span long periods of time, having created the looks for the first two Bill and Ted adventures. For all mankind deviates from the real-world timeline in its first episode when the Soviets beat the United States to plant their flag on the moon in 1969, leading to an expanded space program. In the first two seasons, progress is made across three decades, with the 90s focusing on For all mankind Season 3 arrives on June 10. Before knowing if grunge has a sartorial impact on this storyhere’s a survey of which looks from the show’s first two seasons are perfect for the moon and homecoming.

Classic Aviator

“Just find a pretty enough female pilot, put her in a spacesuit, teach her to descend the man’s ladder, and take her picture,” is the instruction that is immediately ignored by Deke Slayton (Chris Bauer) . The head of the astronaut office and director of flight crew operations isn’t going to treat the mandate to train a woman to go into space as a brilliant public relations opportunity. The third episode is where For all mankind finds its feet with the introduction of this new program, and this image alone sells the concept of the series. You cannot beat a pair of airmen or mounts adjacent to airmen (with gold or silver mounts). The cool comes from Ellen (Jodi Balfour), Molly (Sonya Walger), Tracy (Sarah Jones), Dani (Krys Marshall) and Patty (Cass Buggé) in their regulation attire. It’s no wonder Apple TV+ has this image stuck everywhere.

The Astronaut’s Wife

No, we’re not talking about the 2015 ABC short series The Astronaut Wives Club. Of course, there are common attributes because these astronauts have wives, and the first season begins with Karen Baldwin (Shantel VanSanten) as the picture-perfect NASA spouse. No more evident than in “Into the Abyss,” when she plays host while her husband leads a new mission alongside the first American to land on the moon. Molly’s stoner hubby Wayne (Lenny Jacobson) doesn’t match Karen’s manicured image in her idyllic pink shift dress, statement earrings and matching lip color. Nothing says Life More than that, magazine ready, but looks don’t always tell the whole story.

Casual Moon

With just one episode of The Bob Newhart Show to keep them entertained, Dani, Ed (Joel Kinnaman) and Gordo (Michael Dorman) do their best while stuck on the moon in the tiny Jamestown base. As far as clothing goes, NASA-supplied patched jumpsuits and vests are the best, while everything else is a neutral gray to match the decor. No wonder this trio is starting to spiral. Repetition will. Considering they’re not supposed to be on this base for months, there are also questions about how tedious these garments have become – especially after Gordo mentions that the shower only works half the time.

sun stars

The gold helmet visors aren’t because spacesuit designers like a little bling, although there’s something very flashy about that detail. The scientific reason is “this metal’s excellent ability to reflect infrared light while allowing visible light to pass through” and provides eye protection against unfiltered sunlight. The first episode of the second season opens with a montage depicting cultural events in the nine years since the first season. We are now in 1983 and the Jamestown base has grown. A lunar sunrise provides an opportunity to show the size of the operation on the moon while providing this fantastic visual. This being For all mankinda nice moment of singing shared between astronauts is interrupted by a major solar storm which will have lasting consequences.

All American Superstars

Tracy Stephens was part of the team that defied an order to rescue Molly at the end of Season 1. Now she’s a NASA superstar doing the late-night talk show circuit, appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson springing onto the rock on her wedding finger to announce her second marriage. She swapped out a NASA uniform for a strapless black dress and shaggy ’80s haircut before donning a spacesuit, all in the name of a watch brand. “Your pretty face will be all over Times Square,” the photographer tells her. It’s no wonder Tracy quickly tires of showbiz appearances and a false approximation of her old work clothes and opts for another assignment.

Hole in one out of order

Nothing says fun better than golf leads. Karen Baldwin leans into the aesthetic of this activity in a graphic-print pink-trimmed polo shirt and matching pink skirt — not everything in Karen’s closet is this shade, we promise. The contrasting orange visor highlights Karen’s newfound freedom within her image, and she no longer strives to be the ideal housewife after the death of her young son. She smokes weed with Wayne (unfortunately, you can’t see her gingham flat cap in this photo) while their spouses talk shop. Molly and Ed’s matching khakis reflect their bond, and somehow Molly makes a bob look way cooler than any 90s musician. Maybe some trends hit harder early in this timeline.

Back in the saddle

You could say Gordo’s collection of beige polo shirts reflects his “I don’t even exist anymore” mood after leaving the exhilarating world of the space program. Even after announcing he’ll be putting his old moon shoes back on, the star astronaut still clings to his favorite civilian look, but that’s down to his post-Jamestown lifestyle. “Had a little malfunction” is his code to Dani that his uniform’s zipper broke, and it’s not just his physical condition that needs work on. Gordo doesn’t know how to use the laptop (technology is a few steps ahead of our timeline), and he has a lot to do – physically and mentally – to get back on par with Dani in his traditional NASA blues.

Avoid 80s fashions

After a trial separation, a significant development between the first two seasons was Baldwin’s adopted daughter, Kelly (Cynthy Wu). Kelly was part of “Operation Babylift,” which allowed the United States to airlift women and children out of Vietnam, with Houston being one of the adoption centers. Kelly is in the process of applying for colleges, and the essay part taps into her desire to know where she’s from and who her family is. Kelly’s relationship with her adoptive parents is good, but there is still a gaping hole as she searches for her racial and cultural identity. When it comes to clothing, Kelly eschews fads and favors striped tank tops and high-waisted jeans that wouldn’t look out of place decades later.

Chic Mission Command

Ellen has swapped NASA regulation clothing for blazers and blouses. No more outer space travel now the bureaucracy has come calling. Ellen has President Reagan’s ear (some things are only a few years different), and a political career is calling her name, so she better dress up. Meanwhile, Margo’s (Wrenn Schmidt) glasses have gotten a little smaller — but tick those ’80s boxes — and you’d never know from her pressed blouse that she’s been sleeping at the office. The two ambitious women dress for the job they want and deserve.

An emergency with duct tape

A For all mankind The costume post wouldn’t be complete without one of the most memorable (and heartbreaking) TV moments of 2021. Ohanneson’s crisp NASA uniforms are good enough to wear in space, but the defining look comes thanks to a pair of gas masks and several rolls of duct tape. Gordo and Tracy make the ultimate sacrifice to save the colony of Jamestown from a nuclear meltdown, and they do it dressed in DIY space suits. Tracy makes everything look good, including this impromptu hands-on materials challenge (“Are you kidding? I’m making this sing,” she jokes). Some heroes wear a costume made of duct tape.

For all mankind Season 3 premieres Friday, June 10 on Apple TV+.

people talk about For all mankind in our forums. Join the conversation.

Emma Fraser has wanted to write about television ever since she first watched My So-Called Life in the mid-’90s, finally getting her wish more than a decade later. Follow her on Twitter at @frazbelina.


Comments are closed.