William Ware Theiss

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William Ware Theiss (November 20, 1930 - December 15, 1992), also called Bill Theiss, was a costume designer for television and film.

His film credits as costume designer include Spartacus, Harold and Maude, Bound for Glory, Pete's Dragon, Dog Soldiers, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, The Man with One Red Shoe, and Heart Like a Wheel. His television credits include Star Trek (the original series and The Next Generation: he designed the Starfleet uniforms for TNG).

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Harold Hodgson Theiss & Helen Theiss, and was named for his grandfather, William Hodgson, and his grandmother's family, Ellen (Ware) Hodgson.

He was nominated for the Academy Award for Costume Design three times.

File:STLittleGirls.jpg
The character in the rear, Andrea, is wearing Theiss' most famous costume.

The Theiss Theory of Titillation, which claims that "the degree to which a costume is considered sexy is proportional to how likely it is to fall off" is named after him. A key example of this idea in practice is the female android costume in the Star Trek (TOS) episode "What are Little Girls Made Of?" in which the revealing top portion consists only of 2 crossing straps of material which connects in one piece to trousers. Public displays of this costume never failed to get an enthusiasitic reaction from onlookers. In the same series, another famous Theiss costume proves the point, namely character Carolyn Palamas' outfit in the episode Who Mourns for Adonais?.


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