This outfit is the most drab of any Kes wears in color, shape, and textile – but it is firmly within her ‘Tinker Bell’ aesthetic and incredibly interesting in context.
“Cold Fire”, “Warlord”, “Before and After”, and “Fury” are significant episodes within Kes’s arc on the series and all deal with ‘what if’ scenarios. It’s especially interesting that facsimiles of this look appear on the very young Kes in “Before and After” and the younger Kes in “Fury”. Both those looks are ostensibly different from the tunic-dress she wears in the other five episodes and the promotional photos at the top, but they are close enough to be considered variations on the same – as are the appearances of “Kes” in those two scenes. Both are Kes and are also not exactly Kes, and both are a younger and more innocent Kes fighting to return a present Kes to equilibrium. The same logic covers the added vest she wears in Warlord.
In the staged promo photos seen at the top she somehow resembles a space-stewardess, a rural student in a school uniform, and Peter Pan all at once – while also still looking like Kes. In the episode screencaps she blends in with Voyager’s backgrounds more than she does in her brighter choices, which is also interesting in the context of these episodes.
For example in Cold Fire Kes is given the opportunity to leave while in Resolutions she (and the rest of the crew) lose Janeway and Chakotay, the parental figures of their surrogate family. What then does Voyager represent for Kes? Freedom, exploration, family, belonging, innocence lost and found – these are themes that recur in both Kes-centric stories and Kes’s roles within others’ stories such as helping the Doctor explore love and attraction in Lifesigns. In these varied ways Kes is a space-stewardess, a rural student in a school uniform, and Peter Pan all at once, as well as much more and always herself.
I love both the elements of this look and the way it is put together – the wrap on the skirt is simply amaze. The colors are as blah as blah can be but they work for the stories they are telling.