Day 2: Design Genius

April 3, 2009

The first event today was a visit from Valerie Halverson, assistant costume designer for season 9 of Stargate SG-1, and costume designer for season 10 of SG-1, and season’s 4 and 5 of Stargate Atlantis. Valeria was a new comer to the convention setting, but she did very well! She took questions, and also gave us a photo show-and-tell break down of the costumes that were being sent over from Bridge Studios for the Prop Museum.

Here are a few of the interesting questions Valeria took.

Do the actors have any say about their costumes?
Valerie said that she tries to let the actors be comfortable since they have to be in them for so many hours per day. Most of the actors are game for anything because the costumes are so neat in science fiction! No kidding, Valeria!

Were you responsible for the uniform change in Stargate Atlantis at the start of season 4?
Valeria answered that as a costume designer she wanted to put her own touch on the show when she took over. She talked the producers into the new “sexy” outfits and leather uniforms instead of the producers talking her into it, which is apparently how it usually works! She’s interested in styles from the 1940’s and 50’s, along with the dominatrix look.

Which cast member is the hardest to fit? The answer was prompt: Jason Momoa! He’s so tall!

Where do you find your materials? Jo-anne Fabrics? Valeria had never heard of Jo-annes, but is now determined to find one! She said it takes years to learn where to look, and sometimes you just find things by chance, even in unlikely places. “We try anything.”

Do you ever buy whole pieces? Sometimes, because of time constraints, they do, even though it would be ideal to be able to create each costume from scratch. Often they will buy something and then re-work it. For example, this costume at the right, worn by the invaders in Atlantis’s “Daedalus Variations” is partially a hockey uniform with a serious paint treatment!

Do you ever let the actors wear their own clothes? No, because it becomes too complicated. Jason is always trying to do it. He was once told that he could buy something to wear, but if he did he had to buy two of it so that if something happens to one, continuity isn’t ruined by it suddenly being gone. Jason then bought 2 shark’s teeth necklaces and wore them both at once! After that, all personal items were completely banned. No favorite jeans allowed!

Now for a few interesting facts that Valeria shared!

Rachel Luttrell’s Wraith Queen costume had to be able to handle the very physical moves that Teyla does in “Queen”. In order to allow for this, Valeria used a woman’s riding skirt as the bottom of the dress.

Valeria is “working on a secret project” in wardrobe that will prevent Saturday’s tour to Bridge Studios from being able to visit the costume department!

She also commented that one of Ronan’s outfits is called “The Cow” because it used to much leather.

Stay Tuned! There’s lots more to come!

1 Comment

  • avatar RadioStar says:

    So exciting! I wish I could have heard her speak! She did such great work in Season 9 and 10 of SG-1. I’d die for her job!

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