With Stargate Universe wardrobe and props auctions set to debut Tuesday, July 19, VIP Fan Auctions caught up with Valerie Halverson, franchise’s talented – and incredibly creative – costumer designer to talk about her role in creating the look and feel of Stargate Universe and other series in the SG world.
VIP: How did you get into costume design?
Halerie Halverson: I started sewing my own clothes in high school as I wanted something unique. That led me to design school and I started my own company with a private clientele, eventually being asked to design for a local clothing store. When that ended I was ready for a new challenge and talked to a friend in the film industry. Not knowing what I was getting into I started at the ground floor, sewing moccasins and learning breakdown and worked my way up to Costume Designer.
VIP: Can you describe the design process when a new season launches and you find yourself reading a script with entirely new characters whose wardrobes you have to create?
VH: It really is exciting to read a script, get a feeling for a character, and then talk to the writer and director about their concept. My job is to interpret their vision – as well as the actor’s – for that character. The costume can really help an actor feel right for his role, whether it is a period show or it takes place in the future. I love this part of the process as it allows me to get into the layers of a character, to really understand them, and then to express myself creatively.
VIP: Is there a wardrobe item that you would like to have a chance to do differently?
VH: I would like a chance to redo the Lucian Alliance from “Subversion” (#118), when they are on their ship and in the pyramid. What Brad Wright had envisioned was a more understated army than I had originally designed, so I feel that the second look – on the Destiny – was more appropriate for Stargate Universe . I was very pleased with the outcome – sort of a SWAT-in-space look.
VIP: What costume are you most proud of?
VH: I would have to say that one of my favorite costumes was
For Adria (played by Morena Baccarin), when she was in Season 10 of SG1 – in “Dominion” (#1019). One of the challenges of being on a series is keeping it fresh, and because Adria was such a complex character, I wanted her costume to be equally so. When I read the script and saw that she was going to be captured by Ba’al, I saw an opportunity to make her even sexier than usual while she was in the cell. But it couldn’t just be the design – I had to make something new. With my cutter, Leslie, I created a new type of leather. By building an overlay of shrunken ribbon and lace onto the leather, even though the costume was predominately black, it had a lot of dimension to it. In the photo above you can see that Ba’als costume is made of laser-cut leather over a brocade fabric, with his Goa’uld tattoo on the back.
Check back for more exclusive interviews with the Stargate Universe creative team – including more from Valerie Halverson. And don’t forget to check out the Stargate universe auctions at VIP Fan Auctions!