I have been a costume designer in TV and film since 1997. Prior to that I was a fashion designer with a loyal private clientele .As well my designs were showcased in select local stores supporting up and coming designers.
When I joined the film community in 1997 I started out as a sewer, making viking shoes, moving into the breakdown department and then settled into armor making. A very steep learning curve. Soon after I was learning even more,working on set, taking care of actors, alterations, and more breakdown.
As I progressed in the industry I moved into assistant designing for a number of designers learning a whole new set of skills. 6 years after that I was offered a costume design job on an iconic TV show ,Stargate. I was the costume designer on SG1 for 1.5 years and then was asked to take over on Stargate Atlantis. When that was unfortunately cancelled after 5 years, 2 years of which I designed, I was asked to design the new franchise, Stargate Universe.Each Stargate franchise was a unique challenge, SG1 was an established sci fi show that was an honor to join, the cast was professional and fun.The challenge of visiting a different planet every week was exciting creatively. From period influences to futuristic designs, it had it all.
Atlantis was a lighter sided franchise with wicked aliens. The Wraith for example. They were an exhilarating group that posed great design challenges, nasty, slimey beings that fed on some of our cast.
Stargate Universe was a darker, more civilian based series. The challenge with this series was the level of breakdown. The crew was stranded on a ship, so were caught off guard, not prepared with extra clothes. To develop the characters I employed color and layers rather than clothing options. Those subtle pieces that defined a character had to be established from the first episode, we did not have the luxury of developing a character as the series went along, as is usually the case.
Each Stargate series was unique in it’s challenges.
When Stargate Universe was cancelled I moved on to other projects. Working on a variety of shows in different capacities. From Assistant designing to prep costuming. Working closely with different costume designers ,shopping, doing fittings, consulting on characters looks.
Other features I have been the costume designer on are ,“Till Death Do Us Part” , a dark horror movie and , “What an Idiot” , a romantic comedy. Both are contemporary feature films. Prior to that I costumed designed “Traveling at the Speed of Life” , a bittersweet romantic drama about love lost, and “Fracture” about a man who is in 2 places at the same time.
I also costume designed the pilot “Echoes” about humans being in the way of an intergalactic battle taking place over Earth.
Hello Mrs Halverson
I was wondering if you can help me, im looking for the inner lining fabric that you used in Dr rushes waistcoat on sg universe.
Iv looked on line in vancouver fabric shops but only a few have a good listing of thier products on their websites.
I have also looked in london at all the major fabric shops, still know luck.
Hello Mark well that is an interesting question as it is one of a kind.I actually designed the fabric in a way. Little did we know that we would have to make 24-30 of those vests so it created quite a challenge. I wanted to do a subtle “homage” to sci-fi when I was designing Dr Rush’s costume and when I found this beautiful silk fabric with a peacock design in it. I liked the grey and blues in the fabric and when i looked at a small section of it I almost saw rocks or dirt. As i played with the fabric I realized I could cut it and resew it to look like a planets surface. So that is what we did. A lot of work but when I pointed it out to Robert Carlyle he was fascinated by the process and asked me if we could build a pocket inside the vest so he could reach inside to get his pencil on every episode. It really was our secret. That is one way I feel that a Costume Designer can help with the development of a character, by putting those layers into a costume. Thanks for your interest and I hope that helps. Valerie/Stargate Universe