When you’re the queen of a now primitive but once technologically advanced community traveling across galaxies in a spaceship full of human explorers, dressing for the occasion can be a challenge. There’s not exactly a Gap in outer space (well, there might be; it’s difficult to know for sure). But forTeyla Emmagan (Rachel Luttrell) of “Stargate Atlantis,”airing Fridays on Sci-Fi Channel, her ace in the hole is costume designer Valerie Halverson.
“Teyla was the leader of her people -the Athosians -but she has come onto Atlantis to help guide them,” says Halverson, who designs everything for the series. “We tried to get her looking more like a team member, so we gave her a sleeker, sexier uniform, but also wanted to keep an elegance about her. After all, she is a queen. I’ve always tried to convey that. She’s a regal hunter.”
Halverson’s appreciation for this character is easy to understand since most of her other main characters are wearing the same uniforms episode after episode. But as the ship’s alien liaison, Teyla tends to slip into something a little bit more comfortable when she visits the locals.
“When she goes off-world she represents the other world,” Halverson says. “Not being in an Atlantis uniform makes it easier for her to walk around the other world … . She is probably the best character I’ve ever dressed. She commands a strong design.”
That can be attributed to both her royal status and her huntress roots. In alien-speak, she’s a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. Imagine if Britney Spears were older, more primitive and an alien (it’s not that hard to do). Leathers and furs cut with the thought of baring as much skin as can be done without making her look like a royal tart are the order of business whenever possible.