ABOUT YVETTE HELIN
Yvette Helin brings to her work a masterful artist’s eye for sculptural elements and design matched with a practical understanding of the engineering required to make a costume functional and wearable and a tailor’s attention to construction and detail. This combination of skills honed over more than two decades working in the New York costume industry makes Yvette Helin Studio an unmatched resource for complex and unusual constructed costumes.
Yvette Helin Studio provides costume design and costume building services for projects ranging from theater and film to fashion and advertising to special events and theme parks. From Lego minifigures that can maneuver on waterskis to a photobombing coffee cup, Yvette Helin has successfully tackled these specialty costume challenges and more.
After receiving a degree in Fine Art from the renowned Kansas City Art Institute with specializations in sculpture, textiles, and graphic design, Yvette quickly found her niche in character costumes, working on “Sesame Street Live” with Henson Associates and on projects with costume maker Cathy Lazar in New York. Her early work in the 1980s also included costume-making and wardrobe work for performing arts groups, most notably the Hartford Ballet and Connecticut Opera.
Yvette deepened her experience at Parsons-Meares Ltd., a large New York shop known for artistic and fantastic costumes for Broadway. She crafted costumes for major productions including "Starlight Express," "Phantom of the Opera" and "Cats." While there, she worked with puppet designer Michael Curry, who recruited her to his Portland studio to direct all fabric work and soft sculpture on large giraffes and elephants for "The Lion King Parade" Disneylandfloats and other projects.
YVETTE HELIN STUDIO
Back in New York, Yvette established her own studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 1997. Early clients included Mikhail Baryshnikov and his White Oak Dance Co., Disney Theatrical, and Julie Taymor. That work led Taymor to bring Yvette in as lead costumer for the "Lion King Workshop,” where the now-famous Broadway Lion King show was developed in models and white mock-ups for a reading/presentation for Michael Eisner, then CEO of Disney. Under the direction of Julie Taymor as costume designer/director and Michael Curry as puppet designer, Yvette developed costume elements for principal characters that were ultimately used in the final Broadway production and many subsequent tours.
Her shop expanded considerably after Nickelodeon contacted her in fall 1998 to create life-sized costumes for the show “Rugrats Live Adventure” and subsequently to develop and produce theme park costume versions of the Rugrats characters, Jimmy Neutron, and other Nickelodeon properties. These characters were used at all Paramount Parks, the two Universal theme parks, Nickelodeon Family Suites and other venues from Germany to Australia. Yvette also created and produced costumes and puppets for other live Nick touring shows, including "Blue's Clue's Live," "Dora the Explorer," and "Go Diego Go." Many of these carefully crafted costumes were still in use after more than a decade.
In 2004, Yvette Helin Studio made Kanga, Roo, Owl and Piglet character costumes for "Winnie the Pooh Live,” designed by Gregg Barnes and produced by Kenneth Feld + Disney Live. Other Disney projects have included key characters for Disney on Ice shows: Bullseye, a two-person skating horse costume ("Toy Story on Ice"); Mr. Ray, a giant kite-style manta ray puppet, and Nigel, a skating pelican costume rigged for flying and featuring an extended puppet head ("Finding Nemo on Ice"); and Small World floats ("The Incredibles on Ice").
Yvette Helin Studio was featured on "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2008, when producers asked Yvette to participate in an episode where the celebs have to oversee a costume being made.
Several notable film projects for costume designer Juliet Polcsa have included making the custom Batman tool belt for Russell Brand and Robin costume for Luis Guzman ("Arthur"), a superhero costume for Ryan Reynolds ("Paperman"), and eight identical cell phone costumes with various degrees of distressing for Tracy Morgan ("Cop Out").
When SGA Productions, based in the UK, needed a designer and fabricator for a waterski show at the new Legoland Florida, Yvette developed a unique costume construction technique that not only enabled the Lego Minifigure characters to perform maneuvers on skis, but also could withstand several water performances a day year round.
Yvette continues to solve unique costume construction challenges in her Greenpoint studio. Recent projects have included one-of-a-kind costumes ranging from Old Navy’s guerrilla-marketing Easter Bunny to a giant white study squirrel for the popular artist Mark Dion’s “Phantoms of the Clark Expedition” show at the Explorer’s Club in New York City.
With her creative problem-solving approach, costume engineering skills and diverse background, Yvette can provide services and consulting expertise on almost any aspect of costuming, from costume design and costume construction to distressing, dyeing, tailoring and refurbishing.
In addition, she provides onsite services as a costumer and tailor, especially as North Brooklyn has become a hub for television and film work in New York.
Yvette Helin 1205 Manhattan Brooklyn NY 11222 firstname.lastname@example.org 917.617.5935