About Us



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 along with 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 contructed costumes. 


Yvette Helin Studio provides costume design and costume building services for projects ranging from theater and film to fashion and adverrtising to special events and theme parks. From Lego minifigure costumes that can maneuver on waterskis in a lake to a photobombing coffee cup costume, Yvette has successfully tackled these specialty costume challenges and more.




After receiving her degree in Fine Art from the renowned Kansas City Art Institute with specialization 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 Cathy Lazar in New York. Her early work experiences also included costume-making, design and wardrobe work for the Hartford Ballet, the Connecticut Opera, and the University of Connecticut. 


Yvette deepened her experience at Parsons-Meares Ltd. in New York, a large shop known for their excellent work creating fantastic artistic costumes for Broadway. There 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  fabric work and soft sculpture on many projects including large giraffes and elephants for "The Lion King Parade" Disneyland floats.




In New York, Yvette established her own studio in Brooklyn in 1997. Early clients included Mikhail Baryshnikov and his White Oak Dance Company, Disney Theatrical, and Julie Taymor. Taymor hired Yvette as lead costumer for the "Lion King Workshop," where the now-famous Broadway Lion King showwas developed in models and white mock-ups for a reading/presentation for Michael Eisner, then CEO of Disney.


Her shop expanded considerably after Nickelodeon contacted her in the fall of 1998 to create life sized character costumes for the show "Rugrats Live Adventure" (costume design by Gregg Barnes) and subsequently to develop and produce theme park costume versions of the Rugrats characters as well as  other Nickelodeon Recreation properties including Jimmy Neutron, The Wild Thornberries, and Little Bill. These characters were used at all the Paramount Parks, the 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 Clues Live," "Dora the Explorer," and "Go Diego Go."


In 2004, Yvette's studio created 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 sstyle manta ray puppet and  Nigel, a skating pelican costume rigged for flying and featureing an extended puppet head ("Finding Nemo on Ice"); and Small World floats ("The incredibles on Ice").


Yvette's studio was featured on "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2008. Several notable film projects for costume designer Juliet Polcsa have included making the custom Batman toolbelt for Russell Brand and Robin costume for Luis Guzman ("Arthur"), a superhero costume for Ryan Reynolds (Paperman"), and eight identical cell phone costumes for Tracy Morgan ("Cop Out").


When SGA Productions, based in the UK, needed a designer and fabricator for a waterski show an the new Legoland Florida, Yvette developed a unique costume construction techique that not only enabled the Lego Minifigure characters to perform maneuvers on skis, but also could withstand several water performances per day year round. 




Yvette continues to solve unique costume construction challenges in her Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio. Recent projects have included one-of-a-kind costumes ranging rom Old Navy's guerrila 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 constulting expertise on almost any aspect of costuming, from costume design and costume construction to distressing, dyeing, tailoring nad refurbishing.


In addition, she provides onsite services as a costumer and tailor for television and film shoots around New York. 


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