“The Circle”

May 4, 2017

Anna Wyckoff

Before shooting began on The Circle, there was discussion whether the film was set in the near future, or if it was present day. “There are a lot of issues that are current, and it became very much about the world that’s happening now,” says Costume Designer Emma Potter. To create a look that expressed that looming future in the present, she drew inspiration from the employees and executives of tech firms such as Google and Facebook. This research influenced the costumes of Mae Holland (Emma Watson). “We looked at the female figures who are big in the tech world to see how they present themselves and we found a look that worked for Emma.” As the character transitions from zero to anti-hero, Potter insured her looks reflected that transformation. “My favorite piece was the white sweater she wears at the end when all the Circlers are following her like a religious figure.”

Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) also needed to combine the appeal of a charismatic tech firm CEO like Steve Jobs, with a hint of Big Brother. “We avoided putting him in too much black, or too many dark colors,” Potter explains. “The idea was to keep the world vibrant, filled with energy and to show the positive side. The underlying darkness isn’t necessarily something that you can see.”

Additionally, Potter built a line of corporate swag to create a visual leitmotif that appeared on tshirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts throughout the film. “The Circle logo is this juicy tomato red, and as the story progresses you start to see more and more of this gear appearing on people. It was a way for us to demonstrate the idea of a cult following in the company without it feeling like something that was cold and dystopian.” She adds, “It was about finding those little nuances and moments of realism within the clothes to make it feel possible yet a little different.”

The Circle by STX Entertainment is in theatres now.

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