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Gattaca, Columbia Pictures, 1996, Directed by Andrew M. Niccol, Costumes by Colleen Atwood


Set in 2025, Gattaca depicts a future where genetically engineered people (the valids) get posh careers while those born without genetic enhancement (the invalids) are doomed to demeaning menial jobs. Ethan Hawke plays an invalid posing as a valid by using an array of disguised bodily fluids (employees are constantly screened by blood and urine samples).  He meets and falls in love with Uma Thurman who is, as of course we know in real life, genetically perfect.


Interestingly enough, the most futuristic location they found to film in was Frank Lloyd Wright’s Civic Center in Marin County. This was my first film and I was hired to tailor suits for the army of male and female workers. I became the shop supervisor, managing a crew of seven to alter 175 outfits in a week. It was an interesting visual concept: grey and navy suits truly are the uniforms of the working world. The look is antiseptic without being overly futuristic (if men’s suits haven’t changed much in the past 30 years, why would they in the next?)

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