- Catherine Martin (b. Jan. 26, 2965) is an Australian designer.
- She married Baz Luhrmann in 1997.
- Catherine is an Oscar Award-winning costume designer.
Baz Luhrmann and his wife, Catherine Martin, “have this tremendous energy, it’s like a lightning bolt,” said Vogue Australia’s editor-in-chief, Nancy Pilcher, in 2022. That energy has carried their romance from their early days together, attending college in Australia to Hollywood and back. Catherine has been instrumental in Baz’s films – from Strictly Ballroom to Romeo + Juliet to Elvis – having that signature look, feel, and sensation that has come to define Luhrmann’s overall oeuvre.
While Luhrmann’s work as the director has gotten much of the spotlight, Catherine – or CM, as he calls her- has gotten the gold. Catherine is a multiple Academy Award winner, whereas her husband hasn’t been so successful during Oscar night. As the couple prepares for another trip to the Biggest Night In Hollywood, here’s what you need to know about her.
Catherine Martin Is A Designer
Born and raised in New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, Catherine grew up with a love of fashion. “I remember being the nerdy kid who would beg my parents to take me to the Victoria and Albert Museum and go through the costume section over and over and over again.,” she told Vogue in 2015. “My grandmother in Australia was a staunch Presbyterian, and every once in a while, the ladies of the church would get out sort of dubious vintage clothing of dubious provenance and do a historical fashion parade, and I just thought it was the most wonderful thing I’d ever seen. It all starts from loving clothes and loving the glamour and make-believe of what clothes can do for you.”
She attended the Sydney College of the Arts, where she studied visual arts. She also studied at East Sydney Technical College, and the National Institute of Dramatic art, where she met her future husband, Baz Luhrmann.
When Did Baz Luhrmann Get Married?
Catherine and Baz tied the knot on Jan. 26, 1997. Baz observed the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary in 2022. He shared a throwback picture of what appears to be their wedding. “25 years with the coolest woman on the planet – happy anniversary! Love you forever, CM. Oh, and it’s your birthday, too!
What Does Catherine Martin Design?
By the time the two wed, they had already worked together on Strictly Ballroom, Baz’s feature film directorial debut. Catherine works predominantly on costume design, though she worked as a production designer on Baz’s earlier films.
“I see things in pictures, and I always have,” Luhrmann told Vogue Australia in 2022. “I start with an idea, a lot of collages, and very quickly CM and I get into these philosophical discussions, which in turn begins the research. We are almost like detectives, the thinking is so intense and deep, we live in it.”
“I am a serial collaborator,” he continued. “We’ve built creative relationships over the course of 35 years, and when I look back now, I realize that my greatest joy in life as a child, growing up in that isolation, was to see all these people come and go in the gas station. For me, the line between life and art doesn’t exist, they have to feed each other.”
Catherine wears numerous hats when working with her husband. She does costume design (Moulin Rouge! Australia, The Great Gatsby, The Get Down, Elvis), production design (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rogue!, Australia, The Exotic Body, Elvis), or producer work (The Great Gatsby, Elvis, The Get-Down.)
“The challenge of accurately costuming the audience using both found and bespoke outfits was something I’d never done so exactingly,” she told Vogue Australia in 2022 when discussing her work on Elvis. “It was a thrill to see all these characters come to life once they were dressed in full hair and make-up, sitting in position and lit, ready for the scene.”
Has She Won Any Awards?
As of 2023, Catherine has four Academy Awards, which is four more than her husband. She won Best Costume Design (along with Angus Strathie) and Best Production Design (with Brigitte Broch) for Moulin Rogue! She repeated that, winning the same two awards for The Great Gatsby.
In 2023, she was nominated for three more Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design, all for her work on Elvis.
Does Baz & Catherine Have Any Kids?
The couple is proud parents to two children: Lilian Luhrmann (b. Oct. 10, 2003) and William Luhrmann (b. June 8, 2005).
Though they have a happy family together, Baz revealed that he and his wife sleep in separate beds. ” We worked out a long time ago that we both need space. We are surrounded by our teams of staff all day, every day, whether traveling, at work, and at our homes,” he told Daily Mail Australia in 2014. “I was finding I was saying things in passing that weren’t properly thought through, things would become fraught. We both needed time to ourselves.”