May 23, 2024

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A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

Catherine Martin is an skilled at bringing worlds to lifestyle on display screen. She’s done just that as the costume, creation and established designer for just about every a single of Baz Luhrmann’s movies, including Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and much more a short while ago, Elvis.

‘I see my career as translating Baz’s eyesight,’ Catherine claims.

‘He is a really visible director and will usually start the approach with visual cues, whether or not it is his tiny scribbles, tear sheets or inspiration photos, and it’s my occupation to visually synthesise and translate his vision into truth.’

‘It’s about getting a little something like a imagined, an plan or a little something that he described to me verbally into concrete points – a piece of material on an actor’s back, or a piece of household furniture in Elvis’s international suite.’

And it seems the resourceful electrical power few not often ever clash, many thanks to their robust collaborative spirit, honed over decades considering that conference as college students at NIDA.

‘Baz is incredibly supportive of me and is a person of my finest admirers, as I am his,’ Catherine says. ‘And then some days we just obtain every single other unbearably irritating and that is aspect and parcel for folks who have lived and labored together for these kinds of a very long time’.

A single of the most exceptional matters about Elvis (which acquired a 12-moment standing ovation at its Cannes Movie Festival premiere) is that it was filmed totally on set in the Gold Coast. Catherine and her workforce crafted the film’s distinctly American areas, from Beale Street, Memphis to Elvis and Pricilla Presley’s landmark residence, Graceland, from scratch, with a stunning feeling of realism.

‘The means of actors to bring the figures to life is usually so mysterious and incredible,’ Catherine suggests. But it is her perform that can help Tom Hanks rework into Colonel Tom Parker, and supports Austin Butler’s ‘magic’ efficiency as Elvis.

Catherine states she finds inspiration in day to day activities like scrolling Instagram, looking at textbooks, and heading for walks. Though she and her family members have most not too long ago been living in Queensland, she significantly loves visiting galleries like the Museum of Up to date Artwork Australia when she’s in her delivery town of Sydney – which is exactly where we joined the wonderful and award-winning innovative for a day in her lifetime!

Initially Matter

I ordinarily wake up among 6am and 8am. The to start with factor I usually do is make a espresso due to the fact I can’t functionality without having a espresso! Most mornings I will go to Pilates or do some variety of work out. I like to do that simply because I obtain it aids very clear your brain and warms up your system for the rest of the working day. Even though, it is tough to think about just about anything else in Pilates but the pain. I come across strolling is a excellent spot to think.

My husband always suggests I’m a early morning human being, but I like a slow early morning. I will usually wake up half an hour before before I depart to go everywhere just so I can get back again into bed, consume my coffee, perhaps flick through Instagram and examine the entrance page of the New York Moments or look at the ABC site. I despise just jumping up out of bed and the chilly tough truth of the day hitting you in the deal with. I like a gradual simplicity into the working day.

Early morning

I really like breakfast. I think it’s almost certainly my favourite meal of the working day. I applied to eat porridge regularly but my daughter told me I chewed it too loudly, so I’m now onto a poached egg and toast and a different coffee. Then shower, get dressed for the day and off to perform.

Based on the working day I’ll get there among 9-10am. My first point is to look at in with Chris, who is my 2IC, to come across out if there are any urgent employment on deck for that day.
It can be anything from picture selects from the film to retouching some thing or reviewing pictures that wants to be despatched on. I’ve been associated with a lot of the publish-generation of the film [Elvis], so occasionally I’m examining visual results and providing notes, hunting at promoting components, the conclusion credits. I are likely to start the working day with any layout tasks. Usually my assistant is seeking to butt in to get me to reply right away e-mail and the housekeeping, which I are inclined to neglect for the reason that I’m much more fascinated in the structure aspect!


I usually like to cease for lunch, even if it is 15 minutes. I feel no one need to eat at their desk, so I twist everyone’s arm in the business office to sit down and have lunch simply because I believe that minor respite and that social instant is certainly essential for regenerating. My daughter phone calls it a ‘pocket of peace’, where by you can re-team and get completely ready for the afternoon.

I are inclined to prioritise all the perform that right relates to my partner and I’s organization – Bazmark – in the morning and the early afternoon. Later on in the afternoon, I have a smaller homewares, materials and wallpaper collaboration with Mokum and a rug and carpet selection with Designer Rugs [that I work on]. If color is concerned, I want to do it in the morning due to the fact the light-weight is far better and color is so light-weight distinct.


I like to be property just before 7:30pm, mainly because that is when the family sits down to meal. I definitely enjoy a glass of wine when I get property – an aperitif – that kind of sets you in the relaxing evening mode.

It also normally entails a conversation with the superb woman that allows me at dwelling, Mary Jane. We typically have what she phone calls an AGM: an Once-a-year General Assembly! But they appear to be to take place every day so it’s a bit of a misnomer. But we will typically focus on all of the trivia of who might come to supper, what the kids are executing, what medical practitioners appointments everybody has that week and what is happening the next working day, or what is fallen off the residence that day. All that really important house stuff that happens.

Final Issue

I am in all probability in bed by 9:30pm, which I know is fully tragic. I’ll observe just one of my terrific guilty pleasures, which is looking at fact renovation tv. Baz constantly states to me ‘you’re a seriously great designer, why are you viewing that structure on a dime?’ And I imagine it’s for the reason that I uncover it really revealing about people’s social conditions and it is a great perception into how persons reside, what folks are intrigued in and what men and women think is superior style. It is a actually great window into the social heritage of interiors appropriate now in 2022.

I like the demonstrates on the Magnolia Network [on USA Cable] – I’m a large Chip and Joanna Gaines supporter (of Fixer Upper), I like the House Brothers, Celebrity IOU is an additional great one particular. But I adore the calming factor the place I can just switch off and enjoy these shows.

Appropriate now I’m listening to, observing, and reading…

I’ll Be Absent in the Darkish. It’s an extraordinary correct criminal offense doc that has you absolutely on the stop of your seat. I watched that travelling not long ago on the aircraft and I totally loved it.

I’m about to begin looking through my husband’s visitor edited edition of Vogue Australia. I labored on a amount of shoots aiding to style them, but I’m definitely looking ahead to seeing the other areas of the problem.

A philosophy that I live/work by is…

I have all sorts of ridiculous phrases I use but I’m not absolutely sure if they are publishable! I do have a phrase that I use that offends some people today, but it is intended in jest. I use it to myself to motivate me, when I imagine issues can be finished superior. My phrase is: consider more challenging.

I also have a amazing 20-sided dice that’s a style dice. It has all varieties of assistance for the designer, and you roll the dice and its got matters on it like ‘SIMPLIFY’ and all these forms of adjectives that people give you when they’re seeking to give you notes on a layout that are entirely unhelpful and never really direct you in any form of way. We do it to make ourselves laugh when we have a bit of style block.

A little something I have discovered the hard way is…

Tolerance and listening. To in fact surrender to listening and not come to feel that your opinion is likely to be excluded for the reason that you have been silent, and seriously absorbed what another person else is indicating. I have uncovered that a wrestle, but the extra I pay attention the a lot more I master, and the much more I truly feel heard.

Elvis opens in cinemas currently, from June 23.