-Born on Jan. 26, 1965 in Lindfield, New South Wales, Australia
-Martin was raised by her father, Angus, a professor and head of the French department at Sydney University,
and her mother, Claude, a mathematics teacher originally from France.
-When she was six, her mother taught her how to sew dresses for her dolls, which in
hindsight served as a catalyst for her eventual career.
-After high school, Martin attended the Sydney College of the Arts, where she spent a
year studying visual arts before realizing that she had made the wrong move. Martin applied to the famed National Institute of
Dramatic Arts, but was told she needed more real life experience.
-She spent the following year in the fashion industry printing T-shirts and working for an
- Martin reapplied and was accepted.
-After her second year, she w
as approached by a past graduate and budding director, Baz Luhrmann, who was looking for people with whom
he could collaborate on a long-term basis; not project-to-project.
-When Luhrmann translated his 1986 stage play "Strictly Ballroom" to the screen i
n 1992, it gave Martin the opportunity to recreate her costumes and set designs in her feature debut.
-While the film propelled
Luhrmann’s directing career, Martin, herself, earned praise, including awards from the Australian Film Institute for both
her costumes and sets.
-She garnered an Oscar nod for her second feature, Luhrmann's "William Shakespeare's 'Romeo + Juliet'" (1996). Martin created highly stylized, dazzling set pieces that utilized references from various time periods, particularly in the masquerade ball and the funeral sequences.
-in January 1997, Martin and Luhrmann married after nearly a decade of professional and romantic engagement.
-Meanwhile, the happy couple embarked on their third feature collaboration, "Moulin Rouge" (2002) – the last in Luhrmann's "Red Curtain" trilogy that many considered to be the most satisfying.
-Her richly detailed sets and extravagant clothing – co-designed with Angus Straithie – provided vibrant color and a dazzling visual sense to the film.
-Critics and audiences may have been divided over the merits of the musical, but there was no denying Martin's distinct contributions,
which earned her Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
-Martin again served as both production designer and costume designer for Luhrmann’s epic ode to their native country, “Australia” (2008),
-Nicole Kidman wears a Catherine Martin Design on the cover of Vogue