Best Costume Design in Baz Luhrmann Films, Ranked

Baz Luhrmann was born Mark Anthony Luhrman in Sydney, Australia in 1962. He is an established director, writer and producer with a penchant for over-the-top costume design elements. Luhrmann discovered her love of film and fashion when her father Leonard Luhrmann owned a movie theater while her mother Barbara Carmel taught ballroom dancing. Luhrmann has always loved artistic expression and studied acting in high school, where he starred in Shakespeare’s play. King Henry IV Part 1. In 1983, Luhrmann enrolled at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts to continue his acting studies.



Early in his career, Luhrmann landed acting gigs in The winter of our dreams, The dark roomand The highest distinction, but would eventually turn to writing and directing, with his feature debut Ballroom strictly. Luhrmann’s taste for excess shows in his instantly recognizable and iconic style throughout his film catalog. The mere mention of her name conjures up visions of glitz and glamor galore. Luhrmann has collaborated with his wife Catherine Martin on all of his feature films in one capacity or another, including his latest attempt, the popular musical biopic Elvis,whoit is said to exceed the opulence of its previous film Gatsby the magnificent. Here is a ranking of the best costumes in Baz Lurhmann’s films.

6 Australia

Australia is an epic romance adventure set in pre-World War I Australia, which follows Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman), an Englishwoman who inherits an Australian ranch. She reluctantly hires Drover (Hugh Jackman) to help her drive cattle over rough terrain to supply the army. The film is grandiose and absorbing, and features historical elements such as the bombing of Darwin. As far as costume design goes, this is one of Baz Luhrmann’s more understated films, but no less handsome.

Related: 2010s Period Movies That Had The Best Costumes, Ranked

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5 Ballroom strictly

Ballroom strictly marks Luhrmann’s directorial debut and is based on a play written by Luhrmann while studying at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. The play was critically acclaimed and was a big hit at Sydney’s Wharf Theatre, where Australian music director Ted Albert saw it and fell in love with it. Later, when Albert started M&A productions, he pitched the idea to Luhrmann to adapt his play for the big screen. Luhrmann accepted the offer on the condition that he could direct the film. Costume designer Angus Strathie brought Luhrmann’s visions to life, and the dramatic, dramatic pieces foreshadowed all of Luhrmann’s later work.

4 red Mill

Red Mill! tells the story of an Englishman (Ewan MacGregor) who falls in love with a French dancer named Satine (Nicole Kidman) who is already promised to another. Despite their engagement, the couple fall in love and embark on a clandestine affair. The costumes and set design are gloriously over the top and pair well with the musical romance. Luhrmann’s wife, Catherine Martin, was co-designer with Angus Strathie. Martin opened up about his experience with the film in a recent interview with Vogue Magazine, stating that “Baz was trying to reinvent the modern movie musical and fly against all studio convention. He is an extraordinary visionary and pushes you as an artist. examine historical stories and periods in new and totally unexpected ways.


3 Romeo and Juliet

by Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet is set in a modern Verona known as Verona Beach and follows the famous star-crossed lovers as they navigate their love amid their conflicting family homes. It deviates slightly from Shakespeare’s original work, but is equally heartbreaking. This is the third major film production of the play, following a 1938 and 1968 version. The fabulous costumes were key elements in bringing the modern tale to life. Costume designer Kym Barrett recently spoke to Vogue Magazine, via her website, on the 25th anniversary of how her iconic designs have become staples in film and fashion history.

Related: The Best Modern Shakespeare Adaptations

2 Gatsby the magnificent

Gatsby the magnificent is a fabulous period piece based on the classic novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The film is a visual masterpiece that transports audiences back to the Roaring Twenties. It features some of the best costume designs from all of her films, as costume designer Catherine Martin brought in iconic designer Miuccia Prada to revamp 40 classic flapper dresses and has also collaborated with Brooks Brothers on over 500 pieces.


1 Elvis

Elvis is the last of Luhrmann’s films starring Austin Butler. The biopic follows the king of rock ‘n’ roll through three decades of his life, from his humble beginnings to his time as a Las Vegas performer. Butler underwent numerous screen and music tests before being cast in the role, and Presley’s ex-wife Priscilla applauded Butler’s performance in the film. Luhrmann is collaborating again with his wife Catherine Martin, who designed over 90 original costumes for Butler’s Elvis, also collaborating with Miuccia Prada and B&K Enterprises who were responsible for many of Presley’s suits during his time as the headliner of Las Vegas.

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