Catherine Martin Reveals Characters for Barneys' New Holiday Campaign

Sarah Cristobal

"The Luna Queen" design and illustration by Zaldy 

“I have an issue with the holidays, that is true,” Catherine Martin tells Yahoo Style. “I am a little bit of an obsessive holiday decorator.” Who better than to be tasked with overseeing this year’s Barneys holiday extravaganza? For the past few months, the award-winning costume designer and her renowned director husband Baz Luhrmann have been concocting the Baz Dazzled Holiday campaign, which will be unveiled with much fanfare on Thursday night with a party at the Madison Avenue flagship and dinner at the Central Park Zoo. 

The evening will be filled with fantastical characters, some of which will continue to make the rounds during prime time shopping hours on the weekends. “There’s a tagging squirrel, a solar queen, a lunar queen, a mischievous elf called Elphresh and a cast of mischievous creatures,” says Martin. To execute the costumes—a preview of which you are seeing here in the form of exclusive illustrations—the Aussie duo partnered with NYC-based fashion designer Zaldy, who, aside from recently re-launching his own eponymous collection for Spring 2015, has also created stage ensembles for Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears, and Michael Jackson, among others. 

"The Solar Queen," design and illustration by Zaldy 

Not surprisingly, a smaller scale project like this one is no less important than, say, an Oscar-nominated film like Moulin Rouge. “I think the way Baz approaches all his projects is very similar: research, understanding the aim of the project, and identifying what we want to achieve,” says Martin. “On this one, we are aiming to embrace the holiday season and encourage people to be festive and celebrate with a warm and open heart.” 

The campaign’s tagline, “A Life Lived in Fear is a Life Half Lived,” is a poignant message, especially when embracing the onslaught of holiday shoppers…or when hosting a festive dinner of one’s own. “The holidays at the Luhrmann-Martin household are busy,” says Martin. “We usually have a very big table of friends and family and I love to entertain and I love to decorate.” 

The ice-skating “Celestina,” design and illustration by Zaldy