Rodeo Drive Walk of Style honors Catherine Martin in ‘Gatsby’ fashion


In the once-grand foyer of a dark mansion, with rain whipping at the windows, Tobey Maguire raises a glass of Champagne and offers a toast to Catherine the Great.

Although it sounds like a scene straight out of “The Great Gatsby,” it wasn’t West Egg but Beverly Hills. And Maguire was among the guests gathered in an electricity-challenged (thanks to the storm) Greystone Mansion on Friday night to honor the addition of “Gatsby” costume and production designer Catherine Martin -- a two-time (and soon to be four-time) Oscar winner -- to the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style.

“Did you notice all the lights went out when they said Catherine was a two-time Oscar winner?” quipped Cate Blanchett as she took the podium to honor Martin, a fellow Australian, lit only by video cameras and handheld LED spotlights.


“I couldn’t be more thankful,” Martin said, noting that her love of costume was a lifelong one. “Up until the age of 6 I categorically refused to wear any other color shoes than red ... I think that love of red shoes pretty much guaranteed that the girl from Oz makes it to Rodeo Drive -- it’s a perfect fairy tale.”

Martin went on to thank Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman, her husband Baz Luhrmann (whom she described as “an artistic maverick and very good arguer”) as well as Brooks Brothers, Tiffany and Prada, brands she called “wonderful partners” in bringing the “Gatsby” costumes to screen.

“And I want to thank you all for coming out here on this horrible rainy day,” she told a fashion- and film-heavy crowd that included Chapman (Marchesa’s designer), designer David Meister, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mikita (the former just back from shooting “Modern Family” in Australia; the latter just finished closing their Tie the Knot pop-up shop in the Beverly Center), Keirnan Shipka (“Mad Men”), Costume Designers Guild President Sal Perez and, in the star sighting of the night, New Zealand singer Lorde.

(Although we didn’t see a tiger on a gold leash anywhere in the vicinity of the Grammy-winning singer, she did express her intrigue to us over a handful of silver metallic coated Jordan almonds she’d sourced from a nearby candy dish.)

After Martin accepted her Walk of Style award, Maguire took to the podium to offer a toast in her honor. “I got to live on your sets and live in your clothes and you’re one of the greatest there ever was,” he said, raising his Champagne glass, “Here’s to Catherine the Great.”

With that a band struck up the music, Champagne-colored balloons bounced down the grand staircase, streamers unfurled and the gathered guests began to wander the hallways of Greystone and past a display of mannequins wearing costumes from the film. It all had a surreal “last days of Gatsby feel” about it.


One could hardly have conceived of a better -- or more memorable -- backdrop against which to toast someone who, in less than two days’ time, would go on to win a pair of Academy Awards for her costume design and production design for “The Great Gatsby.” (In the latter category, Beverly Dunn won for set decoration.)

Eventually a plaque bearing the name of the 21st Walk of Style honoree (and first Australian) and the quote: “Film has allowed me to follow my dreams down fashion’s yellow brick road all the way to Rodeo Drive,” will be placed in the sidewalk somewhere between Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards.

Although the exact spot hasn’t been announced, we can think of three stores on that fabled retail thoroughfare near which the aforementioned plaque’s placement would be wholly appropriate -- Brooks Brothers on the northern end, Tiffany at the southern end and Prada in between.


1920s fashion roars back in ‘Gatsby’

Oscars 2014: Complete list of nominees and winners


Catherine Martin to get Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award