Kym Barrett, who has created some of the most influential clothing seen in recent years, had a nomadic childhood, living for a while on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean before attending a boarding school in her native Australia.
She went on to attend the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, where her association with Baz Luhrmann led her to the United States and Mexico to work on his 1996 film Romeo + Juliet.
The costumes she created for Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in that film attracted a great deal of attention and led to her meeting the Wachowski brothers, who hired her in 1999 to design the costumes for The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – costumes that inspired fashion designers, other costume designers and consumers around the world.
Her other film credits include Three Kings (1999), starring George Clooney, the Hughes twins’ From Hell (2001), starring Johnny Depp, and the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer (2008).
For her work on screen, Kym was nominated in 2001 by the Costume Designers Guild of America's Best Costume Award for The Matrix, and won the guild’s award for Best Commercial Costume Design in 2002. The same year she was nominated for a best costume design Golden Satellite Award for her work on From Hell and in 2007 she was nominated for excellence in costume design for the fantasy film Eragon.
For TOTEM, Kym’s designs reflect many facets of the creation and evolution of life and the development of civilizations on earth. Her work also encompasses the cycle of the seasons.
“Although TOTEM is quite fantastical, there’s also a sense of reality,” says Kym. “The costumes were inspired in part by documentary film. I wanted them to have a kind of documentary patina, even though we were inventing our own reality.”
Kym Barrett was born in Brisbane, Australia.