(Last Updated on : 03-05-2012)
A veteran costume designer, Bhanu Athaiya is the first Indian to receive an Academy Award, for her work in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi. Her perfection and meticulous approach to work have helped to bring recognition to costume designing, a hitherto neglected aspect of filmmaking in India.
Athaiya completed her graduation from the JJ. School of Art, Bombay, with a gold medal and was nominated as a member of the influential Progressive Art Group. After freelancing as a fashion illustrator for women's magazines, she began to design costumes for films. Athaiya made significant contribution in one of her earliest successes, Shri 420, where she designed for Nadira with a figure-hugging gown in the song Mud mud ke na dckh. The song went on to become an incredible hit and celebrated Nadira as Hindi cinema's leading seductress. It was Athaiya who offered the actress Sadhana in tight-fitting salwar-kameez, setting a fashion style that lasted until 1970s.
Athaiya pays meticulous attention to the character she is dressing and the historical setting of the film. This accounts for the significant approval she has won for such period dramas as Reshma Aur Shera, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Gandhi. Her costumes for Gulzar in Lekin won Athaiya the National Film Award for Best Costume Designer in 1990.
Athaiya's recent successes include Jabbar Patel's docu-drama Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Aamir Khan's Lagaan, a period drama that won her another National Award. Athaiya has also done costumes for several television serials and plays.
Filmography of Bhanu Athaiya
||Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
||Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar
||Reshma Aur Shera