Clothes maketh the movie

Bhanu Rajopadhyaye Athaiya, the doyen of costume design in Indian cinema, started her career in the 1940s. A gold medallist from Sir J. J. School of Arts, she moved on to become a fashion designer for Eve’s Weekly. Introduced to Raj Kapoor by Nargis, she entered the world of films. Her innovative and aesthetic work, deeply rooted in Indian tradition, and at the same time imbibing modern sophisticated design, has graced over fifty movies in Indian cinema. She was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

By far she is the best-known costume designer Indian cinema has had. Beginning her career in the black and white era of Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt, she moved on to the psychedelic sixties and seventies, when her designs for divas like Mumtaz, Sadhna and Vyjyanthimala were the fashion statements of the day. In the eighties, Bhanu created history by becoming the first Indian to win an Oscar for her work in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi. She continued lending her distinctive style in the next two decades, working for landmark films like Lagaan and Swades.

THE ART OF COSTUME DESIGN, published by Harper Collins, is a record of her achievements. Embellished with hundreds of photographs from the author’s meticulously preserved archives, and backed by her extensive experience in the industry and deep understanding of art history and culture, this unique book is a collector’s item for lovers of Indian cinema.

In our Film Studies section, in hardcover, 188 pages, Rs 2500, ISBN: 9788172239435