Cinema


Art and Design in the Life of Bhanu Athaiya: Realizing a Dream By Gayatri Sinha

As a girl born into the priestly class of pandits from the royal house of Kolhapur in 1929, Bhanumati Rajopadhye may have appeared as an unlikely instigator of dramatic change in the sphere of mass aesthetics. But it is no exaggeration to say that she led the nation’s gaze in the appreciation of feminine beauty, mined the country’s craft and couture traditions, and created waves in the worlds of fashion and consumer desire. One of the questions around Bhanu Athaiya’s vast oeuvre is how do we address her art in the context of her work in cinema and vice-versa.

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Art and Design in the Life of Bhanu Athaiya: Realizing a Dream By Gayatri Sinha

Bharat through the lens of Bhanu Athaiya: A recap

'Bharat through the lens of Bhanu Athaiya' celebrates the doyenne of costume design Bhanu Rajopadhye Athaiya, and her exemplary vision of India. The exhibit delved into the essence of India embodied by Bhanu's iconic costume designs crafted for Indian cinema. A trailblazer in defining the aesthetics of a new India through her creations, Bhanu left an indelible mark on cinema. Her remarkable work graced films like Amrapali, Waqt, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Sangam, Gandhi, Lagaan, Swades, and more. An extension and continuation of the first Bhanu Athaiya exhibit shedding light on Bhanu's artistic and cinematic achievements in Delhi, the exhibit in Goa aimed to rediscover the roots of India through the eyes of a visionary costume designer Bhanu Rajopadhye Athaiya. 

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Bharat through the lens of Bhanu Athaiya: A recap

Bhanu's Stunning Designs for the First Calico Fashion Show of 1958

Fashion is a vibrant and ever-evolving art form that reflects the spirit of an era. In the annals of Indian fashion history, one event stands out as a pivotal moment in time – the first Calico fashion show of 1958. In 1958, Bhanu Athaiya was invited by Ebrahim Alkazi to design the first traveling promotional fashion show in independent India for Calico Mills. This event took place at the "India '58" Trade Fair in New Delhi, making it a pivotal moment in Indian fashion history.

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Bhanu's Stunning Designs for the First Calico Fashion Show of 1958

Bhanu Athaiya: to win an Oscar

Bhanu Athaiya won India its first Oscar in 1983 for the film Gandhi in the Best Costume Design category.  As a child, Bhanu Athaiya was surrounded by the growing surge of Indian consciousness and the influence of Gandhi. People had taken to wearing khadi clothes and Gandhi caps. This first-hand influence of Gandhi in her life was something she could not have developed with any amount of reading or research. Richard Attenborough, a foreign film director, came to India to make a film on Gandhi after 17 years of visiting the country repeatedly. He appointed Bhanu as the film's costume designer.

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Bhanu Athaiya: to win an Oscar

The Legacy of Bhanu Athaiya Exhibit 2023

Following the opening of The Legacy of Bhanu Athaiya exhibit was an insightful discussion between stalwarts Ritu Kumar (Textile Historian and Fashion Designer) and Kiran Nadar (Founder and Chairperson KNMA). H.H. MAHARANI Radhika Raje Gaekwad of Baroda inaugurated the event and fondly spoke of her learnings while documenting and intensively researching the legacy of India's most globally renowned costume designer Bhanu Rajopadhye Athaiya. Click here to watch the video. 

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The Legacy of Bhanu Athaiya Exhibit 2023

Yesteryear actor Tanuja on Bhanu Athaiya

Actor Tanuja narrates Bhanu Athaiya's transition from art to Indian cinema while carrying her love for art on her sleeve. Lovingly addressed by Bhanu as 'Tanu', the actor reminisces about Bhanu's eagerness to delve into the actor's role before designing her costumes.

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Yesteryear actor Tanuja on Bhanu Athaiya

Bhanu Athaiya: Early days in Kolhapur

Bhanu Rajopadhye Athaiya (b. 1929) was born in her 300-year-old sprawling ancestral house in the heart of Kolhapur. Bhanu grew up surrounded by indigenous and western political, social and cultural influences. Her ability to translate all this information into the medium of cinema and art made her the first Indian ever to win an Oscar. Bhanu Athaiya is not only recognised as the revered doyenne of Indian costume designers; but also a remarkable modernist artist.

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Bhanu Athaiya: Early days in Kolhapur

Lalitha Lajmi's notes on Guru Dutt and her childhood

Lalitha Lajmi an Indian painter recalls her childhood days and memories with late filmmaker and brother Guru Dutt in these handwritten notes. These notes give us an insight into the influences that led her to nurture her passion for art and cinema. Read on to know more. 

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Lalitha Lajmi's notes on Guru Dutt and her childhood

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