Mumbai: Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, India's first Oscar victor, died at her home on Thursday after prolonged illness, her daughter said.
A 20-year-old engineering student in Vijayawada was brutally murdered on Thursday by a man whose proposal she had turned down.
Designing costumes for Gandhi was tough, she said, because it was hard to capture the look over decades of his life with no access to the internet for inspiration. She followed it up with Guru Dutt's CID (1956), and went on to become a part of his core team, doing Pyaasa in 1957, Chaudhvin Ka Chand in 1960, and Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam in 1962. She will always be an inspiration to all costume designers n stylists.
Bhanu Athaiya's body of work as a costume designer also includes films such as Swades, Prem, 1942: A Love Story, Agneepath, Karz, Mr. Natwarlal, Jaani Dushman among others.
Global icon Priyanka Chopra Jonas took to her social media handles today to remember legendary costume designer, Bhanu Athaiya who passed away on Thursday morning in her sleep as she suffered from mild fever and cold, likely to be pneumonia, as per the designer's daughter, Radhika Gupta.
Gandhi received many nominations at the BAFTA and for the Oscars.
In 2012 she returned her trophy to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for safe-keeping.
The only Indian woman to win an Oscar, she continued to work well into her seventies and was honoured with the National Film Award for her work in the 1991 mystery "Lekin". Her father was a painter and she was the third of seven children. She was proud that she had trained as an artist in the prestigious J J School of Art in Mumbai in the 1950s. She soon quit art altogether, and was accused by her peers of turning "commercial".
"The work on Gandhi is closest to my heart", she said.
She shared an Oscar for her work on a biopic about Mahatma Gandhi in 1983. She left because she needed to make a living; it was a choice to go into fashion and then costume design, as these would allow her to be financially independent. But for the evergreen Brahmachari chartbuster, "Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke Charche", I was told I had to wear a saree and we sat together for an hour-and-ahalf, with her sketching various designs on her pad till she finally came up with a dress-saree. Athaiya's ethnic knowledge and research were tremendous, she said, and recalled her mother travelling to Ajanta and Ellora to research Amrapali's costumes. During her healthier years she was "unstoppable", she said.
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