Bhanu Rajopadhye Athaiyas name is synonymous with costume design in Hindi films. She began her career in the 1940s as a fashion designer for Fashion & Beauty and Eves Weekly. The growing popularity of her sketches led to requests by actors and producers to design costumes for their films. Thus in the early 1950s she took the decision to start on a career of film costume design. Bhanu was the first Indian to be awarded the Oscar for her work in Lord Richard Attenboroughs Gandhi. Her work has been shown at the Festival of India, New York, and she has received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the South Asian International Film Festival in 2005. She was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, recognizing her contribution to the aesthetics of Indian cinema.Bhanu spent her formative years in Kolhapur, and graduated from the Sir J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai, where she won a gold medal. Later she went to France on a French government scholarship to study art, culture and cinema. She has traveled extensively in cities like Tokyo, Moscow, Leningrad, London, Paris, Rome, New York and Los Angeles to study the best in art and culture. She has also visited Samark and Bukhara and Tashkent to research for the joint venture films Ajooba and Ali Baba Aur 40 Chor.
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