Designer Bhanu Athaiya: The look of Mahabharat will revive Indian handicrafts

The Oscar-winning costume designer has been roped in as a consulting faculty for the look of the upcoming mythological show Mahabharat

Bhanu Athaiya believes the mythological show will help in the revival of Indian handicrafts and traditional weaves.

The 85-year-old has said that ancient techniques have been used to create various looks for the Mahabharat. “I’m really delighted to be a part of such a huge TV venture. The entire look of Star Plus’ Mahabharat will revive Indian handicrafts and traditional weaves. Different ancient techniques have been used to achieve the various looks,” said Athaiya.

It was vital to pay attention to detail for a show which delves into history. “A lot of bright coloured silks, handlooms, gold and jewellery structured embroidery patterns have been used. My team and I were very meticulous about every detail to remain true to the character. We have worked hard on designing this show and I’m sure our effort will translate beautifully to the audiences,” she added.

Athaiya won the Academy Award for best costume design for her work in the 1982 film Gandhi. For the work on Mahabharat, she will be joined by stylist-designer Nidhi Yasha.

Yasha has worked on several other mythological shows including Devon Ke Dev… Mahadev, and she has also designed for Karisma Kapoor-starrer film Dangerous Ishhq. She undertook proper research for her new project. “It took a study of over 450 books related to period textiles, costume and jewellery and four years of hardwork to arrive at the current look and feel of the show. An extensive study on jewellery structures according to ethnicity, fabrics, drapes and costume was undertaken. There was always so much to learn, experiment, explore as the subject of Mahabharat is exhaustive and designing characters summing up to over 100 was challenging, but very rewarding,” said Yasha.

The epic drama Mahbharata will go on air on September 16 on Star Plus.

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