Anu Vardhan, celebrated Indian costume designer, known for her transformative and authentic costume designs in iconic films like "Kabali" and "Asoka."
Women In Business

Anu Vardhan: Mastering the Art of Costume Design in Indian Cinema

Anu Vardhan, a prominent Indian costume designer and entrepreneur, has made an indelible mark in the world of Indian cinema with her exceptional talent for creating stunning and authentic costumes. Her journey into the film industry, underpinned by a solid background in visual communications, has been nothing short of remarkable, culminating in an estimated net worth of $6 million.

Early Life and Education

Born into a family with deep roots in the entertainment industry, Anu Vardhan is the granddaughter of veteran Tamil actor N. S. Krishnan. She pursued her education in visual communications at Loyola College in Chennai, where she laid the groundwork for her future career in costume design.

Anu Vardhan, celebrated Indian costume designer, known for her transformative and authentic costume designs in iconic films like “Kabali” and “Asoka.”

A Multifaceted Talent in the Film Industry

Anu Vardhan’s foray into the film industry began with the critically acclaimed film “The Terrorist” (1997), directed by her family friend Santosh Sivan. In this film, she showcased her versatility by not only designing costumes but also contributing as a scriptwriter and making her acting debut, playing a friend of the lead character portrayed by Ayesha Dharker.

Her career took a significant leap with her collaboration with Santosh Sivan on the historical epic “Asoka” (2001). As the Principal Costume Designer, Anu’s extensive research and dedication to her craft were evident as she meticulously prepared 3rd-century period costumes for the film’s leading actors, Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor.

A defining aspect of Anu Vardhan’s career has been her collaboration with renowned actor Ajith Kumar. She has consistently delivered captivating and authentic costumes for several projects directed by Vishnuvardhan and Siva.

Defining Moments and Critical Acclaim

One of the pivotal moments in Anu Vardhan’s career came in 2016 with her work on “Kabali.” In this film, she styled the legendary Rajinikanth in two distinct looks – a gangster adorned in high-end suits and a laborer from the 1980s. Her exceptional work in “Kabali” received widespread appreciation and garnered numerous awards, solidifying her reputation as a top-tier costume designer.

The success of “Kabali” led to her collaboration with director Pa. Ranjith on his next film with Rajinikanth, “Kaala” (2018). For this film, Anu was tasked with primarily dressing the actor in kurtas and lungis, with a black-themed wardrobe.

Anu Vardhan’s innovative use of handloom products in her work deserves special mention. She designed silk-cotton saris for Nayanthara, which gained immense popularity and sparked a demand for similar products. She continued to craft costumes using similar materials for Nayanthara in films like “Bigil” (2019) and “Darbar” (2020).

Personal Life and Collaborations

Anu Vardhan’s personal life is intertwined with the world of Indian cinema. She is married to film director Vishnuvardhan, whom she met at Loyola College. The couple first worked together on Santosh Sivan’s “The Terrorist” (1997).

With a career filled with remarkable accomplishments and a reputation for meticulous attention to detail, Anu Vardhan continues to be a driving force in the world of costume design. Her work exemplifies the transformative power of costumes in creating authentic and captivating characters on the silver screen, making her a respected figure in the Indian film industry.



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