London-based costume hire business Angels, currently in its seventh generation, has been presented a special award at the Baftas in honour of its services to the film industry.
Held at London’s Royal Opera House last week, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded Angels Costumes with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.
After collecting the award from Cate Blanchett, chairman Tim Angel said: “We’ve built a world class family business around a passion for clothes. But people behind the scenes are rarely recognised, so receiving this Bafta is simply wonderful.”
Founded in 1840, Angels Costumes was set up by a German Jewish immigrant who set up as a clothes-maker but stumbled upon the idea for costume rental after an actor asked to loan a costume rather than purchase one outright.
Dame Pippa Harris, chair of Bafta’s Film Committee, said she could not think of a more deserving recipient of the award after noting that the firm’s reputation stretches back further than the existence of film itself.
This year alone, Angels has supplied costumes to several films nominated for Baftas, including Cinderella, The Danish Girl and Bridge of Spies. In total films they have worked on have secured 32 Oscars and 34 Baftas for best costume.
From their humble beginnings, Angels’ costume collection has snowballed to more than one million items on eight miles of rails, all neatly catalogued according to genre, period and size.
In addition to keeping up pace with developments in the entertainment industry, Angels now retails mass-produced fancy dress goods on its website, auctions occasional famous items and runs guided tours of its warehouse and workshops.
The business does not disclose financial figures.