Angels Costumes

Chairman Tim Angel, Angels Costumes

A Jewish family business based in London has won a BAFTA for “outstanding contribution to British film” after dressing the stars for seven generations.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded Hendon-based Angels Costumes with the gong on Sunday, handing the 175-year old firm the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at London’s Royal Opera House. 

After collecting from Cate Blanchett, Chairman Tim Angel, a member of West London shul, told the audience at the Royal Opera House: “We’ve built a world class family business around a passion for clothes, heritage and excellence. But as behind the scenes people our contribution is not normally recognised so receiving such recognition from BAFTA is simply wonderful.”

He said the company “sends costumes around the world, brings international business to the UK and has launched careers in costumes and is committed to training young people in our industry”.

Angel paid tribute to his dad before thanking BAFTA for the “wonderful 175th birthday present”.

The company was set up in 1840 by a German Jewish immigrant who set up as a clothes-maker and who stumbled across the idea when an actor asked to rent a suit, rather than buy one.

It now has a 160,000 sq ft warehouse with over eight miles of costume rails, from where it stores, designs and makes outfits for films, most recently including The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Into The Woods, Mr Turner, The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl and Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie.

Previous classics including Doctor Zhivago, Chariots of Fire and Gladiator all owe their costumes to Angels, and BAFTA chairwoman Dame Pippa Harris said it was “extraordinary to think that the company has been in existence longer than BAFTA or indeed cinema itself”.

Previous recipients of the Outstanding Contribution award include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Mary Selway, Ridley and Tony Scott, Lewis Gilbert, the Harry Potter series, John Hurt, Peter Greenaway and Tessa Ross.