Costume house that has serviced films from Hitchcock to Hammer and Harry Potter to receive honourary BAFTA.

Tim Angel

Angels Costumes is to receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House on Feb 14.

Now in its 175th year, Angels Costumes is the world’s longest-established and largest professional costume house, and has worked with film luminaries including Alfred Hitchcock, Powell and Pressburger, David Lean, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg on features from the Ealing Comedies, films produced by Gainsborough Studios and Hammer, to the Carry On films, Bond, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Harry Potter.   

The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award is presented annually in honour of film producer Michael Balcon and previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Mary Selway, Ridley and Tony Scott, Working Title Films, Lewis Gilbert, the Harry Potter series of films, John Hurt, Peter Greenaway and Tessa Ross. Last year’s recipient was BBC Films.  

Dame Pippa Harris, chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “It’s extraordinary to think that [Angels Costumes] has been in existence longer than BAFTA or indeed cinema itself. It remains at the very heart of our industry, supplying iconic costumes for a remarkable range of films from Doctor Zhivago and Chariots of Fire to Shakespeare in Love and Gladiator, as well as this year’s Cinderella and The Danish Girl.”

Tim Angel, chairman of Angels Costumes, said: “I am delighted that Angels’ contribution to film has been recognised by BAFTA, not just for the Angel family, but also for the incredibly talented people that have worked for the company over the years.

“To have been at the heart of the British and international film industry from the very start is an incredible achievement, and we are all honoured to play a role in its continued growth. As cinema has evolved and changed, so too has Angels, and we are looking forward to seeing what the next hundred years of film will bring!”

With a collection that spans eight miles of hanging rails, and is made up of over 1 million items of clothing, Angels provides costumes for theatre, TV, film, photo shoots, advertisements and music videos.  

Established in 1840, Angels is a seventh-generation family business, led by chairman Tim Angel, who has also served as chairman of BAFTA and a governor of the BFI.

This year, Angels supplied costumes to several films nominated at the BAFTAs, including Cinderella, The Danish Girl, Bridge of Spies and The Lady in the Van.

Angels has worked on numerous productions that have won a BAFTA or Oscar for Best Costume, including: Hamlet (1948), Gigi (1958), Doctor Zhivago (1965), A Man for all the Seasons (1966), Oh What a Lovely War (1969), Star Wars (1977), Chariots of Fire (1981), The Last Emperor (1987), Henry V (1989), The English Patient (1996), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Vera Drake (2004), La Vie en Rose (2007), The Duchess (2008), The Young Victoria (2010), Alice in Wonderland (2011), Anna Karenina (2012), The Great Gatsby (2013), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2015).