Monday 17 June 2019: Angels Costume Tour (Hendon)

My chosen rendez-vous point for the Angels Tour, the Midland Hotel, was in the right spot but sadly was not offering lunchtime food on the day. They were very apologetic and allowed us to bring in sandwiches from nearby, which some of us did, while others went to the KooKoo Cafe recommended by Rosie. Suitably refreshed, 16 of us gathered in Angels reception, to be met by our guide Mark who informed and entertained us for the next 2 hours. We started in Men’s tailoring, followed by Ladies’ dress making and alterations. We learnt that all alterations must be reversible, with extra material being built in to clothes to allow for this. Historical accuracy, whilst important, is often tempered by the budget or preferences of the costume designers who commission work from Angels. We visited the buttons and medals room, the jewellery and accessories room, and the refrigerated fur room, where Mark gave us a natural history lesson on the sex life of moths! We gazed in wonder at the vast warehouse containing 9.5 miles of clothes racks. Throughout it all, Mark treated us to entertaining anecdotes about the many productions they have worked on, always illustrated by amazing costumes. A fascinating afternoon and highly recommended.