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London’s oldest fancy-dress shop, Angels, has closed its West End doors

Laura Richards

Known as a supplier of elaborate costumes for stage and screen as well as for its queues out the door and round the block ahead of Halloween each year, Angels Fancy Dress on Shaftesbury Avenue has been a feature in the city since 1840. But news broke at the weekend that the fancy-dress shop and costumier has closed the doors to its West End HQ as a result of rising rents. 

The family-run firm claims to have been priced out of the area, shutting up shop in central London and moving the store temporarily to its warehouse in Hendon while it searches for a new permanent site.    

Angels Fancy Dress was established by Daniel Angel, a tailor who arrived in London from Frankfurt in 1813. Over the years, the five-storey temple to flamboyant clothing passed through seven generations of the Angel family and fitted costumes for many a famous face – from pulling together Kit Harington’s ‘Game of Thrones’ look to kitting out the Beckhams with their trick-or-treating garb.

The Angel family are now on the hunt for new premises to, hopefully, keep them where they belong: in the heart of London’s Theatreland. 

See the creepy costumes we unearthed when we raided Angels’ archives a few years ago.

Get kitted out in second-hand garms in the capital’s best vintage boutiques.

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