Sandy Powell makes history with BAFTA win
Sandy Powell made history as the first costume designer ever to receive the BAFTA Fellowship.
The 62-year-old designer has had a decades-long career in film and collected the lifetime achievement award at the 76th EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday (19.02.23) and despite having a fear of speaking in public, noted that she was so "honoured" to have been given the prestigious accolade.
Speaking live on stage at the Royal Festival Hall after being presented with the award by actress Cate Blanchett, she said: "Oh, this is overwhelming! A few weeks ago, I bumped into [actor] Bill Nighy on Bond Street and we discussed awards ceremonies and I expressed my fear of speeches. He said 'The best ones have a joke at the beginning, something meaningful at the end, and a brief in the middle.' So, thanks Bill! Here goes. That was the amusing bit. It really is a huge honour to be invited to join such an incredible group of filmmakers who have received this fellowship and an even greater one to be the first costume designer. I am most grateful for the generosity and guidance I have received throughout my life. From the primary school teacher who first encouraged me to paint, the mentorship and trust that I received from Derek Jarman in my early years, and the many brilliant collaborators I've had the great fortune to work with since."
Sandy - who has frequently worked with directors Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes and won Oscars for her designs on 'Shakespeare in Love', 'The Aviator' and 'The Young Victoria' - closed out her speech by dedicating the award to those who work in the fashion industry as she rhymed off a poetic list.
She added: "So thank you, BAFTA, I accept this fellowship on behalf of my community. The supervisors, assistants, coordinators, and PAs. The tailors, and cutters, the stitchers and buyers, the weavers, the knitters, the printers and dyers. The leather workers, the shoemakers, milliners, jewellers, the standbys, dressers, fitters and crew. In fact, everyone who makes this work possible."