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The Iver Makeup Academy at Fashion Undressed

SEEN attended the Fashion Undressed weekend recently, which hosted many topical and stylish talks, events and pop ups at the South Bank Centre. As well as a quick look in the Traid pop up store and listening to interesting talks in the Clore Ballroom on such subjects as plus-size issues in fashion, not to mention the catwalk shows, masterclasses, workshops and DJ sets; SEEN was keen to see what was going on with the Iver Academy showcase, right next to the ballroom.

SEEN attended the Fashion Undressed weekend recently, which hosted many topical and stylish talks, events and pop ups at the South Bank Centre. As well as a quick look in the Traid pop up store and listening to interesting talks in the Clore Ballroom on such subjects as plus-size issues in fashion, not to mention the catwalk shows, masterclasses, workshops and DJ sets; SEEN was keen to see what was going on with the Iver Academy showcase, right next to the ballroom. We were pleased to note a steady stream of ladies of all ages and ethnicities availing themselves of a free makeover, based on current beauty trends. This was a fantastic opportunity to see the Academy’s students hard at work.

The Iver Academy is based in Pinewood Studios, training the best and brightest students in the latest techniques and skills needed in their chosen career path within make-up and hairstyling for screen, theatre and fashion. All graduates then become members of the Iver Agency, which helps to secure work placements.

Extensive courses in make-up and hair artistry are available, from the very basics in these crafts to Character, SFX and Prosthetic application, Period Make-up, Hair and Wig work and all possible aspects of embellishment for actors and extras. Students also learn how do Make-up and Hairdressing for catwalks and fashion industry shows. Weekend, taster and portfolio preparation courses are also available.

The Academy prides itself on a high teacher to pupil ratio, guaranteeing highly personalised and intensive teaching. The tutors’ collective experience in film, TV, theatre, fashion and prosthetics ensures that students benefit from a wide range of disciplines. Tutors have worked on films as diverse in genre as Alice Through the Looking Glass and World War Z; TV shows Game of Thrones to Bad Education; Events like The Proms and London Fashion Week; stars and celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Thierry Henri, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss; Brands like Armani and Pirelli; and magazines Vanity Fair, Marie Claire and Hello!. With such a staggering array of experience in their tutors, the students are well prepared for careers within a highly competitive industry.

SEEN talked to Liz Tagg-Wooster, the award-winning principal of the Iver Academy, who is passionate that the students not only become proficient in the required skills but also develop themselves as team players. The film and TV industries are tight-knit places where a professional must be able to work easily with colleagues, and adapt to quickly changing situations.

It was gratifying to hear Liz say that she has a keen eye for potential talent. If an applicant doesn’t have the usual array of qualifications, then they can try out for a day to see if they have the inherent ability to benefit from the Academy’s teaching programme. Liz believes that university-based courses do not always provide the most rigorous vocational training for such a fiercely competitive business. For example, hairdressing takes up 50% of the job, yet university lectures in the subject usually take two hours, whereas a demo on the fitting of a bald cap takes four hours.

Liz is passionate about the disparity she sees between university and vocational training; it has to respond quickly to the demands of the industry. Europe has kept up the tradition of old-fashioned hairdressing (as opposed to UK training of basic cuts and colouring) and Liz wants to ensure that UK students develop the skill of dressing hair for period looks, or we run the risk of losing jobs to European professionals. In light of the post Brexit vote, this can only be the right initiative to take.

Matthew Vaughan, producer of The Kingsman and Kick-Ass once made the observation that the UK film industry, as it stands, is essentially a service industry to Hollywood, with many American productions taking advantage of favourable tax breaks for films shot in the UK. Liz, the tutors and the students at the Iver Academy are set to ensure that the very best hair and make-up skills remain industry leaders in the UK.

seen london Open Day - airbrushing application

seen london Open Day - finished look 1

seen london Open Day - make-up being applied

seen london Open Day - student making beard

The Iver Academy
Pinewood Studios
Iver heath
Buckinghamshire
SLO 0NH

T: 01753 659213
www.iveracademy.co.uk

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