Model Madness

April 29th, 2016

April 29th, 2016

In our time at Warpaint we’ve heard of some wild ideas, but when we heard that The Iver Academy had teamed up with Top Model UK & Worldwide for their model search competition, the stakes were unbelievably high.  Challenged with creating 1080 different looks across two days for the aspiring models, the 24 hair and make-up students had a real challenge facing them.  We checked in with the team after the event to see how they got on.


Christine demonstrates a look for the Iver team

A fantastic opportunity for the Iver Academy students to test their mettle and speed, the event was organised by Christine Vidler, the Creative Director at Top Model UK and Academic Consultant at Iver Academy.  A BBC-trained hair and make-up artist herself, she has worked with everyone from Kate Moss and David Beckham to George Clooney and Dame Helen Mirren.


“Top Model UK and Worldwide is a model competition that I have been the Creative Director of for 7 years now,” Vidler explained.  “I design all the hair and make-up looks.  The show runs over a two day period and it is a very intensive 48 hours of work.  I took 24 very capable students and graduates of The Iver Academy with me whom I have taught.  Some of them worked with me during the pre-show trials when we tried out the looks and created the mood boards.  Most of the hair and make-up looks are included in the courses they had studied, some were new, but all based on techniques they have learnt.  It is a very intensive two days of hard work and my students always exceed my expectations.


“The main challenge for the students is interpreting my designs of make-up and hair to suit all skin tones and hair types.  We had models from all over the world competing.  The opportunity for the students is the experience of working backstage on a catwalk/fashion show at a very fast intensive pace.  All of my students, without exception, enjoyed the experience immensely – although they were pretty tired at the end but, at the same time, exhilarated. Well done Iver graduates and current students!”


Lara Pace and Katy Brown were two of the students who took part in this marathon event.  We caught up with them afterwards to find out how they managed their time and kept their cool.

We prepared beforehand and then arrived at 9am,” Lara explained.  “At 9:30 Christine did a demo, running through the looks that we’ll be doing on the models that day.  It took about an hour and a half to run through all the looks finishing in time to start preparing the models at around midday.  The models had been at the show for a couple of hours by that time to do run-throughs on the catwalk and make sure that they were fully prepared.  As soon as we were able to get the models in the chairs we started doing their hair and make-up.  They needed to be ready for 1:30pm with hair, make-up and nails done, dressed and ready to get onto the catwalk.  As soon as they finished their walk we started preparing them again for the next category – it was crucial that we prepared them in the right order so that no one was late to get back on the catwalk.”


Lara was very conscious of the compromise needed between time and quality.  “You always want the model to look their best but you don’t have the luxury of being able to spend hours perfecting your work as you do in the studio.  It was a hugely rewarding experience though – the advantage of Iver is that they give you practical hands-on experience for what is an incredibly practical industry.”


Katy worked hard to keep the consistency across the board, regardless of the time constraints.  “Making sure that you achieved the same look throughout each category was the hardest part.  The models can vary hugely in skin tone and hair-type so that is often quite a challenge.  It’s vital that the look stays the same, as ultimately the point of any catwalk is to show off the clothes rather than the models themselves; if the make-up and hair isn’t right or varies too much between the models then it draws attention away from the outfits.”

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By Deborah Murtha

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