November 9th, 2020
Creator of what is surely the most iconic men’s hairstyle to come this way since the mohawks of the punk era, Loz Schiavo has come a long way since she arrived in Europe on a backpacking trip from her native Melbourne. After a stint in UK hair salons, she found herself back in film and TV – much to the joy of the fans of Tommy Shelby and the Peaky Blinders. With three nominations under her belt, she finally nailed her well-deserved BAFTA Craft award for the Birmingham-based show that has taken the ratings by storm. Warpaint caught up with her soon after her win.
WP. Where did you train?
LS. I trained as a hairdresser in Melbourne, Australia. I did a four-year apprenticeship, then after that I did my makeup course in Melbourne also.
WP. What, or who, inspired you to become a hair and makeup artist?
LS. This is an odd one – I used to watch Channel 10 and see the hair and makeup credits every Friday and I used to say to my mum, “I can do that, I want to do that,” and say that I could do the same.
WP. Congratulations on your BAFTA Craft win for Peaky Blinders. What do you think set your work apart and helped you win?
LS. Thank you so much; it’s very exciting. After two other nominations, it’s great to finally achieve this, other than people probably thought, “Give it to this girl. She’s created a world that no one else has before. Peaky’s look is so clean and sharp and original.”
WP. Did you feel any pressure as the show grew in popularity to the cult status that it’s now achieved?
LS. I’ve started to only feel the pressure in Series 5, where on Insta etc they were asking what hair Tommy was wearing this year but I quickly forgot this. I have ideas of the sort of haircuts in my mind but it’s only once I start to cut that’s when it gets created – as it could change once I start cutting.
WP. Which was your favourite character look to work on and create?
LS. I love creating all of the characters, love doing the women and changing their styles according to how they’ve changed as characters. I do love creating Tommy’s look, as it’s the forefront of everything.
WP. What are the challenges of working on period pieces?
LS. Challenges are that it’s a period which has been set out in books etc, so I like to look at the styles then put my own twist to it. People sadly are very quick to say this is not period!
WP. Which do you prefer makeup or hair and why?
LS. Mmm, I love both. I love creating the whole thing! But I guess hair is my forte.
WP. Is there a project, director or actor you would love to work with and why?
LS. I would love to work with Clint Eastwood or Pedro Almodóvar. I would have loved to work with any of the Old School actors like Sidney Poitier or the tv sirens of the ‘30s.
WP. What are your hero products?
WP. With the industry being faced with such challenges at the moment, what is your advice for someone graduating now?
LS. I say to the students, keep learning!!! Keep pushing and don’t let this hiccup ruin your confidence. The industry will come back so there will be work around, so sit tight and keep learning.
Images courtesy: Laura Schiavo and Organic Publicity Co.
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