Roman life gets a makeover at Chichester College

October 5, 2016

A group of Chichester College students are starting an exciting year-long project which will see them taking a step back in time.

The 12 students, all in their second year of a BTEC diploma in production arts hair and make-up, will be working with staff and volunteers at Fishbourne Roman Palace to recreate styles that would have been seen during the palace’s heyday.

The year-long work experience project will involve the students creating hair styles, make up designs and wigs – including fake facial hair – for actors to use for a special event at the palace in April.

And they took their first steps earlier this month with a special tour around the palace, focusing on Roman hair and make-up.

During the visit, some of the students including Megan Churchill were invited to ‘become Romans’ by donning some of the traditional outfits worn during the period.

Megan said: “It was really interesting to see the palace and to experience something so historic. It will definitely give us a better understanding for our project and for our course.

“It put what we’ll be doing in context and how important it is that we get the looks right.”

Imogen Yates added: “They explained all about what they used to do and it was really interesting, like using squashed flies to make mascara – we won’t be doing that!”

Over the coming weeks and months, the students will be visiting the palace to further research the era as well as support the staff and volunteers.

Julie Davis, Deputy Head of Learning for Apprenticeships Service Industries, said: “Studying the history of hair and beauty is an important part of their course, and this will give them a real insight into the past.

“I think we were all a little surprised to find out some of the things the women of the past used to make their make-up – it wasn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds.

“We’re really grateful to the team at the palace for giving our students this opportunity and it’s one I think we’re all looking forward to.”

Katrina Burton, Head of Learning at the Palace, added: “We have so many sources of evidence for authentic make-up ingredients and fashionable Roman hairstyles, but there is nothing quite like recreating the look for real.

“We’re looking forward to working with the students from Chichester College over the coming year as they strive to bring Roman hair and beauty to life!”