While we in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying 80-90 degree temperatures here in the States, The Land Down Under is in the middle of another cool winter.
Not many Americans to to think about how our seasons are different from those in the Southern Hemisphere as we are busy wondering what Instagram photos from the pool or beach to post, what summer blockbuster movie to watch or what sporting event to tune in with our 200-plus channel-surfing lives.
What’s so funny and ironic is that whether it’s the hottest new men’s magazine, Hollywood summer hit or sporting event, Americans decide to settle on, chances are an Aussie is a part of it, or even center stage.
From Hugh Jackman in the critically-acclaimed Logan, Abbey Lee Kershaw in Mad Max: Fury Road on the silver screen to the likes of the curvy plus-size model Robyn Lawley slaying on the covers of Sports Illustrated and GQ. for a country that is in the middle of it’s cold season, OZ—as it is affectionately known—has a tendency of sending some hot exports abroad in the world of modeling.
Perhaps Australia’s hottest new American export is Nowry-born plus-sized fashion and commercial print model, Tia Provost.
With curves in all the right places and at a towering 5’9, the dark-haired Aussie model has posed for the likes of big brands such as Target, Australian-based trendy plus-size brand City Chic, lingerie brand Panache, Yours Clothing; Ulla Popken, Bond Eye and Byron Bay-based activewear line BAY (Byron Active Yoga)
Provost, who has modeled in editorial, commercial, swim, fashion, lingerie, live TV, runway is set to follow in the footsteps of her fellow plus-sized compatriots such as Bree Warren and the forementioned Lawley, thanks to her eye-catching shape and dark and exotic look.
Below is my Q and A with Tia as we discuss Australian winters, living in Los Angeles during the summer and how to look great this season.
Name: Tia Provost
Birthplace: Nowra, Australia
Modeling Agency: Bella Management
What kind of model do you consider yourself? (Instagram, pin-up/glamour, fashion): To be honest, I don’t label myself – I am a model. Full stop. I work in editorial, commercial, swim, fashion, lingerie, live TV, runway. I don’t label or pigeonhole myself into a category.
What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?: A wide variety of established and new up and coming brands. For example, Target; Myer; Plus Model Mag; Body and Soul Mag; City Chic; Panache; Yours Clothing; Ulla Popken; Best and Less; Big W; Muneca; Bond Eye; BAY (Byron Active Yoga)
I love meeting new people and modeling allows me to do that. Every day is a new team and slightly different to the last. It’s hard to say which one I enjoy working with the most because I have been extremely lucky with my regular clients and made some amazing relationships…I do have to give a shoutout to City Chic and Bond Eye here in Australia though – I love those teams to bits and its always such a joy to work with them!
Where has been your favorite place to shoot?: Anywhere on location! I am a massive nature lover. I feel really drawn and connected to water, calm and at peace in forests and the country. I have been extremely blessed that I got to shoot in my home town of Ulladulla for a magazine and it meant the world to me! My parents got to stop by and actually have a look at what I do, it was an amazing experience.
I went up to Byron Bay and did a shoot for BAY. We started the day on the beach and then finished at this stunning house up in the hills. I felt like I was on a nice little holiday! I’ve also been able to shoot at some awesome locations for City Chic campaigns. Like a night-time shoot in an abandoned train station in the middle of central Sydney, and this amazing home that had the most interesting design. I recently did a shoot in Naples as well- was in a studio but meant i could explore the city after!
What is the most exciting aspect of modeling? The travel, the chance to see amazing parts of the world that I wouldn’t necessarily get to otherwise. The challenge to bring to life another persons idea. I love seeing clients faces when they look at a shot and it’s their idea in front of their eyes, I love how their faces light up. Also, the fact that I get to work with amazing people and create something new and intriguing.
Since it is winter down there in Australia, what fashion and style tips and trends do you have for looking good when the temperature drops? I’m all about comfort and layers! I get hot really easily, so if I have different layers on I can control my body temp. Also I’m a firm believer that if you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing (and it fits you properly) then you aren’t fidgeting with or adjusting your outfit, which can draw peoples attention in a negative way. You want to be able to pop on your outfit and not have to touch it again. Plus majority of the time I’m out in nature or down at the beach so I wear what’s quick and easy and allows me to crawl around with my dog!
I love wearing dresses with a belt, jacket and ankle boots. Denim shorts with a loose crop/singlet top, unbuttoned shirt (that I can tie around my waist) and ankle boots. But my thongs are never far away!!! They tend to be what is always on my feet 😀
With summer here, what fashion and style tips do you recommend for look great? I’m really into crop tops at the moment with some denim shorts so I can still maneuver around easily while staying cool. I can never pass up a cute summer dress though! I am such a dress girl, long or short. I tend to pull my dress’s in at the waist with a belt.
Since being in LA, I’ve also started to get into long maxi skirts with splits up the sides and crop tops. I tend to try and get a few key pieces that I can work into different outfits, depending on where I’m going and what the occasion is. But honestly, it also comes down to what I’ll be cool and breathable in, because I get hot very easily!! When I’m buying something I look at the fabrics, and that most times can make or break a purchase for me. I find that if you throw on a cute pair of casual day heels, it can really lift and tie the outfit together – whether its super casual or not. So I have gotten into wearing some nice tan heels…although my Havi’s are always close by and on my feet whenever they can be!
As always – wear what you feel comfortable in, because then you will feel amazing and look great! Never try to wear something that you’re constantly having to adjust and because someone else has deemed it ‘fashionable’. Dress to suit your body. Dress for you! No one else. I personally find that people ‘look great’ when they’re are at ease with themselves.
What beachwear and swimwear trends do you see becoming big this season? I have noticed that a lot more butt is on display. The coverage has moved from the cheeks up to the lower back. There’s a lot more adventure in designs, for all sizes, which is amazing! People are choosing to wear what they want instead of being told what to. I do feel an old school flavor is coming into the designs with the high cut legs, while mixing it with the modern aspect of the low cut sides and back.
What defines confidence and sexy? Well, to me being confident, without being arrogant, is sexy. Passion starts from the inside out. Be passionate about everything you do. Think of the people that you find ‘sexy’ or ‘attractive’. What is it about that person that makes you so drawn to them?
They are charismatic, they are alright with joy and enthusiasm, they have that mischief glint in their eyes, that cheeky smile… It comes from knowing yourself. Accepting who you are on each level, not needing the validation from others. Being comfortable in your own skin, whatever shape that is.
Within the industry, who is your inspiration? –Peter Lindbergh. Every time I look at his work I feel like I’m looking at a piece of not just his soul but his muses also. I love what he did with the Pirelli calendar.
I also love Tim Walker and the visual feast he presents. There’s always something new to see in his images and I love the journey you go on while gazing upon them. To work with either of them would be such an incredible experience and moment.
What is your secret to staying in shape?: It all starts from within, what you fuel your body with, lots and lots of water and sleep! I eat loads of veggies and salads (leafy greens) I am gluten free, I stay away from diary and refined sugar, and I don’t drink or smoke.
I try to exercise my body when I can through yoga and body resistant exercises, but I love walking everywhere! So when I’m home ill take my dog out walking which feeds my soul with richness, being surrounded by nature and joy through watching my boy run wild.
Or if I’m in another country and time allows it I’ll just walk around, that way I’m moving my body and also experiencing the place. Plus stairs stairs stairs! I will always try to choose the stairs over a lift or escalator where I can – it’s great for when I’m going through airports! Allows me to stretch out my body while giving me a little hit of a workout.
Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?: I love being in the kitchen! My dad is an amazing cook and I grew up sitting at the bench watching him create his magic. So for me getting friends over and cooking for them brings back all these memories.
Also Latin dancing! I’m not a big clubber at all, I just want to go home to bed haha, but when I go somewhere that has salsa and bachata playing and the people around me hardly speak English – I feel so at home and want to stay out all night spinning around!…my legs will be killing the next day but its so worth it! (That’s also a great form of exercise!)
Travelling is a major one for me. I backpacked on and off for 3 years before I moved to London (where I started modeling) I always said that whatever I did had to allow me to travel – and I’ve stumbled upon my dream job! I love getting off the beaten track, to the small towns, experiencing all the different cultures out there and way of life.
What are your favorite cities to travel to?: I love Rome! It is such a beautiful city and it doesn’t matter how many time I go there I fall in love with it all over again. I could easily move there. The culture, the history, the food…its such a magical place. I always have a great time in NY too as I have an amazing bunch of mates there, so its always great getting to go see them and catch up. There is also something about that city at night time, an energy, a feeling…you can see why so many people write songs about it.
What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling? Test as much as you can! Get used to being in front of the camera. Digital photography shows up everything and if you are nervous, uncomfortable, not used to it – it will show! When I first got into modeling I tested as much as I could to get used to not just having a camera in my face but my body and how it moves. What works and what doesn’t.
You have to have thick skin. You are coming into an industry that is all about judging you on your appearance. You will be rejected – more times then what you’ll be accepted, and that’s ok! You need to be able to realise that they aren’t judging you personally or rejecting you personally, its about what they are looking for and you may just not fit that brief. I am extremely lucky that I can disconnect from work when I get home, and that I have an amazing support system around me in the form of friends and family that keep me grounded and looking at the bigger picture.
Stay true to you. Certain people in this industry will try to change you to fit a mold but ultimately you can only ever be the best version of yourself, and that is how you will be successful. Like everything there is good and bad. When it comes to which agency to join meet as many as you can and see who you vibe with, who you feel will work best with you.
Don’t be afraid to voice any thoughts concerns or issues you have, I still ask my bookers to clarify certain things if they aren’t on the brief so I can be as prepared as possible. But be ready to meet some of the most lovely, kind, caring souls out there! Majority of my closest mates are people who I have met through the industry.
Special thanks to Tia and Katherine Taylor of Bella Management for their time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. Images used with permission and are the rightful property of their respective owners.