Actress Pia Miller distils her style down to its essence for her latest role. By Alice Birrell.
Pia Miller is reflecting, with a flicker of relief, that she now appreciates how precious people’s time is. “I didn’t really understand the gravity of a shoot being an entire production and I guess I took it for granted,” the Chile-born, Melbourne-raised actress remembers. It’s forgivable; she was in high school when she used to skip class (parent-sanctified) to dash back and forth to shoots to model. “I would rock up to work in my uniform, do a shoot, get back into my uniform and go to school.”
For her Vogue shoot, a life phase later, she commands a content maturity, something that might have a lot to do with starting young. Tawny-limbed, lithe, with a tumble of deep chocolate hair, it doesn’t take much of an effort to imagine her being that girl in school, everything happening for her. “I guess what it did more than anything was open my eyes to this idea that fashion is somebody’s expression,” she says of realising that style could be a valuable channel of selfexpression as a young itinerant model. It’s a notion in parallel with her main preoccupation, acting, which has seen her add to Home and Away’s television legacy as policewoman Kat Chapman. “We wake up and we put on our character every day and that has to do with how we dress,” she reflects.
Her modus operandi has been an ease synonymous with her home city of Melbourne. “I’m all jeans; I love a black trouser, a wide-leg pant … I have every type of white T-shirt you can imagine.” The cleanness of a monochrome palette and a masculine-feminine duality comes also from her mother, a former fashion designer. “Long lean lines, an oversized blazer, a man-style pant and then she would carry it with a silk blouse or silk cami.”
In her new role as Melbourne Fashion Week ambassador – adding to a Guerlain ambassadorship – Miller will draw on both the worlds she orbits. “I find that that’s something that translates between fashion and acting; pushing the boundaries as much as possible and then finding your own comfort space where you feel grounded and connected.” Melbourne Fashion Week runs August 31-September 7, beginning with Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out.
Pia Miller wears a Christian Dior dress, $9,600. Sit & Wonder necklaces, $349 each. Her own Akubra hat and Cartier bracelet. Christopher Esber dress, $1,100, from David Jones. Tiffany & Co. necklaces, $15,700 and $11,100. Vintage boots, $350, from Route 66.