Credit: Josie Clough

After a cold start to the morning of August 11, Palm Beach aptly turned on the sunshine for Australian label Kookai and their newest model ambassador, South African Jessica Buchanan. Today, they’re shooting their Swim campaign, an off-shoot of the fashion houses’ Spring/Summer 16/17 collection; tiled prints and a bold colour-way in reds, blues and a splash of pastel hues. Kookai, each time, can be relied upon to cast the perfect “cool” girl, one who is indie enough to still be classed a discovery but one dancing on the cusp of something much greater (think Sara Sampaio, Georgia Fowler, Megan Blake Irwin…) Swim needed an alluring model who fitted this bill, a woman who looked like she’d stepped off a beach in Capri (a la Dolce and Gabbana 2015 couture shows) and sported a year-long St Tropez tan. That woman was this week revealed as Buchanan, her favourite summer spot a little to right of Italy (Bali) but her tan all the same. GRAZIA chatted to the newest Kookai model (and yes, of course we asked about her enviable figure).

GRAZIA: Where would we find you in summer?

Jessica: “Me in summer? Well, I basically have summer all year round so you’ll find me, of course, on the beach or in Bali. My favourite place to visit there is Canggu.  

Where should we go if we find ourselves in Canggu?

“My favourite spot to hang out is definitely Crate Café and Deus. Lembongan has really nice and beautiful beaches.

Credit: Josie Clough

How do you stay in shape prior to a shoot?

“I tend to not drink anything fizzy. I don’t eat any pasta or bread a few days before because even though I love gluten, it bloats me ridiculously and takes me about a week to get back to normal. I drink a lot of water the following few days, because if I don’t that also bloats me. I’m a bloat queen!”

Most women have body hang-ups when they think about getting into a bikini, do you have any? And how do you get over them?

“I mean, of course I do. I’m a woman, we all do, we all have our moments. But I’m really short, that’s my hang-up. Like, if I wear a full piece I always feel shorter than I am. To me in my eyes, everything looks better on a taller girl. Surprisingly, people think I’m taller than I am and then they meet me and they’re like, ‘Wow, you’re really short!’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know. Shut up!’”

Credit: Jodie Clough

But you’re not too short. You’re five foot five, aren’t you?

“No. Like, that’s what it says on my card but not really. Close enough though!”

What style of swimwear suits you best?

“You know the ones that sit really high on your hips? I really love that. Anything that elongates my legs is a winner. Or a really small triangle top or something. Those are good. It was super nice to work with Kookai because their cuts and designs actually made my small little boobies look amazing.”

What’s your number one tip for achieving a bikini body?

“Self tan, definitely. If you don’t want to go to the beach, just fake it until it’s really there.

Credit: Josie Clough

You have beautiful South African skin though, surely your sun-kissed glow is always real.

“No! I have to stay a certain colour throughout the year because I have to appeal to both local and European markets. I’m generally too dark for European markets but that’s ok. But I do like to put on that little bit of extra glow. You know, obviously when you tan, you get a white bum and white boobs, but I like to cover that with some Pure Tan. I love that tan!”

Pure Tan is a good one, I’s quite a deep colour after just one application.

“Yeah, I put it on and it last me, like, a week. It’s a nice tan because it’s not too heavy. I use the gold one, not the black.”

Credit: Josie Clough

What’s your number one beach essential?

“A mandala to lay on.

Week-to-week, what physical exercise do you do to stay in shape?

“I do yoga. Any chance I can, any studio I can find depending on how long I’m staying, I’ll do yoga. I’m never in a place long enough to do go to classes but my favourite one if called Yoga Sculpt back home in Cape Town. It’s a combo of yoga and weight training which is really great for my body. And, as I mentioned, I try to stay away from white foods like pastas and breads. When I’m on the go, I have a really great app called Yoga Academy that keeps me motivated. 

What about on the plane when travelling? Any tips?

“I drink loads of water on the plane!”

Credit: Josie Clough