Neverending Story

In which I am most certainly not naked.

Perception is something that often comes up in creatives’ conversations. During my first week of veganism earlier this year, my dear friend Nina said surely surely I loved turkey too much to actually be a vegan? It was just for Instagram, right?* Online profiles are often accused of having perfect lives (when really who wants post a selfie, jetlagged and chained to one’s computer at 3am?). Celebrities with good managers will start posting Twitpics of themselves at the gym (staged or not) as soon as eating disorders surface. And just yesterday, my Mum was telling me about a Chinese news anchor friend whose doorman thought for three years that her bedraggled 4am exits and glamorously made-up 8am returns translated to being a high class escort – he finally caved to curiosity and asked her last week what exactly it was that she did. The few minutes following were exceptionally awkward.

But imagine if he’d never asked, cried Mum. He’d go on forever thinking she were that sort!

She eyed me carefully. No more bikinis on Instagram, she said. People might start thinking you’re an actress.

I spent the next half hour crying from laughter and trying to make the logical connection between two pieces and silver screens – I got as far as Cameron Diaz circa Charlie’s Angels… and maybe Maggie Q’s monokini in Nikita.

But as always, Mother knows best. And she had a point. It’s the rashest, most spontaneous of decisions that can come back and kick you (and potentially your career) in the face in  two decades’ time when you actually have a family and self-respect. And, as much as the world’s most scandalous mistakes can, in this day and age, be transformed into explosive press, that’s the fame game – not credibility. Moral of the story: consider how much the number of likes on your cleavage display Instagram is actually worth.

Now, why the prelude? Because when shooting this shoulder-up at some ungodly hour of the morning, I was in fact wearing this dream of a silver croc strapless situation that Toni so kindly let me wear for my Law Ball (née event styling/managing feat of the year – I have never seen, and hope not to see again, so much table confetti in my life), I did not foresee that I would appear to be stark naked.

But fear not, Mother dear.

I’m no news anchor.

And photos of the dress will surface here in due time.

Meanwhile, the obscene quantity of crystal and glass on my head surely makes up for any lack of fabric.

In other breaking news, it’s been such a long time since I played with photo work after dark – this time I taped one of those weird fibre tinsel Christmas things to the top of my lens.

Boom: sparkle snow.

The Dark Horse X Sarina Suriano Ear CuffASOS Headband

* Nope – cold turkey, Neens… cold turkey…


Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

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