Friends of Swarovski

There’s something about bling…

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There’s something about bling that’s understated. Certainly, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor would argue that being a daylight disco ball is no oddity in the slightest – and I very much advocate that cheer squad of self-expression. But, as the case may be (and very much is), one might tend more towards a Jackie Onassis. On the other hand, a lonesome multi-faceted accessory is hardly a sparkle party as it should be. And so, among other things, women find themselves battling with whether or not to wear that cuff, or to buy that ring, or to add that charm, because if it’s more than a hundred it needs to be a staple, right? And Coco Chanel says to take one thing off before you leave the house, right? And any bling that isn’t a 7 carat diamond just looks tacky in large quantities, right?

And yet, I still believe that bling can be quietly chic. Perhaps not the Gaga-encrusted variety, but as I’ve come to realise over the first year of my twenties, understatement is wholly dependent on the context. A lot of sparkle dispersed across all limbs and extremities can brighten your day as much as eight hours of sleep, but not so much that . Select your weapons carefully: a few fine chains to layer (one alone is a little middle-aged for me), a watch with just a little fun on its face, chain mail earrings in a matte coated crystal that only catches that light if you’re hair-tossing for attention, and a hard-rocked cuff with a smooth metallic canvas. And, even when all’s said and done, there’s no need to avoid colour or even prints (as evidenced above) – perhaps the printed pyjama co-ords should wait till tomorrow, but throw a little denim, leather, or tweed in the mix and the rest is nobody’s business.

Et voilà: just in the nick of time for a midweek energy bunny, I’m very (very) excited to share this project I’ve been working on with the incomparable team at Swarovski for the coming season. Though my book-bound self is yet to head into a store, if you stop by your local Swarovski store, I’m told that you’ll see these self-snaps up as VM posters and product cards – take a selfie and Tweet/Instagram at me if you beat me to it (which is likely)! You’ll be forgiven if you choose Miranda instead… she’s much better versed in selfies than I.

Some styling references, should you wish to DIY:

Look 1: Swarovski Vi Necklace, Sara Phillips Blazer, Versace Lipstick

Look 2: Swarovski Vala Phone Case and Necklaces, April, May Shirt, SABA Coat, Nobody Denim Jeans

Look 3: Swarovski Vi Necklace, Octea Chrono Watch and Voile Bangle, ELLERY Blazer, Lorna Jane Crop, Tibi Leather Pants

Look 4: Swarovski Fit Dark Pierced Earrings, TOPSHOP Boutique Dress, Versace Lipstick

Look 5: Swarovski Jet Hematite Earrings, Venetie Double Bracelet as necklace, Venetie Bangle, Octea Chrono Watch, and Vittore Rings, TOPSHOP Boutique DressYesStyle Leather Jacket

Shot by yours truly on Nikon D600 with 85mm and 150-500mm


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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