How I came to be Margaret while my kid brother ended up with a boss-ass name like Major Zhang (yes, that is his real name; yes he is much cooler than I) is a short and unremarkable tale. Major’s Chinese name is 章权 (zhāng quán). In the most literal sense, the first character (our surname) relates to books, chapters, officiating stamps and seals, and in the right context, octopus – otherwise known as my favourite emoji. 权 means power. Ergo, Major Zhang and a beautiful existence of being a bonafide homie.
Meanwhile the latter of my motherland moniker in 章凝 (zhāng níng) translates to something in the realm of coagulation, condensation, cohesion, and other similarly charming terms of endearment and/or insignias of breathtaking beauty. You (by which I mean my parents) might take some
figurative liberties to arrive at an English equivalent of say… precipitation of knowledge… with a vague footnote referencing the ocean.
A pearl of wisdom, you might say. I would indulge that with ba doom tsh, but I’m not even joking when I say that Mama and Ba Zhang looked up eponymous synonyms to “Pearl” in a name dictionary, and destined me to a life of great posture and Little Britain witticisms.
If I had been a boy, I was to be called Malcolm – disciple of Saint Columba, slayer of Macbeth.
I’m just going to leave that one there.
Cue visual segue into my subconscious personal affinities to this pearl campaign I shot slash directed for Kailis one rainy day in Brooklyn.
Jest aside, Anh and Alexandra really are such dream women for me to have shot. Both are such focused individuals with open minds to the shifting shapes of art and culture, without compromising their own perspectives and sense of self. Both know their faces and bodies so well, which (need I say it again) makes for smooth sailing on a set like this with loopy creatives like yours truly, throwing out garbled instructions on body contortion and the ideological reasons as to why your face might be buried in your pearl-adorned hands.
Once in a while (truly – only once in a while), a shoot will manifest exactly as you’d visualised. And of these rare instances, it can almost always be attributed to perfect set chemistry.
Thank you team for this glorious day.
PHOTOGRAPHY & STYLING // MARGARET ZHANG
HAIR // TAKUYA SUGAWARA
MAKE UP // KATIE HUGHES
CINEMATOGRAPHY // DAISY ZHOU
MODELS // ALEXANDRA AGOSTON + ANH DUONG @ IMG
PRODUCER // SAMANTHA BENNETTS
PHOTO ASSIST // ADAM MANTELL
DIGITAL OPERATOR // SEAN GREENE
STYLING ASSIST// EMMA SOUSA