Just a Moment

In sitting back, you notice the smallest things between people: a sense of what might have just happened, or is about to happen.

A new short for Tiffany & Co.

I am not an extrovert. I’m a trained extrovert, in the sense that I forced myself to become comfortable with public speaking, with debating, with meeting new people in unfamiliar social settings. But it doesn’t come naturally to me – I have no small-talk stamina to speak of, and I never learned to speak out of my diaphragm, so during high-traffic times like fashion week and the month of December, I inevitably lose my voice. As such, a would much rather be at home, reading in my kitchen window and catching the secondary decibels of raucous social interaction spilling out of comedy clubs and pizza parlours on the street below. When I find myself in a group dinner conversation at the end of a long work day, energy conservation takes priority over dominating the conversation.

Unless, of course, the topic is systemic racism. I always have room for that (and dessert).

I digress.

In sitting back, you notice the smallest things between people: how friction manifests in facial cues, how the pauses speak louder than the clamour to make a point, how different permutations of expressions can careen discourse from civil to nervously heated. Then, you retrospectively appreciate all the seemingly involuntary twitches of actors who can so artfully recreate those small pauses and translate them into the most profound emotions.

Now, that was not a precursor to a declaration of “getting out more” as 2018’s star New Year’s Resolution, though my agents tell me that I really should. More so food for thought, and some cognitive context for my first motion work of the year: a speechless short for Tiffany & Co. that you might have seen floating amongst the Presidential/Superbowl/Kylie-baby noise this week on GRAZIA and/or VOGUE.

For reasons I can’t remember, I read the script of Manchester by the Sea before I got around to watching the film on a plane to or from Singapore, and the first half was honestly a very, very slow read. It wasn’t boring. It just wasn’t eventful. I understood the use of monotony as a foil for trauma, but couldn’t really visualise the impact of monotony on its own. But then, several Oscars later (and if you haven’t watched it make that a New Year’s resolution, if nothing else), we understand that it’s the awkward, pained in-betweens that made it powerful.

For most of last year, I thought I was creatively frustrated by the attention span (and so timing) limitations that come with directing fashion shorts. And yet, I feel that my focus in this piece, though only for thirty seconds (“a sense of what might have just happened, or is about to happen“), speaks much greater volumes than a lot of my slightly longer pieces have. In hindsight, this is stripping back is why I found the process for [There’s No Space Left in C#Minor] quite so fulfilling. Less is more, after all.

STARRING:

ROSIE COPPINI @ CHIC

SYDNEY DAVIS @ IMG

LAUREN ARROW @ IMG

SAMEERAH OSMAN @ CHIC

MARLO HSIEH @ CHADWICK MODELS

KYRA TAVERNIER @ THE MGMT

CANRAN YANG @ THE MGMT

 

PHOTOGRAPHER & DIRECTOR MARGARET ZHANG

DOP CHAD HENNEY

LIGHTING ASSIST PATRICK MACKEY

DIGITAL OPERATOR ANDY STEVENS

HAIR STYLIST RICHARD KAVANAGH

ASSISTED BY LISA FULGINITI

MAKE UP ARTIST NADINE MONLEY

ASSISTED BY SHAUNA CROWLEY

STYLIST MARGARET ZHANG

SOUNDTRACK BEDE BENJAMIN-KORPORAAL

About

Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, stylist 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.

For project enquiries Tess.Stillwell@img.com
General enquiries bookings@margaretzhang.com.au