Vive Britannia

I’ve never really known or taken the time to imagine what it would be like to walk around London – tea, scones, Parliamentary history and Top Gear was probably the extent of my knowledge of the city before I flew in a few days ago.

 

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I’m going to tell it to you straight: London has never been on my list of places I desperately needed to visit. I was never obsessed with the idea of living there as I have been with New York or Paris, say. I’ve never really known or taken the time to imagine what it would be like – tea, scones, Parliamentary history, Top Gear, some great online stores, and my instant friend Camille were probably the extent of my knowledge of the city before I landed on Friday morning. I’d been working so hard in New York that I hadn’t given myself the time to get excited about the flight or sights. I would be here to work, I’d told myself. No fuss: in from New York, out to Dubai, a few cool designers, a little bit of walking and shooting.

Yes, yes, would be all.

Au contraire – I’ve been taken completely by surprise, and have found myself wondering which part of London I would live in, were I to make the move. But that’s another conversation altogether – indeed all of you London-ers cut me down with quite the opposite remarks upon my gushing over how pretty Oxford Circus was at sunset… well I thought so anyway.

I do first have to apologise for my lack of updates over the past couple of days – it was a packed and frantic close to NYFW, a red-eye 6 hours to Heathrow airport, and an hour standing outside our apartment trying to figure out the combination lock key box (for the duration of which, amazing content from New York’s runways and backstage corners was piling up at an alarming rate, and what I was wearing came second in my daily city sprints of buying, shooting, interviewing and writing).

But here we are. What I traipsed my first full London Fashion Week day in – as you can tell, we’re getting to that point in my trip where fresh purchases are yet to arrive, and London is not yet warm enough to accommodate anything less than five layers. And so I introduce the wildly practical beauty of an outer shell. Had I not been wearing this generously roomy blazer cape, my torso would have resembled Michelin man, given the three layers of leather I had on to keep out London’s chill. One excellent bomber, one superhero saviour and a double waist knot later, Fashion Week finds me mildly acceptable. The same prize could be awarded to my oversized jeans that Heidi and Sarah Jane did such a brilliant job of cutting. Boyfriend jeans, though explored by my sartorial interests time and time again, have always been for comfort and an illusion of added height when paired with heels. Having now experienced their genius, however, I feel like boyfriend jeans just came along when Europeans got sick of seeing the bulk of their long johns under skinny jeans in the 80s.

Europeans or not, the combination of a non-elastic cuff and these wide gusseted leather boots that I scored on Bluefly while midnight browsing in New York (they’re still in stock with an insane amount off) is so pseudo-Margiela, in the most abstract of past season ways, that I just can’t put it down. Repeat offense is imminent, fellow troopers, until a greater species takes their place.

And on that happy high kick, I’ll get myself to bed at a healthy 3:30am (please sense my sarcasm: as much as I do it out of necessity during Fashion Week, eight hours is still the magic number). If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve put up a good number of updates from shows in New York, and will start uploading so much more as well as my London favourites from here on, and a few projects I’m working on while I’m in town (or, you can just follow my Instagram for real-time Margaret).

Sleep tight, WiFi addicts! That would be me.

ELLIATT Cape Blazer – Antopodium Clandestiny Bomber Jacket – KAHLO Barton Battle Vest – Serpent & The Swan Plaid Shirt – Sass & Bide The Time Limit Slouchy Boyfriend Jeans –  3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Messenger Bag from Shopbop – Diane Von Furstenberg Rudi Leather Ankle Boots

photos by Jessica Stein

About

Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese filmmaker, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Zhang has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, 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. Zhang’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NOWNESS, 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 four consecutive years. CNN has identified Zhang as a leading fashion photographer in Asia and ELLE named her the region’s most influential digital voice. 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. In 2018, co-curated the first annual FOREFRONT Summit focused on inter-industry problem-solving at all scales of business. From this king summit, Zhang developed FOREFRONT+ – a round table series of candid conversations covering subject matters of universal concern. In 2019, THE FACE Magazine engaged Zhang as Creative-Director-at-Large for Asia for its relaunch. Zhang is currently working on her first feature film.

 

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General enquiries bookings@margaretzhang.com.au