Natural Habitat: Montana Cox

“If you think you’re too little to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito…”

What the hell are Monday mornings for, but photosynthesising through murky glass and filtered curtain shade? Granted, not every start to the week is baptised with such glorious Autumn sunshine, nor with a cheeky catch-up with nothing short of an Australian supermodel as part of my Natural Habitat series for David Jones in the lead-up to World Environment Day, but let’s not think about next week’s looming wet weather for now.*

I’ve said it once, and I’ll said it again: Monty can work a room as effortlessly as she can work a camera. Just one of those rad ladies, comfortable in her own skin, with a knack for making others feel comfortable. And who else could wake up like this?

I did not wake up like this.

For Monty, it’s the little things. Between jetting to NYC at the drop of a hat, and the European couture collection shows fast approaching, her down time is precious, and reserved for either parking herself on the couch with a best bud and a good film, or packing in the simple pleasures of having a surf and wreaking havoc in the kitchen. And so, when it comes to doing her bit for her natural habitat, the sentiment is very much the same, anything from hand-washing and air-drying her clothes (“it’s better for retaining their quality, too”), keeping an eye out for light switches and powerpoints when leaving the room, and climbing into a sweater over turning on the heating system. Just as five dollars (yes, five dollars) a day on coffee adds up to something ridiculous like a Chloé bag and then some, Monty is of a pretty logical belief that every little conscious action adds up to quite a lot of energy saving, and in the long-run, your bit to reduce a community carbon footprint.

“If you think you’re too little to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito…”

Wise words, Monty Cox.





  • Chanty

    Such photography skills you have Margaret :) Hands down to you and your model!

  • Alexandra Aimee

    Wow, these photos are amazing. Gorgeous inspiration. And totally what my Monday mornings look like every week. Yep. Just like that :p

    — Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

  • Helena Hu

    Did you come up with this Natural Habitat concept? Because it’s BRILLIANT. I love how effortlessly you incorporate important issues into beautiful posts (and beautiful shoots! Montana has never looked so good – I secretly like her more as a brunette!). X

    • margaretzhang

      Hey Helena – yes, sure did. It’s been a great one to work on! X

  • Suzie Yang

    Her eyes!! And you captured them so beautifully.

  • This is just beautiful!

  • Nicole

    Beautiful pictures. Can I ask where the top two pieces of lingerie are from?

    • Bernadette Williams

      I think they’re Stella McCartney – I have the mint one from DJs!! It’s so comfy :)

    • margaretzhang

      Hey @disqus_KFfn6J8c2e:disqus – they’re Stella McCartney. The bodysuit is available online here ( and the mint one is in store X

  • These pictures are gorgeous, she is so pretty!


  • Avanti

    Such a stunning model! You captured her natural beauty exceptionally.
    Well done Margaret!


  • That lighting is so stunning and wise words indeed


  • Love the quote.
    The pictures are stunning and so is the model!

    Much Love, M

  • Cindy

    Such beautiful photos Margaret! May I ask which lens did you use for this shoot? xx

  • Emily

    Never cease to astound me with your neverending list of talents, Margaret! Absolutely love this series and Montana’s face… seriously, that girl is unreal. Also happy belated birthday! x

  • I swear your photography keeps getting better & better (if that’s even possible), I’m so in love with these images. You captured Montana in such an alluring and captivating way, though with such a gorgeous face I doubt that was a hard task to do. X

    • margaretzhang

      Thank you so much, Amy! That means a lot – I’m really glad you’re enjoying these shots (and indeed – Monty is a dream to shoot) X

  • The look is as effortless as stated, simply flawless, especially with the usage of natural lighting…gorgeous shoot!

    -Asia Monique

  • M

    Your photos are truly inspirational!

  • Gorgeous!

  • I am not waking up like she. Defenately but I like my body :)

  • Chelsea Dunstan

    The makeup is incredible!

  • LK

    Her eyes! Jesus.



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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