Polar Vortex

Back in the dead of NYC’s polar vortex in February, Stuart Weitzman had surpassed my favourite leathers as pants of the moment.

For the first time all year, I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat. Though my body isn’t aching yet, and I’ve surely ingested enough green tea, ginger, vitamin C, and leafy greens in a day to offset any unwelcome exam illness, the truth is in: Winter is here.

Sydney, unlike New York City’s dry freeze, has a wet chill that seeps right into your bones. It bullies you into a hacking cough, liberally passed around corporate offices and schools for the entirety of July, and hangs around till Christmas, when highs of forty burn off the remaining battlers. So, although Peter declared me barking mad when I waltzed into the Mercer lobby in a skirt and boots, ten below zero in New York is not going to be half as torturous as ten above zero in Sydney. Subsequently, I have absolutely no problem with skipping scorching Australian summers to stomp around in the snow on the show circuit, but as soon as it’s dark before five, I’m out of here as early as exams will allow.

Meanwhile, back in the dead of NYC’s polar vortex in February, Stuart Weitzman had surpassed my favourite leathers as pants of the moment. Frozen eyeballs are to be hidden by square frames, too many layers of thermals are to be disguised by the baggiest knit you can muster, and arms now too chunky to squeeze into coat sleeves are to masquerade as that impossibly impractical editor’s cape-trench situation (though, baby, oh baby, do I preach it).

Choose a muted, colour palette, and stick to it. Think khaki and burgundy, not your festive red and greens; think beige and ice blue, not fluffy pastel rainbows – because nobody wants to see you that cheerful when they can’t feel their toes.

For real.

Further, the requisite Winter styling skill, second only to mastering nudity, is that of the most unconventional layering you can imagine. Knits over man-shirts under overalls under coats, with a token jacket-skirt, have passed their use-by date of originality. Getting extreme with odd proportions can be much more elongating than one’s brother might think.

My brother? My brother thought this get-up was side-splittingly hilarious. It looks like your hips start halfway down your thighs, he said. How is anybody going to know that you have a waist without a waist? And why are you carrying your bag like that?

Such a considerate fellow, that Major.

Response: use your imagination.

And who the hell cares?

Haters gon’ hate.

  • xnicoleeeee

    Love the get up, you genius. And the illusion of that oversized knit – my brother would have had the same exact response. I feel ya! x

  • Rebecca

    The fact that you can write so many different things in one post and make it all flow is one thing – But you made me laugh too, which is another thing!


  • Margaret, your outfit is just as rad as you! It amazes me how well you can pull of such layers without looking like a burrito of sweaters, coats and whatnot. I feel like I would end up looking as such if I even attempted LOL. Also, your writing style is just wonderful. It’s so fun to read. x


  • Avanti

    Love the outfit! You look incredibly chic in an oversized knit. I wish I looked half as good in a piece like that.
    Those boots are absolute perfection! Need to have them in my life.


  • Ana

    you are brave to venture in New York winter in a skirt! I do like the oversized styling of the jumper a lot.

    Best of luck with Australian winter… it will probably resemble my irish summer :)

    Ana x


  • Always how you layer all these pieces together! Another awesome outfit:)


  • jas

    stunning as always. love that zara knit – looks so cosy.

    reckless abandon

  • Loveeee this look! I have loved the Stuart Weitzman boots for a while now, and the way you have styled them makes me love them even more!

    Shot From The Street | Fashion Blog

  • Mildred Cheng

    dang your layering is so on point girl


  • Joe Beverly

    Having an aesthetic opinion
    makes your brother a “hater”?

    • Vanessa

      Dude… lighten up…

      • Joe Beverly

        Was it “tongue in cheek” and I missed it? Sorry about that . . .

        • Agnes

          oh please. I love Margaret but she talks absolute crap at times and everyone just sucks ass. Let Jon Beverly say what he wants and you can lighten up.

          • Vanessa

            In what sense is this absolute crap? She’s just relaying banter with her brother…

  • This trench is amazing. And so is your mad layering skills!
    Feel better soon!


  • monkeyshines
  • True, so true. There will always be people who dislike your look, so why bother in the first place? I think you can pull off anything, therefore I really like this look. ^^

  • Ana Lu Garro

    I love how you make your garments make you look tall. I wish I could pull that off!

    Ana Lu from Things&Crowns

  • The only one who can pull off the look is you! I love your styling especially when it comes to layering! Brilliant.


  • rhiannon butler

    Margaret this is fantastic. So hilarious that your brother didn’t like it, but I guess your boyfriend wouldn’t either (and neither would mine lol – oh boyzzzzz)

  • Terrier98

    Omg that knit is like my DREAM

  • Nina Ng

    Hey I really want to buy that skirt – what size did you get it in?

  • Margarettttttttt how do you keep posting such incredible content in the middle of exams!??!?!?
    I’m freaking out revising for Civil Law. :(
    I’m grateful for the beautiful distraction though :)

  • Chanty

    So entertained by your post! I dream of your outfits, wishing it was colder here in Manila!

  • issa

    always creating beautiful content


  • Francisc

    Your outfit is fabulous!


  • Clarisse

    This looks wonderful on you of course, but I’m confused by the comments about the crazy layering involved. It’s a skirt, a sweater and a coat – more or less the bare minimum required to be dressed at all.

    • Chelsea Dunstan

      it’s just the layering and proportions that’s cool and interesting. but when you break it down, why are we even here she just wears clothes? i go around naked, usually? HA #not

  • Perfect! love the way of you writing! You have skills girl!


  • Ahka Vintage
  • Nika
  • Pingback: Polar Vortex | StyleBuzzStyleBuzz()

  • Michèle
  • KristiB
  • Well, Your outfits and photos are incredibly!

  • Gorgeous layering! Love the skirt and boots :)


  • Pingback: Clarke Quay | StyleBuzzStyleBuzz()

  • Elle G

    oh my! seriously i love your posts! this outfit is amazing. who can argue?



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.


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