Waldorf Out

The fact that New York has stood the test of time as one of the world’s most epicentric cities is fascinating to me, as it is to any other twenty-something year old who Instagrams the Empire State Building, announcing their move to the big city, followed by a ridiculous number of heart-eye emojis.

To break my week long silence with uncharacteristic flash and wide-angles in a hotel on the other side of the world certainly seems a little ironic. Where are the token fire-escapes, yellow cabs, skyscrapers, and forlorn street style walking photos with large glasses and frappucino in hand? What the hell is New York with out them!? Fear not – clichés are well on the way (and have already flooded my Instagram squares so don’t get too stressed, now).

But let’s get some serious faces in here: stripping away what Google Images tells you about the Big Apple, we’re left with blind ambition, and the romance that comes with the celebrity and history of the city built from the ground up. In a way, the Waldorf embodies that other-worldly glamour in a gritty city. The corridors on my floor were lined with black and white, curly hand-captioned photos of Elizabeth Taylor, young Ralph Lauren, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, the Queen and other bedazzled icons arriving and lounging at the decadent hotel, surrounded by flashbulb paparazzi and dapper dudes in suits.

As much as this could not be further from present day reality, and the nature of celebrity has evolved in a more sprawling acreage or hipster brownstone direction over hotel residencies, nobody ever said no to a Golden Hollywood or even Great Gatsby costume theme-off. We’re all a little fancy at the end of the day.

Apparently, this was best expressed by way of flash, wide-angle, film when the edge of my lens got in the way (can anyone recommend a good external flash?), and way more eyeliner than I’ve ever packed onto this face, but hey – when in Rome…

In the same way, the fact that New York has stood the test of time as one of the world’s most epicentric cities is fascinating to me, as it is to any twenty-something year old who Instagrams the Empire State Building, announcing their move to the big city, followed by a ridiculous number of heart-eye emojis.

Sure – every born and bred New Yorker will tell you that nothing is what it seems. The air is dirty. The subway is always breaking down. The Summer is sweaty. The Winter is a bloody tundra. The rent is obscene. The dating is stressful. The tourists are infuriating. They’ve never been up to Top of the Rock and sure as hell don’t intend to. And yet, a decade on, they’re still living here.

I guess any city can be as charming as you want it to be.


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  • Sophia Charles

    new york is charming, indeed. Love the photos!


  • Q

    My home town….. lovely pic’s.x


  • Avanti

    Love these snaps! Reading about your experience and seeing your photos makes me even more excited about my first visit to New York. Have a great time whilst in the Big Apple.


  • This editorial was so on-point. The write-up, the pictures, just everything! I love it so much. <3


  • Absolutely love the photos Margaret!!


  • ohhhh so perf <3

  • charmystique
  • Yan

    So excited for NYC! Polluted air and all. Amazing photos as always.

  • Manashi

    You are truly an inspiration to all the fashion enthusiasts out there. I will always look up to you <3

  • god youre gorgeous!

  • Tracy

    This post is absolutely amazing, I love your pictures!


  • Love the flash in these pics! Looks great!


  • Laura Lama F.

    Great post! I love these photos


  • Cristina Feather

    Amazing photos, Margaret!! Love your “work” (I’m using the “” only because I assume it’s also fun ) every single time! :)

  • Cristina Feather

    Ok, I’ve just read the text and saw that you’re moving there!!! WOW!! I’m glad for you! But this move feels very natural, it’s like you were made for New York. But I’ll sure miss your dancing & yoga schemes in the amazing landscapes of Australia!!

  • Great photos are the Waldorf Astoria! Love these outfits! :)


  • Mark Clearing

    Yay, nipples!

  • Dean Corno

    These photos are amazing! I love this post

  • I love all the looks, the post is great!

    I really like the lace camisole.

    Much Love, M

  • So many beautiful looks! You look incredible!

    Shot From The Street | Fashion Blog

  • Snazzy!!! Love it girl!

    -Asia Monique

  • monkeyshines
  • Kristen

    Top of the Rock is definitely worth it when the sun starts setting; the sky gets all pink and orange and purplel-y beautiful, and you can see all of Central Park. It’s fantastic!

  • Maleika Halpin

    I use a Speedlight Nikon SB700 with an ORBIS Ring flash attached – the ring gives soft fall out – I actually use it with the chord alot, and it instantly becomes a portable beauty dish :) (If all that is just too much mumbo jumbo, buy a nice little compact wide wide angle fixed lens and it shouldn’t interrupt your flash path :)


  • Liana Gow-Killingbeck

    Very glamorous! A feeling of Helmut Newton to these photos.
    I wonder, who takes your photos? Really very curious!
    x x

  • Street People Atelier

    Such a fantastic shoot! I’m going to take a look through external flash suggestions and see what our photographer says. It can be a tricky task shooting fluid movement in corridors, especially in places like the Waldorf, but it still turned out gorgeous! ps: Welcome to our city! To quote you, “we’re all a little fancy at the end of the day”.

    NYC Based | https://streetpeopleatelier.com/street-people-atelier

  • Constance

    Love the pictures, you look stunning in every outfit!


  • Claudia

    Totally amazing! These photos are just everything!

  • you’re just getting more and more of the haute fashion! Love it!!



  • amazing pics!! they all seems to be from a big magazine editorial…


  • fashionruelle

    Amazing photos!!! You are so inspiring!



  • Jessica : Find your indian partner online Browse girls’s of latest pics.

    Sonia: It is about free girls dating 100% free to contact other me at all times.

  • dramatic, glamorous photography and super sharp styling. i love the silhouettes of look 1 and 3. you’re such an icon!


  • Lauren King

    Always in awe of your photos! Have you been feature on The Coveteur yet? You need to be!


  • lamegeneration.com

    Definitely got the Blair ‘Waldorf’ vibes.


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