Fly Times

Some of Times Square’s seedy charm to complement my seedy, charming flasher coat.

Today, at 8 degrees below freezing, I bring you the two things New Yorkers hate more than anything: bin juice snow, as Major and I have decided to baptise it, and Times Square.

And I can see why.

The first is more life threatening than it is disgusting (literally the dregs of the city, frozen over in all its polluted glory), not to mention how redundant the expected cool factor of your multi-trench coat layering becomes as black ice and half frozen gutter puddles break your stride into jolting Jack Skellington gestures. I’ve had my fair share of plunging ankle-deep through what had looked like concrete on the surface, but was actually Elsa masquerading as bitumen. One of those times, I was in heels. I was not ok, and clearly have not let it go.

The second is just a hot mess, with very little more explanation required. As expected of any tourist destination of unjustified novelty, having a mission in a five block radius of this charmingly seedy stretch of flashing lights (flashing lights) is impossible. Whenever I’m immobilised between two large families selfie-sticking it up with the Coca Cola sign while trying to pick up samples, I think of the poor messengers who spend all those years crying in and out of Condé Nast’s 4 Times Square building.

We thank you for your service.

Anyhow, it would seem that I have not learned any lessons from my previous post-blizzard failures in New York. Here I am, in Times Square after a fitting, without lunch (and so resorting to a five dollar falafel wrap), in stilettos (don’t be fooled by their sex appeal – the neoprene does nothing in protection from the elements). Thank God for the 1 train.

On the upside, I have mastered the art of conquering this city’s midtown wind tunnels. The key seems to be a trench coat with padded lining, under another seedier, more oversized trench that I probably should have ironed, with a leather jacket to block out what’s left of the chill, and boots made for storming between the corporate lunch-goers.



So, the moral of the story is that rather than trying to tell you about what I didn’t do around Times Square, it’s probably more productive to direct you further downtown to my favourite spots. Apparently, all I do is eat:

Saigon Shack is our new favourite Vietnamese place near where we’re staying. It’s hard to beat the phở in Sydney (and I’m sure, Vietnam, though I’m yet to have the privilege of visiting), but the vegetarian phở here puts up a decent fight for a sweet $9, with flavours well worth the wait on a Friday night.

Grand Bar and Club Room at the Soho Grand Hotel for sweet potato fries, ginger lemonade (there’s also a gin cocktail version for those of you so inclined), and moody Edison filament bulbs. Desert wise, you need to get involved with their soufflé and cheesecake.

Cookshop is essentially foolproof. There is nothing average about that menu. I once scheduled three meetings in a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) here, much to the amusement of the staff, and the satisfaction of my stomach. My usual go-to is the mezze plate, which is their best vegetarian option, and the easiest to pick at over the course of a semi-important conversation.

Friedman’s Lunch in Chelsea Market makes NYC’s winning brown rice bowl, which you can add chicken or tofu to, should you be starving. That is all I ever have and will order there, and I’m ok with that.

The Cupping Room Cafe is my run-by iced chai latte spot, or if I have some time to burn, it’s either the grilled vegetables with brown rice, or the (enormous – I warned you) Middle Eastern Platter.

Soho Park’s iced tea and veggie burger, when you’re exhausted from underestimating a massive walk, is incomparable. The service is nothing special, nor is the setting. This is no fancy, gourmet, VSCO Cam situation – just a damn good burger, and a pink drink in a cup.

Miss Lily’s not only makes you feel incredibly uncool (I will never have gloriously long Barbadian braids) – it also gets you hooked on their smoothies and jerk tofu dishes. Exhibit A: I haven’t stopped going back for five years, now.

Over and out, mates. It’s midnight. I have a multiple editorial shoot day kicking off in less than seven hours.

Kenzo Trench CoatUNIQLO x Ines de la Fressange Trench CoatYigal Azrouel Chunky Slub Knit TurtleneckLaer Leather Jacket Rebecca Vallance Leather Trousers H&M x Alexander Wang BootsGivenchy Mini Lucrezia Bag ASOS Cable Knit Pom Pom Beanie Coach Leather Gloves

  • Helen Chik-Dohrmann

    You somehow make this entire look work margaret. Not sure how you do it but I could not pull this off! Hope you’re having a great time in New York and those boots are just perfect!

    Helen xx

  • The amount and effect of all the layering in this outfit is stunning!

  • AvantiGarde

    Love this post! Your humour is on point and you’re outfit is stunning! You certainly know how to layer Margaret!


  • Aditi Mayer

    Only you Margaret, only you. Love!

  • Layering is always stylish and warm. And you astoundingly don’t end up looking like a marshmallow and for that I applaud you

  • Stunning layering and very witty post!;)



  • Love how you layer! Great post!

  • Gorgeous jacket :)

  • Gorgeous layering! I especially love the boots and that little bag!

    Shot From The Street | Fashion Blog

  • Amazing sense of fashion. Really I am surprised by the tremendous combinations of your matching combinations. Winter is a the perfect season of creating awesome fashionable look. Your green hoodie is outstaning. I specially like your boats and the little bag. Thank you very much for sharing this kind of amazing blog with us. For more details:

  • wow, have to take that list down! Love the layerings!

  • Love your layering.
    This is such a great list, thanks for sharing.

    xx Cheyenne

  • LOVE your outfit and your writing!


  • You make layered winter dressing look effortlessly cool. Definitely want to try out those food spots too if I ever get to visit New York!

  • Jenna

    The fact that she didn’t credit any photographers means that she took these using a tripod…I can’t even….to think that she took these in Times Square (I’m from New York so it’s even more amazing knowing how the streets are) using a tripod is just amazing and mind-blowing

  • Looking fabulous as always! Enjoy NYC<3

    Shall We Sasa


    lovely shade of green.

    hope you could check me out

  • The endless layers of coats going from monochrome to deep forest green? Obsessed. You don’t look phased by the weathering in Time Square at all!

  • Love the green coat!

  • Love the incidental food place recommendations Marg! :) xx

  • Ahhhh the Givenchy <3 Your multi layering is making me reconsider if I would be able to handle a NY Winter :$


  • Dominica C

    love this black & white knit jumper .. your images always make me dream about outfits and fashion at night :-)

  • Well I thank you for this post – as always, on point.

  • I rarely wear green, but it’s so complementary with those other layers!
    Fab post Mags x

  • mcboodles

    Outshining the Times Square neon with your seedy green trench! And despite your warning I remain fooled by the stilettos sex appeal. Their hotness alone should ward off frostbite, if my understanding of chemistry is correct.

  • Leeky Chen

    Stylish as always except your trench does need an iron :-p

  • Sophie

    beautiful! I will be visiting these eating hotspots when I am there in March! xx

  • Absolutely blown away that you took these in Times Square most probably using your tripod! Plus, this post is just making me want to go back to NYC and eat at all of the places you listed, hope you have an amazing rest of your trip.

    Greta |

  • Zaena
  • Love the style!! But I think only skinnier people can look good with layering, otherwise a normal average joe will look like a wrapped burrito. Can you do an editorial on non-models, or at least someone with some amount of fat? It will be interesting to see how it turns out! Anyway, your writing is always so fun to read! Stay warm. (:


  • Jenny Rose

    Can’t imagine how you managed to layer three trenches/jackets, plus a giant knit turtleneck, and did NOT look like Ralphie’s brother a la A Christmas Story. So much bulk! Teach me your ways; I am but a mortal.

  • Feyi A

    this is hardcore layering skills haha great look!! xx


  • jessica

    A tripod! 3 jackets and a sweater! No words! :)

  • Maggie Z

    Simply the best! Love love love Margaret’s writing style and her words bring out a nostalgia in me for a winter in New York, which I am yet to discover. Life goals. X

  • Makes me miss New York more than ever!

  • Fashion illustrations by mc

    I just discovered you blog, love your style!

    hey guys check out my fashion illustrations<3

  • Chir Wey

    This reminded me of that time when I layered my coats cause they don’t fit in my luggage. It didn’t true out as good looking as yours through, ironed or not. :)


  • spiritedpursuit

    Your writing is always so damn good! Beautiful photos as well!

  • This jacket is gorgeous. I wouldn’t wear it when it’s 8 degrees in Boston !

  • Gorgeousness in all it multi-layered glory. Trench weather is definitely fantastic for this but it does come with it’s fair share of hazards – both on the streets and out ;)


  • Andres Poiche
  • style anonymous

    Love this layered look – the coat is such a beautiful colour!

    Steph xx

  • Margaret you inspire me 100%

  • Samantha

    That bag and boots! <3

  • Amazing like always! Such an amazing inspiration!

  • Indri DiVi

    Looove it!

  • ok in 2016 I am rocking this colour now ! coming back to see what other colour you were wearing it with ! LOL

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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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