We’ll always have Paris

– Howard Koch.

Margaret Zhang @margaret__zhang on Instagram

Margaret Zhang @margaret__zhang on Instagram

Margaret Zhang @margaret__zhang on Instagram

Margaret Zhang on Instagram @margaret__zhang

A couple of weeks ago, on a briefing call with the creative agency working on a brand campaign I was to be photographing and styling, the conversation came to a halt on the matter of location. Our references were beautiful – Anja Rubik hopelessly glamourous, endless limbs stretched out across matte parquet floors, glaring up at high ceilings, ornate marble fireplaces, plaster of Paris curling and tumbling around door frames, French windows thrown wide open by poetic city winds. But the shoot was to take place in Sydney.

Silence on the phone.

The Langham Hotel used to look a bit like that, I offered awkwardly.

But they’ve renovated now.


In the end, the art direction had to be changed. There was no private residence, hotel, anything the team could find in Sydney that fit the bill. Australian architecture simply doesn’t have the history.

Even seven years after my first visit to Europe, it’s still incredible to me that people can be living in buildings well over 500 years old. I so distinctly remember, at fifteen, stopping a woman on the left bank and asking in awe what the building on the corner was. She gave me an uncomfortable look (the facial equivalent to shuffling one’s feet when you’re unsure whether a question is serious or a joke, and perhaps whether there’s a hidden camera behind a tree with Ashton Kutcher waiting to jump out screaming PUNK’D) and kept walking. C’est rien she half-spat in the way that impossibly chic French women over the age of fifty do. It’s nothing. Just an apartment building.

I was a little offended until I saw the Louvre for the first time later that day. Compared to that, the sweet iron filagree in St Germain really was nothing in scale, but certainly not in meticulous detail.

Margaret Zhang in Needle & Thread Dress

Margaret Zhang @margaret__zhang on Instagram

Margaret Zhang @margaret__zhang on Instagram

Margaret Zhang @margaret__zhang on Instagram

Margaret Zhang @margaret__zhang on Instagram

  • I always enjoy your instagrams and blogposts. Can’t wait to see what more you have to offer. Wish you many, many years of wonderful content!


  • Leesa

    wow, those pictures are stunning! I also just love the architecture in Paris. It’s my favorite city ever!

  • Them pictures girl woahw, so pretty!

    I love Europa for their old buildings, Paris is gorgeous

    Much Love, M

  • Its a shame your shoot has to take place in Sydney, The Treasury Hotel in Brisbane is a beautiful building, I recently did a blog post about staying there https://anidylliclife.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/brisbanes-treasure/. I’ve never been to Paris, but these images are so gorgeous.

  • Shivan Patel (Gathum)

    Wow beautiful..
    cant wait for my turn to see haute couture in Pari.


  • Oh wow, photography on point!


  • DAMNNNN amazing photos and love the article. Apparently Paris is overrated and dirty but I would still love to visit one day! Your photos are even more reasons to!


  • This is my favourite Shine By Three post by far, awesome job Margaret.

  • Architectural beauty is Paris, captivating views, and gorgeous outfits are all the reasons to dream beyond the fact that Paris is always a good idea. Simply beautiful post. :)

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

  • Alexis Sampaio Mendes

    Awesome post! This is so beautiful.

    xx, http://rckmntchic.blogspot.fr

  • hair looks super cool. and pants under a dress is a MZ classic ;)

    whereisbchk.com X

  • Amelie OaS

    I love love love this.

    On a Saturday

  • Stunning! Love love love! <3

    Shall We Sasa

  • viktoria

    you look so stunning


  • fixatedfaiyaz

    Glorious post as always. Most people are always complaining about Paris, it’s so refreshing to see you seeing the city with wonder in your eyes. And I totally agree with what you said about places influencing the kind of photos you take. Even between Singapore and London I can see distinct differences in my photos. And you look like an absolute goddess.


  • Paris is soo beautiful! Love this blog post :) x


  • These photos are just SO incredible!!! Your photography always leaves me in awe!

    Shot From The Street | Fashion Blog

  • The strapless dress is absolutely divine and those portraits are to die for!

    I also love how your perception of Paris grew from one of naïveté to a sweet, romantic embrace. Gush!


  • Amazing Photos and I also just love the architecture in Paris.

    Kangkan Rabha

  • Rhea

    In love with the self portraits. I completely agree with how a location can inspire one to be creative in different ways. Your musings about Paris make me want to visit this city more than ever!

  • We spent a month living in a loft on Rue de Seine (St Germain des Près) and I’ll never recover. Such a beautiful part of the world..

  • Stunning photos. Love how you’re able to capture the romance of Paris.


  • Can’t stop being in love with Paris, I can’t help it! Gorgeous portraits and interiors though!


  • this girl knows how to pose

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  • Ugh, it’s been years and years since I’ve been in Paris but these images sent me on a nostalgic jaunt like you wouldn’t believe!

  • Shante Gumede

    I want to go to Paris :-( !! What beautiful architecture. It’s so dreamy and romantic. Love the way you captured that.

  • Amanda CW

    I wanna go to Paris so bad! These pictures are just so stunning =)


  • Lizlizo

    Yes, Paris is always a good idea! It’s so beautiful there!

    – Liz Lizo

  • I appreciate your blog because you actually take the time to write meaningful posts with substance. Your writing is impeccable and it’s super refreshing to get great fashion with great thoughts. Thanks girl!

    Sarah Wes

  • Wow!! Beautiful imagery

    Millie x

  • Such amazing apartment! Your post are always so inspiring, and the photos are just absolutely gorgeous. You really know your stuff well, you go girl!



  • Your way of telling stories is simply magical. You are an inspiration to me, thank you! xx

  • Love this post and the outfits!


  • Terrific post. And I completely agree with you. The thought that springs in mind, when walking around Paris is ‘oh, the stories!’. People act as a backdrop to the city itself, whereas in New York, it’s the people that make the city.

  • Sable McCleery

    Was just in Paris. Have yet to get to blogging my experience – you nailed it though sister.

  • That apartment is absolutely stunning. I’ve never been to Paris but hope to one day. After all, it’s not that far from me. My base is Portugal where there are beautiful places too.
    Suzy x

    • Paula

      Funny! I am actually from Paris and I live in Lisbon for 10 years now! I used to say I switched Glamour for Bohemian life!!

  • Joules

    Such gorgeous photos!

    lifestyle by joules

  • oh my gosh you’ve captured the awe of a visitor in Paris so magically. It is such a beautiful place.


  • Monika Lackowska

    Fantastic images!

  • Inspirational!

  • Was about to hit the textbooks but couldn’t scroll past this post. Beautiful work and words once again Margaret. Cannot wait to visit Paris and experience the atmosphere myself xx

  • Love and Chartreuse

    This is among the holy grails of interiors! When do I move in? :) http://www.instagram.com/loveandchartreuse

  • Paris is indeed an inspirational place with so much history to explore! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and love the cool outfits featured, amazing styles!


  • Shivan Patel (Gathum)


    • Shivan Patel (Gathum)

      Love from gathum.co.nz

  • This apartment is amazing! Future house goals:)


  • Nothing beats Paris. You can see something glorious & historic everywhere you turn. That’s not even an exaggeration. These photos are brilliant. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

  • March and May

    Ah Paris, one place I am dreaming of going for such a long time. Gorgeous photos as always.

    March and May

  • Kaja

    I have no words, those pictures are just crazy beautiful!


  • Haven’t really met a writer who made me laugh out loud in ages, much less a fashion blogger, but seriously, I love your writing. I can’t remember if I’ve said this before, but I would buy your autobiography in a heartbeat.

  • Veena

    This was such a wonderful and amusing write-up which I thoroughly enjoyed reading! The contrast between the age/grandeur of Parisian architecture and Australian nouveau is definitely an interesting theme, and the portrayal of the Parisian apartment here is stunning.

    ♡ veena | seveninchstilettos.com
    twitter/instagram: @veenamccoole

  • Honey

    beautiful photos!
    I thought I would somehow meet you at Melbourne Spring Fashion week this week :)


  • You look amazing :)


  • You’ re my favourite blogger from “E” programme! You are the most inspiring, creative and cooperative person! Hope you will still be that kind in new series!! Kisses from Poland

  • Laura Jane

    beautiful pictures Margaret

    Your work literally leaves me speecheless.

    , Laura


  • Alanda Ware

    Such amazing images. You’re so talented!!!



  • nivekout

    superb,what music plays in the background here?

  • See ya on Paris Fashion Week.


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