Morning on the Seine

Not the 1897 oil on canvas, but pretty as a picture nonetheless.

I’ve probably exhausted enough Instagram captions and similar such serenades to the city of love to give you some actual imagery of this magical Seine sunrise that I’ve been relentlessly raving about. Admittedly, Paris is stunningly beautiful in any kind of light and season – we don’t need to go into that again. But, at sun-up, when tourists and locals alike are still asleep for at least another couple of hours, the silence allows you to channel all your sensory focus into the muted colours of sunrise, and the subsequent goosebumps down the back of your neck.

Fortunately for us, Winter is coming around much more quickly in Paris this year and sunrise isn’t until around 7:30AM (that extra half hour of sleep during Fashion Week is worth its minutes in diamonds). On the flipside, breaking it to Georgia that she was to brave the crack of dawn chill in various degrees of straplessness and sheer lace in looks more suitable to a steamier week of horse races and Birdcage marquee wars in Melbourne fast approaching, was less exciting. I, myself, had sorely underestimated how cold Paris would be in October, and by this point of suitcase living, had run out of coats to wear. 

While this sleepy section of the river up the street from my apartment in the Latin Quarter was no Impressionistic Giverny, you can get enough of a sense of Monet’s Soleil Levant when you squint due East that you can allow yourself to be transported back to some pre-Internet time. Helpfully, the bridge we had initially wanted to shoot on had been transformed into a set for a period drama, complete with stressed out horses, waistcoats and monocles (though the security guards wouldn’t tell us what it was for).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, who’s going to be down at the carnival in Melbourne this year? I’ll be spending STUVAC down there studying from my hotel room around a photo project I’ve been working on.





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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