Square One

The last Hump Day of the year.

twentytwo-margaret-zhang-ballet copy

Why hello from sunny California, where every man and his dog has left town for the holidays, and the remaining population (comprised predominantly of Uber drivers) is freaking out at how “abnormally cold” it is to the point of blasting the AC at 30 degrees Celsius in the car en route to organic-gluten-free-vegan brunch, all the while wearing cashmere and actual fur coats. Cut to: 17 degrees out, MZ sweating in the sun come midday in a camisole. More importantly, no amount of water consumption, coconut/jojoba/avocado oil application, or avoidance of hot showers, has been able to save my face from feeling like it’s cracking off. Help a sister out here. I’ve tried everything short of buying a humidifier for my hotel room.

I think I’m going to buy a humidifier for my hotel room.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, how’s your mother, et cetera, et cetera. ‘Tis the season for overeating and overzealous commitment to too-high shoes, too-short dresses and too many sparkles – generally followed by desperately nebulous resolutions about The New You for The New Year. In full disclosure, this is probably my cop-out post in lieu of such riveting articles as “10 sexy NYE lip colours to try”, “How to DIY a festive table like a Domestic Goddess” and most importantly, “Must-have look-at-me frocks to land that New Year’s Kiss”. Fortunately, my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas (or Easter… or any other pseudo-religious holiday that attracts mass themed chocolate production), so I have never had those temporal signposts between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day to be able to question my character and promise myself to exercise more, or eat less, or save for a car, or be kinder to people, or save the planet.

Then I wake up one morning and just like that it’s August, yet I’m still toting that skittish January mentality of “gearing up for The New Year”. By October,

I’m more cynical than my 88-year-old paternal grandmother, and by December 31, I’m a dehydrated vegetable, sleep-deprived to the point that trying to sleep more actually makes me more tired (which is actually a thing – circadian rhythms are brutally honest).

So, as we crawl on our elbows (across broken glass) through the last Hump Day of the year, the takeaway is that it’s ok to be an a puffy-eyed, moody mess. Yes, Instagram and commercialised American festivities tell us that your Christmas Day food spread flat-lay should have been perfect, you should have your pasted-on smile down-pat, and you ought to look crash hot in your uncharacteristically tight NYE dress even before your New Year’s resolution gym membership kicks in. Ironically, everyone I know seems to need a holiday to recover from the holidays.

But let’s be real. It’s been a big year. It’s ok to be wiped out from working bloody hard. Just take it easy. There-in lies the reward.

The Twenty Two T-Shirt – Sass & Bide Open Knit Skirt – Emilio Cavallini Fishnet Tights

PHOTO // Margaret Zhang

HAIR // Luke Davis

MAKE-UP // Tobi Henney

STUDIO // La Porte

  • fixatedfaiyaz

    Haha awesome read. Your sense of humour never fails to put a smile on my face. Happy holidays, MZ! <3

    xx Faiyaz

  • Haha love your style of writing! And beautiful photos!

    Agnes x


  • Simona Nutu

    This is so beautifully written.
    I’ve read it in a breath and enjoyed it.
    Thank you.

  • mcboodles

    My mom’s great thx 4 asking! But can a dress ever really be too short? (don’t tell my mom I asked that) Enjoy your takin’ it easy!

  • Stephanie

    Love the skirt! Have a good new year <3


  • Style hue

    I overate this month for sure :) But I’m not going to feel bad about it. Hahha I feel I need a Holiday to recover from a stressful year, and was not able to relax during the Holiday :p Oh well… Hope you have a crash hot NYE :)


  • I couldn’t agree more with this holiday from holiday! Not only because of food, but because of a lot of holiday study for the end of January!


  • Loooovely skirt!



    Kisses from http://www.withorwithoutshoes.com


  • Yup! It’s been a great 2015:P

    Shall We Sasa

  • We’ve made it! Can’t wait to see you triumph in ’16.


  • Dylana

    This is great!



  • redjack hyb
  • Lovey Fleming

    You’re the cutest! Love this babe + happy New Year!



  • Love your genuine attitude. What a year it’s been for you! Can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for you :-)


  • That last paragraph speaks to me on a whole new level. Thanks for continuing to share! Can’t wait to see where 2016 takes you! :)


    Fantastic pictures! Happy New Year! I love your blog!

  • The time of the year when gyms got the highest attendance, people are creating another, well decorated to do list and feeling grateful for all the mistakes and lucky for all the diets they missed. This is how NY speaks to me. Enjoy 2016. :))


  • Marlon

    Those photos are stunning!


  • Chanel F

    I remember reading in an earlier post that you had your eye on spending the holidays in The Land of the Free. I’m glad you got to do it– although I’m sorry the LA weather is turning your skin into filo. It happens every time I come visit home, so I understand the crusting struggles. Until I was able to see my dermatologist, I was actually using Lucas Papaw Ointment after discovering it in one of your previous beauty posts. I honestly thought it was saving my skin until my derm told me using the ointment is a mild version of a chemical peel, so here’s to hoping you don’t smear that on your face like I did. You could say I was desperate. I also tried oils like you use on the daily and my skin is just too damn stubborn and sensitive that it would somehow be even drier than pre-oil application. Thought I’d share with you what I use now and it’s helping me keep my skin plump and cheeky. It’s called Vanicream and I’m eternally grateful for it. Plus it’s far more affordable than Chantecaille which I was using before as well.

    Anyway, aside from me spilling my life’s story in battling the giant blowdryer that is LA, yet another wonderful post. You are the main person I like to draw inspiration and drive from for my own blog(work in progress) and general work ethic, to be quite honest. Keep on keepin’ on.

    A fellow first-gen-Chinese-born-elsewhere-twenty-something,


  • Yobella Gabriel

    You’re gorgeous!


    Blog || Instagram

  • Sam

    Absolutely stunning. I found this new women’s luxury fashion discovery site called skye.pm that I know you will love! Just wanted to tell you first!

  • Andres Poiche
  • Sheryll

    Hey maybe you could try the Nivea-Soft cream, it comes in a huge white tub with a thick consistency cream and its really moisturising.

  • Wow you always write so amazingly, happy new year!



  • carissa

    how awesome can you be,


  • Shivan Patel (Gathum)

    Beautiful shots!
    please check me out for some editorial shoots

  • Anne McLayne

    Your style is incontestable!

  • Beautiful pictures! Your writing is impeccable, and I love your humor :)


    Chic Dream Jar

  • So true. This year I escaped from social media during Xmas and the new year. I felt guilty, but ain’t nobody got time to photograph Xmas feasts, write new year resolutions, blogposts and all that shit when I really, really needed rest and some good ol quality bonding time with my loved ones.


  • loved the post! (And I agree, most people do need a holiday to recover from the holidays) Have a great new year =)

  • Sophie Lee

    Stunning photos and nice post <3

    Thanks for sharing with us <3

    Love from Best Bags 2016

  • viktoria



  • Mackya

    Love your writing style.

    Collaboration?Contact us.

    All the best,

    Mackya/ https://aibiwatch.com/cool-watches-with-right-price

  • your skin is gorgeous! Love this minimal makeup look!

    xx Angie | http://www.thefashionfuse.com/

  • Sherry

    this might just be the most brutally honest post about new years i’ve ever seen. cheers.


  • I love how you always put your own spin on things. Even more so because it’s not like you’re trying so hard to be different, you just are who you are.


  • lauren

    love the creative direction,its very you and noone elses

  • neha goyal

    It’s quite fashionable blog. Thank you for sharing it.


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