I’ll Have What She’s Having

On reconsidering the social soapbox and a short film directed by yours truly: transplanting Rive Gauche philosophers at Café de Flore to modern day heroines telling us what’s what in downtown Manhattan.


I have spent the first few months of 2017 laying low.

I stand fixated by a self-inflicted crossroads, where the destination couldn’t be clearer but, of course, we must consider the alternatives. For almost seven years, I’ve primarily populated this space with expressions of my visual escapism, increasingly accessorised with isolated outbursts on issues of race and youth (and youth and youth and youth) and the media. And yet, surely, there are only so many opinions an individual can have – derived from their immediate anecdotal injustices and transient social rage. How does one evolve a platform that has only one voice?

I wouldn’t say that I’ve avoided contentious realms of conversation altogether – far from it. But there has always been a solid portfolio of topics left untouched, with the lame justification that I just wasn’t well enough informed to cover all bases. It’s a can of worms, I’d say. Until I realised that it wasn’t.

In the face of damned if you do, damned if you don’t: do something and be damned, goddamnit. There is nothing more deplorable (if you’ll allow me that one) than deliberate indifference: “I can’t even read the news right now because it stresses me out” or “I’m not qualified to have an opinion”. Acknowledging that there exists this ideological rift in the way people feel about the greatest social, ethical and economic questions of our generation, is not (and I repeat, is not) synonymous with blind acceptance of that difference.

Of course, acting on this understanding remains a minefield. To brand oneself an ‘activist’ by way of emoji-ridden Instagram bio or carefully choreographed photographic and hashtag evidence of participation, seems to bastardise a renaissance of last century’s truly impassioned and organised drivers of change. And yet, perhaps such “slacktivism” and its uncomfortable overtones of ignorance must be tolerated in the name of progress. It is a legitimate argument that these exhibitionists are at least generating awareness for a cause that will captivate a curious few – if #prayforaleppo is what it takes to draw attention to






  • Beautiful images … love the post! :)

    ❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • Love the visual aesthetic of the video and photos but the conversations were what captured my attention.
    I believe there would be an appetite for longer versions of the conversations, perhaps creating a series of video based on certain topics.

  • Ziqi Lin

    Wow!! You take freedom of expression to whole new heights and give fashion so much more meaning than buy-and-discard magazine editorials. You are truly changing the world girl. I’ll have whatever you are having, please!


  • So much more to say. Keen to explore that too.
    Grit and beauty, love this vision.
    x Jenelle

  • lifeopablo

    “do something and be damned, goddamnit.” Go Marg, go!

  • OMG, these dresses!!! Chanel jacket, wow


  • Those shots in the kitchen are incredible. So gorgeous, Margaret!

  • This project is glorious the imagery and photography alone. It’s also crucial how you’ve touched on the perception of our industry how it’s seen as luxury, excess, and unnecessary so often. Some people believe that those in this industry can’t have a valid opinion or make substantial change which is so far from true.

  • Londile Black

    “I can’t even read the news right now because it stresses me out”- I rarely read or watch the news,,, I think I suffer from anxiety every time I watch the news, it’s so depressing!

    I’m for the clothes doing the talking!


    • Jennifer

      Get over your anxiety and get informed.

      • Lorenzo

        be nice now.

  • Always loved your thoughts on the most generic topics because your thought process gives it meaning – this is one of my favorite work of your thus far. And 1:28 so, so relatable. x

  • I mean.. wow. Not only am I beyond impressed and taken in by your video but also by your narrative to accompany it. What really stands out to me is that like you said, a group of women in haute couture in a space such as this eating dumplings is highly unlikely, but what is not unlikely is that these women, who do dress in haute couture, who are beautiful and independent, and are in fashion, can have an opinion and a voice about the topics that are currently flooding our surroundings, and that each of them, whether self educated or not, have something relevant to add to the conversation.

    A beautiful video!


    • Yara Mel

      You got it super right. Too bad so little of these women actually speak their knowledge out about real matters of their social profiles..


  • Amazing photos!

    • vanya davidson


  • You are such an inspiration to me and your creativity and your view on the world. This video that you have created id so visually stimulating and beautiful.

    xx, Teeara

  • fatou diaw

    This is insanely beautiful! love it.

  • Padma77819

    I cannot stand the people commenting “NICE PHOTOS BABE” there’s so much more to see here and they didn’t even bother. So ignorant.

    Margaret this is exceptional. I am so proud to say I have followed your creative journey for the past 3 years… you are so rare.

  • Jackielyn Powell

    A powerful piece and yes we are all deep and highly intuitive and compassionate beings however the instant gratification we are used to via social media has certainly instigated a culture of “slacktivism”. A great short film and interesting piece of writing that I hope your follows actually read and spend time understanding and reflecting upon. X

  • SO gorgeous and powerful! Thank you for your inspiring individuality an creative direction always! http://www.valentinafrancesca.com xoxo V&F

  • Carina

    So wonderfully captured! You are a true genius when it comes to bringing up important subjects!! Beautifully inspiring work xx

  • Love these kind of topics on your blog mixed in with great imagery, of course. I need to see more of this in a magazine and not just on your blog!


  • Lucie Colomb

    I absolutely love this Chanel Collection !! So trendy. x

  • Such an incredible, poignant and straightforward short film on the shortcomings of the Insta-gratification times we live in. Bravo for such a well-casted and well-rounded group of intellectual women!

  • Paula Zoricic

    absolutely love this post! and the photos are amazing! so nice to see your piece of mind<3


  • Great work !! Like always definitely enjoyed the way this was told ! All different perspectives, all so fashionable and the contexts was very much of a1a quality substance ✨????

    thank you ! For being the exception !

    Stylist & Editor

  • Katie

    I love the story so much! Impressive how you transfered a political statement in such a creative and inspirational way.


  • I remember too well the angst and sometimes folly of youth. This time the script plays out with more shock,and deliberate malice. How do we indulge designer duds and fizzy unknown drinks , our world is our creation ,Chanel and all ,
    Dress The Part

  • You always have such thoughtful posts! Loved this one

  • Yara Mel

    Your thought are always on point! This is such a great reflection. Por que no los dos? Indeed. Maybe a picture of something that matters would ruin the Instagram feed? Maybe speaking such topics doesn’t go according to the ‘Vibe’ of the other content? ”There’s already enough negativity on the news”? There could be numerous reasons to live on ‘slacktivism’.

    I particularly believe that injecting a bit of real life throughout escapism content is very healthy but unfortunately not enough people are willing to take that route! We live in a real world, at the end of the day we do look around and acknowledge that we are a part of a pretty messy situation.


  • One of your best Margaret!

  • Casey

    I would devour the full 5+ hours, unedited footage. Would you consider sharing? I think the philosophical conversation would be eye opening to anyone who bothered watching the full extent of your art. I would also very much relish the opportunity to see what you read. I do adopt the ‘it’s all too hard’ mantra toward news. What’s worth reading in your opinion?

  • I think this is a beautiful conversation starting video. I think it is a real novelty seeing real women discussing real issues, eating normal food in Chanel couture. The women who can afford to wear couture Chanel in real life, have real
    problems too; most just remain incredibly private. In fact women from all walks of like experience issues. I love how you have humanized Chanel a bit more in this most by injecting realism into it.


  • Kay

    Such a powerful and thought provoking post!! I hate it when I encounter people through life that think that just because I have an interest in fashion and because I am a creative, I don’t have the pulse (or the understanding) of “real life issues”. We’re not all shallow and ignorant. Your point on taking a stance and “being damned, goddammit” is so… well… on point! Bravo <3

    Much love

  • 真是时光荏苒!

  • Amazing work, you just get better and better!



  • Brette Connolly

    I find this film moving for many reasons. I like your point that acknowledgment of an ideological rift in our society is not acceptance of it; I can be outspoken, but when I speak in a tone of outrage about something I am often treated by others as if I am naive, as if rather than being angry or passionate about an issue I was merely expressing surprise because I hadn’t previously known it was happening. As much as I feel that many people assume women to be dumb until proven otherwise, I also think that most people have become so resigned to social problems that they would never speak about a topic in a tone of outrage. They would find it futile. In my experience living in Manhattan, the ability to endure through social problems, to be tough, to survive and come out on top no matter what, is prized so highly that it is thought weak to seem to care too much about anything “negative”. I am inspired by the scenes of stereotypically “pretty”, “feminine”, “delicate” looking women having conversations about topics that are difficult to talk about or even think about, showing that they are not always positive and happy, with a “good mood” and a “good attitude”.


  • Absolutely wonderful post! It is refreshing to see the harmonization between fashion and intellect, as you yourself is the perfect example of that. Truly admirable work!


  • Alma

    I read your posts to get schooled and you never disappoint! Your view on the world as a millennial and the way it’s artistically interpreted is the reason I’ve been following you years, and hopefully not jumping off this wagon soon. Thank you for staying true to what you believe in and using your platform for more than just a collage of beautiful photos!

    Watching this space…as usual


  • Adventuresofstyle

    Wow. Speechless; this is wonderful. So elegant, thought-provoking. Wow.


  • Shayanne Kowas

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this. For me personally, the video really spoke to me. I love how the conversations were so prominent to today’s society and the problems in it. Women, in fact everyone should be encouraged to have these conversations whether or not they’re ‘informed’ on the topic because someone might know something that someone else doesn’t. Therefore we eduacate each other and spread the word on these things. I’m a beginner blogger and I’m glad to say that Margaret Zhang you are my inspiration (and I’m OBSESSED with your work!!)
    XX- koolaid https://koolaid001.wordpress.com

  • robert

    In the eternal search for beauty of the today’s women i find somehow a true desire to accomplish men’s will of having a pretty louis vuitton barbie by them. And most of the blogs reflect this point of view, posting about “being cool, being trendy, being sexy” that’s actually the same thing of being “objects”of men. Your blog is different and this video shows how much. Put 10 women behind a table, give em an intelligent script and some noodles and let em poison the all corrupted world with their shared point of view.

  • There is a pain there is a love, there is joy and happiness that is flaunting on these outfits, thanks for posting.

  • lauren

    i loved every moment of this,i lie how you dared to push the envelope with the conversation … do something and be damned, goddamnit am i right?

  • mnwa

    I love all your work!!! xoxo http://www.instagram.com/floralfall

  • Sophie Lee

    Such an amazing work, so natural and stunning <3

    xoxo, All about trendy hats


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