Sitting in traffic en route back to Los Angeles from a weekend in Palm Springs, the question was posed to the car at large: where did we see ourselves living in ten years time? (For context, all present lead relentless intercontinental work travel schedules.) The ensuing banter drew fairly predictable conclusions – that New York was no place for children (and yet all our friends with kids in Manhattan seemed to be doing just fine); that Australia was basically a socialist country and was there really anywhere else with that degree of accessibility to education and healthcare (or was it just all we knew); that word on the grapevine was that Vancouver was a pretty good place to grow up (but could you handle the cold Winters); that Los Angeles was an absolute hell no (but Malibu – what about Malibu? Cher lives there, you know).
But then it all depends. What if a dream career curveball or prospective love of your life forevermore should lead you to settle in the great unknown? Is it conviction or myopia that defines your trajectory? Are social rules misguided or clichéd for a reason? What is life?
And then we pulled over for gas. When car conversation resumed, we withdrew from the edge of existential spiralling to more palatable Sunday evening chatter like the waning impact of food flatlays and Kendrick’s DNA video.
Weeks later, returning to Aussie shores ahead of my exhibition, I had the great privilege of showing an American mate the badass babe that is Sydney for the first time. Our coastal and foreshore walks, our avocado toast, our ocean pools and impossible
sunsets. More than anything, the sense of community and unspoken mutual love for all of the above made me secretly proud. To be floating in ocean, transfixed by a pastel sky and glassy waves, and look around at the smattering of people doing the exact same thing, beaming at each other at how lucky they are to behold the sensory overload that is their daily ocean therapy – that’s quite something. Everyone here is just so nice, my American friend exclaimed after a weekend of eating and swimming and eating and swimming our way down the coastline.
In stark contrast to our high-paced home in New York, seaside Sydney is no hurry. In industry and policy, this can be frustrating. But in lifestyle, it’s difficult to replicate. It’s a languishing ease that I wanted to capture in this short I shot with Miu Miu
in the heat of Summer earlier this year at Clovelly. It’s one of my favourite beaches – bolder in its concrete convenience, choppier waves, thriving in marine life and spectacular for people watching.
DIRECTOR, PHOTOGRAPHER & STYLIST // MARGARET ZHANG
HAIR & MAKE UP // CHLOE LANGFORD
MODEL // PIEN WEKKING @ IMG
PRODUCER // SAMANTHA BENNETTS
PHOTO ASSIST // ANA SUNTAY-TAÑEDO