MARGARET ZHANG’S SYDNEY

Margaret Zhang

I FEEL like I ought to come clean: Before I met Margaret Zhang some time in October last year — it was for work, for an interview — I hadn’t the faintest idea who she was. Someone obviously more clued in informs me that she’s a fashion blogger from Australia who had just been cast in the next big reality TV show (isn’t it always, though?), called — let’s keep it real — Fashion Bloggers.

Being the professional, well-trained journalist that I am, I did my homework — Googled “Margaret Zhang” and… ah, there she is.

Hmmm… interesting. The 22-year-old is not what most people would call “pretty”, not in the conventional Chiara Ferragni kind of way. In fact, she’s a curious-looking one (heart-shaped face with nary a trace of make-up on her gloriously tanned skin in most pictures; barely-there dreamy eyes and eye brows like brush strokes… Yet, there is something about this girl.) Me, I was curious.

Okay then, over to Shine By Three, her blog. Let’s see what she’s got.

By the last word of the first post I read, I was in love. So, for the first time ever, I’m a fan of a blogger. This girl can write. Like, really well.

She takes her own pictures, which boast a style and quality that are completely and unapologetically her own. You see what she sees — only in higher contrast, saturation and hyper sharpness — through her lens.

Her sense of fashion — whether it agrees with you or not, and even when, at times, it gets too outré for the regular girl (imagine pottering into the office in a pleated leather skirt over ripped jeans and laced-up ankle boots!) — you can’t help but lap it up and pore over every one of her carefully-curated looks anyway.

She’s worked with everyone from Net-A-Porter to Louis Vuitton as a model, photographer,

stylist, buyer, consultant and creative director. Her talents outside of fashion includes playing the piano and ballet. Nope, still not done.

In addition to all of the above and travelling all over the world doing what she does, Zhang actually has a full-time gig back home: She studies law at the University of Sydney.

Did I mention she’s only 22?

I don’t know why I’m even telling you all these. I mean, we all know who Margaret Zhang is now, right? After all, she made a pit stop here in May to attend Singapore Fashion Week before the world whisked her away for other fashion adventures.

Anyway, if you’re visiting Sydney for the first time and are looking for a few good tips and recommendations, there’s no one better to consult than the coolest girl in Australia (sorry, Ruby Rose!). As always, the pleasure is mine.

Margaret ZhangFavourite Restaurant:
Fat Rupert’s on Bondi Road. It’s kind of a contemporary Australian (restaurant), serves really, really good dinner. The owner named it after his dog that got really fat because he was feeding him twice as much as he should be… It’s one of my favourites at the moment, and they have great vegetarian offerings — I’m a vegetarian.”

Favourite Café:
Kawa on Crown Street. They have a great vegan breakfast. I was vegan for a while, so I was there all the time.”

Favourite Shops:
“I actually don’t do a lot of physical shopping. I’ll only go physically into a store if I’m really captivated by their visual merchandising, and I want to check it out.

The Josh Goot store on Oxford Street at The Intersection — it’s super beautiful, I love to go in and just see the design because it’s so flawless.

The Camilla And Marc store up at Five Ways is also really beautiful — there’s so much marble, I’m obsessed with marble. And the Dion Lee store — the new one at Westfield Bondi Junction — it’s very well designed, too. These three designers do really well with how they decorate their stores.”

One Must-have Fashion/Beauty Essential:
Does my camera count? Haha. Extra virgin coconut oil. I use it for everything. It’s a great body moisturiser, face moisturiser, make-up remover — it takes everything off straight away. You can use it as a hair treatment and wash it off the next morning; you can use it as cuticle oil, and I have a separate jar in the kitchen that I add to smoothies — it’s a miracle product. A lot of people think it’s weird, but it’s credible for my skin, especially when I’m travelling a lot. It’s probably the best natural product that you can ask for. You’ll smell like a coconut all the time — but that’s ok!

Ok, darlings, gotta run. Off to interview and shoot a style star of our own, Velda Tan.

Photos: Shine By Three

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