#FashionForeword with Tina Leung

NOV 22, 2015
Writer, stylist, model, photographer, blogger and lawyer-in-training – Margaret Zhang (pictured, far right) is all of these rolled into one gorgeous package. And she has more than 600,000 Instagram followers – not bad for a 22-year-old Australian who was recently singled out for Clinique’s #faceforward campaign. For this issue, LANDMARK taps her skills behind the camera for a glamorous feature set in Manhattan.

You’re a stylist, model and photographer. Which part of the process do you enjoy the most?
I love creative-directing from behind the camera. Seeing the bigger picture and building a story is such an exciting process. For a recent shoot, I was on double duty in front of and behind the camera. Getting several people looking their strongest in one frame is such a challenge, let alone when you’re setting up the frame and jumping in just before the self-timer fires.

How did you get into photography?
I learned to shoot on film and spent a lot of time in the darkroom when I was 12 and 13, so my technical foundation comes from that. I didn’t really start shooting people and fashion until I picked up digital.

How did your Shine By Three site get started?
It started as more of an art-photography and design space. It was just heaps of imagery that I’d saved of other artists’ work, couture and graphics. Somehow it evolved into personal style, and now it’s more of a portfolio of my work and associated travel.

You’ve been pursuing your law degree at the same time. How do you juggle it all?
I definitely don’t get as much sleep as I would like. Time-management is key – hourly schedules, early starts, late finishes. I study a lot on planes and plan work around university breaks. Classes always come first, though.

Tell me about your family and upbringing.

I’m a Sydneysider born and raised, and so is my kid brother (he’s 20 now). My dad is in mechanical engineering, and my mum’s field is medicine. My brother studies the same commerce/law degree as me but at a different university. Dad is naturally very creative, though, and great at drawing, so I suppose that’s where the artistic streak comes from.

Have you ever been to Hong Kong? Which city or island in Asia do you love the most?
I’ve worked in Hong Kong a few times. I’m such a foodie, so I get so excited about eating there. I think Bangkok and Chiang Mai are probably my favourite Asian cities. The Thais are such kind people.

You travel a lot. What has been your best trip so far?
Morocco was the most eye-opening couple of weeks for me. I learned so much about Muslim culture, and the history and colours really inspired me.

What do you love most in fashion now?
I’m fascinated by the increased cross-pollination among art, performance art and fashion. It makes fashion so much more informative, and it’s so refreshing for a collection to have a deeper background.

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Words by Tina Leung