Chai Checkmate

The people of London seem to grade visitors’ appreciation of their city on a scale of zero to whether you would live here.

tibi-olive-dvf-cue-clothing-starbucks tibi-olive-dvf-cue-starbucks tibi-olive-cue-starbucks


The people of London seem to grade visitors’ appreciation of their city on a scale of zero to whether you would live here. The weather and cash-only cabs should (of course) not be factored into your decision, and there is certainly no room for a Likert scale. So, unfortunately for me, the fact that I would ‘most likely’ or ‘probably’ move to London for some length of time at some point in my life and career was simply not good enough. You have to come and live here with me, says Camille – just do it! Alas, my Nike kicks are back home in Sydney, so the urge to spontaneously relocate is perhaps not so strong.* My view on the capital’s soy Chai latte situation, however, remains quite the opposite.


In my desperation, and part way through a day of back-to-back meetings, I resorted to Starbucks’ sugar high powdered mess (which, quietly, I do enjoy from time to time). How was it possible that nobody knew of heavenly Chai tea lattes? Why did only one barista in Gail’s know how to make them, and why was he on his lunch break in my hour of need? Without any appreciation, or even taste, for coffee, I was slowly tiring of sub par green tea bags and flat soy hot chocolates as meetings in beautifully Instagram-able cafés stacked up throughout my London days.

And that, dear Watson, is how I came to be clutching the iconic stamped paper cup (though I’ve never been a fan of the chain).

How I ended up clad in this solid mish mash of carefully curated lines, however, is (thankfully), quite a different story. Amy’s windowpane checks were basically born to be worn head to toe, so we won’t be questioning that. On its own, I would call it an outfit. Throw in an estranged and inverted cousin of a diamond print with sharper shoulders, higher collar, and infinitely less sports luxe slouch, and we have ourselves a conversation. Two series of lines that were never meant to cross paths – each would typically be seen as its own statement. In the same look, on the other hand, the result is moderately hypnotic (and a fantastic icebreaker). While I chose to ditch my herringbone cube coat in these snaps so as to preemptively maintain your sanity (outerwear repeat offense to hit this space over the next week), Instagram would testify that I did wear that extra check dimension to the dismay of all passersby.

Understandably, that many lines is quite the eyeful.

*don’t get me wrong – London is definitely on my list of places to move

Tibi Windowpane Bomber Jacket and Pleated Pants – Cue Diamond Coat – Olive No. 18 Print Tee – Diane Von Furstenberg Rudi Leather Ankle Boots

photos by Camille Charrière


Margaret Zhang is a Chinese-Australian photographer, director, stylist and writer based in New York. Since her digital beginnings in the fashion industry in 2009, Margaret has worked with global brands including Chanel, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Clinique, Lexus, Dior, Gucci, Matches 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.
Though regularly featured in print and digital media as a model and personality alike, Margaret’s pho tography, styling, and creative direction has been employed by the likes of Vogue, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, Buro24/7, and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40 lists, and her work has been recognised as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index, and ELLE Magazine’s Best Digital Influencer of The Year Award.




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