Split Envy

So you went to your school formal, and now you have this dress…


One of the biggest burning questions I get asked concerns the recycling of formal (translation: prom) dresses. Now, in my experience and observation, I don’t know why anybody would ever want to relive fantastically such horrendous days of rhinestoned faux pas, but for the purposes of this experiment, let’s assume that your adolescent dream dress of choice was not a tie-dye meringue (here’s looking at you, Jessica Biel).

In this instance, where a lot of the garment is reasonably skintight, I can get away with wearing a giant denim jacket or army affair, and these joyous chunksters on my feet for a little bit of awkward, a little bit of goth, and only a few stares and tut tuts down the street (I suppose the split is thigh high). The aggressive ankle hardware and a head of bed hair makes daytime evening wear much more deliberate, and yet you can look like you didn’t try too hard without looking like you tried not to try too hard. Oh this old thing? It’s just something I had… lying around.

I’ll be honest with you – it is not going to be ok if you wear high-tops with your off-white sweetheart neckline ruched poly-chiffon gown. But, if you cut it in half at the waist seam and wear the top as a bustier over a grey tee with leather shorts, a long khaki trench, and these stomping boots, and keep the skirt as a mosquito net, then we’re talking.

The moral of the story being: don’t be scared to customise – you’ll never wear the thing otherwise. Hell, the amazing Miss Claire who won my Josh Goot dress cut it in half and basically conquered life.

How you proceed to exercise this moral, then, is to buy angry shoes and find your scissors. Do not, I REPEAT, do not succumb to the urge of going through those formal (prom) Facebook photos. It will all end in tears. Somehow.

TOPSHOP Dress – Windsor Smith Envy Boots in Black


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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