Rock Stud Baby

On designer shoes and childbirth – one and the same, really.

During our routine Skype catchup this morning, Camille exclaimed that she hadn’t seen my perfect new Valentino flats on Shine By Three yet, and what the hell was I thinking because the world needed to see them. And by ‘new’ she means two months old. Indeed, I’ve Instagram-ed them every once in a while, but never got around to shooting my get-up on any given day that these shiny as hell beauties were out pounding the pavement.

So, as what is the socially acceptable and polite thing to do, I thought I’d introduce them to you all, with the just-born photo snapped in my London apartment just after the razor sharp, suited up and cheekboned delivery gentleman handed them over downstairs, and I birthed their studded perfection from swathes of mighty fine tissue paper, while hyperventilating to Z over Whatsapp.

How awfully graphic.

Interpret that as you will.

Prior to leaving for New York and London, I had cleared out just over a grand worth of my wardrobe (probably the most ridiculous task I’ve ever undertaken) and decided that it ought to be spent on my first ever real sartorial investment. And I knew it would be on shoes. You all knew it would be on shoes, and you didn’t even know that you needed to know. I’m one of those people who forgets to transfer the contents of their favourite bag into their second favourite bag. I’m a shoe person. That’s all that needs to be said.

People often ask me what luxury labels I would buy if I were obscenely wealthy, because they know I’m not obscenely wealthy and like to see me squirm. I won’t pretend I haven’t thought about it: Derek Lam and Acne for well-proportioned basics, Balenciaga (from Ghesquière days) for impeccable tailoring, Givenchy for leather goods, KENZO and Carven for exceptional outerwear, Valentino for perfectly ageless femininity, and Jérôme Dreyfuss for the best freaking leopard print on the market.

So why Valentino? Because it’s on the list.

Coupled with the instances that I couldn’t stop staring at Eva‘s pair last September, and Jules‘ heeled version when she came over for pizza in New York, and my undying fixation on pointed toes, and the fact that I’m a dancer with almost two decades worth of shredded feet that didn’t need to be further shredded by poorly made shoes, It was a no-brainer really. I didn’t even get heart palpitations when I clicked through to check out (though I did when I forgot to claim tax back at Heathrow airport – dammit).

But, let me tell you: they were worth it. I would say that I have worn them at least thirty times since I brought them home, to my brother’s terror. I’ve walked all day in them, gotten rained on in them, accidentally got drenched by Bronte Beach in them… and they still look like I just birthed them out of their pretty ribboned box. I can get away with wearing them with overalls to Uni, with pantsuits to meetings, and dresses to evening events if I need to. I live by a dollar per wear – trust me, it works.

And of course, I have already forgotten the excruciating monetary pains of childbirth designer shoes, and am damn ready and raring to go for round two – most likely with my impending European Summer in mind, and most likely unaffordable. Stella McCartney? Charlotte Olympias sold out in my size? CHANEL espadrilles god forbid?

Or perhaps I’m in love with these Tory Burch kicks

Send help!

Valentino Studded Patent Leather Flats from NET-A-PORTER


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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