Je m’appelle Louise

What would Louise do?

Meet Louise.

Louise is red hot. Framboise hot, even.

Louise disguises long-haul flight dehydration, and 24/7 on the job, with excessive gold-leafed macaron consumption.

Louise is the only Bag in Bag Lady and the right side of Eye Bags.

I’d like to be her when I grow up.

Or, at least, I’d like to learn to fit my immediate life essentials in her 23 x 15 x 5 cm confines, and stop responding to How are you? with So busy or Pretty sleepy, even if I am both. And then some. In the same way that buying more, by a price tag, would surely make you buy less, I have finally learned that the right kind of luxury investment also makes you realise how much the rest of your life is a grand clutter, and less is truly more.

Anybody who has traveled with me will attest to the impossible volumes of stuff I attempt to get away with carrying onboard, and the hilarious tumbles and desperate quadruple bagged airport sprints that ensue.

Enter Louise, stage right, and a plague on both your houses.

Or an end to all this madness, perhaps.

I spent last weekend working in Seoul, Korea. For our European sisters unawares, a weekend overseas, for Australians, is the most laughable oxymoron in the book, second only to cheap avocados. As a result, I have never agreed to go anywhere near the International Terminal for any period less than a week – a day less, and I’m kicking and screaming. The agonies of flying anywhere from Down Under are just not worth any quantity of Ladurée. Not even Nina Ricci’s.

But what would Louise do?

Passport, perfume, and pineapples in the pink. Only pack carry-on luggage.

Blasphemy! I need at least thirty looks with coordinating shoes to wear over 48 hours.

Shut up, Margaret: one pair of heeled boots, one pair of walking flats, one look per day, one look per night, laptop, powerboard, muesli bars, not macarons. Arrive with online check-in an hour before your flight, be out the other end within ten minutes of disembarking.

Louise knows best.

Less is more.

I’m never packing checked luggage again – now to find the perfect carry-on.


Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, 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. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

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