Ministry of Style

July 19, 2015 52

This and that about the kind of languid, sleepy-eyed, roll-around-naked humid heat that I wanted to capture in this Ministry of Style campaign I shot when Sydney was still sweating.


Stepping out of the airport in New York this evening, the soupy heat was comparable to, say, a hug from a second aunt at a family reunion – a little uncomfortable in its unavoidable invasion of personal space, but soothing in the knowledge that the greatest Matcha 抹茶 green tea roll cake on the planet is to follow.

Promising dessert fads aside, I must say that New York in the height of Summer is not my favourite bodily sensation. And it is a sensation – of constant sweat dripping down your back on the Subway, and dirt climbing into your pores, and the rude shock of Arctic air conditioning in every establishment of refuge. What do you guys do when it gets this hot? I’d asked incredulously when I was here last July. Take a shower, New Yorkers had so helpfully offered. Or go to the Hamptons.


But today, the heat was quite welcome. Sydney is currently a cold-fronted mess and a rude shock after wilting considerably in that European heatwave – why the French have yet to embrace air con remains a mystery to me. So, as far as sanity goes, it’s ideal that work has brought me back over to this side of the world for what remains of my Uni break, albeit last minute.

In any case, this is the kind of languid, sleepy-eyed, roll-around-naked humid heat that I’d wanted to capture in this Ministry of Style campaign I shot when Sydney was still sweating. The easy, undone, uncensored, and classically beautiful of a girl in the sun – not even quintessentially Australian – just casual heat personified. I think I probably half mumbled those words (plus “dewy” and “bitten”) as a beauty reference in the general direction of our hair and makeup maestro Charlie Kielty at our 4AM call time.

Charlie, you’re a god damn magician.

Of course, the story could not have been shot of anyone but homeslice Zoe Cross. No doubt, the lot of you already spend your Sunday mornings swooning









over her effortlessness and impossible degree of realness on Instagram. Z-C is one of those. A perfectly imperfect balance of iconic, classic beauty, tomboyish charm, wicked humour, and quiet ambition, confidently shifting between raw, sandblasted indifference, and Renaissance glamour. Although, I don’t suppose it matters what stylistic context you find her in. This kind of woman exudes a self-assurance, accentuated by a ruthless sun or steamy room. You’ll surely admit that no human could be so captivating in the cold.

Except perhaps Tilda Swinton.

Cate Blanchett at a stretch.

Now excuse me while I go and figure out how to turn off this hotel room air conditioning, so I can fall asleep to the buzz of some of that heat.

PHOTOGRAPHY // Margaret Zhang

ASSISTING // Nicole Cooper

STYLING // Margaret Zhang

HAIR & MAKE UP // Charlie Kielty

MODEL // Zoe Cross @ IMG Models

Shot for MINISTRY OF STYLE ‘Macro’ Collection

Styled with VALÉRE (moonstone earrings, pearl necklace, sun earrings, pearl drop earrings, large bangle, small bangle), FORD + HARRIS,  and HOUSE OF EMMANUELLE jewellery