Meeting Margaret Zhang by Bicycle

It’s amusing and wonderful to be in a room full of millennials and Gen Y.  Masquerading as a young person is fun. The freedom and lightness of youth is enticing and refreshing. The slightly jarring feeling of being older than most of the people in a room is a challenge and an opportunity, especially when there are free drinks and canapés involved.

I had the opportunity to meet Margaret Zhang at an event sponsored by Clinique at David Jones Sydney last week.  Who is Margaret Zhang?  She is a lovely young woman of twenty-one who is a very successful fashion writer/stylist/photographer/creative director/commerce and law student.

I saw the invite on Facebook and pounced on the $45 ticket which would be easily redeemable in product. And there was an opportunity to bring a friend for free!  The day of the event my original date wasn’t able to make it. As a result, I rang two girlfriends to invite them along. No dice. Later both, who are mothers, returned my call and expressed delight at being invited. One, who was in town from Auckland, worried about what she might wear.  She had only jeans and t-shirts for the weeklong trip to see her family here in Sydney.  No matter.  Another time we all agreed.

I touched up my burgundy lipstick and bicycled to the event from the office. It was five minutes to ride, park and into the lift where I was whisked away to the top level of DJs. The lipstick was working. In the lift, two young men expressed worry to me about not having tickets to the event.  I made some encouraging sounds, “Surely you won’t be turned away!”

Enjoying the sights and sounds of the spectacle that was Clinique’s Face Forward campaign.

I had never been to this level of DJs before. It’s a beautiful and cavernous space. Clinique’s Face Forward campaign had filled it enticingly with music, waiters dressed in white with champagne and nibbles, make-up stations with white-clad Clinique ladies, metal shelves filled with product and giant pink sculptured letters that spelled Face Forward.  As we are in coat season, I found a spot near the stage to place my belongings. I needed free hands for drinks, food, phone.  I saw a giant white gift Clinique bag under my Phillip Stark Victoria Ghost chair.  Hooray!

How to get a large bag home on the bicycle? The back rack of course!

Champagne in hand, I had a look at the makeup/beauty stations which all held seated young women. Each featured a product namely, skincare, foundation, eye makeup, lipstick. I chose the eye makeup station for an application of eyeliner. Why? I haven’t yet mastered liquid eyeliner.Because of my epicanthal fold, liquid liner tends to smear easily.  After a short wait, I was introduced to Jade. She was lovely and mentioned the “pop” effect of using eyeliner. She complimented me on my eyeshadow and its application.  She applied a little eyeliner and then we assessed. I suggested a bit more. She asked if I wanted something dramatic. “Yes!” I said.  We laughed.  “Why not? I said.

The eyeliner is definitely noticeable in this photo. Jade laughed at this photo too.

I always find it strangely relaxing to have someone else apply my makeup. I always experience a prickly and warm sensation down the back of my neck while it’s being applied. She showed me her handiwork in the mirror. I liked the subtle effect. Later, the men I questioned could not see the difference. Jade was also lovely because she asked me about my work and then said that she had seen this blog. I was charmed.

At another station, I experienced contouring, also known as highlighting, for the first time. I couldn’t see the difference. A little extra blush was helpful as it had been raining on my way to the event. Again, it was lovely to have another woman apply something to my face so gently.

Since hitting my forties, my only concession to the effect of time on my skin is the application of Aveeno tinted SPF 15 moisturiser year-round.  I know that I am fortunate. My beauty routine is simple and quick with the presence of two children. Gentle cleanser (from Aldi) and moisturise/sunscreen daily. At night, I use Aesop’s Camilla Nut moisturiser on my face and neck. Exfoliate twice a week in the shower. Drink lots of water. Eat healthily. Bicycle.

And then the lady whom we had all come to see was about to appear. We were all ushered to our seats.  Jesinta Campbell appeared. She was dressed elegantly in blue suit with a super long belt and sky high nude heels. She introduced Margaret and they stood together chatting.  Margaret’s bell sleeve top was beautiful and loose trousers stylishly comfortable. Jesinta remarked at Margaret’s youth and listed many of her accomplishments.  Next, Margaret introduced some outfits that she had put together for day, evening and weekend all from David Jones.

The evening look included burgundy lipstick! Margaret remarked that she was wearing the same shade. And so was I!  I was feeling quite pleased and “on-trend!”

Burgundy lipstick! Fortunately, I don’t need ID to wear it.

After this segment, Jesinta interviewed Margaret.  What struck me most about Margaret is how discerning, warm and self-aware she is. She is constantly overseas for work, studying, and networked into the fashion industry yet she is very real and down-to-earth. She said that being a student helped to keep her grounded especially as other students see her as “the weird chick at school who wears strange clothes.” After the interview, she patiently spoke to each person and took photos with everyone in the giant queue.

I invited Margaret to go for a bicycle ride around the city the next time she was in town. She thought it could be fun but thought the traffic might be scary. I said that I’d be happy to take her and how the Cycleways had improved bicycling around Sydney. Apart from the imminent demolition of the College Street Cycleway, of course.

I noticed the contingent of young Asian women in the audience to whom her appeal is natural.  She referenced Millennials as a force to be reckoned with and lampooned some in the industry who tend to “talk down” to younger people.  She called the present “the age of entrepreneurs” and suggested that we all follow our dreams no matter what our age. I couldn’t agree with her more. A wonderful evening!

It was late, dark and raining on the way home from a lovely night. I was shocked to see the destruction of the pedestrian walkway at Whitlam Square underway. Very sad.

On a happier note, I opened the gift box at home after transporting it on the back rack of my bicycle.

Inside was a moisturiser, lipstick, eye cream.  I redeemed my ticket for the eyeliner which has worked well. The lipstick is moisturing lip colour balm which has been great for the winter temperatures.

Happy Bicycling!

Today’s ensemble: Warehouse dress, Zara moto jacket, J.Crew earrings, Lululemon rain jacket, Aerosole tall boots, Yakkay helmet, eZee Sprint (because of the rain).

x Sarah

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