A Chinese ‘Dry Duck’ (旱鴨子) At Redleaf Beach

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Versace swimsuit photo shoot by fashion photographer Kent Johnson.

Situated in the picturesque suburb of Double Bay; Redleaf Beach on Sydney Harbour is yet another one of The Emerald City‘s well-kept secrets that you don’t want to miss out on.

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White Caviar Life Versace swimsuit fashion story on location at Redleaf Beach.

Simply known as Redleaf to the locals – it’s a harbour pool within Diendagulla Bay; renamed in 2012 in memory of a famous Australian Olympic swimmer, so now it is officially the Murray Rose Pool. A harbour side beach with a wooden boardwalk over the shark-proof iron bar barrier, so you can stroll out over the water itself… Little boats bobbing and swaying on the bay, it is breathtaking!
This is one of Kent’s favourite beaches to swim at in Sydney. A sandy ‘pool’ with two floating pontoons, grass to rest or sunbake on and the beautiful adjoining Blackburn Gardens with its huge old trees… Kent loves it all!

White Caviar Life Versace swimwear photo shoot on location at Sydney's Redleaf Beach.

‘So you want to write about Redleaf; the perfect Sydney harbour pool you don’t swim at?’
That was Kent’s first reaction when I asked him to edit these pictures he had taken there for me. And suddenly, I felt like a Chinese ‘dry duck’ (旱鴨子) who had tried to fit in but happened to be spotted and got caught out.

Versace colour-blocking swimsuit fashion story by fashion photographer Kent Johnson.

‘What’s a “dry duck”?’ you ask. Well if you haven’t heard this Chinese phrase before, it’s what we call a non-swimmer or a person who is afraid of the water.
Am I a dry duck? At Redleaf beach, yes I am. Let me reveal a secret of mine…
Well hardly a secret! I’m a lousy swimmer and I will only swim in those safe one-metre-deep concrete kids pools. Well perhaps it’s a mixed result of: A) almost drowning in a hot spring at Jiaosi in Taiwan as a toddler, and B) having taken my very first swimming lesson at the age of 23… To tell the truth, I have not overcome my fear of the open water – and a sandy bottom bothers me too.

White Caviar Life Versace swimwear photo shoot by fashion photographer Kent Johnson.

However, being a dry duck doesn’t mean there’s no fun for me at Murray Rose Pool. There’s always plenty of other enjoyments to indulge in, like people watching or reading under a shady tree. And on this occasion – posing in my favourite Versace one-piece swimsuit in perfect dry conditions!

I am so pleased with this shoot! Thank you Kent! This colour-blocking, tropical print Versace swimsuit has been one of my favourites and I’ve been holding on to it for perhaps much longer than I should.
Looking at myself in these pictures… I, clearly not swimwear-model material, but I was happy, healthy and enjoying the moment. It was this Chinese dry duck‘s proudest day at the gorgeous Redleaf Beach!

White Caviar Life fashion story by photographer Kent Johnson.

Photography / Kent Johnson
Styling / Vivienne Shui

Outfit Of The Day

Miu Miu sunglasses
Versace swimsuit
Tilkah bangle
Miss KG heeled sandals

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White Caviar Life Versace swimwear photo shoot on location at Redleaf Beach.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Loved the story Vivienne and as always appreciated Kent’s take on photographing you. I do however think you look far too glamorous and chic to label yourself a dry duck regardless of its significance in Chinese .

    • Thank you for your wonderful feedback Greg; it has put a big smile on my face! Enjoy your long weekend and we must catch up soon! X

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