ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Eight

Show: Look who I got to catch up with in person! How *great* it was to spend time with Grace and Ajak yesterday. And look how excited Ajak is about wearing his The Social Studio clothing!

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The Social Outfit had the absolute *pleasure* of Grace’s company in town for the day, yesterday. We had some important meetings to attend, and I can’t tell you how lovely it is to talk face to face with Grace, and hear all about the ongoing great work at The Social Studio. Honestly what is happening in Collingwood, Melbourne is as creative and inspiring as it was when I first met up with them three years ago! And the ongoing support The Social Studio shows to our team up here in Sydney is so significant.

Grace and I also met with one of our other Board members, designer Nina Maya, and the two of them talked a lot about the fabric digital printing The Social Studio now has up and running. Amazing possibilities! And check out Grace’s digital print scarf; designed by one of the students (top photo shows it better).

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Having someone like Nina with her design expertise is very exciting for us as we keep developing our own work here in Sydney.

And below is me, dressed up with a distinctly ‘1980s-business-feel’, and wearing The Social Studio of course!

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 Tell: Australian designer, ‘Studibaker Hawk’ vintage jacket from op shop, brooch from op shop, The Social Studio singlet, shirt from op shop, Fletcher Jones wool skirt from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots.STS 198_2

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Seven

Show/Share: There’s something lovely about spending time doing fun things on an autumn weekend in Sydney city. From wandering the streets, with the yellowing leaves and dappled light…

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To the more urban spaces…

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This is us making our way to hear our dear friend, and author, Courtney Collins talk as a part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. She was brilliant, naturally! Her first novel, The Burial, is doing very well and it was a pleasure to hear someone talk so passionately about the creative process; especially for longer-term projects.

Plus she was in conversation with Claudia Karvan, so I also got to momentarily relive my *crush* on her and Ben Mendelsohn in the 1990s Aussie classic, The Big Steal (and beyond, of course). Might just need to re-watch it for some fashion pointers…

Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, handmade leather brooch by Jessica, Saba cardigan, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage “BHS Made in Britain’ cotton skirt from Red Cross op shop Newtown, retail tights, socks from Barcelona, Fluevog shoes.

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Six

Show/Share: I wanted to share with you some more of the creative-based work from people involved in our second-day workshop at the Asylum Seekers Centre, last week

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As you can see, one woman made this *artisan* purse. It has both handmade elements (like the flowers and the ribbon strap), as well as being fully lined and assembled from her skills on the sewing machine. The fabric used is both eco-dyed cloth from our workshops down at The Rocks, as well as fabric remnants.

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And here is a fabric necklace made by another workshop participant. You can see the same use of the hand-sewn flower-making technique. Artist Nicole taught us the skill of taking fabric and twisting it into these chains. The result is a super strong, and quite unique chain, I think. Plus, it’s low cost as you can use fabric scraps. I love it!

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Thanks again to everyone involved at the Asylum Seekers Centre, especially Anna and Sandy, for welcoming us and giving us the opportunity to work together.

Speaking of working together, here’s me heading out to meetings on Wednesday this week. Thanks to The Social Outfit Pilot and the way it connected us to both ongoing supporters and new people, we have some new leads to follow-up on, and more professional people to talk with about our development here in Sydney.

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Tell: Vintage Versace shirt from op shop, The Social Studio felt jacket, Saba belt, vintage skirt from op shop, retail tights, sample Lacoste boots from outlet.

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And finally, our May The Social Outfit newsletter that showcases some of our recent *good* news… (If you click on the image itself, it will make it larger, and easier to read)…

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Five

Sunday: A beautiful autumn day in Sydney…

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To have some fun, and celebrate my birthday…

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Yesterday we spent part of the day checking out some fabulous art at the Art Gallery of NSW. Not surprisingly, I responded *well* to the more colourful works…

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It’s like looking into a mirror…

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These artworks photographed are by Ugo Rondinone.

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Artwork by Sol LeWitt.

And *naturally* I was celebrating the day of my birth by wearing some new, vintage Ken Done. This 1980s shirt had found it’s way to Italy, when I then bought it back recently via eBay to its Sydney home, probably some 10 or 20 years later. I just love it! And, of course, I was also wearing some handmade work from Abuk at The Social Studio.

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, Ken Done vintage 1980s shirt, brooch gifted, necklace gifted for my birthday, vintage belt from UK, Tatty Devine bracelet, handmade bracelet made by Abuk from The Social Studio, ‘Diamonds Ain’t a Girls Best Friend’ ring from UK, Sportsgirl skirt from op shop, Jonathan Aston stockings, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots, and Tatty Devine balloon leather necklace.

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Artwork by Ugo Rondinone, adjusted here by the *spectacular* Hawaiian First Officer and me.

And then, because I’ve been a little ‘light on’ with outfit posts recently, here’s some from the last few days…

Saturday: An ongoing love with secondhand 1980s Escada…

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Kmart skivvy, vintage Escada shirt, Anthea Crawford skirt from op shop, Jonathan Aston tights, tights underneath from Japan and Fluevog boots.

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Friday:

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Tell: Earrings from op shop, Saba skivvy, Leona Edmiston dress from op shop, Tatty Devine cat bangle as necklace, Estilio belt, Sportsgirl tights as gift, borrowed socks from the HFO, Fluevog shoes, Tatty Devine balloon bag, gifted ‘Frida Kahlo’ bag.

Just me enjoying my mis-matched, but still matching earrings!

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Four

Well the *good* news is things haven’t slowed down since we finished up with our Pilot; with more opportunities to meet people, hear ideas and think about The Social Outfit‘s next steps…

Recently I went to Auburn and met with some lovely people from the Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association (AAHYA), and then on Monday this week I met with a group of very welcoming women from Al Btool Inc, an Iraqi Muslim support group, in Bankstown. They hosted me, sharing their amazing home-cooked food, and we talked about The Social Outfit. Many of the women shared their sewing experience, as well as their love of colour, fashion, and making clothing. This week I’ve also been out to Fairfield High School, which has both an Intensive English Centre for newly arrived migrants, and also has a very high number of students from refugee communities. We’re developing some exciting ideas, especially when knowing how many young people positively respond to creativity and fashion.

Then yesterday, Nicole and I started another fashion workshop at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown.

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The Asylum Seekers Centre has recently moved, so it was really lovely to be in a large, light-filled room working creatively with many interested people. We had women and men of all ages involved in making gifts and fashion pieces for their loved ones, or themselves.

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You may have noticed that when doing some workshops we don’t have photos or names of people involved. This is something we’re unable to do, so instead I try and capture the feeling of involvement, community and learning…

One young man, who has been involved in all our workshops, and is very keen on fashion, used a sewing machine for the first time. His stitching skills were amazing! He took to it like a natural…

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I love that he has been involved in every step of making these scarves; from hand eco-dyeing them in our Rocks pop-up space, to then sewing them together here in Newtown. We’re so pleased to be working collaboratively with the Asylum Seekers Centre, their wonderful staff and clients, who’ve all made us feel so welcome.

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I also finished up my university research work this week. As you know, thanks to the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ program I can now go full-time on setting up The Social Outfit. Working at the University of New South Wales this past year has been amazing for further developing my research skills; and many of my colleagues have been really interested in The Social Outfit work too. Special mention goes to my manager, Kath Albury, who is a huge supporter of what we’re trying to achieve. She was brilliant to work with. And so here’s me and my colleague Paul – who has volunteered for The Social Outfit, especially for our November 2012 event – on my last day… And seeing as we both research media cultures, a dodgy, fun ‘selfie’ seemed appropriate:

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I’ll be back to show/tell/sharing full fashion outfit posts soon too… xo

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Three

Show/Tell/Share: We planned, we participated, we produced… Yes, we held a pilot to show “The Social Outfit celebrates the skills and styles of our diverse cultures in Australia” …

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On Friday evening last week we closed the pop-up store, but not before some of our wonderful volunteers, (left to right) Antonia, Kit and Traci, drew out our lucky door prize winner. Oooo, something exciting is coming in the mail for them!

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And on Saturday it was time for us to say goodbye to our The Rocks Pop-up space, and pack up our shop selling so many *great* goodies from The Social Studio. Well worth remembering too that this pilot was made possible in the first place thanks to the support of the City of Sydney Council, Community Grants program.

Packing up the pilot, which really was a display of the *hope* we have to set up full-time in Sydney, wasn’t nearly as fun as setting up… especially peeling off decal letters individually!

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But it’s just ‘bye-bye’ to the pilot, because me and the whole The Social Outfit team plan on working just as hard to take our next steps forward in our development. In fact, we’re holding more fashion-based arts workshops at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown this week.

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And that’s because, as always, we remain committed to making The Social Outfit an ongoing reality here in NSW. As ever, I just want to keep “doing good in a fashion” and celebrating the skills and talents of people from refugee backgrounds living in greater Sydney… xo

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Poster image copyright belongs to The Social Studio.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Two

Show/Tell/Share: Check out Susan last Saturday doing some live window-modelling of The Social Studio clothing. Amongst other things, Susan is an aspiring modern dancer, so she was also showcasing her contemporary dance moves down at our Pop-Up Pilot at The Rocks

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This dress was so truly suited to Susan’s own style and personality that she happily bought it in support of The Social Studio and The Social Outfit. A beautiful butterfly-inspired-dress for a talented young woman…

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Thanks for working with us, Susan! Here is what she wrote about the experience:

My favourite part of The Social Studio fashion is the mixture of different colours that is so contemporary, with a link to cultural inspiration. Working with The Social Outfit means getting along with everyone, and it meant I felt comfortable and confident.

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Then on Thursday and Friday last week I had my two-day induction as part of the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ paid charity leave. Here’s me and two of my *wonderful* fellow WOD’ers – we’ve just finished telling our story for about the tenth time, and to many of the interested staff at Vodafone Headquarters, including the CEO – so no wonder we’re smiling and looking relieved!

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On my left is the *darling* Loren O’Keefe from Missing Persons’ Advocacy Network (Melbourne) and the ‘Dan Come Home’ Campaign. On my right is the *bold and bright* Julliette Wright from Givit (Brisbane). Our fourth buddy, not pictured, is Ian Davis from MND and Me Foundation. Right now Ian is riding the ‘million meters ride’ on a two-person, purpose-built, bike from Brisbane to Sydney. Good luck, Ian! (For more about me and my three fellow participants a good snapshot is here, at Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’.)

Last Friday evening we opened for some late-night shopping and a bit of a community catch up. Here’s just a few fun pics from the night…

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*Thanks* for your joy and hope lovelies pictured here, and others!

And given that we will close our pop-up doors this Friday evening, 10 May 2013, we’re going to have a small last *hoorah* for all the support and love Sydney-siders have shown from 5.30pm. Follow our The Social Outfit Facebook page for updates…

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-One

Show: A collection of images and anecdotes from The Social Outfit Pilot…

Susan is doing some paid work experience with us at the pop-up shop at The Rocks as a part of our City of Sydney Community Grants… It’s *lovely* to have you involved, Susan. We hope you’re enjoying yourself and learning some new skills too!

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Oboya also came down to The Rocks today to pay us a visit and hear more about our development. It’s wonderful to have our volunteer models from our November runway event keen to stay involved and very supportive of The Social Outfit‘s plans in Sydney… You *rock*, Oboya!

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This is Shannon from ING Direct. Some recent, VERY *exciting* news is that ING Direct have provided us with a grant to support our ongoing work and full business plan. Thanks ever so much! We’re very pleased to have some incredibly supportive philanthropic funding as we begin our set up here in Sydney. Shannon and I had a wonderful time together; she’s so nice and interested in our work!

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Here’s the talented artist, Nicole Barakat, who taught our second workshop series on eco-dyeing. And doesn’t she look so *splendid* in her The Social Studio necklace she purchased from our store?! Nicole is also going to teach another creative workshop series for us in mid-May, as part of a collaborative partnership with the Asylum Seeker’s Centre in Newtown. Hooray for the celebration of ethical art skills!

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Here’s a participant at work with the eco-dyeing last week…

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And some of the amazing, detailed, and highly-skilled work from a young man who took part in all the workshop days. He really enjoyed himself and we loved having interested people involved!

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This is me decked out in The Social Studio from last Wednesday when I started getting sick…

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And here I am, today (and a week later), finally on the improve. You can tell I’m getting better because I’m wearing *double-denim* AND The Social Studio… <3

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What can I say? I simply *love* being around the gorgeous The Social Studio stock, and working hard with people to make The Social Outfit a reality in Sydney. Together, I reckon we can do this really well!

So if you haven’t had to a chance to pop by, but are interested in seeing what’s happening, then *please* come down to The Social Outfit‘s Pop-Up shop this Friday 3 May from 6pm, to say hello, have a glass of sparkling water or wine, and see our little shop, stocked with ethically-accredited clothing from our sisters based in Melbourne, The Social Studio (including some new stock, too!).

Shop 2.03, 140 George Street, The Rocks (the old MCA entrance)… Hope we see you there! xo

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