ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Six

Show/Share: Phew, things are busy! Sorry for the delay in posting this week, but it’s been one of those times when I’ve either been in meetings, or head-down on paperwork. It all really started from last Saturday when The Social Outfit Committee of Management met for a planning meeting. We had a great working day, agreeing as a group on a working plan for the next 12 months (coinciding with my funded year as part of the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ program). It’s *action-stations* for us all!

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Below is me on Thursday when I met with our *great* supporter, Shannon Carruth from ING Direct, who is helping us with financial planning. Also, do you happen to notice my new The Social Studio digital print silk scarf? Designed by students accessing our Collingwood sister studio, young people use their creative skills to also learn about computer literacy. Genius. I love this pattern and style so much!

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, Miss Shop dress from op shop, The Social Studio ‘Eva’ silk digital print scarf, vintage beads, skirt from op shop, stockings from Japan, retail socks and Fluevog shoes.

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I also wanted to share with you what has become *quite a thing* of late: to drop into The Social Studio when visiting Melbourne, get your picture taken, and then send it to me! I love it! And *naturally* people always have such supportive and great things to say about The Social Studio. Many people comment on it being creative and inspiring; encouraging us to keep working on our Sydney version. Here’s Alexis from a local supporter cafe, Scrambled, showing how happy she is to see our sister studio in person. She bought a summer dress and says she’ll share the photo soon…

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And of course, Vice-Chair David Hardie is always happy to pose and show his support! Apparently that blue/grey t-shirt looked great on him and he went home a happy customer too. xo

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Then on Thursday night I got to do another favourite thing of mine which is to talk about comics. I’m a proud comics nerd; studying it as a part of my university degree. I was part of a panel event, so naturally wanted to wear some ‘comix’ for the night. It was great fun!

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘Romeo Pour Juliette’ 1980s jacket from op shop, skivvy from op shop, Badsville ‘vintage horror comix’ skirt as top, Kmart skirt, Badsville ‘vintage horror comix’ leggings, Fluevog boots.

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And then off on a date last night to celebrate a busy, and great working week….

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Tell: Wa-Nyika earrings, handmade necklaces, ‘Claire Pain Paris‘ brooch, vintage Hawaiian dress from US second-hand store, recycled stockings as gloves, Estillo belt, retail tights and socks, Fluevog sandals, vintage Linda Jackson bag.

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And that pretty much gets you up to speed; until of course I have more news and fun to share about next week. Until then, hope you’re all grand! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Five

Show/Share: This is us saying goodbye to Kit, who heads back to the UK this weekend. We were joined by Kit’s sister Becky, who has been here for the past few weeks on holiday. Even though we’re all smiles here, The Social Outfit will miss all of Kit’s hard work and *go get ’em attitude* very much. Safe onward journey lovely ladies …

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Below is some of what Kit wrote about her experience being involved with The Social Outfit:

I have learnt a great deal while working with The Social Outfit, and I feel it has made my experience in Australia what it has been. I have gained more self-assurance … I now feel passionate about working closely with the coming together of communities, and believe this is a skill I would like to use in my career in the future. 

We’ll miss you, Kit. Thank You! xo

And this is me yesterday, looking *quite* a bit like a 1980s bank teller, or maybe flight attendant… Although actually what I was doing was meeting with some very warm and welcoming staff at the Red Cross, Migration Support Programs in Sydney city, as well as with the Metro Migrant Resource Centre in Campsie. The meetings went very well, and I’m so pleased to be talking with people who are interested in collaborating, and welcoming of what The Social Outfit is hoping to achieve.

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Tell: Handmade earrings, scarf from op shop, Tatty Devine giant zipper necklace, The Social Studio top, ‘Di Bazzato’ vintage men’s shirt from an op shop in Blacktown, Katies skirt from op shop, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots. Detail below: vintage Kenzo wool jacket from op shop in Noosa.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Three

Show/Share: This Saturday night some of us from The Social Outfit group went out to thank our volunteers, Chloe and Kit for all their help and support. Volunteers For the Win! Below is Chloe, me and Michael, who is the owner of the *fantastic* Vietnamese restaurant in Marrickville, Bau Truong. He is also a supporter and friend to The Social Outfit. We had an amazing night of laughs and fun at Bau Truong. Michael is a truly gracious host and the food there is divine.

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Below, from left: Darren, me, Meredith, Sarah, Antonia, Chloe, Stu and David.

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Here’s also some dressing detail…

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Tell: Anna Davern earrings, The Social Studio silk scarf, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, velvet top from op shop, handmade necklace, family brooch, The Social Studio silk scarf, Lacoste boots. Oroton bag from op shop.

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On Friday last week I caught up with my mentor and ally, Paul Bide. He always has a *good* bit of advice and encouragement for our start-up plans. I also met with friend and designer, Wanyika. She’s just come back from Kenya with some fantastic fashions and ideas.

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This was Friday’s outfit:

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, The Social Studio kimono dress, scarf gifted by Susan, Black Milk leggings, Trippen shoes from Berlin outlet.

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Hoping you’ve had a lovely weekend too xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Two

Show/Share: So the *exciting* news I have today is that we have another fashion project in progress … Following on from our pilot pop-up project down at The Rocks (and funded by the City of Sydney Council), this time The Social Outfit will be working with young people from refugee communities who are attending Fairfield High School. This project is funded by ING Direct, and we’ll kick it off in Term 3, late July. We’ll be on site at the school one half-day per week for over 8 weeks learning together fashion and design skills with about 15 students.

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Yesterday morning I headed out to south-west Sydney to meet again with some of the fantastic leadership team at Fairfield High School, including the Principal Bob Mulas and the head teacher of the Intensive English Centre, Sonia Durney. (We learnt all about Fairfield High School‘s fabulous work from our long term supporter, Meredith Turnbull, and Board Member Sarah Chisholm and intern Kit Shutt have all helped in our developing relationship). Turns out we’re all super keen to work together, and here’s just a couple of *great* things to know about Fairfield High School:

  • There are over 20 nationalities represented at the school.
  • As well as a being a high school with over 1000 students, this school also has a community hub on site, particularly for parents from newly arrived and refugee communities.
  • The community hub includes a cafe and garden which grows produce from many of the student and family’s countries of origin.
  • The Fairfield High School Parents’ Café provides opportunities for newly arrived refugee parents to engage with the Australian education system and gain more information about available services, community organisations and pathways to training and employment.
  • This school has one of the highest representation of students from refugee communities anywhere in Australia, and they are dedicated to providing opportunities for students attending their school, including those students who undertake the ‘Work Skills’ equivalent to the HSC.

The Social Outfit’s project with Fairfield High School is our chance to keep working directly with young people from refugee backgrounds in fashion-related work. We can work on site at the school, and hopefully celebrate the skills of the young people and their cultural traditions, as well as developing their skills in clothing production and design.

Very soon I’ll be putting a call-out for a fashion-trained educator to help me with this project, so if you know anyone who is qualified, and wants to get paid for *doing good in a fashion*, please help me spread the word!

And here’s today’s outfit as I travelled around from Fairfield, to Sydney city, and beyond…

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings, handmande necklace, vintage apple brooch from op shop, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, Laura Ashley dress from Bondi op shop, vintage leather belt, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots. Detail below also shows The Social Studio felt jacket and brooch from Japan.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and One

Show/Share: If you like *bright* and *shiny* things, the Vivid festival is a bit of a winter evening draw-card in Sydney town…

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So much colour. Colour! This was our Friday evening, hanging out down at The Rocks

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And then back to the Inner West later, where apparently Newtown has its own wee version of the lights and brightness… Not quite as *flash*, but a little bit of sparkle to muck around in front of nonethless… xo

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Tell: (Let’s just do some highlights, shall we?!) … Necklace and brooch from op shop, Black Milk jellyfish leggings, and Linda Jackson vintage bag.

ShowTellShare Two Hundred

Show/Share: A bit of work, and a bit of play…

This is me on Tuesday, busy with both in-person and interstate telephone meetings.

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I wanted to especially share with you some recent support The Hornery Institute (THI) have been offering to us at The Social Outfit. Andrew who works there has been super supportive by gathering data which helps us to explain why Newtown is a promising location for setting up our fashion social enterprise. As their own website explains, The Hornery Institute ‘is an independent not for profit organisation dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing of communities.  Our purpose is to help make communities better places to live, learn, work and play…” And like they say, they certainly know their way around ‘place-based solutions’. I’ve got to say, I just *love* it when savvy people can access data and numbers from places like the ABS, and then use their expertise in business to help add to our ‘case for support’. So a big thanks to THI, Andrew, and Kate for getting on board. Also, and especially, thanks to our friend Sandy for introducing us all!

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Tell: Earrings from op shop,The Social Studio shirt, Tatty Devine necklace and TD ‘Gilbert & George’ brooch, Portmans dress from op shop, Katies skirt from op shop, American Apparel tights, Fluevog boots.

And below also are some photos from Sunday night when I went out dancing. Yes, dancing on a Sunday night! Oooh la la…

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Tell: Hat from ‘somewhere a million years ago’, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘Francesca of Damon’ silk shirt from op shop, singlet from op shop, Saba leather belt, Review skirt on sale, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots.

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Nine

Show/Share: A bit of colour and fun from the last two days. Yesterday we headed over to the Finders Keepers Markets

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Tell: Earrings from op shop, Tatty Devine necklace, Esprit skivvy from op shop, secondhand cardigan, vintage skirt from the 1950s markets, Spin Dance petticoat, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots, ‘Glamourpuss’ bag from Faster Pussycat.

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I particularly wanted to catch up with Emma-Kate and her *fantastic* fashion social enterprise, WEFTshop:

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As explained on their website, “WEFTshop is a not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting refugee women from Burma living on the border with Thailand by developing their skills as textile artisans. The fabrics they make are the key to our work and to the freedom and financial well-being of many of these women and their families.” It was lovely to see their wares in person, especially the colour-combinations and the talent and skill involved…

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Then on Friday I got to catch up with Kirsten, who is volunteering for The Social Outfit on some work. Kirsten and I used to work together at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and I’m so *chuffed* to have her helping us out! Volunteers really make all the difference to this start-up work. Thanks KR xo

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This is me on Friday, remembering just how *ace* yellow and pink work together…

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, handmade necklace, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage ‘Jonathan Summers of Sydney’ house-dress from op shop, retail tights, Fluevog loafers from Sole Devotion in Melbourne. Detail: Tatty Devine hand ring.

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