ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Forty-Two

Show: I think that’s a smile that shows my *joy* of wearing The Social Outfit, and inside our actual shop!

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Here, I’m wearing the ‘Nina Maya x The Social Outfit‘ print in yellow. Nina also *super kindly* designed the interior of our space at 353 King Street Newtown, and she sits on our charity board, too. We *love* the support of talented people, far and wide, in our work…

P1050145My smile may also be about the love and *fun* of wearing plastic fried-egg jewellery! Nothing quite like ‘food fashion’!
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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, handmade bead necklaces, plastic fried egg from Japan, The Social Outfit x Nina Maya silk tunic (available for sale, right now!), Sportscraft sample belt, skirt from op shop, The Social Outfit x Nina Maya leggings, retail socks, Fluevog boots.

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With The Social Outfit retail store now open, and our team getting all our systems up and running… these are my outfits for last Friday, Saturday an Sunday, in the space. (And including a mirror selfie!)

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, ‘Nurturing Threads’ Cambodian silk beads sold at The Social Outfit, vintage leather belt from second-hand store, ‘Mona Davis Haute Couture Sydney’ silk dress from op shop, retail tights, Fluevog boots.

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At store, we stock beautiful silk beads from Cambodia, made as part of The Tabitha Foundation social enterprise work. The colours are brilliant, and these electric blue ones will be just the start of my collection!

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Another outfit below… but ooooooh, look at the lovely interior of our store more! As we like to say, everything here for sale is “Good to Wear. Made for Good.” And the Newtown, and wider community, has been super-welcoming and lovely about our opening.

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘Rom Australia’ ‘jacket’ from op shop (I’m pretty sure it’s actually a night gown!), Miss Shop dress from op shop, Black Milk velvet leggings, Fluevog boots.

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So as I post from inside The Social Outfit, I hope this blog sees you very well, and see you round soon! xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Forty-One

Show/Tell/Share: Well, we’ve gone from these closed doors, and the years of hard work by a committed group of people

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… To these *open* doors! The Social Outfit is *now* open to the public and to our community. Hooray! I’d love you to pop by our retail space at 353 King Street Newtown, and come and say hello… (Opening hours here.)

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As part of our preparations for opening, we did a photo-shoot recently with some of our *gorgeous* newly-produced clothing; all proudly made on site at Newtown. And where better to take some photos with natural light and a great bit of art, than the Ken Done Gallery?! *Super Thanks* to Ken Done and his daughter, Camilla for letting us take over the space for a Friday afternoon… xo

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Photographer Mark Sherborne and Stylist Sar Ruddenklau stepped in to generously help us with the shoot. What *brilliant* supporters of The Social Outfit they are too! xo

Here’s a picture of my role for the day: to generally be an *excited* presence and to help with lighting! (And wearing Ken Done, of course!)

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Here’s some photos of our latest collection, starring Oboya and Ava as our models… The shirt and jacket are made by us, and the necklaces are from WEFTShop. All these items are proving very popular at the store, which is so *ace* and *fun* for us…

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Ava-and-Oboya-KD-signWe had a great time together, laughing and learning, and I’m really looking forward to all our ongoing fashion work at The Social Outfit with our growing new migrant and refugee community…

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Now here’s some of my own outfits over the past little while…

First up, a ‘The Social Outfit Loves Ken Done‘ and Dragstar number. I wore this ensemble on the day I worked with Vice-Chair David Hardie, Jen Riley from UnitedWay and Jo Taylor of Dusseldorp Forum on our evaluation plan for The Social Outfit. We have two amazing volunteers, Sue and Sally who are going to conduct our evaluation of our organisation, so to all meet, and work together was very exciting!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings handmade, Tatty Devine bracelet, ‘The Social Outfit Loves Ken Done’ silk scarf and leggings from Colour Chameleon, Dragstar dress, Fluevog sandals.

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And then here’s my outfit for a fundraising training-day with Hailey Cavill, Shannon Anderson of Fully Fund It, and the Vodafone Foundation. Go fundraising! Of course, I’m always looking for advice and learning in *good* financial practices as we build The Social Outfit… (and, this jacket is a bit 1980s bank teller, no?!)

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Tell: Handmade earring and necklaces, Tatty Devine brooch, 1980s ‘Skirtmaster’ jacket from op shop, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, ‘The Social Outfit loves Dragstar’ silk dress, TS dress, Black Milk leggings, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots.

For my birthday in May, I scored these 1980s, vintage Ken Done earrings from eBay as a part of a birthday gift. *Ken Done Gold!* (And nothing like the original packaging to add to the find…)

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Tell: 1980s Ken Done glasses, 1980s Ken Done earrings gifted, vintag Ken Done cotton shirt, Uniqlo skivvy, Sportscarft belt, Dragstar denim pencil skirt, double tights, Fluevog boots. Below: ‘The Social Outfit loves Ken Done’ silk scarf for Colour Chameleon.

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Then here I am on a Thursday evening when The Social Outfit was invited to pitch at a  ’10 x 10′ event; along with Fighting Chance and First Hand Solutions. As they explain it themselves, “10 x 10 is a project designed to engender a culture of giving and philanthropy within Australia’s young professional and creative communities”. It was a great evening, and all the money we raised that night goes towards sewing machines for our educational work: so exciting! Plus, check out my *NEW* The Social Outfit jacket first shown right here! I wore it on the night to help explain our work: made by our team from excess fabric from the fashion industry, and it looks great! That’s a win x a win x a win! It was also lovely to meet the other charities too, and be welcomed by the crowd for our work, and dreams.

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Tell: The Social Outfit jacket, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson’ silk dress, bracelet from op shop, Tatty Devine rings, ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya leggings, retail socks, Fleuvog boots.

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And finally, a Friday night number as another busy week came to a close. I’ve spent a large part of these last couple of months in painting-overalls, covered in dust, paint, threads and other such stuff…. so it certainly feels *exciting* to be getting back into my colourful, Australian gear. And soon – there will be so much more of The Social Outfit clothing to show!

Until then, I’ll be at our new space in Newtown, working on *doing good in a fashion* Hope you take care, and thanks for stopping by online (and hopefully soon, in person too!)… xo xo

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Tell: Handmade earrings, ‘Tokyo Kamen’ brooch from Japan, handmade necklaces, Diane Freis shirt, The Social Studio silk dress, SpinDance Australia skirt, Black Milk leggings, retail socks, Fluevog boots.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Forty

Show/Tell/Share: This fantastic graffiti artwork by Nico is super close to where we’ll be opening The Social Outfit very soon. It’s lovely to walk past this owl everyday; to admire the colours; and then get stuck into my work of opening our doors to the public in June.

And, here I was thinking things in my life were already very busy with a full site fit-out, hiring staff, and kitting-out a retail shop …

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When this happened:

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That’s right, the Hawaiian First Officer successfully broke a foot bone in brilliant style, which means about 6 weeks of crutches… and did I mention we have *lots* of stairs around where we live?!! This experience is clearly going to be an unintended *gift* to teach us about being patient, and taking things one step at a time!

Now, outfit photos…

This was a few weeks ago when I attended Oxfam/3things ‘Cheap & Dirty’ breakfast where people were discussing ethical fashion in Australia. Naturally, I represented us wearing ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya‘ scarf and leggings…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings, ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya’ scarf and leggings from Colour Chameleon, vintage handmade dress from op shop, Fluevog boots, Unit Portables bag from Japan.

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Then here’s me at a weekend, about to catch up with friends… (wearing an-almost graffiti hat or is that a bowl on my head…)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings, Esprit skivvy from op shop, Esprit 1980s shirt from secondhand store in Newtown, skirt from op shop, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots, Unit Portables bag from Japan.

And because we’re really in the building stage of The Social Outfit‘s Newtown space, I like to wear jewellery that metaphorically represents where we’re at… (And Tatty Devine, of course!) …

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The School for Social Entrepreneurs asked if I’d come and talk to current students about trying to set up a social enterprise in Sydney; especially sharing candidly how I think about ‘leading’ this work personally. I decided for the talk to break out a sample we’d been playing with at the store: a pink fluffy draped jacket. Fluro+Pink+FluffyFabric+Love = Leadership! It was great speaking to the group, and my main message was how grateful I have been to partner with, and collaborate with so many *talented* people to get us to this stage.

I can’t wait to show you just what we’ve been making behind our closed doors in terms of clothes. And it will happen relatively soon: Promise! (This jacket won’t make it into production we don’t think… but that’s just because we got even better, and *funner* pieces to make!)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings gifted from Iain, handmade beaded necklaces, Tatty Devine necklace and brooch, The Social Outfit sample pink fluffy jacket, The Social Studio top, The Social Studio silk dress gifted by Jo, Fluevog boots.

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Here’s a few more images of my outfit at the front of Nico‘s Owl Graffiti Spot in Newtown. I found this vintage dress in a Rockdale op shop quite recently. I think it’s so *vintage 1970s pretty*… And my Tatty Devine pegasus necklace is the same as the feathers on the owl… (again matching jewellery to my surrounds…)

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Tatty Devine necklace, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage handmade dress from op shop in Rockdale, vintage leather belt from secondhand store, Fluevog boots.

About a week ago I hot-footed it down to Melbourne to say hello to the *fabulous* The Social Studio gang, and to take part in an evaluation project looking into effective interventions with young people, education and training (run by the likes of Dusseldorp Forum, Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), Social Ventures Australia and the University of Melbourne).

My niece grabbed this photo of me wearing my vintage Jenny Kee wool patchwork jacket I found on eBay, and a The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress… I *heart* this style of dress SO MUCH!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings gifted op shop, handmade beaded necklaces, Jenny Kee vintage wool jacket, The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress, Saba sample belt, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots.

And for a momentary-fashion-outfit-break, check out just *some* of the wonderful people helping me turn The Social Outfit from ‘idea’ to ‘REALITY’. From the left is volunteer Althea Mackenzie, who’s helping on all things HR, volunteers and operations; then Traci Thomas who is volunteering to source fabric donations and help research aspects of our fashion production work; and then there’s Emma-Kate Wallace, who is in charge of our all manufacturing and retail work (plus she also runs WEFTshop too). These three are ACE x 1 million!

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Look at this delivery from Traci of donated fabric. Thanks so much to Traci and our fabric donation lables! If this fabric wasn’t being used by us, it was about to go into landfill…

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Aaaaaand, back to outfits… Check out this The Social Studio dress in vintage fabric…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Uniqlo skivvy, Tatty Devine necklaces, The Social Studio dress from vintage fabric, Spin Dance Australia petticoat, Trippen shoes from Berlin.

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And the last outfit here. Given I’m writing this at night, it seem appropriate to finish with my Tatty Devine moon, as I finish up another day…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, Esprit skivvy from op shop, ‘Made by Surf Knit Sydney’ vintage dress from op shop, Happy Socks tights, Fluevog boots.

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So there you go. Hope you’re all doing *super* and look forward to showing you more news from The Social Outfit – with a *good* deal of my own outfits – all thrown in, soon!

xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Show: Last Wednesday the *amazing* Australian fashion-icon, Linda Jackson dropped by The Social Outfit‘s working space in Newtown to say hello. We’re not really set up for guests at present – which really means we’re basically working out of a *very sparse* large room on King Street – but for Linda I can make exceptions! Plus, I like that some of our long-term supporters get to see the humble beginning we’re starting from…

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The photo here is Linda and me in an alleyway near the store, and after paying her visit, as always, she was *incredibly* enthusiastic about what we’re doing. Hooray for all our supporters and thanks for taking the time to drop by, Linda xo

And Wednesday continued to prove a busy day… After catching-up with Linda, I was off to an evening speaking gig as part of the regular Think Act Change schedule: specifically organised with Fashion Revolution Day on ethical and socially-responsible fashion. Melinda Tually (pictured below), is the Regional Co-ordinator for Fashion Revolution Australia & NZ, and she invited The Social Outfit to say a few words about our social enterprise approach (as inspired by, of course, our *ACE* sister organisation, The Social Studio). It was a pleasure to speak with the likes of Dane O’Shanassy from Patagonia, Kelly Elkin from ALAS and Nerida Lennon. Plus, the crowd was very engaged and interested, which was great!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, handmade necklace, Uniqlo skivvy, ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson‘ silk dress, TS dress underneath, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes. Unit Portables bag from Japan.

And then this was my outfit last Friday, when we had family in town over the holiday break…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings, skivvy from op shop, Laura Ashley dress from op shop, Saba belt, Tatty Devine ‘Gilbert & George’ brooch, Black Milk leggings, retail socks, Fluevog boots.

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Fashion Revolution Day‘ itself was Thursday 24 April 2014. It marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza, Savar Building collapse in Bangladesh. This year’s campaign was marked as go #InsideOut: and ask, “Who Made Your Clothes?” So here I am wearing my The Social Studio dress inside-out for the day…

IMG_3546Tell: Handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, The Social Studio dress worn #InsideOut, Saba belt, Spin Dance Australia petticoat, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots.

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I bought this dress many years ago directly from The Social Studio’s Collingwood store, and it’s still going strong. That’s what I love about quality clothing. And, as I was wondering about previous outfits wearing this dress, I came upon this outfit below from my ‘What Ken Be Done’ days… worn 15 April 2011, that means this dress piece is at least 3 years old, AND the fabric was excess stock in the first place… (original post here)…

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, Tatty Devine necklace, The Social Studio silk necklace, The Social Studio dress, low-crotch leggings donated by Benny, Ken Done scarf as wrist band, Birkenstocks, Ken Done bag.

And, speaking of years gone by, and quality, did you see that The Social Studio is turning 5 years old in May? I can’t be in Melbourne for the party, but I am *clapping my hands* non-stop from Sydney, congratulating the whole team, and community for all their fabulous work. Hip hip hooray for The Social Studio! If you’re in Melbourne, please do stop by them…I thought it then, and I think it now: They’re *good fashion for good* xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Eight

Well that month between posts here went incredibly quickly! I guess this is what I meant in my new ‘About Me‘ page when I said things might be a bit more sporadic on the blog as I work to set up The Social Outfit full-time in Newtown. Still, as I do love a bit of a dress up and creative-fun, I like to keep sharing outfits, also with a bit of a personal ‘catch up’ on The Social Outfit‘s news too. And, I can assure you, there’s much more information to come on both fronts over the coming months. But, in order to get you up to speed here’s a ‘Show/Tell/Share’ summary…

I’ll start with a recent outfit from this weekend. (Have to say, I’m loving that it’s getting cooler in Sydney. Well, perhaps more accurately, I should just say ‘less humid’.) So back to some layered-pattern and tartan fun:

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings, necklace and rings (a matching set), ceramic cloud brooches borrowed from the Hawaiian First Officer, The Social Studio shirt, The Social Studio dress underneath, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots. Vintage Jenny Kee bag.

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And there’s this outfit below, which I’m really just showing because it includes a recent  vintage find of 1980s Diane Freis, which I found in the Cat Protection op-shop in Enmore. I haven’t had much of a chance for op-shopping of late, so I was *super* pleased when I made a quick visit to the ‘new’ Cat Protection, and got to add some more *ace* ‘DF‘ to my collection (I think I probably own about 7 pieces of her multi-coloured 1980s Hong Kong range now). I’m actually wearing the skirt part of the outfit, just re-purposed as a dress…

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The outfit also includes The Social Studio digital print silk scarf, Claire Pain zebra brooch, Fluevog boots, and my ‘eye’ earrings from Tokyo…

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Work-wise, The Social Outfit invested recently in our first industrial sewing machine. As this photo below might indicate, I myself have *no* idea how to use it… But I can assure you it’s already fully in swing, and I can’t wait to soon show you some of the fashion being produced on it. We may be in a mostly empty space (our retail store fit out starts very soon), but there’s small – and growing group of us – working hard!

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In our first batch of material donations there was this *ACE* pink fabric… I just had to sit on it, and pose, and imagine all the fashion possibilities! ;-) … (And yes, that would be a Linda Jackson vintage bag, and ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson’ leggings.)

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Any ideas what we can do with fabulous fabric? So far we’ve had suggested on our Facebook page: a coat like Fran Fine wore in ‘The Nanny‘, a bomber jacket, a winter-style hat, sleeping bags, a vest, and much more! I love the input of people into our fashion process, and we’ll be sure to make something suitably *kitsch* and fun with this material…

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In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a peek at our store-front in Newtown. As I said, we look like we’ll be opening our doors publicly in May, so I’d love for you to pop in and say hello (or when you’re next in Sydney). (This recent newsletter from The Social Outfit has more of our news too, including ways to get involved.)

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Then here’s a weekend outfit from this last month…

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With my *deep love* of large rings, I was well-pleased when I found this Musubi ring in Japan at the Mori Art Museum. And here’s the rest of the outfit that day… including some new-vintage 1980s Ken Done

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings and beaded necklace, Tatty Devine necklace, 1980s vintage Ken Done shirt, Estillo belt, Sportsgirl dress from op shop, Black Milk leggings, retail socks, Fluevog sandals, and Yayoi Kusama bag from Japan.

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And finally a work outfit. Also sporting my regular fashion *go-to’s* of The Social Studio dress, Tatty Devine jewellery and Fluevog shoes. Just imagine when I’ll have more of The Social Outfit made fashion pieces to show!

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So thanks for stopping by… and until my next post, xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Seven

Show: Hello! Yes, I’m still here, working hard, and wearing outfits, of course! …

I was excited to meet with the Mayor of Marrickville Council, Jo Haylen, just over a week ago to talk about The Social Outfit‘s move into Newtown soon. She, and her staff, are very supportive of our work to celebrate the creativity of the Inner West’s diverse communities…

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And given it was a meeting about our fashion work developing in the local community, I was *super pleased* to be wearing our ‘The Social Outfit loves Dragstar‘ silk dress, designed by Celia Morris for us. Got to just *love* the Pac-Man characters in vintage fabric (and first worn by me in Japan)!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings and ‘black and white’ necklace from op shop, Tatty Devine ‘giant zipper’ necklace, ‘The Social Outfit loves Dragstar‘ dress from Colour Chameleon, TS14 dress, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog shoes.

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Then last Sunday, we headed out with dear friends to the Sydney Opera House for a series of talks on positive psychology, neuroscience and philosophy. You might see the apple in my hand – which I didn’t take along for all the teachers – instead just for me and my own thinking brain!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings from Japan, Tatty Devine ‘comic’ necklace, Tatty Devine ‘Gilbert & George’ brooch, retail cardigan and singlet, ‘BHS’ vintage skirt from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog sandals, Linda Jackson vintage bag.

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My Tatty Devine necklace says, ‘Comics Can Change the World’… and that’s because I really think they can! And just like I believe The Social Outfit could change the world too, one piece of clothing at a time…

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So here’s a slightly longer story about last Wednesday night, with pictures. The Social Outfit had the welcome chance to pitch at The Funding Network event, at Macquarie. We were invited to talk for 6 minutes exactly (then 6 minutes of questions) about what financial support would mean for us, along with three other *wonderful* charities: Fighting Chance, Palmera and Ngroo.
Just as I was heading over, the Barangaroo construction site right next door to Macquarie caught on fire, which meant my cab couldn’t get anywhere near our venue. The whole event was very close to being cancelled, as buildings nearby were being evacuated and the whole area was filled with smoke. So due to the CBD traffic chaos, I ended up hopping out of the cab at Pyrmont because we just couldn’t get any closer in a timely fashion. I decided the best option was to find somewhere comfy to wait for an update on the event. Unfortunately I had more than one person could carry, so thanks to the kind cab driver’s assistance I found myself and The Social Outfit’s mannequin at the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel. Heads were turning, I can tell you!

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Anyway, with the fire still burning across the bridge, too much stuff to carry on my own, and the roads still at a stand-still, I get word that the event will be going ahead on schedule. I ask the publican if he’ll stash our mannequin for the night, and take to foot over to the venue with about four bags in the late summer heat. Once there, we set up our stall, and all pitch our stories; trying our very best. It was nerve wracking! But the crowd was *really lovely*, and given that some people had to travel for over 2 hours to the venue because of delays, they really wanted to be there! Plus, it resulted in us receiving some very welcome financial support, which is exciting! As always, I’m super grateful for the support of people; and the audience loved our ‘Colour Chameleon‘ fashion collection too… Thanks The Funding Network for the opportunity to get involved!
I got to wear three of my favourite labels for the pitch event: Ken Done, The Social Studio and The Social Outfit!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘The Social Outfit loves Ken Done‘ silk dress, Saba belt, The Social Studio leggings, Fluevog sandals.

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And I must have been feeling the Ken Done love for a *good* few weeks now, because here I am again, wearing it with a smile and some sunshine yellow …

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklaces, The Social Studio silk dress, ‘The Social Outfit loves Ken Done‘ leggings, odd socks, Fluevog sandals.

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Odd socks, for fun, learning times…

Hope you’re fabulous! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Five

Show: Work at The Social Outfit is happily keeping me *very* busy, and I’m hoping to share some public-news on that front soon… until then, this weekend felt a bit like a celebration of women I think are *fabulous* on the internet, and beyond in their ‘in real life’.

On Friday evening we went to see ‘Lady Sings it Better‘ in the Inner West; they are a cabaret group, including Maeve, who are *hilarious* and so, so talented! I laughed for the whole show, which makes for an ace Friday night in my world! We also went with Kim from News with Nipples, whose writing and ideas I *adore*, and caught up at the gig with the *lovely* Frances from Corpulent. Plus, there was also like a *rad collection* of women from the internet – like Brocklesnitch, Treemie and more – who I was a bit too shy to say hello to properly… yet… but whose online personalities appeal to me in many ways. Good times.

Friday night I wore some new The Social Studio for my party mood…

IMG_6004Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings from op shop, handmade beaded necklaces, Tatty Devine anchor necklace, ‘Glitter Heart’ brooch gifted by Tatty Devine, The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress, Saba belt, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog sandals, ‘Yayoi Kusama‘ bag from Japan.

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And then on Sunday we saw dear friend, and *always inspiration*, author Courtney Collins (whose name you have to say in full EVERY time you say it out loud because it just sounds *right* like that). It was lovely to spend *quality* time together. And fashion-special too, because I was wearing BirdMonkey‘s handmade fabric necklace from my ‘What Ken Be Done‘ days for the catch-up. Artist BirdMonkey (a.k.a Raquel) was one of the first, and *best* women I ever have met online… so hooray for an online world, and meeting lovely creative people all round! xo

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, handmade earrings and necklace, Ken Done necklace gifted from BirdMonkey, vintage handmade dress from op shop, Spin Dance petticoat, retail stockings and socks, Fluevog boots, Ken Done purse.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Two

ShowTellShare: Just before heading overseas for a holiday at the end of 2013, we went interstate to a wedding of a dear friend of mine, whom I have known since childhood. Love was in the air, and in my hands!

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Here’s me and the spunky groom, Alex. I *love* that he wore his own traditional family kilt for the wedding… Men in skirts? Brilliant! And the bride came into the winery – where the service was held – riding sidesaddle on a horse! It really was a gorgeous and super fun event.

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Here’s my *colour love* outfit, between the vines…

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Tell: Ken Done sunglasses, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine flower necklace, Linda Jackson original 1980s hand-screen-printed dress (she gave it to me from her own collection when I met her in Melbourne earlier in the year!), Black Milk leggings, Fluevog shoes, and heart bag from Melbourne.

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Nineteen

Show/Share: Right, I’m determined to get things up to speed in these busy weeks for me, so this post is going to be shorter on words, but still with I what I hope is quite a few *fun* photos and outfits for you to see!

First up, this *lovely* image of all of us involved in our Fairfield High School fashion project:

IMG_6864_3I love this photo of our smiling faces and shared creativity. There’s also a 1.30minute short film about the whole project and showing more of the young people; found here. (Also more photos on The Social Outfit’s ‘news’ blog section, here.)

Here’s also some photos from the school’s Intensive English Centre Graduation that we attended last Wednesday to finish up the project. First up, Farnoush and Mahmoud share their experiences of our fashion work in front of their peers: especially how much they liked dressing up and having the film made!

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Below is me and Shannon Carruth from ING Direct, who funded our project. It was lovely to have Shannon attend the graduation celebrations in-person; and I really like being able to work collaboratively with foundations like this.

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One of my favourite parts of the IEC Graduation was one student singing an amazing version of Alicia Key’s ‘Ain’t Got Nothing’, and we all could sing along with a giant karaoke screen. The song is SO hard to sing, but I *love* a good bit ‘o karaoke, exactly timed to allow you to follow along!

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Here’s Emma on Thursday too. I am coveting that *fantastic* sequinned jacket of hers… She looked fabulous!

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My own outfit and some details…

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Tell (partly): Tatty Devine tiger necklace, vintage handmade jacket from NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser gifted by Emma to me, The Social Studio silk dress, Fluevog shoes.

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This last week my sister-in-law, Susan, sent me a photo of her wearing a The Social Studio silk shift dress from ‘Colour Chameleon‘ in Melbourne. She said she got many comments on the night about how great the design is…

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 Now a bit of a collection of outfits… Like yesterday:

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Tell (partly): Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, Dragstar dress, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog sandals.

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Then last Sunday… This was when we went to see the last showing of ‘The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe‘. I’m hoping this show is going to get more seasons, and hopefully across Australia. This theatre shows the real-life stories of four African women who now live in Sydney. It’s an honest, emotional and exceptionally interesting drama that really shows these women’s resilience.

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Tell (partly): Tatty Devine bracelet, handmade earrings and necklace, Ken Done purse, Fluevog boots.

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And then the Saturday of last week, when I went to some friends’ birthday party, and wore a vintage Garfield night-shirt out as a dress, that I recently found in an op-shop…

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1980s! Garfield!

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Right, so now that’s all posted, I’m going to rest a little this evening, then pull up my socks and get crackin’ into another busy week. I’ll be sharing with you again soon enough, and in the meantime, I hope you’re *GRAND*! xo

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Tell (partly): The Social Studio digital print silk scarf and Fluevog boots.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Eighteen

Show/Share: Fairfield High School! Making fashion with great young people! It’s one of those times when things are *happily hectic*, and I can’t wait to share with you pictures as we’ve finished up our eight-week project. First up, some photos from last Thursday as the students showcased their fabulous final outfits; working with black, white and green:

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We worked with the students to make their own dresses and pants during this project. Emma, The Social Outfit‘s fashion teacher was able to work with each student to add their own design features to their sewn pieces…

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We’ve also made a short film of the project, which I hope to share very soon:

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Thanks also to the support of The Australasian College Broadway, we had students studying make-up volunteer their time and help customise looks for our own students:

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(I love how you can also see Emma in the background of this photo making last adjustments to our costumes; she really is such a supportive and creative teacher!)

So *thank you* to Amy Morgan and Roberto Napolitano for overseeing our make-up, and to all the make-up volunteers, Anne Nguyen, Bianca Sands, Nabila El-Issa, Leisha McCarthey, Romina Ruiz, Rachel Grose at The Australasian College Broadway:

IMG_2103And, of course, SUPER-THANKS to our teacher Emma, and our fashion intern Steph, for all their help in design and sewing for the students over this whole 8 weeks. I loved being able to work with them, especially being involved in a collaborative creative process. And, its fabulous that they made such an effort to wear black, white and green on our last day… including accessories and nail polish too!

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My outfit on the wonderful day, last Thursday, showing my own colour support:

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Tell: Lafont glasses, Wa-Nyika earrings, handmade earrings, necklace from Hawaii, pendant handmade and gifted by Jessica, vintage handmade shirt from op shop, retail green top, The Social Studio silk dress, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots.

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Then below are some images from the previous week (Week 7, 5th September). With going to Melbourne for the Colour Chameleon project, I didn’t get a chance to share them until now. Here, the last stages of hand-sewing and learning these techniques to finish off the dresses:

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I also really wanted to show these pictures because we had Nicole Barakat and Hussein come and speak with students about their own artistic process. As you might remember Nicole was also involved with our pop up pilot project in The Rocks. Hussein and Nicole especially focussed on their own personal stories and how they celebrate their own cultural heritage in their art work. The students told us how much they enjoyed this talk:

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Thanks so much for sharing your own stories, Nicole and Hussein!

IMG_1937And me that day, wearing the eco-dyed scarf Nicole taught us how to make in our first creative workshops …

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Kmart skivvy, The Social Outfit eco-dyed scarf, ‘Modern Style’ dress from NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser, retail tights and Fluevog boots.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Sixteen

Show/Tell/Share: Imagine asking four Australian fashion designers whose work you admire, and adore, to help support The Social Outfit and they all say *YES!* Our exciting news is that The Social Outfit, The Social Studio and these four fantastic designers are getting to work on a fashion project called ‘Colour Chameleon‘. Drum roll please to announce our brilliant artists and supporters (clockwise): Ken Done, Linda Jackson, Celia Morris from Dragstar and Nina Maya. *Fashion Snaps Hooray!*

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The ‘Colour Chameleon‘ project is designed to highlight and celebrate The Social Outfit’s start-up phase in Sydney, and The Social Studio’s expanding fashion social enterprise working directly with young people in Melbourne. Starting with a fashion show this Friday 6 September in Melbourne – as a part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week – the ‘Colour Chameleon’ project will then come to Sydney in October 2013.

In Melbourne, The Social Studio is also celebrating the work of local designers, Alpha 60, Limedrop, Obus and Bul. If you’re in Melbourne this week, please come check it out. I’ll be there!

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The collaborating designers have each created a unique print in support of our work. These artworks will then be digitally printed onto fabric at The Social Studio’s digital fabric printing studio, and then made into unique limited edition garments by the Studio’s manufacturing team, accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.

In mid-October The Social Outfit will be hosting a fashion event in Newtown. This evening showcase event will celebrate the invited artists’ support for our ongoing establishment in Sydney. We will also promote the creativity and skills of people from Sydney’s own diverse refugee communities. Clothing from the ‘Colour Chameleon’ event will be for sale on the evening. Yes, you can buy great clothing, and support us! This event is proudly supported by the City of Sydney Council Community Grants Program.

I can’t wait to keep you updated as we plan madly to make this next event great. In the meantime, I’m so so *pleased and proud* that Ken Done, Linda Jackson, Celia Morris and Nina Maya are creating unique design prints just for us; and for clothing we can buy and share! xo

Now a quick wrap of outfits from last week, if I may:

Tuesday …

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Tell: Gifted earrings, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, The Social Studio silk scarf, vintage dress from second hand store ($5!), Fluevog boots.

Wednesday …

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Tell: Handmade earrings and beaded necklaces, Claire Pain zebra brooch, The Social Studio top, skivvy from op shop, Saba belt, vintage handmade skirt from op shop, retail tights, Happy Socks and Fluevog shoes. Photo below: vintage Kenzo jacket and Oroton bag from op shop. The ‘golf shoe’ decorations are patent leather from Sole Devotion. I love them: it’s like shoe jewellery!

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Thursday …

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Tell: Tatty Devine necklace and earrings, handmade jacket from op shop, Saba top, Saba sample belt, The Social Studio skirt, Black Milk pear leggings, Fluevog boots. Photo below: vinatge silk scarf from op shop.

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Saturday

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Tell: Earrings and scarf from op shop, handmade necklaces, ‘Rockmans’ cardigan from op shop, ‘Ken Shaw Melbourne’ dress from op shop, SpinDance petticoat, Jonathan Aston tights, Camper shoes, Tatty Devine bag.

As you might notice, I also went to the hairdresser. I’m calling it, *Oh How I Love an Undercut*

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And Sunday …

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Tell: Earrings from the US, handmade beaded necklace, Tatty Devine lips necklace, Ken Done vintage shirt, The Social Studio belt, Dragstar denim pencil skirt, Ken Done vintage socks (unworn and found on eBay), Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion, Linda Jackson vintage bag and Linda Jackson silk scarf.

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Can you see how I’m wearing all our supporters to celebrate: The Social Studio, Ken Done, Linda Jackson, and Celia Morris’ Dragstar label? So much fashion fun! In fact, the only person I’m missing is Nina Maya, and her great designs. But come the ‘Colour Chameleon‘ Project launch of clothing in October, I’ll be able to fix that small problem for sure! Hope you can get involved too… xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Fourteen

Show/Share: Another week to catch you up on, and I wanted to start particularly with this lovely photo:

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Check out some of the young people at our Fairfield High School fashion project, hard at work on the sewing machines. To think that they’d never been on machines before, and just four sessions later here they are: super keen to learn, to have a go, and already sewing their own garments! This project is really such a pleasure: the young people are really engaged and fun, and working with Emma from WEFT shop is fantastic learning for us all. But before I tell you more about Fairfield, let’s start back at Wednesday…

This was me on Wednesday last week when The Social Outfit was invited to the launch of the Marrickville Community Fund in the evening. Given that we’d love to set up shop in the Newtown/Enmore area longer-term (thus next to, or in, the Marrickville LGA), we loved being invited to this new fundraising initiative of the Sydney Community Foundation. We wish them all the best with their fund, and the projects they are looking to support. You can read more about them here.

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings, ‘Viva La Wombat‘ scarf from op shop, handmade necklaces, The Social Studio silk kimono dress, Saba belt, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots.

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Then of course on Thursday Emma and I were back at Fairfield High School working with the great bunch of young people who signed up for our project. Here’s Emma as we were on the public transport routes; she had a great *vintage flight attendant fashion vibe* happening that day…

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Clearly there was also a subconscious memo to us both about blazers, and some sort of ‘semi professional’ fashion approach…

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Tell: Lafont glasses, handmade earrings, vintage brooch from op shop, Carla Zampatti silk jacket, The Social Studio shirt, Katies skirt from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots.

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Here’s another image from our day on Thursday, in the classroom: showing both patten cutting and also some of our plaiting preparatory work.

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On Thursday night I popped down to Dragstar in Newtown as they were launching their new website. Celia Morris, the founder and owner of Dragstar is lovely, and she’s been an absolute supporter of The Social Outfit from the word go. So of course I wanted to personally congratulate her, her team, and the whole of the Dragstar label on their ongoing success. Just imagine in the future if The Social Outfit could be a fashion store with a 20+ year history too…

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Next up on Friday I had the pleasure of welcoming a new volunteer to The Social Outfit group. I’ll give you the full update on her soon, but in the meantime, please meet Mathura Sinnappurajar. We’re so very pleased to have you involved, Mathura!

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Friday’s outfit was one of those times where the ‘look’ kind of made itself as I went along; I just kept trying to add more yellow and blue, then more blue and yellow… until I ended up looking like a 1980s real estate agent? Bank Teller? Whatever it is, those *high* jacket shoulder pads were pretty fun!

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Tell: Ken Done vintage glasses, handmade earrings and necklaces, ‘Skirtmaster Sydney’ jacket from op shop, ‘Back to the Future‘ vintage brooch (that still has the Hawaiian First Officer’s full name and address on it from the 1980s! Prized possession!), Dragstar silk shirt, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage belt from the UK, Anthea Crawford skirt from op shop, The Social Studio digital print leggings, Happy Socks and Fluevog boots.

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Then on Friday evening I was treated by my friend Althea to my first ever manicure; we went to this fantastic Korean nail place in Strathfield. The shop has this huge TV screen playing K-pop the whole time. Naturally, in celebration, I had a *touch* of sparkles added to my ‘nail art’! Here’s me and my nails out for lunch on Saturday with friends…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, earrings from op shop, handmade necklaces, Anthea Crawford dress gifted by Susan, Saba top, Estilo belt, Review skirt, Spin Dance petticoat, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog sandals.

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And finally, I found this bag in an op shop in Mornington a few months ago. I loved the fun design with the crest, and handle, but what really sold me was the label inside. It reads: “It’s Sheldon with the Lucky Cent. N.S.W’, and there’s the *lucky* Australian one cent coin in its own little pocket. Classic! So let me finish here with many *LUCKY* wishes to us all for this week ahead! xo xo

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Eight

Show/Share: My mum and my brother are in town at the moment, which is just lovely! This is us on Saturday visiting the MCA:

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Tell: Earrings from Santa Barbara, handmade necklace, velvet top from Fairfield op shop, wool skivvy from op shop, tartan skirt bought with my Mum when I was 17 or something, Black Milk leggings, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots, Penguin Classic bag from Devon, UK. Chain necklace, worn as bracelet gifted by Mum from Germany.

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And here’s me yesterday, visiting the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale. This gallery comprises of a significant private collection of contemporary Chinese artworks; now open to the public, and free. It’s fantastic and worthy of a look-see.

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I found this artwork by Xu Zhen particularly tactile and inviting. With over 70kgs of paint in the piece it appeals to my sense of indulgence and overdoing things!

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Tell: Earrings from Darwin art gallery, handmade necklace re-purposed from a belt, vintage 1980s ‘Studibaker Hawk‘ screen-printed jacket, Miss Shop dress from op shop, Saba sample leather belt, leggings gifted from Mum from Germany, ‘Juicy Couture’ patent leather boots.