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-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-Four

Show/Share: My brother recently celebrated his 40th birthday; and it was lovely to spend some *party time* with him and his family… and especially if it also involves a bit of festive dressing!

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As Melbourne’s recent weather has been *super hot* – and as I’m prone to burning instantly under any kind of sun – I went with the ‘light-covering’, layering look… (And especially as that also allowed me to wear both The Social Outfit and The Social Studio gear in celebration!)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine necklace, vintage beads, The Social Studio silk kaftan, ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson’ leggings from ‘Colour Chameleon’, Fluevog sandals.

Then here’s a recent Friday-evening-outfit when I was out for some relaxing and fun…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine watermelon earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine bow necklace, Retrospec’d dress (made and sold locally in Australia), ‘Spin Dance Australia‘ petticoat, Fluevog shoes, and Ken Done bag.

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With it already being February, I’m fully back at work at The Social Outfit, and working hard. As you might imagine we’ve got a lot of planning and preparations underway to start off our full-time school, retail store and community space in Sydney. Exciting! And nerve-wracking! Here’s me on a working day, sporting a new The Social Studio dress – made with vintage fabric – I bought when in Melbourne last week…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, vintage necklace and bracelets from op shop, The Social Studio dress, stockings from Japan, Trippen shoes.

… I love these stockings from Japan, with the individual toe sections. I know ‘toe-socks’ are far more common in Australia now, but I haven’t seen the stocking-versions take off quite so much. I can’t believe I haven’t laddered them yet!

P1040958So from my head to my toes, hope you’re *ace* and I look forward to sharing more updates with you soon! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Seven

Show: Here’s some photos of us working this Wednesday with four of the five women who are taking part in our fashion training at Fairfield High School. Like I think I’ve said previously, these women can already sew and are really interested in honing their skills, and working together as a group. Emma was showing everyone a pattern for dressmaking, and I’m so pleased to be using the fabric donated to us by Celia Morris at Dragstar. Watching the skills of these women, and their enthusiasm, is very exciting (especially for someone like me who really can only basically sew)! Plus, I’ve always been drawn to the idea of using people’s own talents to increase their sense of community and contribution in a new environment.

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We’ve also started working with young people again too, many of whom were in our first sewing program. Things were just so boisterous and busy that I didn’t get a moment to grab our photo together!

And here’s my own Wednesday outfit…

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings and rings, handmade necklaces, Nicola Waite jacket from op shop, The Social Studio silk skirt as dress, Saba belt, retail tights, Fluevog boots.

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Plus, some more outfits to share. This is Sunday last week, a fun, party day for the Hawaiian First Officer and myself. I decided* that my theme was ‘animal menagerie’ and celebrated the weekend with some vintage animalistic touches… (*And by “decided” I mean it just sort of happened as I was putting on pieces, and combining the fashion together.)

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Tell: Lea Stein vintage earrings and brooch, Studibaker Hawk jacket from op shop, The Social Studio shirt, Ken Done vintage bag, handmade skirt from vintage fabric from the ‘Fifties Fair’, Spin Dance petticoat, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots.

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Detail: Tatty Devine ‘name neckalce’ and necklace from the Norman Lindsay Gallery. Although hard to see, I’m also wearing Gummy Bears on the white double-ring, a sparkling fox ring, and the large ring (that’s actually a vintage lipstick holder from an op shop) has a wee little bird on it, of course!

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Then Saturday’s gear was about my pink denim flares and vintage bathing suit top worn as a singlet. xo.

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklaces, second-hand top gifted to me, ‘Shannon Freeville’ Made in Australia vintage swimsuit top from op shop, pink denim flares made by Jodie from Maurer & Strange, Trippen shoes.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Five

Show: Have you seen our short film of The Social Outfit‘s recent ‘Colour Chameleon‘ project? As I’ve been saying to people, I’m so pleased it captures the positive spirit and creativity in the room that night. And what a *wonderful* example of people coming together to celebrate the skills and styles of diverse communities here in Sydney …

The Social Outfit’s Colour Chameleon from The Social Outfit on Vimeo.

I also realised I could probably find an image or two that better shows off the *ace* fabric-combination skirt Emma-Kate made for me of all the designer’s work; from top to bottom: Ken Done, Linda Jackson, Dragstar (Celia Morris) and Nina Maya.

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, re-purposed earrings from Shag Melbourne, Tatty Devine necklace, singlet from op shop, The Social Outfit ‘Colour Chameleon’ skirt, Spin Dance petticoat, Jonathan Aston tights, Fluevog boots, 1980s gold bag from op shop. And below, also wearing my own Carla Zampatti silk jacket to pay respects to our Guest of Honour at ‘Colour Chameleon’.

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From left to right: me, Oboya, Mogahid and Opia. These young people are part of the *amazing* Afro Contemporary Youth Dance group. (I’m also so pleased that we had make-up provided by students at the Australasian College Broadway. So fun!)

Here also, our earlier short-film from our project at Fairfield High School. We start stage-two of this project next week, and will also now work with parents at the school. I’m so pleased too because many of the young people involved in stage one are staying on to gain more sewing skills, and learn more about the Australian fashion industry…

The Social Outfit and Fairfield High School Fashion Project from The Social Outfit on Vimeo.

And here is me from Thursday this week. I spent the day out meeting talented people as we continue community-building and refining our work. Essentially this outfit for me was about celebrating my new-vintage 1980s Jimmy Pike ‘Desert Designs‘ cropped t-shirt. Another piece added to my *love*-collection of 1980s Australian designers; and I’m particularly pleased about the inclusion of Pike’s fashion to help represent and celebrate the *fantastic* design elements of Aboriginal artwork, as Jimmy Pike was a Walmatjarri artist from Western Australia.

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine necklace, Jimmy Pike ‘Desert Designs‘ vintage crop t-shirt, The Social Studio silk dress gifted by Jo, TS dress underneath, vintage belt from the UK, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog sandals.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Four

Show: I was lucky to host my very own import from Melbourne yesterday, in the form of my older brother; to spend the day in Sydney-town…

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It was lovely to hang out, and enjoy a good time on a Tuesday … (Misfit Sarah, does this backdrop seem familiar?!)

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘Her & Him Hato Group’ shirt from op shop in Parramatta, Katies skirt from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion, Linda Jackson vintage bag.

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On Saturday last weekend, we went to a dear friend’s 40th birthday. Given the time of year, the theme was ‘Día de Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) and/or Mexican. The Hawaiian First Officer and I decided we wanted to go down the costume route of paying homage to great Mexico moments and/or people.

As I am sure you’ll agree, the Hawaiian First Officer took the theme of celebrating the 1968 Mexico Olympics with gusto. This montage is an absolute *gif favourite* of mine! I’m thinking that gold medal was won for retro-dancing-boxing, yes?!

Now you best be a little warned about the next set of photos…

I went as ‘Ugly Betty‘ because I think she’s a gorgeous Mexican woman; she’s cute; and, I always thought her fashion was fabulous from the get-go. The thing is, it turns out that if I put fake braces and teeth in, I look almost *nothing* like Ugly Betty and just closer to scary!  As my dear brother said when he saw these photos today, “Yeeesh. You look sort of dead.” So not cute. But I still pay my homage to Betty; I realise my entire wardrobe is built for her; and, we had a great time!

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Also, turns out – again, perhaps not that surprisingly – I’m a full-time smiler, so fake teeth are just really annoying after more than a minute. Did I mention I really like talking too, which makes a mouth-guard at a party *very* annoying!

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Here’s the Birthday Lady, Antonia (who is also on The Social Outfit’s Board). Her glitter make-up was *wonderful* … And fake eyelashes on both top and bottom? Yes please!

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This photo below is Friday evening last week, hanging out with friends…

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine necklace, vintage Escada silk short, Estillo belt. The Social Studio silk dress gifted by Jo, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots, vintage TV purse gifted by Kath.

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And finally, here’s me the Saturday the weekend before, when a friend asked to interview me about my love of Ken Done (he’s studying film-making). And whenever I hear the words, “Ken Done” I naturally turn to some of my most favourite Australian vintage gear…

P1040736Tell: Vintage Ken Done glasses, vintage earrings from op shop, Tatty Devine lip necklace, Ken Done vintage shirt, Ken Done doona made into skirt, retail tights, vintage Ken Done socks, Fluevog shoes.

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So that’s me. I think I’m caught up now… And who knows, there just might be a post here soon with actually only one outfit. Regular blogging? It just might be possible! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Three

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Show: The Social Outfit loves all these designers! And all the young people who volunteered at ‘Colour Chameleon’! And The Social Studio! And everyone who supported us, and came along to have fun on the night! … As you might tell by all the exclamation points, I *absolutely* loved our experience with Colour Chameleon on Friday 18 October 2013. A night to remember! What an evening we had at ’5 Eliza’ in Newtown, Sydney. Here’s a small selection of just how much *talent*, *creativity* and *passion* was on show…

Below are some of our volunteer models showcasing the ‘Colour Chameleon’ fashion; many of these young people are also dancers with the Afro Contemporary Youth Dance group, who did a great musical performance at our event too…

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

Representing Fairfield High School, here we can see the senior hospitality students and teachers, and Haitham Jaju (on right) who coordinates the Parents’ Cafe, which provided delicious catering on the night…

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

Gasp! So many of my own fashion and designer *inspirations*… Linda Jackson, Ken Done, Celia Morris from Dragstar and Nina Maya. I had such a happy smile on my face all night, thanks to the effort and dedication of everyone involved!

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

Carla Zampatti was our Guest of Honour and she spoke about creativity, design and fashion as avenues to work collaboratively and cross-culturally.

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

You can see more photos from the event at The Social Outfit’s website here: http://thesocialoutfit.org/?p=308

It was a magnificent time, and the culmination of many people’s hard work. xo

For me, however, there wasn’t much time for rest and respite… because on the Sunday after the event I was off to the Nexus Australian Youth Summit conference. As you can tell, I was still wearing my smile, and now I also could show-off some of the ‘Colour Chameleon’ designs myself…

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, Tatty Devine earrings, beaded necklace gifted from my Grandmother, The Social Studio silk dress, ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya’ silk scarf and leggings from our ‘Colour Chameleon’ project, Trippen shoes from Berlin, vintage Oroton purse from op shop.

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On Monday the conference continued, as did my ‘Colour Chameleon’ fashion inspiration…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine ‘giant zipper’, ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson’ silk dress and leggings, retail socks, Fluevog shoes.

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I spent the rest of the week with my head down, back at my kitchen table with important funding applications.

Right now, I feel like I’m *almost* caught-up again on all our work… almost…

But one thing is very clear; I’m *loving* building The Social Outfit here in Sydney with everyone involved, and fingers crossed that every day we’re getting closer and closer to setting up our store, school and community space in this fine, fabulous city… xo

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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 Fifteen

Show/Share: Welcome to our newest volunteer, Mathura Sinnappurajar! Here’s her own *lovely* introduction:

Hi everyone! Just to fill you in on a little about me. I have just moved to Sydney to start my postgraduate study at Macquarie University. I was raised in Canberra, and spent a few years living in Papua New Guinea with my family. I tried out a few different courses at university before deciding that I wanted to do a Bachelor of Arts degree. I chose a particular combination of majors as I am interested in supporting the humanitarian and human rights issues related to refugees. I have been lucky enough to travel overseas and teach English in South Africa and Turkey, and have also had the opportunity to assist a teacher at a school in Sri Lanka. I am excited to work with Jackie and the wonderful team at The Social Outfit!

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We’re so very pleased to have Mathura join our growing team of supporters. And already she’s joining in and helping me with funding applications and planning for upcoming events.

Now, for something a bit different, last week’s outfits… backwards. Here’s me on Sunday, on a warm Sydney afternoon, heading out to meet up with friends. This vintage dress was just one of my *gold* finds at the NIDA hosted, costume market stall, as part of a WEFT-shop fundraiser, held on Monday last week. Raising money for a fabulous fashion social enterprise, and old costumes: I was in my element!

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, brooch from op shop, gifted shrug, vintage dress from NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser, Jenny Kee vintage bag found in an op shop in Penrith, vintage bracelets from second hand store, Fluevog boots.

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This was Thursday, sporting vintage Hawaiian and denim for our fifth Fairfield High School fashion workshop.

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Tell: gifted earrings, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, Hawaiian shirt (Magnum’s infamous junglebird design, to be precise) gifted by the Hawaiian First Officer, The Social Studio singlet, Dragstar denim skirt, Spin Dance petticoat, boots from op shop.

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And last but not least, back to last Tuesday, when I met with Rachael, Sascha and Alyssa from Vodafone, and they helped me develop some communications frameworks for The Social Outfit. They were super supportive of our work! And then I met with Mathura for our first working day together. So you see, if you start at the beginning, or the end, my time is always about working together with *good* people, all in the hope of moving The Social Outfit forwards! xo

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Tell: The Social Studio silk scarf, kitten brooch from Japan, cardigan from op shop, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage Sportscraft tartan wool skirt from NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes.

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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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