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)…

15 April 2011

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 Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Sixty-Nine

Show:

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade beaded necklace, ‘Ara Modell’ vintage jacket from Perth op shop, Laura Ashley shirt from Canberra op shop, Sportsgirl dress from op shop, retail tights and Fluevog boots.

Share: For the most part, I keep my university work and my The Social Outfit work pretty separate (although clearly both inform each other). I divide out my days and try and keep my focus on the task at hand. So it was a little weird yesterday participating in a graduate workshop at the University of Sydney with the visiting Professor Ann Cvetkovich (from University of Texas). She specialises in gender and cultural studies, especially theories of the ‘archive’, feelings and intimacy. Each person had 7 minutes to present their own work, and so I talked about young women and ‘selfies’ (self portraits, usually taken with one’s own mobile phone) through a lens of my own experiences of What Ken Be Done, The Social Studio, The Social Outfit and fashion archiving. It proved a really interesting exercise, and one I reckon I’ll be thinking through for some time to come. Then, on the way home, I saw this quote on Twitter: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I’m pleased when I take up opportunities to put myself in different ‘rooms’, and keep being open to learning. I feel like that’s so important for the progression of The Social Outfit, and myself. There are so many smart and wise people to learn from; many in completely unexpected places. That I also get to dress up, and *love* fashion at the same time is a complete bonus. xo

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Forty-Two

Show/Share: When I thought about getting dressed yesterday all I had in my mind was ‘Colourful Sister-Wife’… and this is what happened. I’m not entirely displeased.

Below is my first *go* at a GIF. Mostly it’s about catching what it’s like when the Hawaiian First Officer and I work together. Made more special by yesterday**, with us hanging out down at the harbour and in the Museum of Contemporary Art. This GIF captures me getting told, ‘Stop closing your eyes and looking stoned’… and then me trying to keep my eyes open without looking *INTENSE* …

** Happy Birthday, sweetheart xo xo

free gif maker

Tell: Glasses from op shop, ‘Van Der Glas‘ earrings bought for a The Social Studio fundraiser (TEETH casts! TEETH casts!), Laura Ashley shirt from Canberra op shop, Tatty Devine necklace, vintage necklace gifted by my Mum, vintage handmade skirt from Broadway Betty, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes, Linda Jackson bag.

Sydney-town, me and my green eyebrows love what you offer on a beautiful day… xo

ShowTellShare Fifteen

Show:

Tell: Glasses from op-shop, earrings from Japan, Laura Ashley shirt from op shop, The Social Studio singlet as vest, leather skirt from op shop, Fluevogs.

Share: Top 10, but no cigar. Vodafone World of Difference and I are not a match this year. Bummer.

Then again, I always knew the challenges were going to be there. Fundraising is hard, hard work. I’m still learning. Each ‘no’ becomes a lesson. Still sucks though, let’s be honest.

And that’s why I’m ShowTellShare-ing this whole *shebang* with you. Your support helps to keep me energised. Really.

So if we’re going to bring The Social Studio to Sydney, it’s going to be because of working hard. That means I have to keep trying, and I have to keep explaining why it is a *good* idea.

(Just so you know, I’m listening to ‘When the Going Gets Tough‘ as I post this… I’m not that brave without a bit of 1980s gold and a saxophone line-up to help me!)

Back to Sydney now…

ShowTellShare Nine

Show:

Tell: So yesterday I couldn’t resist going to see the exhibition of Linda Jackson’s fashion work at the National Gallery Victoria. It’s one room, it’s free, and it is *well* worth the visit (and it’s on until September). In fact, for any Australian fashion fan: It. Is. A. Must.

I won’t overdo the photos, but here’s just a taste of the colour highlights:

Also, it has renewed my LOVE of a huge headpiece for every-day-dressing. Let’s hope I can craft more of these in fashion photos to come!

My dream is that one day I can have Linda Jackson involved in The Social Studio. She knows about The Social Studio, and let me know when she saw them in The Age paper last year. Imagine what could happen with this kind of cross-fashion-creativity!

Linda Jackson: I salute you! True. Genius. xo

Share:

Earrings from Santa Barbara, Laura Ashley shirt from op shop in Fyshwick, Canberra, Miss Shop dress from op shop, Kmart leggings, Dr. Martens shoes from Berlin, Linda Jackson bag from eBay.