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 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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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirteen

Show/Share: While I’m running the Fairfield High School fashion project with Emma, as well as organising some other *fun* projects The Social Outfit is working on; updates here may have to move to a longer weekly catch up. Still, you’ll get all the news and a *bunch* of outfits all in one go!

This is me on Tuesday last week. I met with a potential volunteer with The Social Outfit, and also caught up with my Vice Chair, David Hardie, to keep progressing our work. Just shows how much we rely on a group of supporters to get our work done. I’m so grateful too, when people show an interest in helping us out.

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Tell: Hat from Melbourne, earrings from op shop, handmade beads, ‘Sherby Fashion’ shirt from op shop, ‘Stephanie Ricaldi, Made in England’ vintage jacket gifted from Jessica, Sportscraft belt, The Social Studio silk dress gifted from Jo, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion.

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Then this is me on Thursday when the Vodafone Foundation team, and the other ‘World of Difference‘ participants came out to Fairfield High School for the day. The school was amazing as a host, and we even had our lunch catered by the school’s ‘Parents Cafe’ (a new social enterprise catering service). Fantastic food!

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings, Vodafone scarf, Uniqlo top from Japan, The Social Studio dress, Saba belt, Fletcher Jones skirt, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes.

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Everyone from the Vodafone Foundation group came to meet the young people involved in our fashion workshop, and we shared some stories together. Plus, there was a film crew on site too; so even though I don’t have a heap of pictures to share just yet, many will be coming. I did manage to get a couple of photos of us as a group cutting out patterns, and researching fashion online.

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Below is the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ team for this year. We got to welcome Kat Armstrong from the ‘Women in Prison Advocacy Network’ (WIPAN). Many of my own friends have been long-term supporters of Kat and WIPAN, so it was *brilliant* to meet with her in person and begin to work together. Then, of course, there are also the other two delightful members, Juliette from Givit, and Loren from Missing Person’s Advocacy Network (MPAN). Loren just recently filmed an information clip for Missing Person’s Week with Australian icon and actor, Debra Mailman. You can read more about everyone’s work and hopes for this year, here.

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There was more filming on Friday as well, so I wore my slightly re-mixed Vodafone shirt for the day. (Surprise, surprise, I’m not really a t-shirt kind a gal!) I’m actually feeling pretty shy about when the videos go public: it’s one thing for me to take my own photo a lot, but quite another when you’re recorded live with lots of talking and opinions. I hope I just make sense! Plus, I hope I can convey how much I want The Social Outfit to be a success.

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine ‘giant squid’ necklace, Slade cardigan from op shop, Vodafone Foundation t-shirt, Sportscraft belt, vintage Diane Freis shirt, The Social Studio silk dress, Birthday Suit leggings, retail socks, Fluevog boots.

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There was more work on Saturday too, so by the time it got to Sunday this last weekend, I just wanted to chill out, see some friends and enjoy this warm Sydney weather. And nothing says ‘Sunday Relaxing’ to me quite like a high-waisted denim skirt! I hope you had a *great* weekend too. xo

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Tell: Handmade earrings, handmade necklaces, silver necklace from op shop, ‘Leesa’ shirt from op shop, American Apparel top, The Social Studio belt, ‘Paris Blues’ denim skirt from op shop, cotton petticoat from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots. Jenny Kee vinatge bag.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twelve

Show/Share: What a busy week! And, it’s set to be like that for a little while, with many plans and preparations underway at The Social Outfit. So let’s catch you up on this last week, shall we?

On Monday I was invited to speak with participants attending the School for Social Entrepreneurs ‘Accelerator’ Program. It was a lively session in which we discussed leadership style, taking social action and my hopes for The Social Outfit. I really enjoyed meeting the group of 15 people; all leading projects on issues they care about.

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Tell: Earrings from op shop, handmade jacket from op shop, The Social Studio silk dress, Katies skirt from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion. Robot necklace from Young Blood market.

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On Tuesday I had some important meetings, about a project The Social Outfit will be announcing very soon. I can’t wait to tell you all about this, and it won’t be long until I can share all the fun; I promise!

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Tell: Country Road jacket from op shop, vintage Ken Done shirt, The Social Studio silk scarf, Uniqlo leggings, Fluevog boots.

Then on Thursday it was back to Fairfield High School for our second session in our fashion workshop series. Emma and I were lucky enough to have Australian Fashion Designer, and The Social Outfit Board member, Nina Maya along for the day. The students really loved meeting Nina, seeing her beautiful clothes and hearing all about her own fashion story:

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Nina also showed us about draping as a fashion technique. What’s great about draping is that it is easy to have a go, and really, there are no mistakes. We’re using fabric that’s been donated by Celia at Dragstar; it’s just a plain cotton perfect to explore different draping methods with, as you can see…

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Here’s what the students came up with after working with Nina. They took to the workshop with absolute *gusto* and loved making shapes that look elegant. It’s harder to see, but the third mannequin from the left is actually about draping on men’s pants, and men’s hats and scarves. We had a great time together, and Emma and I can’t wait to continue working with the young people. Thanks for being involved too, Nina! xo

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Here’s what I wore on Thursday, including wearing an eco-dyed scarf from our pilot project earlier this year.

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, eco-dyed silk scarf from The Social Outfit pilot project, top from op shop, Estilio leather belt, vintage skirt from op shop, Spin Dance petticoat, retail tights, Fluevog shoes.

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And on to Saturday. Thanks to some volunteer *brilliance* I worked on The Social Outfit‘s upcoming event we’re heading towards in October. Long-term supporter Meredith Turnbull lent us her office space to work from in Newtown, and David Moutou helped me with planning out the event in detail. This is what David and I looked like after hours of strategising and thinking: all *wide eyed* with good ideas and a very full to-do list!

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A *BIG* second thanks to Meredith who also attended on our behalf, the recent ‘National Forum on Children and Young People from Refugee Backgrounds‘ conference, hosted by MYAN and the Sydney University Law School. A fantastic learning opportunity for us.

… Oh, and this is what I looked like earlier on Saturday morning, wandering the Inner West back streets, with colour and *fun* in my step…

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Tell: Handmade earrings, The Social Studio silk scarf, handmade necklace, Ken Done 1980s vintage jacket, vintage ‘Ghita Philip Paris’ top from op shop (check out in the photo below the 1980s women’s profile and sequin beading. *GOLD*!), Sportgirl skirt from op shop, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog shoes.

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And now, it’s already Monday all over again… so best get moving on all the activities of this week. See you round! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Eleven

Show: Meet the young people from Fairfield High School! We’re so *pleased* at The Social Outfit to be working with this fantastic group in our fashion workshop program …

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Pictured here are nine of the twelve young people who are working with us for the next eight weeks (and our fabulous fashion teacher, Emma, of course!). Almost all of these young people attend the Intensive English Centre (IEC) at Fairfield High School, learning both English literacy skills and the Australian education system. As a person whose learnt languages before, I’m *super* impressed with their willingness to jump on in and start interacting with Emma and me. And let me tell you, these young people have some great ideas about fashion and their own style. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we develop together.

Below is Emma when she and I were collecting supplies from Greenfield for our sewing workshops last week. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to work with Emma and learn from her expertise from WEFTshop.

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And please check out below my new leggings that I bought at The Social Studio when I was there last week. These leggings showcase The Social Studio’s new digital printing capabilities, and the artwork is designed by one of their students. I love them! This is what I wore for our first Fairfield High School program day. Particularly *great* was when one young person asked if my neck got sore from wearing such heavy jewellery! I explained to him I’ve had years of *dedicated training* in large accessory wearing, so I’m doing just fine!

P1040467Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, shrug from thrift store in the UK, Uniqlo skivvy, handmade dress found in op shop, The Social Studio leggings, Fluevog boots.

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And here’s me on Friday, at some city meetings and working hard on The Social Outfit‘s longer-term plans. *Claps of joy* for wearing shorts in winter! xo

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Tell: Wa-Nyika earrings, The Social Studio digital print silk scarf, skivvy from op shop, ‘Jody’ jacket from op shop, handmade necklace, Katies shorts from op shop, Jonathan Aston tights, retail tights underneath, Lacoste sample boots, Ken Done tote. Brooches: toucan from Canberra, parrot from op shop, flamingo from Melbourne.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Ten

Show/Share: We start our Fairfield High School Fashion Project this week, and I’m feeling equal parts excited and nervous! I’m so pleased we’re able to work with everyone at the school on this project, and I can’t wait to meet the young people, and embark on some *fashion fun* with them… Given all of this, it’s also well about time that you meet the *spectacular* fashion educator The Social Outfit has engaged to do this work with me. Please meet the absolutely lovely, and talented, Emma:

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These photos are actually from over a week ago – when I was in Sydney – and Emma and I held a planning day together. (And just a moment before I share with you Emma’s wealth of experience, please also notice her own finely tuned op-shopping expertise: that vintage green jacket is an amazing find of hers, yes?! Style Queen!)

Here’s what is *good* to know about Emma-Kate Wallace, in her own words:

I am a National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) trained costumier and theatrical tailor with ten years experience in pattern-making, costume construction and craftsmanship.

I use these skills in my current role as co-founder and director of WEFT shop: a Sydney-based incorporated non-profit enterprise working with refugee women artisans on the Thai-Burma border to create contemporary, handmade textile accessories, incorporating traditional techniques such as appliqué and metal beading, for sale in Australia. My work with refugee artisans on the Thai-Burma border began in 2006, and I have now facilitated and taught more than 30 workshops with more than 100 women from a variety of ethnic groups.

My approach to teaching is highly collaborative with a respect and appreciation that we all have skills to share; we just need to create a space that makes this possible. I am also passionate about skills preservation and working with the skills each ethnic group has to offer.

Needless to say, we’re SO excited to have Emma involved in our work. As you already know, I’m a fan of WEFT shop and I think there are so many fabulous possibilities ahead for us! I can’t wait to keep you posted as this project develops.

Now onto some outfits…

IMG_1440Tell: Lafont glasses, The Social Studio silk scarf, vintage silk suit jacket from second hand store in Tasmania, Uniqlo skivvy, dress from op shop, leggings gifted from my Mum from Germany, Fluevog boots.

Here’s also an outfit post from my time in Melbourne this last week. And as you can imagine, there is *always* a certain somewhere I like to visit:

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Now, I’ve been eyeing-off the amazing ‘No Waste’ The Social Studio dresses, since we had some stock in our pop-up pilot project, in The Rocks in April and May. Well, finally, I have one to call all my own… and it’s bronze!

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Tell: Wool hat from Melbourne, earrings from Japan, vintage Linda Jackson silk scarf, Esprit skivvy from op shop, The Social Studio ‘No Waste’ dress, Estillo leather belt, Fluevog boots.

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Please stay tuned too… there’s some very exciting updates coming soon! As I hope you well know, here at ShowTellShare and at The Social Outfit, we’re always working hard to do *good in a fashion* xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Six

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Three

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

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

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Here’s also some dressing detail…

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

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

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This was Friday’s outfit:

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

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Hoping you’ve had a lovely weekend too xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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