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.


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.


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!


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:


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…


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


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


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.


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!


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…


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.


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 …


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.


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.


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


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.


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:


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:


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!


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!


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!


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.


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…


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


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!


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.


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


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.


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.


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


Here’s also some dressing detail…


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.


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.


This was Friday’s outfit:


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


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.


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…


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.


ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Nine

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


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

STS 199-2

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


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


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


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


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

STS 199

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Seven

Show/Share: There’s something lovely about spending time doing fun things on an autumn weekend in Sydney city. From wandering the streets, with the yellowing leaves and dappled light…


To the more urban spaces…


This is us making our way to hear our dear friend, and author, Courtney Collins talk as a part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. She was brilliant, naturally! Her first novel, The Burial, is doing very well and it was a pleasure to hear someone talk so passionately about the creative process; especially for longer-term projects.

Plus she was in conversation with Claudia Karvan, so I also got to momentarily relive my *crush* on her and Ben Mendelsohn in the 1990s Aussie classic, The Big Steal (and beyond, of course). Might just need to re-watch it for some fashion pointers…

Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, handmade leather brooch by Jessica, Saba cardigan, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage “BHS Made in Britain’ cotton skirt from Red Cross op shop Newtown, retail tights, socks from Barcelona, Fluevog shoes.

STS 197

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Five

Sunday: A beautiful autumn day in Sydney…


To have some fun, and celebrate my birthday…


Yesterday we spent part of the day checking out some fabulous art at the Art Gallery of NSW. Not surprisingly, I responded *well* to the more colourful works…


It’s like looking into a mirror…


These artworks photographed are by Ugo Rondinone.


Artwork by Sol LeWitt.

And *naturally* I was celebrating the day of my birth by wearing some new, vintage Ken Done. This 1980s shirt had found it’s way to Italy, when I then bought it back recently via eBay to its Sydney home, probably some 10 or 20 years later. I just love it! And, of course, I was also wearing some handmade work from Abuk at The Social Studio.

STS 195-1

Tell: Handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, Ken Done vintage 1980s shirt, brooch gifted, necklace gifted for my birthday, vintage belt from UK, Tatty Devine bracelet, handmade bracelet made by Abuk from The Social Studio, ‘Diamonds Ain’t a Girls Best Friend’ ring from UK, Sportsgirl skirt from op shop, Jonathan Aston stockings, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots, and Tatty Devine balloon leather necklace.

STS 195-2

Artwork by Ugo Rondinone, adjusted here by the *spectacular* Hawaiian First Officer and me.

And then, because I’ve been a little ‘light on’ with outfit posts recently, here’s some from the last few days…

Saturday: An ongoing love with secondhand 1980s Escada…


Tell: Handmade earrings, Kmart skivvy, vintage Escada shirt, Anthea Crawford skirt from op shop, Jonathan Aston tights, tights underneath from Japan and Fluevog boots.

STS 195-3



Tell: Earrings from op shop, Saba skivvy, Leona Edmiston dress from op shop, Tatty Devine cat bangle as necklace, Estilio belt, Sportsgirl tights as gift, borrowed socks from the HFO, Fluevog shoes, Tatty Devine balloon bag, gifted ‘Frida Kahlo’ bag.

Just me enjoying my mis-matched, but still matching earrings!

STS 195-4

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Fifty-Nine

Show/Share: A Sydney day of 44+ degrees makes dressing with any kind of *verve* quite difficult. This is what I was able to manage…


Tell: The Social Studio silk scarf as headband, The Social Studio silk dress gifted by Jo, singlet found in op shop, vintage beaded necklace from secondhand store in Santa Barbara, Uniqlo leggings from Japan, retail shoes gifted.


Yesterday afternoon I met with Juneth (L) and Hawanatu (R). Hawanatu was one of our *spectacular* models for The Social Outfit’s November runway event. Juneth is Hawanatu’s friend, and she works as a model. She’s also looking to raise money through a charity project to support women who have obstetric fistula in the Congo. So we talked about organising charity events, and fundraising strategies, etc. It was lovely to meet up, and I look forward to hearing more about Juneth’s project as it develops.


And below is Kit on Thursday this week. As we all keep working on The Social Outfit‘s short-and long-term development strategies, I’d say face number 3 was the most common over the day! As I have said to both Chloe and Kit, it’s so great to have them on board helping us in practical ways. Plus, I love Kit’s 90s floral shirt (note studded collar)… and, she’s sporting a Tatty Devine necklace; so RAD.


Kit 2

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Fifty-Four

Show/Share: Last night we returned to Sydney, and it proved a *spectacular* way to finish up 2012, and herald in 2013… Because we came home to see that the ATO has granted The Social Outfit ‘Deductible Gift Recipient’ status and the ‘Charity Tax Concessions’. Yep, we’re now a bona fide Public Benevolent Institution! *Great news* that is another super important step on our way to securing our future in Sydney. It made the fireworks last night feel a little extra special…

… And I couldn’t have done all the ATO paperwork and procedure without the help of The Social Studio’s Grace McQuilten. She’s supported me every step of the way, and her advice and counsel is *priceless*. A huge and heartfelt thanks to her xo xo

In other fashion-related news, can you believe I found this custom, hand-made dress in an op shop in Perth? $24.99 and my size, it’s like it was made for me! Once I spotted it I just kept clawing at it, praying it would fit. Hooray, it does! Ruffles! *You Rock* Perth op-shops; so much second-hand gold to be found…

Another highlight from Perth was going on an evening boat cruise on the Mandurah Canals to look at people’s Christmas lights. It *so* appealed to my love of kitsch, glitter and frou-frou!

Yet another super-fantastic photo by the Hawaiian First Officer, who really is the BEST live-in-photographer ever! <3 …Thanks for all your support and expertise in 2012 … <3

The Hawaiian First Officer and I also spent New Year’s Eve with friends; including dearest Bec who is sporting my Ken Done shirt she bought in the auctions when supporting What Ken Be Done. Love!

So here’s to a hopeful and fulfilling 2013 for us all! xo

Tell: Hat from ‘Cat Protection Society’ op shop in Enmore, Wa-Nyika earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, handmade dress from Perth op shop, vintage belt from London, Uniqlo leggings, Camper sandals.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Forty-Seven

Share: Here’s me, keepin’ on keeping on… (and, in the *spirit of the 80s*, of course…) xo

Show 1: Today…

Tell 1: Handmade earrings, Tatty Devine brooch as necklace, 1980s Esprit oversize shirt, Sportscraft belt, skirt from Kmart, Uniqlo leggings, retail socks, Fluevog shoes.

Show 2: Yesterday…

Tell 2: Anthea Crawford 1980s dress jacket gifted by Susan and from an op shop, retail singlet, Tatty Devine ‘Gilbert & George’ brooch (borrowed from FHO), Ken Done skirt made by The Social Studio (for What Ken Be Done), Saba belt, retail tights, socks borrowed from the FHO, Fluevog shoes.


ShowTellShare One Hundred and Forty-Five

Show/Tell/Share: Hello! Just letting you know all the *AMAZING* photos are now up from our very recent Sydney November event on our new events page. Check them out! It includes individual photos of our *delightful* models. Oooooh, Aaaaah, Fantastic!

Again, my many, many thanks to all involved for making The Social Outfit‘s first event an occasion to remember xo

Models: Oboya, Susan, Hawanatu. Clothes by The Social Studio. Photo by Hayley Hughes.

Models: Madeleine, Holly, Abuzar and Tamika. Clothes by The Social Studio. Photo by Hayley Hughes.

As for me, I can’t believe our showcase was one week ago to the day. I literally haven’t stopped since then, including the last two days down at Wollongong University. With 2-hours of travelling each way, and interesting social media workshops, my brain is feeling both very full and pretty tired! Still, my university work pays the rent, and allows me to keep working hard on developing The Social Outfit: so no complaints here… xo

Tuesday. Earrings from op shop, original Condoman brooch gifted by Viv, Primo Emporio denim vest, Saba cardigan, Anna Bennett dress from op shop, Simon de Winter socks, Fluevog shoes.

Wednesday. Ken Done t-shirt (that pink you see is the kangaroo’s tail!), dress from op shop (adjusted by me), Sportscraft belt, Uniqlo leggings, Fluevog shoes.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Thirty-Six

Show/Share: According to the official ‘Sydney Weekenders CBD Stare-O-Meter’, today’s outfit rates *very* highly. I’m thinking its because I look a little like your average Sunday Female Drag Queen. That, or according to the *joy* on many 5-year olds faces, a Sunday Clown. Either way, I’m pretty happy. xo

 Tell: Beads from op shops, handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, gifted second hand 1980s dress (given by Eliza because she thought it looked like Ken Done), vintage belt from UK, Ken Done handmade skirt, Happy Socks, Trippen shoes from Berlin outlet.