ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Forty-Three

So much to Show, Tell and Share! Almost three months of The Social Outfit being open… and truth be told, I’ve been kept very, very busy with all the learning and new experiences of setting up our social enterprise. One thing is for sure: we’re all doing our best! You can read more about our start-up, set-up, and fit out here: http://thesocialoutfit.org/?p=571.

This post below is where I’ll catch up on a couple of outfits and a bit of news… Nothing too fancy, but you can see some of what I’ve been doing, and wearing, as we work *super hard* to build our community site and retail store here in Newtown, Sydney…

First up, an image of me and Oboya, working in the store… We’ve had some lovely early media heralding our doors being open to the public.

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Sydney winter really is never too cold, so I loved wearing this faux fur neckwear in our cooler months…

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And, as always, a bit ‘o Tatty Devine in my wardrobe: in this case, the oversize plastic blue jewel necklace…

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Oboya and I have been working together since the opening of our store in late June. You might remember Oboya all the way back in our first fashion show in 2012 (also when we first met). I don’t always show everyone we work together with here at ShowTellShare, because first and foremost we’re a community space, but Oboya was happy for me to show his *ACE x a million styling*. This young man really does know how to dress, and here is but one example!

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Hat Style = Check. Keeping the tag on = Check.

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Also, here’s Jo, our sewing teacher at The Social Outfit. As life would have it, Jo made not one, but TWO dresses back for me in the ‘What Ken Be Done‘ days… so imagine my delight that here we are, working together for creativity, social inclusion and *good* fashion!

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And now, some random information on some of my shop outfits…

Like, wearing vintage 1980s Jenny Kee (the dress), and community my Cambodian silk-bead-necklace from Tabitha House and Nurturing Threads, sold at our store

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I love the metallic matching of my vintage dress from an op shop with this Tatty Devine mirror-jewel-necklace, and The Social Studio leggings …

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Greens, reds and oranges… and Linda Jackson!

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Vintage Sussan cardigan from op shop… 1980s *gold*!

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And finally, an ensemble of ‘The Social Outfit loves Ken Done‘, with a wool vintage dress/jacket from an op shop…

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And speaking of Ken Done…

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-Seven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Odd socks, for fun, learning times…

Hope you’re fabulous! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Four

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Seven

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

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

And here’s my own Wednesday outfit…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Six

Show: Enjoying the company of good friends and coloured eyebrows last Sunday …

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings and necklace, Rockmans cardigan from op shop, re-purposed vintage dress from op shop, Sportscraft belt, Spin Dance petticoat, tights from Japan, retail socks and Fluevog boots. Ring from Italy, Museum of Contemporary Art gallery shop, op shop and Tatty Devine.

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Share: Last weekend the historic, and locally-famous ‘Marie Louise’ Hair Salon in Enmore was finally open to the public to see inside. I think it was all the *fabulous* pink and purple that subconsciously influenced my colour-combination choice that day…

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Aaaaaaaaand, The Social Outfit is back at Fairfield High School, this time also working with parents. Hooray! Meet four of the women Emma and I are working with on our second sewing project:

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These women are already accomplished at machine sewing, and so we’re very excited about what we can produce together over the coming weeks. We had a great first session together on Wednesday: getting to know each other, learning English terms for garment production, and I’m slowly being taught some Arabic phrases. Fun times!

And given we’re so pleased to be back at Fairfield High School, of course I was wearing something from our Colour Chameleon project to celebrate…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade beaded necklaces, Katies shirt from op shop, fluro singlet from op shop, Oroton belt from op shop, TS dress, ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya‘ leggings for Colour Chameleon, retail socks and Fluevog boots.

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Then this was me yesterday, when I met up with my Vice-Chair, David Hardie and we continued final preparations for The Social Outfit as this year comes to a close. Things are slowing down after what has been a very *exciting* and busy year; but we’re not quite finished up yet… and here’s hoping there’s still more *good* news to come before the business-end of 2013. xo

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, Saba cardigan, vintage dress as top, Dragstar denim skirt, belt borrowed from the Hawaiian First Officer, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion. Tatty Devine hand and cockatoo ring.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Three

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

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

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

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

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

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

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

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

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Two

Show: Here’s what hope and generosity from our community of supporters looks like…

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And what came with this gorgeous card of support? Why it was the baby-lock overlocker we recently requested…

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When Emma and I crafted this call-out a few weeks ago, it was with the hope that someone who knew us maybe had a second-hand overlocker in their possession, that they realised they didn’t need anymore, and were happy to re-gift to us. So imagine our *delight* and joy when Joasia called us recently to offer us a brand new overlocker. She’d seen our call out and wanted to help; so with the *fantastic* support of her friends they all pitched in to raise the money needed. We had no idea this was happening until she contacted us, saying, “and how does this Bernette overlocker sound?” I’m so very grateful for this kind of community spirit and belief in what The Social Outfit is trying to build here in Sydney.

Here is Joasia and me together, when she handed over the *amazing* donation on behalf of her friends this weekend…

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So to Tayah, Shawn, Margaret, Dominique, Caterina and Joasia: THANK YOU!! On behalf of all of us at The Social Outfit, we *super* appreciate you coming together to help us out. We also can’t wait to show you what’s possible with this generous help. Hooray!

And I can assure you, we’re hard at work. Below is intern Steph, me and our sewing teacher, Emma working hard on more work, and event preparations last Thursday. On a *balmy* 39-degree-day, Emma and I headed to Fairfield High School to meet with Principal Extra-Ordinnaire, Bob Mulas. We talked through our next possible fashion project with the new-migrant community involved at the school. We’re very excited to keep working with the parents, students and community at Fairfield. In the afternoon Steph joined us in Newtown to do some sewing for our up-coming ‘Colour Chameleon’ event. It’s *great* that even after a busy and hot day, we can still smile and laugh for photos to capture all the work (and thanks heaps Meredith Turnbull, as always, for the loan of your office space, and the great green backdrop: we almost look cool in temperature here)…

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Here’s me earlier in the day, before I was blasted by the Sydney spring-heat. Even on a hot day, I can’t help but layer a little. Otherwise, there’s just not enough colour for my liking!

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, vintage dress from op shop, The Social Studio digital print silk scarf, tights from Japan, Fluevog shoes, Mozi bag from op shop in Fairfield.

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And although you might not be able to tell, inside the ‘Mozi’ bag is an iron and also some digitally printed silk fabric sent up from The Social Studio in Melbourne… turns out at the moment I’m like a mobile factory for The Social Outfit, as we work on some production here for the ‘Colour Chameleon‘ collection, as well as being well-supported by our sister studio in Collingwood, of course. Speaking of which, this coming week is our event, so I best keep organising the plans. I hope we get to celebrate our work so far, plus what’s possible in the future with The Social Outfit! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-One

Show/Share: We spent some *fun* times with my nephews and sister-in-law, visiting Sydney on this long weekend…

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… And I celebrated by wearing my ‘new’ second-hand Reg Mombassa ‘Mambo’ original shirt. Reg Mombassa is one of my favourite artists; and the fact that we can pay homage to his unique artistic-eye via clothing is *good* news for a fan like me. Years ago I found one of his singlets in an op shop (shown here on ShowTellShare), but after seeing Awesome Frances from Corpulent in her shirt, I’ve also been keeping a lookout for my very own version too. And I’m pretty happy that this vintage-find also incorporates the great colour-combination of yellow, orange and blue… Sydney-springtime-fun!

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings (from a vintage necklace, found in an op shop), Reg Mombassa ‘Mambo’ vintage short, vintage belt from UK, The Social Studio silk dress, Spin Dance petticoat, retail tights, House of Holland socks, Fluevog boots, Jenny Kee vintage tote.

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We all had a lovely time together. And I do so appreciate that my nephews enjoy playing with, and asking questions all about my collection of oversize-jewellery-accessories… obviously I see it as an *important* component of their lifelong education!! xo

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty

Well I’ve caught my breath for a moment, and I’m *happily* back here again to show you this week’s outfits and a little about what we’ve been doing… so let’s go!

Show/Share: On Tuesday last week I had the opportunity to check out a fully-functioning clothing label in Sydney. I seriously found it so super-interesting to see just how many elements it takes to run a high-profile fashion company successfully. The people I got to meet there were also really lovely to me, and we met because they were keen to talk more about what The Social Outfit is hoping to do with young people from new migrant and refugee communities here in Sydney. It’s very encouraging when you meet great people who want to talk, share experiences, and look for ways to work across business and charity.

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine necklace, Ken Done top remade into cardigan, The Social Studio silk skirt worn as dress, belt from op shop, retail tights, Fluevog boots (with heart heel).

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As you know, we have an event coming up in mid-October called ‘Colour Chameleon‘. It’s a great chance for us to keep showing our progress here in Sydney, as well as to celebrate some amazing fashion designers who have come on board to show their support for our work, and of course the fantastic work of The Social Studio. Go Ken Done, Linda Jackson, Nina Maya and Celia Morris from Dragstar! <3 x 4! So on Wednesday I headed to Vodafone HQ to keep learning more about marketing and PR, in order to think about telling our story more broadly.

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, vintage dress from market in Berlin, The Social Studio belt, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion.

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Then here’s me on Thursday evening when I took a break from event preparations to go and see a friend of ours read from her soon-to-be-published novel…

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine tiger necklace, ‘madame NICOLE’ shirt from the NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser, vintage leather belt from second-hand store, wool golf pants from op shop, Fluevog sandals, Penguin bag from the UK.

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And then Friday was a busy day with potential supporter business meetings, and also catching up with some of the fantastic young people who are going to be modelling with us at the Colour Chameleon event. And given Friday was full of spring-time sun, it felt like a *good* time to wear my large pineapple earrings I made from Mexican folk-art wall decorations. Large, colourful, very light, and only a little bit sharp at the edges!

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Tell: Handmade pineapple earrings, Diane Freis silk top, handmade necklace, The Social Studio skirt, Oroton belt from op shop, Fluevog boots.

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Thanks for stopping and see you again, real soon… xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Nineteen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My own outfit and some details…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1980s! Garfield!

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

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

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Eighteen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Sixteen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday …

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

Wednesday …

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

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Thursday …

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

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Saturday

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

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

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And Sunday …

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

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

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Fifteen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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