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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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 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 Nine

Show/Share: I’m on a brief holiday for a few days, but I really wanted to quickly share with you these pictures from some fun times I had recently with my old next door neighbour, Elaine. When I was growing up, Elaine lived next to us for about 15 years. She’s such a great lady, and she loves telling stories about how she could hear me singing from her own house, with me in our backyard, crooning *dreadfully out of tune* but very loudly, over those formative teenage years! And, it wasn’t until I saw her in person this weekend that I realised it was from her that I learnt to become so *fondly* attached to oversized, fantastic rings. Check out the second photo below and see how brilliant her bedazzled lion and leopard rings are. This lady has style!

I was also so pleased because when I asked Elaine to pose with me for the blog, she was very happy to oblige. And we both couldn’t resist a fun pose that shows off our rather large height difference! I tell you what else: I hope when I’m 81 years old I look half as good as Elaine does now! xo

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Tell: Greek fisherman’s cap borrowed from my Step-Dad, earrings from Japan, handmade necklaces, retail skivvy, tartan skirt from op shop, Trent Nathan dress from op shop, Fluevog boots.

And here is also me and my brother, Charles, from when he was visiting in Sydney last week. As you can see by our smiles, we had a great time together hanging out!IMG_1467

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Eight

Show/Share: My mum and my brother are in town at the moment, which is just lovely! This is us on Saturday visiting the MCA:

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Tell: Earrings from Santa Barbara, handmade necklace, velvet top from Fairfield op shop, wool skivvy from op shop, tartan skirt bought with my Mum when I was 17 or something, Black Milk leggings, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots, Penguin Classic bag from Devon, UK. Chain necklace, worn as bracelet gifted by Mum from Germany.

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And here’s me yesterday, visiting the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale. This gallery comprises of a significant private collection of contemporary Chinese artworks; now open to the public, and free. It’s fantastic and worthy of a look-see.

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I found this artwork by Xu Zhen particularly tactile and inviting. With over 70kgs of paint in the piece it appeals to my sense of indulgence and overdoing things!

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Tell: Earrings from Darwin art gallery, handmade necklace re-purposed from a belt, vintage 1980s ‘Studibaker Hawk‘ screen-printed jacket, Miss Shop dress from op shop, Saba sample leather belt, leggings gifted from Mum from Germany, ‘Juicy Couture’ patent leather boots.

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 Five

Show/Share: This is us saying goodbye to Kit, who heads back to the UK this weekend. We were joined by Kit’s sister Becky, who has been here for the past few weeks on holiday. Even though we’re all smiles here, The Social Outfit will miss all of Kit’s hard work and *go get ’em attitude* very much. Safe onward journey lovely ladies …

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Below is some of what Kit wrote about her experience being involved with The Social Outfit:

I have learnt a great deal while working with The Social Outfit, and I feel it has made my experience in Australia what it has been. I have gained more self-assurance … I now feel passionate about working closely with the coming together of communities, and believe this is a skill I would like to use in my career in the future. 

We’ll miss you, Kit. Thank You! xo

And this is me yesterday, looking *quite* a bit like a 1980s bank teller, or maybe flight attendant… Although actually what I was doing was meeting with some very warm and welcoming staff at the Red Cross, Migration Support Programs in Sydney city, as well as with the Metro Migrant Resource Centre in Campsie. The meetings went very well, and I’m so pleased to be talking with people who are interested in collaborating, and welcoming of what The Social Outfit is hoping to achieve.

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Tell: Handmade earrings, scarf from op shop, Tatty Devine giant zipper necklace, The Social Studio top, ‘Di Bazzato’ vintage men’s shirt from an op shop in Blacktown, Katies skirt from op shop, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots. Detail below: vintage Kenzo wool jacket from op shop in Noosa.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Nine

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

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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.

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

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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…

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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

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

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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.

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Six

Show/Share: I wanted to share with you some more of the creative-based work from people involved in our second-day workshop at the Asylum Seekers Centre, last week

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As you can see, one woman made this *artisan* purse. It has both handmade elements (like the flowers and the ribbon strap), as well as being fully lined and assembled from her skills on the sewing machine. The fabric used is both eco-dyed cloth from our workshops down at The Rocks, as well as fabric remnants.

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And here is a fabric necklace made by another workshop participant. You can see the same use of the hand-sewn flower-making technique. Artist Nicole taught us the skill of taking fabric and twisting it into these chains. The result is a super strong, and quite unique chain, I think. Plus, it’s low cost as you can use fabric scraps. I love it!

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Thanks again to everyone involved at the Asylum Seekers Centre, especially Anna and Sandy, for welcoming us and giving us the opportunity to work together.

Speaking of working together, here’s me heading out to meetings on Wednesday this week. Thanks to The Social Outfit Pilot and the way it connected us to both ongoing supporters and new people, we have some new leads to follow-up on, and more professional people to talk with about our development here in Sydney.

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Tell: Vintage Versace shirt from op shop, The Social Studio felt jacket, Saba belt, vintage skirt from op shop, retail tights, sample Lacoste boots from outlet.

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And finally, our May The Social Outfit newsletter that showcases some of our recent *good* news… (If you click on the image itself, it will make it larger, and easier to read)…

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