ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Four

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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!


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!)


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…


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…


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 Thirty-Three

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We spent the end of 2013 taking a holiday in Japan. It was *brilliant*!

When I was 19 years old, I lived in Japan for a year and since then I have loved the uniqueness of the country and culture. I especially adore the way so many Japanese people embrace art and creativity into daily life. That includes the fabulous combinations of that which is serene and simple, to that which is *totally kitsch* and over-the-top! This trip we went to some of Japan’s best-known modern art galleries, starting with the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo…


The sculpture is Sebastian Masuda’s “Melty-Go-Round” Christmas Tree. This art gallery is on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower in Roppongi, so it has a *spectacular* view of the metropolis that is Tokyo and beyond.


… and, as I’m not always the hugest fan of heights, the glass of champagne, and my newly gifted heart brooch from the Tatty Devine team helped embolden me to take in the 360-degree views from up on high!


A highlight for me of Japan is its train system. I *love* the bullet trains that whizz up and down the islands, and mean you can visit towns far and wide really easily. Here we are passing the cultural icon that is Mount Fuji on a clear winter day…



This trip we visited Naoshima. It’s a small island that was historically a fishing village, and has now re-invented itself as an ‘art island’. Many of the installations here are breath-taking. One of my favourite artists is Yayoi Kusama, and her two pumpkin sculptures welcome the ferries coming to the island…



Here’s the Hawaiian First Officer at the castle in Okayama. It’s known as the ‘crow castle’ because of the black detailing, and the day we visited, actual crows were circling and the sky was quite dark and gloomy. It was perfect-creepy!


These trees are in Kanazawa Gardens, and I fell in love with the ingenuity of the rope supports so that the tree boughs don’t break in winter with all the heavy snows.


And here is just a little reminder of the sheer size of the population of Japan on what is such a small land mass… this is just one bike lock-up area in a small town.


Here I am on New Year’s Eve in our hotel room in Shinjuku, Tokyo. I have no idea how we managed it, but we *lucked* a room with this gorgeous *cheesy* pink vintage couch! I celebrated the beginning of 2014 wearing ‘The Social Outfit loves Dragstar‘ dress and leggings from our Colour Chameleon collection. Nothing like heralding in a new year with the *fashion hope* of good things for The Social Outfit in 2014…



Wishing you the *best* for 2014!

And, I look forward to sharing our stories and staying in touch xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Two

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ShowTellShare: Just before heading overseas for a holiday at the end of 2013, we went interstate to a wedding of a dear friend of mine, whom I have known since childhood. Love was in the air, and in my hands!


Here’s me and the spunky groom, Alex. I *love* that he wore his own traditional family kilt for the wedding… Men in skirts? Brilliant! And the bride came into the winery – where the service was held – riding sidesaddle on a horse! It really was a gorgeous and super fun event.


Here’s my *colour love* outfit, between the vines…


Tell: Ken Done sunglasses, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine flower necklace, Linda Jackson original 1980s hand-screen-printed dress (she gave it to me from her own collection when I met her in Melbourne earlier in the year!), Black Milk leggings, Fluevog shoes, and heart bag from Melbourne.

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Nine

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Note: I know this post is actually published in 2014, but please just read it like it was still 2013 :-)

Show: Hey, hey it’s *Catch-Up Fashion and Fun Times!* With the end of the year looming and the supremely welcome news that The Social Outfit will open our doors in 2014, I’m winding things down now to take a break. But before the holidays begin, here’s some things I’ve been doing, and clothes I’ve been wearing for the last week or so…

The Social Outfit had our first ‘Annual General Meeting’ as a NSW-based Incorporated Association on Thursday 5 December. The Committee of Management all got together to be re-elected for ongoing service and to reflect on our last 18 months.

I like to not only reflect mentally, but also with my dress choice; thus wearing both the early days of The Social Studio’s work (my skirt) as well as our much more recent, ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson’ silk dress (as shirt) and leggings…



At the very end of November to early December I was in Melbourne for the Vodafone Foundation’s ‘World of Difference’ training as a part of my year of paid-charity leave. It was also a chance to catch up with my family down south. Here’s me and my two lovely older brothers, spending some *welcome* family time together…


In Melbourne I also got to catch up with my dear friend Bridget and her daughter. We visited the Ian Potter Gallery as a part of the NGV, and saw the *brilliant* exhibition called ‘At Home with the Hotham St Ladies’. Why did I think it was fabulous? Well it’s a sculptural exhibition and the artwork is made from piped cake icing! That sign behind is made entirely of cake-icing; and the artwork is fun, colourful and frivolous.


And here, just for a bit of fun, is me sharing photos my Dad tried to take whilst I was in Melbourne for the blog. Bless him, I’ve not yet quite trained him on keeping the phone still enough to *catch* the fashion blog obligatory photo!



ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Eight Reasons to *Celebrate*!

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What a way to end a year; with the fantastic news that The Social Outfit now has enough funding to open our doors! In 2014 we’ll begin a design school and retail store in Sydney’s Inner West. We’ll be able to have a base from which to grow our creative work with people from new migrant and refugee backgrounds.

We’ve been working hard, and it’s so lovely to celebrate now and thank people for the support so far. For approximately 2 years a diverse group of committed people have been working together to make The Social Outfit start up a reality in Sydney. Over this time we’ve also had financial support from a wide range of philanthropists and foundations who have believed in our dream. Now, thanks to the recent generous funding from the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and Dusseldorp Skills Forum we have raised enough investment so we can set up ‘shop’ for real.

In 2014 we hope you’ll stay involved, show your ongoing support, and help us build our goals. We’re celebrating now, as well as knowing that our next stage of growth is going be challenging and will require the dedication again of many people. We hope you can be part of this. Showing support at The Social Outfit can look like many things, and we look forward to communicating with you next year as we plan and progress with ways to get involved.

In the meantime, we wanted to share this amazing ‘tipping point’ news, and THANK YOU for your part in The Social Outfit community so far. The Social Outfit exists to celebrate the skills and styles of diverse cultures in Australia. In 2014 we’ll be working hard to enrich the educational and employment opportunities for people from new migrant and refugee backgrounds in Sydney. And we can’t wait to share with you this next phase of our story…

And, more personally, given my story of starting support for The Social Studio in 2010, and it turning into building The Social Outfit since then; the feeling of celebration and *thanks* is very, very high. As I hope you know, I’ve always wanted to do *good in a fashion*: with a love of creativity, art, ethics and collaboration. So naturally I celebrated our funding news with some *Ken Done Love* …


Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings, zipper earring from V&A Museum found in an op shop in Melbourne, Ken Done vintage jacket, Tatty Devine cat bracelet as necklace, ‘The Social Outfit loves Ken Done‘ silk scarf, dress and leggings, Happy Socks, Fluevog shoes. Rings: Tatty Devine and others.


… And I’ll have more outfits and photos from my recent time in Melbourne from last week to early this week. But for now, I just wanted to share our very exciting news with you all, so …


xo xo xo


ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Seven

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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.


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…


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.


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.)


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.


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!


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


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.


ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Six

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


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.


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…


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:


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…


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.


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


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.


ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Five

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Show: Have you seen our short film of The Social Outfit‘s recent ‘Colour Chameleon‘ project? As I’ve been saying to people, I’m so pleased it captures the positive spirit and creativity in the room that night. And what a *wonderful* example of people coming together to celebrate the skills and styles of diverse communities here in Sydney …

The Social Outfit’s Colour Chameleon from The Social Outfit on Vimeo.

I also realised I could probably find an image or two that better shows off the *ace* fabric-combination skirt Emma-Kate made for me of all the designer’s work; from top to bottom: Ken Done, Linda Jackson, Dragstar (Celia Morris) and Nina Maya.


Tell: Glasses from op shop, re-purposed earrings from Shag Melbourne, Tatty Devine necklace, singlet from op shop, The Social Outfit ‘Colour Chameleon’ skirt, Spin Dance petticoat, Jonathan Aston tights, Fluevog boots, 1980s gold bag from op shop. And below, also wearing my own Carla Zampatti silk jacket to pay respects to our Guest of Honour at ‘Colour Chameleon’.


From left to right: me, Oboya, Mogahid and Opia. These young people are part of the *amazing* Afro Contemporary Youth Dance group. (I’m also so pleased that we had make-up provided by students at the Australasian College Broadway. So fun!)

Here also, our earlier short-film from our project at Fairfield High School. We start stage-two of this project next week, and will also now work with parents at the school. I’m so pleased too because many of the young people involved in stage one are staying on to gain more sewing skills, and learn more about the Australian fashion industry…

The Social Outfit and Fairfield High School Fashion Project from The Social Outfit on Vimeo.

And here is me from Thursday this week. I spent the day out meeting talented people as we continue community-building and refining our work. Essentially this outfit for me was about celebrating my new-vintage 1980s Jimmy Pike ‘Desert Designs‘ cropped t-shirt. Another piece added to my *love*-collection of 1980s Australian designers; and I’m particularly pleased about the inclusion of Pike’s fashion to help represent and celebrate the *fantastic* design elements of Aboriginal artwork, as Jimmy Pike was a Walmatjarri artist from Western Australia.


Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine necklace, Jimmy Pike ‘Desert Designs‘ vintage crop t-shirt, The Social Studio silk dress gifted by Jo, TS dress underneath, vintage belt from the UK, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog sandals.


ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Four

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Show: I was lucky to host my very own import from Melbourne yesterday, in the form of my older brother; to spend the day in Sydney-town…


It was lovely to hang out, and enjoy a good time on a Tuesday … (Misfit Sarah, does this backdrop seem familiar?!)


Tell: Handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘Her & Him Hato Group’ shirt from op shop in Parramatta, Katies skirt from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion, Linda Jackson vintage bag.


On Saturday last weekend, we went to a dear friend’s 40th birthday. Given the time of year, the theme was ‘Día de Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) and/or Mexican. The Hawaiian First Officer and I decided we wanted to go down the costume route of paying homage to great Mexico moments and/or people.

As I am sure you’ll agree, the Hawaiian First Officer took the theme of celebrating the 1968 Mexico Olympics with gusto. This montage is an absolute *gif favourite* of mine! I’m thinking that gold medal was won for retro-dancing-boxing, yes?!

Now you best be a little warned about the next set of photos…

I went as ‘Ugly Betty‘ because I think she’s a gorgeous Mexican woman; she’s cute; and, I always thought her fashion was fabulous from the get-go. The thing is, it turns out that if I put fake braces and teeth in, I look almost *nothing* like Ugly Betty and just closer to scary!  As my dear brother said when he saw these photos today, “Yeeesh. You look sort of dead.” So not cute. But I still pay my homage to Betty; I realise my entire wardrobe is built for her; and, we had a great time!



Also, turns out – again, perhaps not that surprisingly – I’m a full-time smiler, so fake teeth are just really annoying after more than a minute. Did I mention I really like talking too, which makes a mouth-guard at a party *very* annoying!


Here’s the Birthday Lady, Antonia (who is also on The Social Outfit’s Board). Her glitter make-up was *wonderful* … And fake eyelashes on both top and bottom? Yes please!


This photo below is Friday evening last week, hanging out with friends…


Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine necklace, vintage Escada silk short, Estillo belt. The Social Studio silk dress gifted by Jo, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots, vintage TV purse gifted by Kath.


And finally, here’s me the Saturday the weekend before, when a friend asked to interview me about my love of Ken Done (he’s studying film-making). And whenever I hear the words, “Ken Done” I naturally turn to some of my most favourite Australian vintage gear…

P1040736Tell: Vintage Ken Done glasses, vintage earrings from op shop, Tatty Devine lip necklace, Ken Done vintage shirt, Ken Done doona made into skirt, retail tights, vintage Ken Done socks, Fluevog shoes.


So that’s me. I think I’m caught up now… And who knows, there just might be a post here soon with actually only one outfit. Regular blogging? It just might be possible! xo

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…


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…


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!


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.


Photo by Mark Sherborne.

You can see more photos from the event at The Social Outfit’s website here:

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…


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.


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


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.


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


ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Two

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


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


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…


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)…


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!


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.


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

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


… 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.


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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