ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Three

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


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


Here’s also some dressing detail…


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


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


This was Friday’s outfit:


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


Hoping you’ve had a lovely weekend too xo

ShowTellShare one Hundred and Eighty-Six

Share: Meet Nina Maya, The Social Outfit‘s very own *new* board member!


We’re all really excited to have Nina involved; check out how amazing she is:

Nina Maya Skrzynski is one of Australia’s most outstanding designers renowned for creating collections with an emphasis on quality, silhouette and finishing. Since the launch of her Nina Maya label in 2006, she has developed a strong following from industry, celebrity and consumers alike. Completing a design degree, majoring in textiles at the College of Fine Arts Sydney, Nina has always held a strong penchant for fashion. Following this, she set off for London for an internship at a leading textile firm, before relocating to Italy where she worked for a luxury fashion house. Nina was honoured by an invitation to design her own range for the company, which was produced shortly after. Following her work abroad, Nina returned to Australia to establish her own business and further her self-titled label. Created with a style and design philosophy against the trend of disposable fashion, her focus on sustainability and a desire to create investment pieces have served as a solid foundation for the label’s success. Nina’s desire to push the envelope in design has seen her develop an artisan-like approach to her label. 

In July 2009, the Nina Maya label was selected by MYER to be included in their stable of designer collections and is now stocked nationally. The brand has developed strong working relationships with a select group of celebrities, most notably creating one-off red carpet designs for Jennifer Hawkins, Rebecca Twigley and Delta Goodrem. The resulting recognition of this saw the introduction of the Nina Maya Bespoke service in which customers have the opportunity to have demi-couture designs created personally by Nina for a specific occasion or event. 

Nina Maya has now extended the 
application of her skills to launch Nina Maya Interiors. After returning from London to Sydney, Nina Maya Interiors was launched in early 2012. Since then, Nina Maya has completed residential and commercial interiors design projects in Sydney and Beijing, China. 

In terms of philanthropic work, Nina is a Trustee of the Sky Foundation, a founding member of the ‘10 x 10 Project’ (aimed at engendering a culture of philanthropy and giving within the young professional and creative communities), and a member of the New Gen initiative at Philanthropy Australia.

Welcome Nina!

Show: And here’s some photos from last Friday, as a bunch of us were preparing and working hard at The Rocks Pop-Up spaces, in what will soon be The Social Outfit‘s new home whilst we run our pilot project


There is a tonne of work to do: Eeeeek! But rest assured I’m making a real effort to make sure our creative workshops, exhibition space and ‘The Social Studio‘ pop-up store are *super interesting* for you to come and visit! For more details as we develop, check out here


Tell: Earrings handmade, ‘Tokyo Kamen‘ brooch from Japan, ‘Promenade’ shirt from op shop, The Social Studio singlet, TS14+ dress, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots. All rings from Italy.

And this is today…

Tell: Wa-Nyika earrings, scarf from op shop, handmade necklace, dress from secondhand store, vintage leather belt from secondhand store, Spin Dance petticoat, retail tights and socks, Fluevog sandals. Vintage Australiana bag from secondhand store.
Check out  also the First Hawaiian Officer’s *lovely* vintage shirt (below); we’re wearing matching retro-greens… And a BIG *thanks always* to the FHO for such great photos!
This mini-comic says it all, really …

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Seventy-Eight

Share: You know, I often feel very lucky about the people I work with. It’s not just that I ask them time and time again to meet me, and help develop The Social Outfit with their great ideas and insights; it’s also then that I ask for a photo so I can show you all who’s involved. Photos, photos for everyone!


So here’s Paul Bide and myself having worked together this Friday. I met Paul recently through the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Social Ventures Australia connections. Paul is an ex-finance guy, and he’s being a champion by helping me with drafting The Social Outfit‘s ‘First 90 Day Plan’. There’s *a lot* of work involved, so I really appreciate the opportunity to work through the detail with someone like Paul, and hear his own suggestions. Nothing like a deadline with someone to encourage motivation! Eeeep!

Then here’s the *fabulous* group of Ajak, Kit and Chloe, who are working together on our City of Sydney pilot project:


We’re just securing some of the important big details, and then I’ll be able to announce all the *fun* we’re about have with it. And I’m hoping you’ll be a part of our plans too! More soon.

And now to some outfits…

Show: Friday…


Tell: Handmade necklaces and earrings, The Social Studio top, vintage dress from secondhand store in Tasmania, retail tights and sock, Fluevog shoes.


And this was Tuesday…



Tell: Tatty Devine bracelet as pendant, vintage Fiorucci vest from op shop, Oroton belt from op shop, The Social Studio silk skirt as dress, Jonathan Aston tights, Fluevog shoes.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Seventy-Six

Share: The Social Outfit eBay auction-extravaganza is getting closer and closer every day… Bargains! Ken Done! Vintage! 1980s! Doing *good*! Helping The Social Outfit! So many points of exclamation!

The auctions start closing this Saturday… Good Luck and thanks for your support! All money raised (less eBay fees) goes directly to supporting The Social Outfit xo


Here’s Kit yesterday wearing her Mum’s vintage dress… STS_176_2

And last night The Social Outfit team had a board meeting. Check out Sarah… her dress is from a social enterprise working with African communities in France. Gorgeous! And *bless* the gang for always being willing for me to take photos; I just love showing you how many there of us involved and how hard we are working…



Tell: Lafont glasses, Wa-Nyika earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, handmade necklace, The Social Studio singlet, Diane Freis 1980s skirt from op shop (made into a dress by me), stockings from Japan, House of Holland socks, Fluevog boots.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Sixty-Four

Share: I’ve introduced Chloe briefly here before, but today I want to share with you more about her. So let’s start with a *gorgeously* fun photo:


Chloe has been working with us at The Social Outfit since October last year. She was instrumental in helping us with our November runway event, and she’s simply brilliant to have around. Chloe is that person you have in a team who ‘gets things done’, and sees solutions in tricky times. Here’s a bit more about the professional life of Chloe:

In the UK, Chloe managed a successful pub for over ten years. This involved liaising with the council and police, managing staff, ordering, book keeping, stock control and other myriad tasks. Since coming to Australia in 2003 she has worked as a customer service manager, inventory manager and operations manager for Borders Books and as an inventory control specialist for Apple Retail. In the last couple of years Chloe has gained a Certificate III in Education Support and is currently working as a teachers’ aid for St Brendanʼs School in Annandale. Chloe is also working in a volunteer capacity for The Social Outfit.

As an upbeat and engaged person, Chloe also knows people. Heaps of people. Thanks to her, she’s connected us to some fine folks. Take for example, introducing us to Emma, our pro bono graphic designer who has helped us with some *fantastic* visuals for our ‘Case for Support’ (… she also designed this great photo of Chloe above). Most recently Chloe also connected us with John Spencer, our pro bono financial auditor. John’s professional history is nothing short of immense! We’re so pleased and proud to have him involved:

John Spencer, AM, GCStJ: John has worked as a chartered accountant for over 50 years. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a Life Fellow of the Local Government Auditors Association of NSW, A Local Government Auditor and an Approved General Insurance Auditor. John has a vast wealth of professional experience, auditing over 25 local councils, as well as many large commercial clients over his career. John has also been a member of the St Johnʼs Ambulance for over 60 years. Starting as a cadet in 1949, he has held many offices, such as the Chief Superintendent of Australia 1986-93 and Director of St John’s Ambulance Australia, 1993 to present day. John commanded the St John involvement in the multi-state response to the 1994 bushfires in and around Sydney, and he also planned the St John involvement in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.  John Spencer has been recognised for his professional work and community commitments with many honours and awards, including Knight of the Order 1990, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order 2006 and Centenary of Australia Medal and Order of Australia, 2002.

So my ongoing, heartfelt thanks to Chloe for showing The Social Outfit so much support. What a *joy* it is to have you around! xo xo

Show: And here’s me yesterday; feeling the green:



Tell: Vintage earrings from Shag in Melbourne, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, handmade necklace, Toucan brooch from Canberra, Zara dress from op shop, Estillo belt gifted, vintage purse from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Fifty-Nine

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


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


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


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


Kit 2

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Twenty-Eight


Tell: Glasses from op shop, Ken Done scarf as headband, Wa-Nyika earrings, handmade necklaces, and long coloured necklace from North Shore op shop, The Social Studio singlet, Easton Pearson silk dress from op shop (*hello* lucky find!!), Fluevog boots.

Share: This morning I’ll be working hard on The Social Outfit paperwork-trail, and then Chloe and I are off to meetings with potential supporters in the afternoon…

… I’m not entirely sure how this outfit came together with such *gusto* and tinges of both Carmen Miranda and 1980s Cindy Lauper this a.m., but I am prepared to just go with the flow and embrace the fun of it: It is a Friday after all! xo

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Twenty-Four

Show: What a busy day! Thank *goodness* I was wearing the ELECTRIFYING powers of The Social Studio fashion label to get me through all the work and fun…

It feels like we have a new main character involved with The Social Outfit, so I thought I should show you who I am talking about. Meet volunteer Chloe. She and I met today to continue the planning work for a small supporter event we’re holding in November. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have another capable ‘hand on deck’ to join me and the Board as we bring The Social Outfit to life…

Share: So first up today I met with Julie Rosenberg from M.H. Carnegie & Co. Thanks to Julie, they’ve come on board to help us with some financial modelling and business planning. So fantastic: numbers count!

Next, I also met with Melanie Noden (CEO) and Sandy Killick (Employment Assistance Program Coordinator) at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Surry Hills, who are also very happy to look at the ways we can partner and work together. Tops!

All in all, an exciting time. Naturally, I was wearing The Social Studio to give me energy; as well as what I’ve decided is ‘Business-Eyebrow-Colouring’: just the edges to keep it low-key… (tee hee hee)…

And finally – as you might imagine, I read many a fashion blog, and some of my favourite fun-fashion-wearers (like Misfits Vintage and Pull Your Socks Up and Helga Von Trollop) are doing a ‘tea cup and tutu’ theme. They have well and truly planted a seed in my subconscious, because as I was travelling on the bus to my morning meeting today I realised I *too* was wearing a tutu (ish), and I could get involved… So here’s me in a top by The Social Studio, a tutu and a Ken Done mug, *naturally*…

Last, but never least, CONGRATULATIONS to The Social Studio for reaching their $16,500 crowd-funding appeal for a new Melbourne store front. Just take a read of the comments and you’ll see what an impact The Social Studio is having in Melbourne… what an *opportunity* too for Sydney, with all our ongoing work! xo xo

Tell: Glasses from op shop, Tatty Devine earrings and brooch (as necklace), The Social Studio shirt, gifted Estilio belt, Review skirt on sale, Caledonia stockings, Fluevog boots.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Twenty-One

Show/Share: What a busy week, including catching up with members of the Sydney Outfit last night for a meeting:

L-R: David Hardie, Meredith Turnbull, Antonia Ruffell, and David Ajak Ajang. Grace McQuilten called in from Melbourne, and I got to catch up with Sarah Chisholm earlier in the day. It takes a team!

As well as having a meeting with the Sydney Outfit to continue with our business planning, I also met again with The Social Outfit’s own volunteer, Chloe Wilson. I’m so *excited* that I have some more hands-on help with our growing work.

Plus, another couple of meetings with professionals in the Not For Profit and fundraising sectors: seeking strategic advice as we put together our best model for having a version of The Social Studio here in Sydney. We’ve got to get it right, and that takes time.

And all this work undertaken on a 30 degree day, with me wearing socks, sandals and of course, The Social Studio!

Some lovely detail from my op-shopped Fiorucci vest:

Tell: Glasses from op shop, earrings gifted from Jenni, Tatty Devine necklace, vintage Fiorucci vest from op shop, The Social Studio silk dress gifted from Jo, stockings from Japan, Camper Sandals.

And just another quick sneak of an outfit earlier in the week, from Tuesday, because my nephew gave me the silver bracelet (which can also be worn as a necklace). Bless his ability to already spot *fun fashion* for his aunty at 8 years old! xo

Tell: Glasses from Japan, Norman Hartwell dress from op shop, Sportscraft belt, Fluevog boots.


ShowTellShare One Hundred and Nineteen

Show: Presenting, my new 1980s high-waisted wool check pants from a Mornington op shop, to celebrate National Op Shop Week:

Op Shops Forever!

Tell: LaFont glasses, earrings from op shop, Tatty Devine necklaces, gifted wrap top, American Apparel leotard, ‘My Fairway Lady’** high-waisted wool pants from Mornington Salvos, Happy Socks, Fluevog shoes.

** I’m pretty sure with that label these are not only golf pants, but golf pants with a bit of humour (i.e. ‘My Fair Lady’ becomes ‘My Fairway Lady’). Love It!

Share: And, today I met with Chloe Wilson, who *excitingly* is going to volunteer with us at The Social Outfit. Chloe comes with a background in business operations, and I can tell she a ‘get things done’ kinda of person. Thanks Chloe, welcome to the team! xo