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 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-Three

Show/Tell/Share: We planned, we participated, we produced… Yes, we held a pilot to show “The Social Outfit celebrates the skills and styles of our diverse cultures in Australia” …

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On Friday evening last week we closed the pop-up store, but not before some of our wonderful volunteers, (left to right) Antonia, Kit and Traci, drew out our lucky door prize winner. Oooo, something exciting is coming in the mail for them!

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And on Saturday it was time for us to say goodbye to our The Rocks Pop-up space, and pack up our shop selling so many *great* goodies from The Social Studio. Well worth remembering too that this pilot was made possible in the first place thanks to the support of the City of Sydney Council, Community Grants program.

Packing up the pilot, which really was a display of the *hope* we have to set up full-time in Sydney, wasn’t nearly as fun as setting up… especially peeling off decal letters individually!

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But it’s just ‘bye-bye’ to the pilot, because me and the whole The Social Outfit team plan on working just as hard to take our next steps forward in our development. In fact, we’re holding more fashion-based arts workshops at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown this week.

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And that’s because, as always, we remain committed to making The Social Outfit an ongoing reality here in NSW. As ever, I just want to keep “doing good in a fashion” and celebrating the skills and talents of people from refugee backgrounds living in greater Sydney… xo

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Poster image copyright belongs to The Social Studio.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-One

Show: A collection of images and anecdotes from The Social Outfit Pilot…

Susan is doing some paid work experience with us at the pop-up shop at The Rocks as a part of our City of Sydney Community Grants… It’s *lovely* to have you involved, Susan. We hope you’re enjoying yourself and learning some new skills too!

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Oboya also came down to The Rocks today to pay us a visit and hear more about our development. It’s wonderful to have our volunteer models from our November runway event keen to stay involved and very supportive of The Social Outfit‘s plans in Sydney… You *rock*, Oboya!

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This is Shannon from ING Direct. Some recent, VERY *exciting* news is that ING Direct have provided us with a grant to support our ongoing work and full business plan. Thanks ever so much! We’re very pleased to have some incredibly supportive philanthropic funding as we begin our set up here in Sydney. Shannon and I had a wonderful time together; she’s so nice and interested in our work!

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Here’s the talented artist, Nicole Barakat, who taught our second workshop series on eco-dyeing. And doesn’t she look so *splendid* in her The Social Studio necklace she purchased from our store?! Nicole is also going to teach another creative workshop series for us in mid-May, as part of a collaborative partnership with the Asylum Seeker’s Centre in Newtown. Hooray for the celebration of ethical art skills!

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Here’s a participant at work with the eco-dyeing last week…

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And some of the amazing, detailed, and highly-skilled work from a young man who took part in all the workshop days. He really enjoyed himself and we loved having interested people involved!

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This is me decked out in The Social Studio from last Wednesday when I started getting sick…

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And here I am, today (and a week later), finally on the improve. You can tell I’m getting better because I’m wearing *double-denim* AND The Social Studio… <3

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What can I say? I simply *love* being around the gorgeous The Social Studio stock, and working hard with people to make The Social Outfit a reality in Sydney. Together, I reckon we can do this really well!

So if you haven’t had to a chance to pop by, but are interested in seeing what’s happening, then *please* come down to The Social Outfit‘s Pop-Up shop this Friday 3 May from 6pm, to say hello, have a glass of sparkling water or wine, and see our little shop, stocked with ethically-accredited clothing from our sisters based in Melbourne, The Social Studio (including some new stock, too!).

Shop 2.03, 140 George Street, The Rocks (the old MCA entrance)… Hope we see you there! xo

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Eighty-Eight

Almost a week of radio silence from me to you, dear readers, but that’s just because we’ve been *working so hard* to get here: The Social Outfit Pilot Project!

We’re down at The Rocks, and we’re ready to say hello to you and your friends…

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From this week until Saturday 11 May, we’ll be at Shop 2.03, 140 George Street, The Rocks (Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am-5pm). Of course, we’re not doing it all alone: we’re proudly supported by our sister organisation, The Social Studio; we’ve had *fantastic* funding from the City of Sydney Community Grants Program; and our spot is thanks to the The Rocks Pop-Up initiative.

Let’s take a little tour of our space, shall we? …

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We’re also running creative workshops with people from refugee backgrounds. This week is hat-making with Catherine Kelly of Embellish Atelier, and thanks to donations from Hatters Millinery Supplies. From scratch, people have been making these millenary pieces: look at the results in just a few dedicated hours!

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With things being so busy, if you want to check out what’s happening on a more regular basis, good spots for information are:

In the meantime, hoping to see you at the shop (if you’re in Sydney); hoping you enjoy what we’re trying to do (if you’re further afield), and thanks as always, for showing your support as The Social Outfit  (NEW WEBSITE!) progresses each day. xo xo

And here’s me – looking exhausted, really – but living life to my fullest…

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I’m too tired to tell you about the outfits in any great detail… but rest assured, naturally I’m wearing The Social Studio (leggings in picture one, *super* cape in picture two…) xo

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Seventy-One

Share: The Social Outfit just got ourselves an ‘Authority to Fundraise’. Hooray! And why might you be interested? Because within the coming weeks the final 20 or so donated pieces of Ken Done from What Ken Be Done will be up for auction! And all for the benefit of The Social Outfit… Let me explain a little more first…

So, you’re a charity (i.e. got your DGR status and tax concession). That means now you can *fundraise like a fiend*, yeah? Well, NO!

One more form, people! In NSW, if you want to fundraise (i.e. ethically ask people for money via campaigns and request for donations… *NOT* hassling, mind you), you need an ‘Authority to Fundraise‘. You fill in forms from the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, and show how you are legitimately doing charitable work. Then a little bit later, they let you know it’s OK, and you can begin fundraising. The Social Outfit got our confirmation this week. Yee-haw!

So if you, or anyone you know, wants some (more) *GOLD* pieces from my Ken Done fashion archive, you’ll soon have your chance. All the money raised (other than the auction fee) will go straight to The Social Outfit! And we’re going to use the money for our pilot program (supported by the City of Sydney). As soon as Kit gets the auctions live, we’ll let you know. You get Ken Done, and WE all get to support creative, great programs celebrating people from our refugee communities in Sydney. I like it!

So, in short: things here are MIGHTY busy, I can tell you…

Also, Kit got her hair cut. It’s *fun*, it’s got *verve*, and we have the photos to show, of course… xo

Show:

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Tell: Wa-Nyika earrings, Ken Done scarf handmade by Susan, The Social Studio silk dress, Ken Done leggings, retail socks, Fluevog shoes.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Sixty-Eight

Share: Ah, the city of Sydney!

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Yesterday Kit and I met with the cultural development team at the City of Sydney council offices, to talk about The Social Outfit‘s pop-up shop and creative workshops we’re organising in the coming months. Exciting! We’re going to have our work cut out for us as we strive to run the project really well, as well as continue the larger The Social Outfit development plan into Sydney. And when there’s hard work, I’m always up for finding time for a bit of *fun* too: like posing in front of these Sydney architectural miniature models. We’re like giants! Giants who want to bring *good fashion for good* to Sydney!

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Here’s what we were wearing yesterday. As you know, I always like to wear The Social Studio as I do this work… it’s keeps me purposeful and *hopeful* about how we could also work creatively with Sydney’s own refugee communities too.

Show:

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Tell: Lafont glasses, earrings from op shop, handmade necklace, handmade brooches, 1980s Keith Mattheson men’s shirt from Rozelle markets, The Social Studio t-shirt, Anthea Crawford skirt from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots.

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Twenty-Three

Show/Share:

HOORAY!

Here’s when I met Lord Mayor Clover Moore, from the glory What Ken Be Done days!

And today, well, we keep working hard… with some colour celebration and The Social Studio fashion, of course! xo

Tell: Glasses from op shop, earrings from Shag Melbourne, Dangerfield skivvy dress, ‘Promenade’ shirt dress from op shop, skirt from op shop, The Social Studio leggings, Fluevog boots.

ShowTellShare Twenty-Five

Show:

Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings from op shop, Tatty Devine giant zipper necklace, The Social Studio silk dress, (underneath) red dress from op shop, stockings from op shop, Fluevogs.

Share: This is probably the only time in my life when I’ve been “on trend” by wearing a piece of fashion that is from a contemporary collection; in this case, with The Social Studio’s latest designs. Still, I think the way I’ve paired it with pieces in my own wardrobe has *swiftly* taken the outfit back to more of my own ‘style’… however that might be described! (Like “bleeding eyes”, for example.)

And here below is me with Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, on the last few days of What Ken Be Done? She heard me when I was the guest speaker at Aurora Fundraising Dinner. Who would have thought ten months later I’d be meeting with City of Sydney Council to talk about bringing The Social Studio to Sydney? I’m hoping I can seek some support from them for a small project, including a pop-up store, to keep The Social Studio Sydney ball rolling. One thing’s for sure: in an outfit like today, it’s hard to doubt my fiery passion!