ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Forty-Two

Show: I think that’s a smile that shows my *joy* of wearing The Social Outfit, and inside our actual shop!

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Here, I’m wearing the ‘Nina Maya x The Social Outfit‘ print in yellow. Nina also *super kindly* designed the interior of our space at 353 King Street Newtown, and she sits on our charity board, too. We *love* the support of talented people, far and wide, in our work…

P1050145My smile may also be about the love and *fun* of wearing plastic fried-egg jewellery! Nothing quite like ‘food fashion’!
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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, handmade bead necklaces, plastic fried egg from Japan, The Social Outfit x Nina Maya silk tunic (available for sale, right now!), Sportscraft sample belt, skirt from op shop, The Social Outfit x Nina Maya leggings, retail socks, Fluevog boots.

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With The Social Outfit retail store now open, and our team getting all our systems up and running… these are my outfits for last Friday, Saturday an Sunday, in the space. (And including a mirror selfie!)

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, ‘Nurturing Threads’ Cambodian silk beads sold at The Social Outfit, vintage leather belt from second-hand store, ‘Mona Davis Haute Couture Sydney’ silk dress from op shop, retail tights, Fluevog boots.

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At store, we stock beautiful silk beads from Cambodia, made as part of The Tabitha Foundation social enterprise work. The colours are brilliant, and these electric blue ones will be just the start of my collection!

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Another outfit below… but ooooooh, look at the lovely interior of our store more! As we like to say, everything here for sale is “Good to Wear. Made for Good.” And the Newtown, and wider community, has been super-welcoming and lovely about our opening.

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘Rom Australia’ ‘jacket’ from op shop (I’m pretty sure it’s actually a night gown!), Miss Shop dress from op shop, Black Milk velvet leggings, Fluevog boots.

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So as I post from inside The Social Outfit, I hope this blog sees you very well, and see you round soon! xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Show: Last Wednesday the *amazing* Australian fashion-icon, Linda Jackson dropped by The Social Outfit‘s working space in Newtown to say hello. We’re not really set up for guests at present – which really means we’re basically working out of a *very sparse* large room on King Street – but for Linda I can make exceptions! Plus, I like that some of our long-term supporters get to see the humble beginning we’re starting from…

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The photo here is Linda and me in an alleyway near the store, and after paying her visit, as always, she was *incredibly* enthusiastic about what we’re doing. Hooray for all our supporters and thanks for taking the time to drop by, Linda xo

And Wednesday continued to prove a busy day… After catching-up with Linda, I was off to an evening speaking gig as part of the regular Think Act Change schedule: specifically organised with Fashion Revolution Day on ethical and socially-responsible fashion. Melinda Tually (pictured below), is the Regional Co-ordinator for Fashion Revolution Australia & NZ, and she invited The Social Outfit to say a few words about our social enterprise approach (as inspired by, of course, our *ACE* sister organisation, The Social Studio). It was a pleasure to speak with the likes of Dane O’Shanassy from Patagonia, Kelly Elkin from ALAS and Nerida Lennon. Plus, the crowd was very engaged and interested, which was great!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, handmade necklace, Uniqlo skivvy, ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson‘ silk dress, TS dress underneath, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes. Unit Portables bag from Japan.

And then this was my outfit last Friday, when we had family in town over the holiday break…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings, skivvy from op shop, Laura Ashley dress from op shop, Saba belt, Tatty Devine ‘Gilbert & George’ brooch, Black Milk leggings, retail socks, Fluevog boots.

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Fashion Revolution Day‘ itself was Thursday 24 April 2014. It marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza, Savar Building collapse in Bangladesh. This year’s campaign was marked as go #InsideOut: and ask, “Who Made Your Clothes?” So here I am wearing my The Social Studio dress inside-out for the day…

IMG_3546Tell: Handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, The Social Studio dress worn #InsideOut, Saba belt, Spin Dance Australia petticoat, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots.

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I bought this dress many years ago directly from The Social Studio’s Collingwood store, and it’s still going strong. That’s what I love about quality clothing. And, as I was wondering about previous outfits wearing this dress, I came upon this outfit below from my ‘What Ken Be Done’ days… worn 15 April 2011, that means this dress piece is at least 3 years old, AND the fabric was excess stock in the first place… (original post here)…

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, Tatty Devine necklace, The Social Studio silk necklace, The Social Studio dress, low-crotch leggings donated by Benny, Ken Done scarf as wrist band, Birkenstocks, Ken Done bag.

And, speaking of years gone by, and quality, did you see that The Social Studio is turning 5 years old in May? I can’t be in Melbourne for the party, but I am *clapping my hands* non-stop from Sydney, congratulating the whole team, and community for all their fabulous work. Hip hip hooray for The Social Studio! If you’re in Melbourne, please do stop by them…I thought it then, and I think it now: They’re *good fashion for good* xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Seven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Odd socks, for fun, learning times…

Hope you’re fabulous! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Five

Show: Work at The Social Outfit is happily keeping me *very* busy, and I’m hoping to share some public-news on that front soon… until then, this weekend felt a bit like a celebration of women I think are *fabulous* on the internet, and beyond in their ‘in real life’.

On Friday evening we went to see ‘Lady Sings it Better‘ in the Inner West; they are a cabaret group, including Maeve, who are *hilarious* and so, so talented! I laughed for the whole show, which makes for an ace Friday night in my world! We also went with Kim from News with Nipples, whose writing and ideas I *adore*, and caught up at the gig with the *lovely* Frances from Corpulent. Plus, there was also like a *rad collection* of women from the internet – like Brocklesnitch, Treemie and more – who I was a bit too shy to say hello to properly… yet… but whose online personalities appeal to me in many ways. Good times.

Friday night I wore some new The Social Studio for my party mood…

IMG_6004Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings from op shop, handmade beaded necklaces, Tatty Devine anchor necklace, ‘Glitter Heart’ brooch gifted by Tatty Devine, The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress, Saba belt, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog sandals, ‘Yayoi Kusama‘ bag from Japan.

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And then on Sunday we saw dear friend, and *always inspiration*, author Courtney Collins (whose name you have to say in full EVERY time you say it out loud because it just sounds *right* like that). It was lovely to spend *quality* time together. And fashion-special too, because I was wearing BirdMonkey‘s handmade fabric necklace from my ‘What Ken Be Done‘ days for the catch-up. Artist BirdMonkey (a.k.a Raquel) was one of the first, and *best* women I ever have met online… so hooray for an online world, and meeting lovely creative people all round! xo

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, handmade earrings and necklace, Ken Done necklace gifted from BirdMonkey, vintage handmade dress from op shop, Spin Dance petticoat, retail stockings and socks, Fluevog boots, Ken Done purse.

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Two

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!

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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.

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

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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-Eight Reasons to *Celebrate*!

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* …

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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.

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… 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 …

THANK YOU and HOORAY!

xo xo xo

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty-Three

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

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

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

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

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

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

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

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

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Photo by Mark Sherborne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ShowTellShare Two Hundred and 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 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 Thirteen

Show/Share: While I’m running the Fairfield High School fashion project with Emma, as well as organising some other *fun* projects The Social Outfit is working on; updates here may have to move to a longer weekly catch up. Still, you’ll get all the news and a *bunch* of outfits all in one go!

This is me on Tuesday last week. I met with a potential volunteer with The Social Outfit, and also caught up with my Vice Chair, David Hardie, to keep progressing our work. Just shows how much we rely on a group of supporters to get our work done. I’m so grateful too, when people show an interest in helping us out.

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Tell: Hat from Melbourne, earrings from op shop, handmade beads, ‘Sherby Fashion’ shirt from op shop, ‘Stephanie Ricaldi, Made in England’ vintage jacket gifted from Jessica, Sportscraft belt, The Social Studio silk dress gifted from Jo, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion.

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Then this is me on Thursday when the Vodafone Foundation team, and the other ‘World of Difference‘ participants came out to Fairfield High School for the day. The school was amazing as a host, and we even had our lunch catered by the school’s ‘Parents Cafe’ (a new social enterprise catering service). Fantastic food!

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings, Vodafone scarf, Uniqlo top from Japan, The Social Studio dress, Saba belt, Fletcher Jones skirt, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes.

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Everyone from the Vodafone Foundation group came to meet the young people involved in our fashion workshop, and we shared some stories together. Plus, there was a film crew on site too; so even though I don’t have a heap of pictures to share just yet, many will be coming. I did manage to get a couple of photos of us as a group cutting out patterns, and researching fashion online.

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Below is the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ team for this year. We got to welcome Kat Armstrong from the ‘Women in Prison Advocacy Network’ (WIPAN). Many of my own friends have been long-term supporters of Kat and WIPAN, so it was *brilliant* to meet with her in person and begin to work together. Then, of course, there are also the other two delightful members, Juliette from Givit, and Loren from Missing Person’s Advocacy Network (MPAN). Loren just recently filmed an information clip for Missing Person’s Week with Australian icon and actor, Debra Mailman. You can read more about everyone’s work and hopes for this year, here.

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There was more filming on Friday as well, so I wore my slightly re-mixed Vodafone shirt for the day. (Surprise, surprise, I’m not really a t-shirt kind a gal!) I’m actually feeling pretty shy about when the videos go public: it’s one thing for me to take my own photo a lot, but quite another when you’re recorded live with lots of talking and opinions. I hope I just make sense! Plus, I hope I can convey how much I want The Social Outfit to be a success.

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine ‘giant squid’ necklace, Slade cardigan from op shop, Vodafone Foundation t-shirt, Sportscraft belt, vintage Diane Freis shirt, The Social Studio silk dress, Birthday Suit leggings, retail socks, Fluevog boots.

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There was more work on Saturday too, so by the time it got to Sunday this last weekend, I just wanted to chill out, see some friends and enjoy this warm Sydney weather. And nothing says ‘Sunday Relaxing’ to me quite like a high-waisted denim skirt! I hope you had a *great* weekend too. xo

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Tell: Handmade earrings, handmade necklaces, silver necklace from op shop, ‘Leesa’ shirt from op shop, American Apparel top, The Social Studio belt, ‘Paris Blues’ denim skirt from op shop, cotton petticoat from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog boots. Jenny Kee vinatge bag.

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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 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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