ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Five

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

IMG_1309

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

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

We’ll miss you, Kit. Thank You! xo

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

P1040385

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

STS 205

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.

IMG_1272

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

IMG_1290

Here’s also some dressing detail…

STS_203_2

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.

P1040372

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.

photo

This was Friday’s outfit:

P1040367

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

STS_203

Hoping you’ve had a lovely weekend too 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.

IMG_1267

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…

P1040336

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.

STS_202

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” …

IMG_3587

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!

IMG_3669

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!

IMG_3666

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.

IMG_3667

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

STS 193

IMG_3613

Poster image copyright belongs to The Social Studio.

*Guest Post* ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety

Guest Post by supporter, Meredith Turnbull:

Poor Jackie is terribly sick with a rotten lurgy. After days of pressing on regardless last week, on Sunday she finally submitted to a day of rest at home and handed over the keys to the shop to Kit and me. 

It’s a funny thing to go from being a cheerleader to The Social Outfit on the sidelines, to then being the public interface with the community. Since Jackie introduced me to The Social Studio in the What Ken Be Done year, it, and The Social Outfit have become very precious to me as examples of doing social good. So on Sunday, I felt a big responsibility in representing The Social Outfit, and an even bigger challenge in filling Jackie’s colourful Fluevog shoes! 

So what does a day in the pop-up shop look like? What I quickly learned is that a bit of eye contact, a big smile and an invitation to enter the space works wonders. Once inside, people are interested and inspired by the story of The Social Outfit. Also, by asking questions I discovered just how many people have an interest and compassion, or a direct connection to refugee issues.

Sundays are always busy in The Rocks. Some of the highlights of the working day was a lovely woman from Melbourne who had seen an article about The Social Studio in The Age (here). We talked about many things and unexpectedly at the end she said, “I would like to donate some money.” Jasonne was so cool, she even offered to link us up with an intern program through her work…

IMG_3569

Later in the morning a woman dropped in with her partner, and she later came back with her daughter too. She loved one of our t-shirts (unfortunately it wasn’t in her size), but in the process of chatting I learnt that she had worked at the social enterprise OzHarvest, and had friends who volunteer with Asylum Seekers Centre

In the afternoon three younger people were wandering past. One of them was quite taken by the gorgeous yellow dress that was in the window…

IMG_1037

She and her friends came in and she tried it on and loved it! She then tried on a blue and orange dress and loved that too. Kit and I had made our first sale for the day, and it was a double! 

Later in the afternoon a woman who used to work in a fabric wholesale business dropped in on her way to meet friends. After Kit told her about The Social Outfit’s plans, she vowed to go away and chat to her networks in the fabric world. 

Many other people dropped in and Kit and I did our best to describe our hopes for The Social Outfit and our sustainable business model too. Everyone was different and some people loved everything about our plans, others liked the use of excess and recycled fabric, others appreciated the importance of assisting people from refugee communities to find meaningful education and employment opportunities. 

But my favourite moment of today was when I was reminded of an experience I had at The Social Studio in Melbourne. I was sitting in their cafe, The Cutting Table, eating an ‘zlabia‘ (an African Donut) and having a coffee. On the street-side seating just outside my window there was a young student at The Social Studio having a tea, and next to her was a customer having a coffee. The customer was joined by a friend with a gorgeous puppy, and soon all three people were all talking and laughing and continued to do so for half an hour.  During that time people of all types stopped and joined in and then kept on wandering. I don’t know how you measure the value of that, but I do know that it is not something you see very often: people joyfully engaging across difference and being part of a community. 

That is why I support Jackie and the team every step of the way, and why I believe The Social Studio and The Social Outfit are so precious and important. They are making the world more like the one I want to live in. 

I just wish Jackie had told me I’d have to wear a Ken Done handbag in order to help!

IMG_3572

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Eighty-Nine

Show: Here’s some of The Social Outfit‘s volunteers – Kit and Sharon – helping out at the Pop-Up Pilot on Sunday. As you can see, two very happy people making sales, showcasing the clothes, and waving goodbye to this particularly *gorgeous* The Social Studio pink shirt dress to a new customer. Apparently the new onwner is a “lovely woman with blonde hair” who follows this blog; so a *BIG* thank you for supporting us, (as yet, unnamed) dear reader! If you’re keen, we’d love to a photo of you wearing this shirt in your own style soon… xo

STS_189_3

And here’s me on Sunday, having had a few hours off to catch up on sleep, and then get back into the world to see Sydney’s first ‘Cherchez La Femme‘ event… a great chance to hear some interesting feminist thoughts and ideas, and especially support fellow fashion-blogger, Frances Lockie of Corpulent.

IMG_3540

IMG_3566

STS_189

Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade beaded jewellery, Tatty Devine necklace, retail shirt, vintage 1980s Australian designer ‘Mary Shackman‘ skirt (worn as dress) which I found in a Randwick op shop, Saba sample belt, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots and Tatty Devine ‘leather balloon’ purse. Beaded bracelet from The Social Studio.

And now to get ready for the *fun* of this week; especially Nicole Barakat‘s eco-dyeing workshop we are hosting as a part of our pilot. Exciting!

TheSocialOutfit_EcoDyeing

ShowTellShare one Hundred and Eighty-Six

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

IMG_3367

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

STS_186_4

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

STS_186_3

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…

IMG_3400
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!
STS_186_2
This mini-comic says it all, really …
STS_186

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!

IMG_1003

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:

IMG_1002

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…

P1040065

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

STS_178_3

And this was Tuesday…

P1040045

STS_178

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

STS_176

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…

STS_176_3

P1040011

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-Eight

Share: Ah, the city of Sydney!

IMG_0968

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!

IMG_0969

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:

P1030868

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.

STS168_2

STS168

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…

159

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.

P1030692

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.

IMG_0918

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

Kit 2

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Fifty

Our 150th post; what a *lovely* occasion to have ShowTellShare’s first guest blog:

Show: Hi, my name is Kit and I’m The Social Outfit’s new intern!

Share: A little about me… I’m from England and moved here in November of this year. I’ve had a few different career paths so far, starting with college studying Beauty, then at University studying Fine Art. I also worked in fashion retail for about 6 years and even had a go working in an office. But nothing seemed to fulfil me… so I took up the opportunity to move to Australia in search of new experiences and a change of lifestyle, which I have certainly found this far. And, with a passion for fashion, colour and always up for doing good, who better to work with than Jackie and The Social Outfit?!

I was fortunate enough to arrive in Sydney just in time to help out with The Social Outfit’s very first fashion show event. I was completely bowled over with how special The Social Outfit is and couldn’t wait to get stuck in and help.

I can’t wait to keep working closely with Jackie and other supporters next year in what is sure to be a very exiting 2013 …

Tell: Topshop dress, vintage *sparkly* top from UK, belt from second hand store UK, Vivienne Westwood shoes gifted by my wonderful mother, clock ring gifted by a friend (to keep me punctual!).

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Forty-One

Show: Meet Kit; The Social Outfit‘s very own intern! On Thursday I met up with Kit, and we’ve agreed she’s going to help us all out at The Social Outfit for the next little while, as we keep trying to make our dream of Sydney’s very own The Social Studio a reality. Welcome aboard Kit! xo

… Ahem. Is anyone else noticing her Tatty Devine brooch!! ;-)

This past week has been *busy* busy! My head is in a bit of a *constant whirr* as we count down to our event next week. I’m trying to grab minutes where I can, so apologies if my posting is erratic, or if I’m not wholly making sense…

At the same time, we’re getting to keep having fun, and working hard. This is me and my Dad this Thursday night. He was in town, and we were all off to Planet’s own end of year party.

Ross of Planet has *super* kindly offered us to use his space next week for our event and show, and let me tell you, the space is gorgeous! Check out just a small sample of Ross’ great style … *swoon*

We stopped in an alley way for a photo, and you can see the wind was having some fun with my The Social Studio silk skirt. These photos feel a bit metaphorical at the moment: I’m a little bit blustery, but we keep forging ahead. xo xo

Tell: Glasses from op shop, The Social Studio fabric necklace, African necklace gifted to me by Dad, vintage top gifted to me by a woman when I first arrived in Sydney, Saba belt, The Social Studio silk skirt, Sportsgirl tights gifted by my Mum, Fluevog boots, Australiana bag found on eBay.