ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Forty

Show/Tell/Share: This fantastic graffiti artwork by Nico is super close to where we’ll be opening The Social Outfit very soon. It’s lovely to walk past this owl everyday; to admire the colours; and then get stuck into my work of opening our doors to the public in June.

And, here I was thinking things in my life were already very busy with a full site fit-out, hiring staff, and kitting-out a retail shop …

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When this happened:

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That’s right, the Hawaiian First Officer successfully broke a foot bone in brilliant style, which means about 6 weeks of crutches… and did I mention we have *lots* of stairs around where we live?!! This experience is clearly going to be an unintended *gift* to teach us about being patient, and taking things one step at a time!

Now, outfit photos…

This was a few weeks ago when I attended Oxfam/3things ‘Cheap & Dirty’ breakfast where people were discussing ethical fashion in Australia. Naturally, I represented us wearing ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya‘ scarf and leggings…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings, ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya’ scarf and leggings from Colour Chameleon, vintage handmade dress from op shop, Fluevog boots, Unit Portables bag from Japan.

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Then here’s me at a weekend, about to catch up with friends… (wearing an-almost graffiti hat or is that a bowl on my head…)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings, Esprit skivvy from op shop, Esprit 1980s shirt from secondhand store in Newtown, skirt from op shop, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots, Unit Portables bag from Japan.

And because we’re really in the building stage of The Social Outfit‘s Newtown space, I like to wear jewellery that metaphorically represents where we’re at… (And Tatty Devine, of course!) …

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The School for Social Entrepreneurs asked if I’d come and talk to current students about trying to set up a social enterprise in Sydney; especially sharing candidly how I think about ‘leading’ this work personally. I decided for the talk to break out a sample we’d been playing with at the store: a pink fluffy draped jacket. Fluro+Pink+FluffyFabric+Love = Leadership! It was great speaking to the group, and my main message was how grateful I have been to partner with, and collaborate with so many *talented* people to get us to this stage.

I can’t wait to show you just what we’ve been making behind our closed doors in terms of clothes. And it will happen relatively soon: Promise! (This jacket won’t make it into production we don’t think… but that’s just because we got even better, and *funner* pieces to make!)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings gifted from Iain, handmade beaded necklaces, Tatty Devine necklace and brooch, The Social Outfit sample pink fluffy jacket, The Social Studio top, The Social Studio silk dress gifted by Jo, Fluevog boots.

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Here’s a few more images of my outfit at the front of Nico‘s Owl Graffiti Spot in Newtown. I found this vintage dress in a Rockdale op shop quite recently. I think it’s so *vintage 1970s pretty*… And my Tatty Devine pegasus necklace is the same as the feathers on the owl… (again matching jewellery to my surrounds…)

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Tatty Devine necklace, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage handmade dress from op shop in Rockdale, vintage leather belt from secondhand store, Fluevog boots.

About a week ago I hot-footed it down to Melbourne to say hello to the *fabulous* The Social Studio gang, and to take part in an evaluation project looking into effective interventions with young people, education and training (run by the likes of Dusseldorp Forum, Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), Social Ventures Australia and the University of Melbourne).

My niece grabbed this photo of me wearing my vintage Jenny Kee wool patchwork jacket I found on eBay, and a The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress… I *heart* this style of dress SO MUCH!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings gifted op shop, handmade beaded necklaces, Jenny Kee vintage wool jacket, The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress, Saba sample belt, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots.

And for a momentary-fashion-outfit-break, check out just *some* of the wonderful people helping me turn The Social Outfit from ‘idea’ to ‘REALITY’. From the left is volunteer Althea Mackenzie, who’s helping on all things HR, volunteers and operations; then Traci Thomas who is volunteering to source fabric donations and help research aspects of our fashion production work; and then there’s Emma-Kate Wallace, who is in charge of our all manufacturing and retail work (plus she also runs WEFTshop too). These three are ACE x 1 million!

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Look at this delivery from Traci of donated fabric. Thanks so much to Traci and our fabric donation lables! If this fabric wasn’t being used by us, it was about to go into landfill…

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Aaaaaand, back to outfits… Check out this The Social Studio dress in vintage fabric…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Uniqlo skivvy, Tatty Devine necklaces, The Social Studio dress from vintage fabric, Spin Dance Australia petticoat, Trippen shoes from Berlin.

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And the last outfit here. Given I’m writing this at night, it seem appropriate to finish with my Tatty Devine moon, as I finish up another day…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, Esprit skivvy from op shop, ‘Made by Surf Knit Sydney’ vintage dress from op shop, Happy Socks tights, Fluevog boots.

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So there you go. Hope you’re all doing *super* and look forward to showing you more news from The Social Outfit – with a *good* deal of my own outfits – all thrown in, soon!

xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Six

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IMG_6118Share: As per the quote above, I like the idea of fashion representing both “social change” and “social cohesion”; it fits well with what we’re trying to achieve at The Social Outfit this year…

And as for fashion “speaking for us” – if it did speak for me in this outfit – it would be saying, “I love the 1980s and Tokyo-style”… check out my t-shirt from Galaxxxy in Shibuya, Tokyo, and the wonderful peeps modelling on the front. It’s like *ace-ness* personified! In fact, I liked the look so much I copied the eye-makeup! ;-)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, ‘Pearls before Swine‘ earrings from the MCA, ‘Galaxxxy‘ t-shirt from Japan, Saba belt, Dragstar denim skirt, retail tights, Happy SocksFluevog loafers from Sole DevotionKen Done vintage bag, Tatty Devine glasses charm bracelet.

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Share More: These photos are actually from a week ago. The busy-ness has continued, and that included going to Brisbane this week for my Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ training (NOTE: Tomorrow is the last date to apply for WOD2014, people! So recommended!), and then I came home and got sick momentarily.

But before then, and the week before, I went to the launch of the Social Enterprise Manifesto, hosted by the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Sydney, and launched by SIEEA secretariat and all-round legend, Meredith Turnbull (not that I’m biased at all, right?!!). As part of the invitation we were asked to wear ‘social enterprise’ clothing, and my friends and old colleagues, Kirsten (left) and Sally (right) came wearing The Social Outfit. How lovely of them! Don’t they look *smashing*? xo

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The quote that this post starts with is actually from an exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum that we went and saw recently. The words are on a poster next to this *subtle* costume piece by Ron Muncaster for his late partner, Jacques Straetmans. Given that this weekend is Mardi Gras in Sydney, again I like the idea of fashion as “social change” and “social cohesion”. And I tell you what: if I was offered to wear this piece, you’d have me in it within a nanosecond!! xo xoIMG_3236

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twelve

Show/Share: What a busy week! And, it’s set to be like that for a little while, with many plans and preparations underway at The Social Outfit. So let’s catch you up on this last week, shall we?

On Monday I was invited to speak with participants attending the School for Social Entrepreneurs ‘Accelerator’ Program. It was a lively session in which we discussed leadership style, taking social action and my hopes for The Social Outfit. I really enjoyed meeting the group of 15 people; all leading projects on issues they care about.

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Tell: Earrings from op shop, handmade jacket from op shop, The Social Studio silk dress, Katies skirt from op shop, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion. Robot necklace from Young Blood market.

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On Tuesday I had some important meetings, about a project The Social Outfit will be announcing very soon. I can’t wait to tell you all about this, and it won’t be long until I can share all the fun; I promise!

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Tell: Country Road jacket from op shop, vintage Ken Done shirt, The Social Studio silk scarf, Uniqlo leggings, Fluevog boots.

Then on Thursday it was back to Fairfield High School for our second session in our fashion workshop series. Emma and I were lucky enough to have Australian Fashion Designer, and The Social Outfit Board member, Nina Maya along for the day. The students really loved meeting Nina, seeing her beautiful clothes and hearing all about her own fashion story:

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Nina also showed us about draping as a fashion technique. What’s great about draping is that it is easy to have a go, and really, there are no mistakes. We’re using fabric that’s been donated by Celia at Dragstar; it’s just a plain cotton perfect to explore different draping methods with, as you can see…

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Here’s what the students came up with after working with Nina. They took to the workshop with absolute *gusto* and loved making shapes that look elegant. It’s harder to see, but the third mannequin from the left is actually about draping on men’s pants, and men’s hats and scarves. We had a great time together, and Emma and I can’t wait to continue working with the young people. Thanks for being involved too, Nina! xo

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Here’s what I wore on Thursday, including wearing an eco-dyed scarf from our pilot project earlier this year.

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy, eco-dyed silk scarf from The Social Outfit pilot project, top from op shop, Estilio leather belt, vintage skirt from op shop, Spin Dance petticoat, retail tights, Fluevog shoes.

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And on to Saturday. Thanks to some volunteer *brilliance* I worked on The Social Outfit‘s upcoming event we’re heading towards in October. Long-term supporter Meredith Turnbull lent us her office space to work from in Newtown, and David Moutou helped me with planning out the event in detail. This is what David and I looked like after hours of strategising and thinking: all *wide eyed* with good ideas and a very full to-do list!

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A *BIG* second thanks to Meredith who also attended on our behalf, the recent ‘National Forum on Children and Young People from Refugee Backgrounds‘ conference, hosted by MYAN and the Sydney University Law School. A fantastic learning opportunity for us.

… Oh, and this is what I looked like earlier on Saturday morning, wandering the Inner West back streets, with colour and *fun* in my step…

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Tell: Handmade earrings, The Social Studio silk scarf, handmade necklace, Ken Done 1980s vintage jacket, vintage ‘Ghita Philip Paris’ top from op shop (check out in the photo below the 1980s women’s profile and sequin beading. *GOLD*!), Sportgirl skirt from op shop, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog shoes.

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And now, it’s already Monday all over again… so best get moving on all the activities of this week. See you round! xo

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Nine

Show/Share: A bit of colour and fun from the last two days. Yesterday we headed over to the Finders Keepers Markets

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Tell: Earrings from op shop, Tatty Devine necklace, Esprit skivvy from op shop, secondhand cardigan, vintage skirt from the 1950s markets, Spin Dance petticoat, retail tights, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots, ‘Glamourpuss’ bag from Faster Pussycat.

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I particularly wanted to catch up with Emma-Kate and her *fantastic* fashion social enterprise, WEFTshop:

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As explained on their website, “WEFTshop is a not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting refugee women from Burma living on the border with Thailand by developing their skills as textile artisans. The fabrics they make are the key to our work and to the freedom and financial well-being of many of these women and their families.” It was lovely to see their wares in person, especially the colour-combinations and the talent and skill involved…

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Then on Friday I got to catch up with Kirsten, who is volunteering for The Social Outfit on some work. Kirsten and I used to work together at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and I’m so *chuffed* to have her helping us out! Volunteers really make all the difference to this start-up work. Thanks KR xo

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This is me on Friday, remembering just how *ace* yellow and pink work together…

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, handmade necklace, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage ‘Jonathan Summers of Sydney’ house-dress from op shop, retail tights, Fluevog loafers from Sole Devotion in Melbourne. Detail: Tatty Devine hand ring.

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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!

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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:

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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…

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

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And this was Tuesday…

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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 Fifty-Three

Show:

Tell: LaFont glasses, Tatty Devine bird rings on necklace, vintage Sportscraft dress from Penrith op shop, Fluevogs.

Share: Today I’m going to the Thanksgiving Service to celebrate the life of Steve Lawrence. Steve was a founding member, and on the board of The School for Social Entrepreneurs. I worked with him for over a year in 2008-09. Then in March this year, attending an SSE Graduation, Steve and I caught up, and this photo below was taken. We actually had quite a funny conversation at the time, and I’m really glad now I have this photo; it’s lovely to look at memories like this and think about our shared histories and shared learning, together.

Sally McGeoch, me and Steve Lawrence.

 

ShowTellShare Thirteen

Share: The sharing comes first today as I’ve been shortlisted in the top 10 for the Vodafone Foundation World of Difference program, and my interview is tomorrow. Being successful with this grant will allow me to work for a full year on setting up The Social Studio in Sydney. It’s such a great opportunity for us to move forward, so please wish me luck! Eeek! Importantly, a big thanks to David from the Slingsby Foundation and Benny from The School for Social Entrepreneurs for acting as referees for me: having people to support me and The Social Studio is a real energy boost at this early, critical stage.

Now with me looking after my Mum and step-Dad in Melbourne, I’m Skyping in, so the system has been tested today, and looks to work, which is the first relief. Here’s an insight for you into my nervous, and yet excited demeanour as I sat by the computer:

I’m wearing a dress I’ve had for years now, made by the African Women’s Sewing Circle in  Southern NSW… another great example of ethical fashion, locally made:

Show & Tell: And here too, is another great supporter and friend, Scottie. Imagine my *delight* when I ran into him last Tuesday in The Cutting Table quite by accident. We’ve known each other for years and years. Scottie is a photographer, and he’s now working in Collingwood. He tells me he comes into The Cutting Table every day for a banana smoothie. I was so excited, I asked him to send me a photo of him having one, so I could post it up on ShowTellShare. And as you can see, this is what Sydney needs too – happy faces like this:

As he said, “so good I finished it before he got back to the office!” Thanks lovely Scottie for sending me in a photo, and *mostly* for supporting The Social Studio too! xo xo