ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Eight

Well that month between posts here went incredibly quickly! I guess this is what I meant in my new ‘About Me‘ page when I said things might be a bit more sporadic on the blog as I work to set up The Social Outfit full-time in Newtown. Still, as I do love a bit of a dress up and creative-fun, I like to keep sharing outfits, also with a bit of a personal ‘catch up’ on The Social Outfit‘s news too. And, I can assure you, there’s much more information to come on both fronts over the coming months. But, in order to get you up to speed here’s a ‘Show/Tell/Share’ summary…

I’ll start with a recent outfit from this weekend. (Have to say, I’m loving that it’s getting cooler in Sydney. Well, perhaps more accurately, I should just say ‘less humid’.) So back to some layered-pattern and tartan fun:

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings, necklace and rings (a matching set), ceramic cloud brooches borrowed from the Hawaiian First Officer, The Social Studio shirt, The Social Studio dress underneath, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots. Vintage Jenny Kee bag.

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And there’s this outfit below, which I’m really just showing because it includes a recent  vintage find of 1980s Diane Freis, which I found in the Cat Protection op-shop in Enmore. I haven’t had much of a chance for op-shopping of late, so I was *super* pleased when I made a quick visit to the ‘new’ Cat Protection, and got to add some more *ace* ‘DF‘ to my collection (I think I probably own about 7 pieces of her multi-coloured 1980s Hong Kong range now). I’m actually wearing the skirt part of the outfit, just re-purposed as a dress…

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The outfit also includes The Social Studio digital print silk scarf, Claire Pain zebra brooch, Fluevog boots, and my ‘eye’ earrings from Tokyo…

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Work-wise, The Social Outfit invested recently in our first industrial sewing machine. As this photo below might indicate, I myself have *no* idea how to use it… But I can assure you it’s already fully in swing, and I can’t wait to soon show you some of the fashion being produced on it. We may be in a mostly empty space (our retail store fit out starts very soon), but there’s small – and growing group of us – working hard!

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In our first batch of material donations there was this *ACE* pink fabric… I just had to sit on it, and pose, and imagine all the fashion possibilities! ;-) … (And yes, that would be a Linda Jackson vintage bag, and ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson’ leggings.)

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Any ideas what we can do with fabulous fabric? So far we’ve had suggested on our Facebook page: a coat like Fran Fine wore in ‘The Nanny‘, a bomber jacket, a winter-style hat, sleeping bags, a vest, and much more! I love the input of people into our fashion process, and we’ll be sure to make something suitably *kitsch* and fun with this material…

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In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a peek at our store-front in Newtown. As I said, we look like we’ll be opening our doors publicly in May, so I’d love for you to pop in and say hello (or when you’re next in Sydney). (This recent newsletter from The Social Outfit has more of our news too, including ways to get involved.)

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Then here’s a weekend outfit from this last month…

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With my *deep love* of large rings, I was well-pleased when I found this Musubi ring in Japan at the Mori Art Museum. And here’s the rest of the outfit that day… including some new-vintage 1980s Ken Done

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings and beaded necklace, Tatty Devine necklace, 1980s vintage Ken Done shirt, Estillo belt, Sportsgirl dress from op shop, Black Milk leggings, retail socks, Fluevog sandals, and Yayoi Kusama bag from Japan.

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And finally a work outfit. Also sporting my regular fashion *go-to’s* of The Social Studio dress, Tatty Devine jewellery and Fluevog shoes. Just imagine when I’ll have more of The Social Outfit made fashion pieces to show!

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So thanks for stopping by… and until my next post, 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 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 Twenty-Two

Show: Here’s what hope and generosity from our community of supporters looks like…

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And what came with this gorgeous card of support? Why it was the baby-lock overlocker we recently requested…

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When Emma and I crafted this call-out a few weeks ago, it was with the hope that someone who knew us maybe had a second-hand overlocker in their possession, that they realised they didn’t need anymore, and were happy to re-gift to us. So imagine our *delight* and joy when Joasia called us recently to offer us a brand new overlocker. She’d seen our call out and wanted to help; so with the *fantastic* support of her friends they all pitched in to raise the money needed. We had no idea this was happening until she contacted us, saying, “and how does this Bernette overlocker sound?” I’m so very grateful for this kind of community spirit and belief in what The Social Outfit is trying to build here in Sydney.

Here is Joasia and me together, when she handed over the *amazing* donation on behalf of her friends this weekend…

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So to Tayah, Shawn, Margaret, Dominique, Caterina and Joasia: THANK YOU!! On behalf of all of us at The Social Outfit, we *super* appreciate you coming together to help us out. We also can’t wait to show you what’s possible with this generous help. Hooray!

And I can assure you, we’re hard at work. Below is intern Steph, me and our sewing teacher, Emma working hard on more work, and event preparations last Thursday. On a *balmy* 39-degree-day, Emma and I headed to Fairfield High School to meet with Principal Extra-Ordinnaire, Bob Mulas. We talked through our next possible fashion project with the new-migrant community involved at the school. We’re very excited to keep working with the parents, students and community at Fairfield. In the afternoon Steph joined us in Newtown to do some sewing for our up-coming ‘Colour Chameleon’ event. It’s *great* that even after a busy and hot day, we can still smile and laugh for photos to capture all the work (and thanks heaps Meredith Turnbull, as always, for the loan of your office space, and the great green backdrop: we almost look cool in temperature here)…

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Here’s me earlier in the day, before I was blasted by the Sydney spring-heat. Even on a hot day, I can’t help but layer a little. Otherwise, there’s just not enough colour for my liking!

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, vintage dress from op shop, The Social Studio digital print silk scarf, tights from Japan, Fluevog shoes, Mozi bag from op shop in Fairfield.

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And although you might not be able to tell, inside the ‘Mozi’ bag is an iron and also some digitally printed silk fabric sent up from The Social Studio in Melbourne… turns out at the moment I’m like a mobile factory for The Social Outfit, as we work on some production here for the ‘Colour Chameleon‘ collection, as well as being well-supported by our sister studio in Collingwood, of course. Speaking of which, this coming week is our event, so I best keep organising the plans. I hope we get to celebrate our work so far, plus what’s possible in the future with The Social Outfit! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Twenty

Well I’ve caught my breath for a moment, and I’m *happily* back here again to show you this week’s outfits and a little about what we’ve been doing… so let’s go!

Show/Share: On Tuesday last week I had the opportunity to check out a fully-functioning clothing label in Sydney. I seriously found it so super-interesting to see just how many elements it takes to run a high-profile fashion company successfully. The people I got to meet there were also really lovely to me, and we met because they were keen to talk more about what The Social Outfit is hoping to do with young people from new migrant and refugee communities here in Sydney. It’s very encouraging when you meet great people who want to talk, share experiences, and look for ways to work across business and charity.

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine necklace, Ken Done top remade into cardigan, The Social Studio silk skirt worn as dress, belt from op shop, retail tights, Fluevog boots (with heart heel).

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As you know, we have an event coming up in mid-October called ‘Colour Chameleon‘. It’s a great chance for us to keep showing our progress here in Sydney, as well as to celebrate some amazing fashion designers who have come on board to show their support for our work, and of course the fantastic work of The Social Studio. Go Ken Done, Linda Jackson, Nina Maya and Celia Morris from Dragstar! <3 x 4! So on Wednesday I headed to Vodafone HQ to keep learning more about marketing and PR, in order to think about telling our story more broadly.

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, vintage dress from market in Berlin, The Social Studio belt, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes from Sole Devotion.

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Then here’s me on Thursday evening when I took a break from event preparations to go and see a friend of ours read from her soon-to-be-published novel…

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine tiger necklace, ‘madame NICOLE’ shirt from the NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser, vintage leather belt from second-hand store, wool golf pants from op shop, Fluevog sandals, Penguin bag from the UK.

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And then Friday was a busy day with potential supporter business meetings, and also catching up with some of the fantastic young people who are going to be modelling with us at the Colour Chameleon event. And given Friday was full of spring-time sun, it felt like a *good* time to wear my large pineapple earrings I made from Mexican folk-art wall decorations. Large, colourful, very light, and only a little bit sharp at the edges!

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Tell: Handmade pineapple earrings, Diane Freis silk top, handmade necklace, The Social Studio skirt, Oroton belt from op shop, Fluevog boots.

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Thanks for stopping and see you again, real soon… xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Nineteen

Show/Share: Right, I’m determined to get things up to speed in these busy weeks for me, so this post is going to be shorter on words, but still with I what I hope is quite a few *fun* photos and outfits for you to see!

First up, this *lovely* image of all of us involved in our Fairfield High School fashion project:

IMG_6864_3I love this photo of our smiling faces and shared creativity. There’s also a 1.30minute short film about the whole project and showing more of the young people; found here. (Also more photos on The Social Outfit’s ‘news’ blog section, here.)

Here’s also some photos from the school’s Intensive English Centre Graduation that we attended last Wednesday to finish up the project. First up, Farnoush and Mahmoud share their experiences of our fashion work in front of their peers: especially how much they liked dressing up and having the film made!

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Below is me and Shannon Carruth from ING Direct, who funded our project. It was lovely to have Shannon attend the graduation celebrations in-person; and I really like being able to work collaboratively with foundations like this.

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One of my favourite parts of the IEC Graduation was one student singing an amazing version of Alicia Key’s ‘Ain’t Got Nothing’, and we all could sing along with a giant karaoke screen. The song is SO hard to sing, but I *love* a good bit ‘o karaoke, exactly timed to allow you to follow along!

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Here’s Emma on Thursday too. I am coveting that *fantastic* sequinned jacket of hers… She looked fabulous!

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My own outfit and some details…

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Tell (partly): Tatty Devine tiger necklace, vintage handmade jacket from NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser gifted by Emma to me, The Social Studio silk dress, Fluevog shoes.

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This last week my sister-in-law, Susan, sent me a photo of her wearing a The Social Studio silk shift dress from ‘Colour Chameleon‘ in Melbourne. She said she got many comments on the night about how great the design is…

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 Now a bit of a collection of outfits… Like yesterday:

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Tell (partly): Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, Dragstar dress, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog sandals.

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Then last Sunday… This was when we went to see the last showing of ‘The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe‘. I’m hoping this show is going to get more seasons, and hopefully across Australia. This theatre shows the real-life stories of four African women who now live in Sydney. It’s an honest, emotional and exceptionally interesting drama that really shows these women’s resilience.

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Tell (partly): Tatty Devine bracelet, handmade earrings and necklace, Ken Done purse, Fluevog boots.

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And then the Saturday of last week, when I went to some friends’ birthday party, and wore a vintage Garfield night-shirt out as a dress, that I recently found in an op-shop…

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1980s! Garfield!

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Right, so now that’s all posted, I’m going to rest a little this evening, then pull up my socks and get crackin’ into another busy week. I’ll be sharing with you again soon enough, and in the meantime, I hope you’re *GRAND*! xo

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Tell (partly): The Social Studio digital print silk scarf and Fluevog boots.

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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 Seventeen

Show/Share: I had the *absolute pleasure* of being in Melbourne last Friday as a part of The Social Studio‘s ‘Colour Chameleon‘ Project, in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. The event took place at the cafe social enterprise KereKere in South Melbourne. (As you might recall, The Social Outfit will launch our own part of this project in October.) For me, I always find it SO rewarding and exciting to see the creativity, passion and *joy* on display in The Social Studio‘s fashion. It’s no wonder then that I want to create a version for us in Sydney!

Here’s me and Alek who hosted the event. Can you see we’re wearing the same dress – The Social Studio’s ‘no waste dress‘ – with some different styling?

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Given we were being MC’s I didn’t get to take any photos, but the lovely Anna – the Digital Textile Manager at The Social Studio – said I could post some of her images here for you to see:

Andrea, another *ace* member of The Social Studio team was involved in the styling and make up …

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Here’s fashion designer, TSS student and model, Atong wearing Linda Jackon‘s *fabulous* design for ‘Colour Chameleon‘ … 

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And here’s one of the models in Ken Done‘s *brilliant* contribution. These dresses were produced as one-off pieces for the show, auctioned to support The Social Studio. In Sydney, we’re going to use these prints to then make some limited edition items for you see, hopefully *fall in love with* and purchase yourself …

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Some more styling of Ken Done‘s print, and also Melbourne designer, Limedrop

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And here is some of The Social Studio‘s own collection as a part of ‘Colour Chameleon‘ …

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There will be more fashion photos and videos to see from this wonderful event. (Eryn, from Her Table Top has a great blog post with lots of lovely photos too, for example.) We’ll keep you updated, and I’m so pleased to have been involved. A *congratulations* to all the models, students, community, TSS team and the designers – Linda Jackson, Ken Done, Alpha 60, Bul, Limderop and Obus – for such a great project.

Below is a photo of Emma after the show. She came to support the event with my sister in law, Susan.  Here she is smiling and happily showing off her leggings she purchased. These are designed by Bul in support of the project. (That’s my brother in the background, too!). Thanks Emma xo

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Below are some more photos of my own outfit. These are taken in the social enterprise cafe/bar, Shebeen later that day…

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, beads from op shop, Ben Sherman shirt, The Social Studio dress, Estillo belt, The Social Studio leggings, retail socks, Fluevog shoes (thanks Lanes! xo), Linda Jackson bag. Detail (above, L-R): Me & Zena ring, ring from op shop (actually vintage lipstick holder with mirror, but whatevs.), and Tatty Devine ring.

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All in all, a *fabulous* time! xo

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 Fifteen

Show/Share: Welcome to our newest volunteer, Mathura Sinnappurajar! Here’s her own *lovely* introduction:

Hi everyone! Just to fill you in on a little about me. I have just moved to Sydney to start my postgraduate study at Macquarie University. I was raised in Canberra, and spent a few years living in Papua New Guinea with my family. I tried out a few different courses at university before deciding that I wanted to do a Bachelor of Arts degree. I chose a particular combination of majors as I am interested in supporting the humanitarian and human rights issues related to refugees. I have been lucky enough to travel overseas and teach English in South Africa and Turkey, and have also had the opportunity to assist a teacher at a school in Sri Lanka. I am excited to work with Jackie and the wonderful team at The Social Outfit!

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We’re so very pleased to have Mathura join our growing team of supporters. And already she’s joining in and helping me with funding applications and planning for upcoming events.

Now, for something a bit different, last week’s outfits… backwards. Here’s me on Sunday, on a warm Sydney afternoon, heading out to meet up with friends. This vintage dress was just one of my *gold* finds at the NIDA hosted, costume market stall, as part of a WEFT-shop fundraiser, held on Monday last week. Raising money for a fabulous fashion social enterprise, and old costumes: I was in my element!

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, brooch from op shop, gifted shrug, vintage dress from NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser, Jenny Kee vintage bag found in an op shop in Penrith, vintage bracelets from second hand store, Fluevog boots.

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This was Thursday, sporting vintage Hawaiian and denim for our fifth Fairfield High School fashion workshop.

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Tell: gifted earrings, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, Hawaiian shirt (Magnum’s infamous junglebird design, to be precise) gifted by the Hawaiian First Officer, The Social Studio singlet, Dragstar denim skirt, Spin Dance petticoat, boots from op shop.

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And last but not least, back to last Tuesday, when I met with Rachael, Sascha and Alyssa from Vodafone, and they helped me develop some communications frameworks for The Social Outfit. They were super supportive of our work! And then I met with Mathura for our first working day together. So you see, if you start at the beginning, or the end, my time is always about working together with *good* people, all in the hope of moving The Social Outfit forwards! xo

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Tell: The Social Studio silk scarf, kitten brooch from Japan, cardigan from op shop, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage Sportscraft tartan wool skirt from NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser, retail tights and socks, Fluevog shoes.

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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 Six

Show/Share: Phew, things are busy! Sorry for the delay in posting this week, but it’s been one of those times when I’ve either been in meetings, or head-down on paperwork. It all really started from last Saturday when The Social Outfit Committee of Management met for a planning meeting. We had a great working day, agreeing as a group on a working plan for the next 12 months (coinciding with my funded year as part of the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ program). It’s *action-stations* for us all!

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Below is me on Thursday when I met with our *great* supporter, Shannon Carruth from ING Direct, who is helping us with financial planning. Also, do you happen to notice my new The Social Studio digital print silk scarf? Designed by students accessing our Collingwood sister studio, young people use their creative skills to also learn about computer literacy. Genius. I love this pattern and style so much!

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Tell: Handmade earrings, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, Miss Shop dress from op shop, The Social Studio ’Eva’ silk digital print scarf, vintage beads, skirt from op shop, stockings from Japan, retail socks and Fluevog shoes.

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I also wanted to share with you what has become *quite a thing* of late: to drop into The Social Studio when visiting Melbourne, get your picture taken, and then send it to me! I love it! And *naturally* people always have such supportive and great things to say about The Social Studio. Many people comment on it being creative and inspiring; encouraging us to keep working on our Sydney version. Here’s Alexis from a local supporter cafe, Scrambled, showing how happy she is to see our sister studio in person. She bought a summer dress and says she’ll share the photo soon…

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And of course, Vice-Chair David Hardie is always happy to pose and show his support! Apparently that blue/grey t-shirt looked great on him and he went home a happy customer too. xo

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Then on Thursday night I got to do another favourite thing of mine which is to talk about comics. I’m a proud comics nerd; studying it as a part of my university degree. I was part of a panel event, so naturally wanted to wear some ‘comix’ for the night. It was great fun!

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘Romeo Pour Juliette’ 1980s jacket from op shop, skivvy from op shop, Badsville ’vintage horror comix’ skirt as top, Kmart skirt, Badsville ’vintage horror comix’ leggings, Fluevog boots.

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And then off on a date last night to celebrate a busy, and great working week….

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Tell: Wa-Nyika earrings, handmade necklaces, ‘Claire Pain Paris‘ brooch, vintage Hawaiian dress from US second-hand store, recycled stockings as gloves, Estillo belt, retail tights and socks, Fluevog sandals, vintage Linda Jackson bag.

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And that pretty much gets you up to speed; until of course I have more news and fun to share about next week. Until then, hope you’re all grand! xo