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:

IMG_2092

IMG_2139

IMG_2113

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…

IMG_2084

We’ve also made a short film of the project, which I hope to share very soon:

IMG_2137

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:

IMG_2138

(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!

STS_218_3

My outfit on the wonderful day, last Thursday, showing my own colour support:

P1040647

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.

STS_218_2

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:

IMG_1943

IMG_1944

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:

IMG_1942

IMG_1941

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 …

P1040630

Tell: Handmade earrings, Kmart skivvy, The Social Outfit eco-dyed scarf, ‘Modern Style’ dress from NIDA / WEFT-shop fundraiser, retail tights and Fluevog boots.

STS_217

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.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Two

Show/Tell/Share: Check out Susan last Saturday doing some live window-modelling of The Social Studio clothing. Amongst other things, Susan is an aspiring modern dancer, so she was also showcasing her contemporary dance moves down at our Pop-Up Pilot at The Rocks

P1040240

This dress was so truly suited to Susan’s own style and personality that she happily bought it in support of The Social Studio and The Social Outfit. A beautiful butterfly-inspired-dress for a talented young woman…

P1040234

Thanks for working with us, Susan! Here is what she wrote about the experience:

My favourite part of The Social Studio fashion is the mixture of different colours that is so contemporary, with a link to cultural inspiration. Working with The Social Outfit means getting along with everyone, and it meant I felt comfortable and confident.

IMG_1161

Then on Thursday and Friday last week I had my two-day induction as part of the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ paid charity leave. Here’s me and two of my *wonderful* fellow WOD’ers – we’ve just finished telling our story for about the tenth time, and to many of the interested staff at Vodafone Headquarters, including the CEO – so no wonder we’re smiling and looking relieved!

IMG_1153

On my left is the *darling* Loren O’Keefe from Missing Persons’ Advocacy Network (Melbourne) and the ‘Dan Come Home’ Campaign. On my right is the *bold and bright* Julliette Wright from Givit (Brisbane). Our fourth buddy, not pictured, is Ian Davis from MND and Me Foundation. Right now Ian is riding the ‘million meters ride’ on a two-person, purpose-built, bike from Brisbane to Sydney. Good luck, Ian! (For more about me and my three fellow participants a good snapshot is here, at Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’.)

Last Friday evening we opened for some late-night shopping and a bit of a community catch up. Here’s just a few fun pics from the night…

Friday_Night

*Thanks* for your joy and hope lovelies pictured here, and others!

And given that we will close our pop-up doors this Friday evening, 10 May 2013, we’re going to have a small last *hoorah* for all the support and love Sydney-siders have shown from 5.30pm. Follow our The Social Outfit Facebook page for updates…

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-One

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

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

IMG_1101

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

IMG_1129

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

IMG_1130

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

IMG_1104

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

photo

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

Eco-Dyeing_By_A

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

P1040215

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

IMG_1114

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

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

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

IMG_1128

*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-Eight

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

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

IMG_1065

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

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

Store 2

Store 1

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

IMG_1080

Hat-Making 1

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

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

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

IMG_1083

P1040195

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

ShowTellShare one Hundred and 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