ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Ten

Show/Share: We start our Fairfield High School Fashion Project this week, and I’m feeling equal parts excited and nervous! I’m so pleased we’re able to work with everyone at the school on this project, and I can’t wait to meet the young people, and embark on some *fashion fun* with them… Given all of this, it’s also well about time that you meet the *spectacular* fashion educator The Social Outfit has engaged to do this work with me. Please meet the absolutely lovely, and talented, Emma:

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These photos are actually from over a week ago – when I was in Sydney – and Emma and I held a planning day together. (And just a moment before I share with you Emma’s wealth of experience, please also notice her own finely tuned op-shopping expertise: that vintage green jacket is an amazing find of hers, yes?! Style Queen!)

Here’s what is *good* to know about Emma-Kate Wallace, in her own words:

I am a National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) trained costumier and theatrical tailor with ten years experience in pattern-making, costume construction and craftsmanship.

I use these skills in my current role as co-founder and director of WEFT shop: a Sydney-based incorporated non-profit enterprise working with refugee women artisans on the Thai-Burma border to create contemporary, handmade textile accessories, incorporating traditional techniques such as appliqué and metal beading, for sale in Australia. My work with refugee artisans on the Thai-Burma border began in 2006, and I have now facilitated and taught more than 30 workshops with more than 100 women from a variety of ethnic groups.

My approach to teaching is highly collaborative with a respect and appreciation that we all have skills to share; we just need to create a space that makes this possible. I am also passionate about skills preservation and working with the skills each ethnic group has to offer.

Needless to say, we’re SO excited to have Emma involved in our work. As you already know, I’m a fan of WEFT shop and I think there are so many fabulous possibilities ahead for us! I can’t wait to keep you posted as this project develops.

Now onto some outfits…

IMG_1440Tell: Lafont glasses, The Social Studio silk scarf, vintage silk suit jacket from second hand store in Tasmania, Uniqlo skivvy, dress from op shop, leggings gifted from my Mum from Germany, Fluevog boots.

Here’s also an outfit post from my time in Melbourne this last week. And as you can imagine, there is *always* a certain somewhere I like to visit:

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Now, I’ve been eyeing-off the amazing ‘No Waste’ The Social Studio dresses, since we had some stock in our pop-up pilot project, in The Rocks in April and May. Well, finally, I have one to call all my own… and it’s bronze!

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Tell: Wool hat from Melbourne, earrings from Japan, vintage Linda Jackson silk scarf, Esprit skivvy from op shop, The Social Studio ‘No Waste’ dress, Estillo leather belt, Fluevog boots.

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Please stay tuned too… there’s some very exciting updates coming soon! As I hope you well know, here at ShowTellShare and at The Social Outfit, we’re always working hard to do *good in a fashion* xo

ShowTellShare 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.

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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…

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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.

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Six

Show/Share: I wanted to share with you some more of the creative-based work from people involved in our second-day workshop at the Asylum Seekers Centre, last week

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As you can see, one woman made this *artisan* purse. It has both handmade elements (like the flowers and the ribbon strap), as well as being fully lined and assembled from her skills on the sewing machine. The fabric used is both eco-dyed cloth from our workshops down at The Rocks, as well as fabric remnants.

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And here is a fabric necklace made by another workshop participant. You can see the same use of the hand-sewn flower-making technique. Artist Nicole taught us the skill of taking fabric and twisting it into these chains. The result is a super strong, and quite unique chain, I think. Plus, it’s low cost as you can use fabric scraps. I love it!

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Thanks again to everyone involved at the Asylum Seekers Centre, especially Anna and Sandy, for welcoming us and giving us the opportunity to work together.

Speaking of working together, here’s me heading out to meetings on Wednesday this week. Thanks to The Social Outfit Pilot and the way it connected us to both ongoing supporters and new people, we have some new leads to follow-up on, and more professional people to talk with about our development here in Sydney.

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Tell: Vintage Versace shirt from op shop, The Social Studio felt jacket, Saba belt, vintage skirt from op shop, retail tights, sample Lacoste boots from outlet.

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And finally, our May The Social Outfit newsletter that showcases some of our recent *good* news… (If you click on the image itself, it will make it larger, and easier to read)…

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Four

Well the *good* news is things haven’t slowed down since we finished up with our Pilot; with more opportunities to meet people, hear ideas and think about The Social Outfit‘s next steps…

Recently I went to Auburn and met with some lovely people from the Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association (AAHYA), and then on Monday this week I met with a group of very welcoming women from Al Btool Inc, an Iraqi Muslim support group, in Bankstown. They hosted me, sharing their amazing home-cooked food, and we talked about The Social Outfit. Many of the women shared their sewing experience, as well as their love of colour, fashion, and making clothing. This week I’ve also been out to Fairfield High School, which has both an Intensive English Centre for newly arrived migrants, and also has a very high number of students from refugee communities. We’re developing some exciting ideas, especially when knowing how many young people positively respond to creativity and fashion.

Then yesterday, Nicole and I started another fashion workshop at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown.

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The Asylum Seekers Centre has recently moved, so it was really lovely to be in a large, light-filled room working creatively with many interested people. We had women and men of all ages involved in making gifts and fashion pieces for their loved ones, or themselves.

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You may have noticed that when doing some workshops we don’t have photos or names of people involved. This is something we’re unable to do, so instead I try and capture the feeling of involvement, community and learning…

One young man, who has been involved in all our workshops, and is very keen on fashion, used a sewing machine for the first time. His stitching skills were amazing! He took to it like a natural…

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I love that he has been involved in every step of making these scarves; from hand eco-dyeing them in our Rocks pop-up space, to then sewing them together here in Newtown. We’re so pleased to be working collaboratively with the Asylum Seekers Centre, their wonderful staff and clients, who’ve all made us feel so welcome.

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I also finished up my university research work this week. As you know, thanks to the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ program I can now go full-time on setting up The Social Outfit. Working at the University of New South Wales this past year has been amazing for further developing my research skills; and many of my colleagues have been really interested in The Social Outfit work too. Special mention goes to my manager, Kath Albury, who is a huge supporter of what we’re trying to achieve. She was brilliant to work with. And so here’s me and my colleague Paul – who has volunteered for The Social Outfit, especially for our November 2012 event – on my last day… And seeing as we both research media cultures, a dodgy, fun ‘selfie’ seemed appropriate:

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I’ll be back to show/tell/sharing full fashion outfit posts soon too… xo

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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” …

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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

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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

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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…

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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.

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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!

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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…

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*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 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

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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.

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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!

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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…

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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? …

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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!

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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…

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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-Seven

Share: If at first you don’t succeed…

Some of you may recall in 2012 I made it to the top 10 of the Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference Program. In the end, I didn’t win the funding, and so I kept working away voluntarily for the year part-time, doing my very best to keep us progressing. Well, the *wonderful* news this time for me and The Social Outfit, is that I’VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL in 2013! That’s right: The Vodafone Foundation is supporting me to take a year’s Paid Charity Leave, through the World of Difference Program! In real terms this means from May I’ll be  going full time on The Social Outfit, and I’m going to keep working harder and harder to make us be the success we all dream we can be… Hooray!

Guess my elevator pitch turned out OK, and I think I’m going to have a lot of this kind of practice in the year ahead!!

*BIG* thanks to everyone who has been supportive so far, especially Grace at The Social StudioThe Social Outfit entourage, and you dear readers! It’s a team effort!

Show:

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, The Social Studio silk dress, Black Milk ‘Woman in Red’ leggings, retail socks, Fluevog shoes.

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But this is not a time for resting: we have a Pilot Program to get up and running! Here’s our space as part of The Rocks Pop-Up, and we open on Tuesday… *Exciting and EEEEK!*

IMG_1024Yes, we have a lot of work to do, but we’ll get there! xo

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ShowTellShare one Hundred and Eighty-Six

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

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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

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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

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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…

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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!
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This mini-comic says it all, really …
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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Eighty-Three

Share: Wow… The things I find myself doing in the pursuit of making The Social Outfit happen in Sydney. Take today for example…

In this outfit,

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At one point, I was standing in an elevator, talking straight to a professional camera-man, pitching The Social Outfit concept in just 45 seconds. Do you know how quick that is?! “Hello, my name is Jackie, and I’d *love* The Social Outfit to happen…” and BAM! 45 seconds is up! Plus, talking to a camera is REALLY hard. And then, a person who works inside the building got in the lift with me too while we were recording live – I don’t think he had any idea why I was standing in a work elevator talking to a camera crew. Heaven knows what the video ended up looking like! One thing I do know: I sure did try my best.

You see, today was my Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ interview. I’m lucky enough to reach the Top 10 this year, and *FINGERS CROSSED* this time we get it. Honestly, what a ‘world of difference‘ this support would make! A BIG step closer to opening our doors.

Naturally, too, I was wearing The Social Studio for such an important event. And, does my dress look a little familiar perhaps? That’s right, this is the dress Hawanatu showcased in our November 2012 runway show

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This gem is made with vintage fabric, and I simply love the design of these The Social Studio dresses: so comfortable, so easy to wear. A worthwhile purchase for me!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings and necklace, The Social Studio dress, Fletcher Jones skirt from op shop, retail tights, Happy Socks, vintage 1980-90s Fluevog clog shoes.

And finally, look how we are developing with our The Social Outfit Pilot Project:

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We had so many great people offer to be involved in our workshops, and I’m so pleased that we have on offer a great range of workshops of fashion-related fun. Thanks Nicole, Catharine and Soraya! And soon, we’ll all get to watch the genius-creativity of young people from refugee backgrounds… Exciting!

If you want to be kept up to date as the event develops, follow our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/520967514627304/

xo

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Eighty-One

Show:

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Share: Friday was one of those really busy days; meeting with a range of exciting people, and then catching the moments in between to send off emails and make deadlines. I was zipping around the city from one stop to another, propelled in part by one of my favourite, *vibrant*, The Social Studio silk dress…

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Tell: Jenny Kee for The Wilderness Society scarf, earrings from op shop, handmade necklaces, beaded necklaces and bracelets gifted by my Dad and step-Mum from South Africa, The Social Studio ‘Magical Tent’ collection silk dress, ‘Birthday Suit’ stirrup leggings, Trippen shoes from Berlin outlet.

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First up I met with Melissa from Sew Make Create. Melissa and her *gorgeous-hilarious* dog, Pepper, were lovely hosts and showed me around their Ultimo shop and sewing studio. Sew Make Create is a great initiative; getting people together locally to learn sewing skills, and you can also hire the machines/overlockers there too. I really encourage checking it out if you’re in Sydney…

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On Friday I also had the absolute pleasure of doing some of The Social Outfit‘s planning work with the designer, Nina Maya Skrzynski. Nina has proven experience with her own fashion label, and she’s interested in lending her skills and expertise to develop The Social Outfit‘s business plan further. Needless to say, we’re very excited at this prospect!

Finally, the response from the ‘call out for artists’ for The Social Outfit Pilot in The Rocks has also been overwhelming. People shared the information far and wide, and we’ve had so much interest. So thank you! It’s brilliant to see so many artistic people out there excited about working creatively with Sydney’s refugee communities. Stay tuned to hear how our workshops develop, and a *big* thank you to everyone who made contact and has shown an interest.

xo

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Eighty

Show: Check out this exciting opportunity… and *please* share far and wide our call for fashion artists to become involved in The Social Outfit‘s pilot project at The Rocks… exciting!

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And here’s me, getting on with my work today…

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Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, 1980s shirt from op shop, vintage leather belt from secondhand store in Melbourne, skirt from op shop, retail tights, sample Lacoste boots.