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 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 Twelve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Eleven

Show: Meet the young people from Fairfield High School! We’re so *pleased* at The Social Outfit to be working with this fantastic group in our fashion workshop program …

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Pictured here are nine of the twelve young people who are working with us for the next eight weeks (and our fabulous fashion teacher, Emma, of course!). Almost all of these young people attend the Intensive English Centre (IEC) at Fairfield High School, learning both English literacy skills and the Australian education system. As a person whose learnt languages before, I’m *super* impressed with their willingness to jump on in and start interacting with Emma and me. And let me tell you, these young people have some great ideas about fashion and their own style. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we develop together.

Below is Emma when she and I were collecting supplies from Greenfield for our sewing workshops last week. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to work with Emma and learn from her expertise from WEFTshop.

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And please check out below my new leggings that I bought at The Social Studio when I was there last week. These leggings showcase The Social Studio’s new digital printing capabilities, and the artwork is designed by one of their students. I love them! This is what I wore for our first Fairfield High School program day. Particularly *great* was when one young person asked if my neck got sore from wearing such heavy jewellery! I explained to him I’ve had years of *dedicated training* in large accessory wearing, so I’m doing just fine!

P1040467Tell: Handmade earrings and necklace, shrug from thrift store in the UK, Uniqlo skivvy, handmade dress found in op shop, The Social Studio leggings, Fluevog boots.

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And here’s me on Friday, at some city meetings and working hard on The Social Outfit‘s longer-term plans. *Claps of joy* for wearing shorts in winter! xo

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Tell: Wa-Nyika earrings, The Social Studio digital print silk scarf, skivvy from op shop, ‘Jody’ jacket from op shop, handmade necklace, Katies shorts from op shop, Jonathan Aston tights, retail tights underneath, Lacoste sample boots, Ken Done tote. Brooches: toucan from Canberra, parrot from op shop, flamingo from Melbourne.

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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 Seven

Show/Share: Today I met with Mr Bruce Baird, AM. Bruce Baird is the current Chair of The Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council, and I had the opportunity to talk with him about The Social Outfit, The Social Studio and our plans for Sydney. He was very interested in our work, and had some great suggestions for me. It’s heartening to see the support of people across government and industry in this kind of work, and I really appreciate it when people take time out of their busy schedules to share their insights. Hopefully this helps us with long-term connections and relationship-building, as well as more chances of ongoing success here in NSW.

And as always, I was wearing some of The Social Studio‘s clothing; plus showing a *teeny* bit of colour and fun…

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Tell: Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, wool skivvy from op shop, Yoshi Jones cotton shirt, The Social Studio silk dress, retail tights and socks, Trippen shoes from Berlin outlet.

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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

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Five

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

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

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

We’ll miss you, Kit. Thank You! xo

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

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

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