ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Forty-One

Show/Tell/Share: Well, we’ve gone from these closed doors, and the years of hard work by a committed group of people


… To these *open* doors! The Social Outfit is *now* open to the public and to our community. Hooray! I’d love you to pop by our retail space at 353 King Street Newtown, and come and say hello… (Opening hours here.)


As part of our preparations for opening, we did a photo-shoot recently with some of our *gorgeous* newly-produced clothing; all proudly made on site at Newtown. And where better to take some photos with natural light and a great bit of art, than the Ken Done Gallery?! *Super Thanks* to Ken Done and his daughter, Camilla for letting us take over the space for a Friday afternoon… xo


Photographer Mark Sherborne and Stylist Sar Ruddenklau stepped in to generously help us with the shoot. What *brilliant* supporters of The Social Outfit they are too! xo

Here’s a picture of my role for the day: to generally be an *excited* presence and to help with lighting! (And wearing Ken Done, of course!)


Here’s some photos of our latest collection, starring Oboya and Ava as our models… The shirt and jacket are made by us, and the necklaces are from WEFTShop. All these items are proving very popular at the store, which is so *ace* and *fun* for us…


Ava-and-Oboya-KD-signWe had a great time together, laughing and learning, and I’m really looking forward to all our ongoing fashion work at The Social Outfit with our growing new migrant and refugee community…


Now here’s some of my own outfits over the past little while…

First up, a ‘The Social Outfit Loves Ken Done‘ and Dragstar number. I wore this ensemble on the day I worked with Vice-Chair David Hardie, Jen Riley from UnitedWay and Jo Taylor of Dusseldorp Forum on our evaluation plan for The Social Outfit. We have two amazing volunteers, Sue and Sally who are going to conduct our evaluation of our organisation, so to all meet, and work together was very exciting!


Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings handmade, Tatty Devine bracelet, ‘The Social Outfit Loves Ken Done’ silk scarf and leggings from Colour Chameleon, Dragstar dress, Fluevog sandals.


And then here’s my outfit for a fundraising training-day with Hailey Cavill, Shannon Anderson of Fully Fund It, and the Vodafone Foundation. Go fundraising! Of course, I’m always looking for advice and learning in *good* financial practices as we build The Social Outfit… (and, this jacket is a bit 1980s bank teller, no?!)

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Tell: Handmade earring and necklaces, Tatty Devine brooch, 1980s ‘Skirtmaster’ jacket from op shop, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, ‘The Social Outfit loves Dragstar’ silk dress, TS dress, Black Milk leggings, Happy Socks, Fluevog boots.

For my birthday in May, I scored these 1980s, vintage Ken Done earrings from eBay as a part of a birthday gift. *Ken Done Gold!* (And nothing like the original packaging to add to the find…)



Tell: 1980s Ken Done glasses, 1980s Ken Done earrings gifted, vintag Ken Done cotton shirt, Uniqlo skivvy, Sportscarft belt, Dragstar denim pencil skirt, double tights, Fluevog boots. Below: ‘The Social Outfit loves Ken Done’ silk scarf for Colour Chameleon.


Then here I am on a Thursday evening when The Social Outfit was invited to pitch at a  ’10 x 10′ event; along with Fighting Chance and First Hand Solutions. As they explain it themselves, “10 x 10 is a project designed to engender a culture of giving and philanthropy within Australia’s young professional and creative communities”. It was a great evening, and all the money we raised that night goes towards sewing machines for our educational work: so exciting! Plus, check out my *NEW* The Social Outfit jacket first shown right here! I wore it on the night to help explain our work: made by our team from excess fabric from the fashion industry, and it looks great! That’s a win x a win x a win! It was also lovely to meet the other charities too, and be welcomed by the crowd for our work, and dreams.


Tell: The Social Outfit jacket, Tatty Devine necklace, ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson’ silk dress, bracelet from op shop, Tatty Devine rings, ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya leggings, retail socks, Fleuvog boots.


And finally, a Friday night number as another busy week came to a close. I’ve spent a large part of these last couple of months in painting-overalls, covered in dust, paint, threads and other such stuff…. so it certainly feels *exciting* to be getting back into my colourful, Australian gear. And soon – there will be so much more of The Social Outfit clothing to show!

Until then, I’ll be at our new space in Newtown, working on *doing good in a fashion* Hope you take care, and thanks for stopping by online (and hopefully soon, in person too!)… xo xo


Tell: Handmade earrings, ‘Tokyo Kamen’ brooch from Japan, handmade necklaces, Diane Freis shirt, The Social Studio silk dress, SpinDance Australia skirt, Black Milk leggings, retail socks, Fluevog boots.


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:




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…


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


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:


(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!


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


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.


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:



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:



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 …


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


ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Fourteen

Show/Share: Another week to catch you up on, and I wanted to start particularly with this lovely photo:


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.


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…


Clearly there was also a subconscious memo to us both about blazers, and some sort of ‘semi professional’ fashion approach…


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.


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…


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!


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!


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…



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


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.


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.


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!


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:


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…


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


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


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.


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!


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…


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.


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

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety-Nine

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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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