ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Five

Show: Work at The Social Outfit is happily keeping me *very* busy, and I’m hoping to share some public-news on that front soon… until then, this weekend felt a bit like a celebration of women I think are *fabulous* on the internet, and beyond in their ‘in real life’.

On Friday evening we went to see ‘Lady Sings it Better‘ in the Inner West; they are a cabaret group, including Maeve, who are *hilarious* and so, so talented! I laughed for the whole show, which makes for an ace Friday night in my world! We also went with Kim from News with Nipples, whose writing and ideas I *adore*, and caught up at the gig with the *lovely* Frances from Corpulent. Plus, there was also like a *rad collection* of women from the internet – like Brocklesnitch, Treemie and more – who I was a bit too shy to say hello to properly… yet… but whose online personalities appeal to me in many ways. Good times.

Friday night I wore some new The Social Studio for my party mood…

IMG_6004Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings from op shop, handmade beaded necklaces, Tatty Devine anchor necklace, ‘Glitter Heart’ brooch gifted by Tatty Devine, The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress, Saba belt, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog sandals, ‘Yayoi Kusama‘ bag from Japan.

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And then on Sunday we saw dear friend, and *always inspiration*, author Courtney Collins (whose name you have to say in full EVERY time you say it out loud because it just sounds *right* like that). It was lovely to spend *quality* time together. And fashion-special too, because I was wearing BirdMonkey‘s handmade fabric necklace from my ‘What Ken Be Done‘ days for the catch-up. Artist BirdMonkey (a.k.a Raquel) was one of the first, and *best* women I ever have met online… so hooray for an online world, and meeting lovely creative people all round! xo

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, handmade earrings and necklace, Ken Done necklace gifted from BirdMonkey, vintage handmade dress from op shop, Spin Dance petticoat, retail stockings and socks, Fluevog boots, Ken Done purse.

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*Guest Post* ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ninety

Guest Post by supporter, Meredith Turnbull:

Poor Jackie is terribly sick with a rotten lurgy. After days of pressing on regardless last week, on Sunday she finally submitted to a day of rest at home and handed over the keys to the shop to Kit and me. 

It’s a funny thing to go from being a cheerleader to The Social Outfit on the sidelines, to then being the public interface with the community. Since Jackie introduced me to The Social Studio in the What Ken Be Done year, it, and The Social Outfit have become very precious to me as examples of doing social good. So on Sunday, I felt a big responsibility in representing The Social Outfit, and an even bigger challenge in filling Jackie’s colourful Fluevog shoes! 

So what does a day in the pop-up shop look like? What I quickly learned is that a bit of eye contact, a big smile and an invitation to enter the space works wonders. Once inside, people are interested and inspired by the story of The Social Outfit. Also, by asking questions I discovered just how many people have an interest and compassion, or a direct connection to refugee issues.

Sundays are always busy in The Rocks. Some of the highlights of the working day was a lovely woman from Melbourne who had seen an article about The Social Studio in The Age (here). We talked about many things and unexpectedly at the end she said, “I would like to donate some money.” Jasonne was so cool, she even offered to link us up with an intern program through her work…

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Later in the morning a woman dropped in with her partner, and she later came back with her daughter too. She loved one of our t-shirts (unfortunately it wasn’t in her size), but in the process of chatting I learnt that she had worked at the social enterprise OzHarvest, and had friends who volunteer with Asylum Seekers Centre

In the afternoon three younger people were wandering past. One of them was quite taken by the gorgeous yellow dress that was in the window…

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She and her friends came in and she tried it on and loved it! She then tried on a blue and orange dress and loved that too. Kit and I had made our first sale for the day, and it was a double! 

Later in the afternoon a woman who used to work in a fabric wholesale business dropped in on her way to meet friends. After Kit told her about The Social Outfit’s plans, she vowed to go away and chat to her networks in the fabric world. 

Many other people dropped in and Kit and I did our best to describe our hopes for The Social Outfit and our sustainable business model too. Everyone was different and some people loved everything about our plans, others liked the use of excess and recycled fabric, others appreciated the importance of assisting people from refugee communities to find meaningful education and employment opportunities. 

But my favourite moment of today was when I was reminded of an experience I had at The Social Studio in Melbourne. I was sitting in their cafe, The Cutting Table, eating an ‘zlabia‘ (an African Donut) and having a coffee. On the street-side seating just outside my window there was a young student at The Social Studio having a tea, and next to her was a customer having a coffee. The customer was joined by a friend with a gorgeous puppy, and soon all three people were all talking and laughing and continued to do so for half an hour.  During that time people of all types stopped and joined in and then kept on wandering. I don’t know how you measure the value of that, but I do know that it is not something you see very often: people joyfully engaging across difference and being part of a community. 

That is why I support Jackie and the team every step of the way, and why I believe The Social Studio and The Social Outfit are so precious and important. They are making the world more like the one I want to live in. 

I just wish Jackie had told me I’d have to wear a Ken Done handbag in order to help!

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ShowTellShare One Hundred and Seventy-One

Share: The Social Outfit just got ourselves an ‘Authority to Fundraise’. Hooray! And why might you be interested? Because within the coming weeks the final 20 or so donated pieces of Ken Done from What Ken Be Done will be up for auction! And all for the benefit of The Social Outfit… Let me explain a little more first…

So, you’re a charity (i.e. got your DGR status and tax concession). That means now you can *fundraise like a fiend*, yeah? Well, NO!

One more form, people! In NSW, if you want to fundraise (i.e. ethically ask people for money via campaigns and request for donations… *NOT* hassling, mind you), you need an ‘Authority to Fundraise‘. You fill in forms from the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, and show how you are legitimately doing charitable work. Then a little bit later, they let you know it’s OK, and you can begin fundraising. The Social Outfit got our confirmation this week. Yee-haw!

So if you, or anyone you know, wants some (more) *GOLD* pieces from my Ken Done fashion archive, you’ll soon have your chance. All the money raised (other than the auction fee) will go straight to The Social Outfit! And we’re going to use the money for our pilot program (supported by the City of Sydney). As soon as Kit gets the auctions live, we’ll let you know. You get Ken Done, and WE all get to support creative, great programs celebrating people from our refugee communities in Sydney. I like it!

So, in short: things here are MIGHTY busy, I can tell you…

Also, Kit got her hair cut. It’s *fun*, it’s got *verve*, and we have the photos to show, of course… xo

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Tell: Wa-Nyika earrings, Ken Done scarf handmade by Susan, The Social Studio silk dress, Ken Done leggings, retail socks, Fluevog shoes.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Sixty-Nine

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, handmade beaded necklace, ‘Ara Modell’ vintage jacket from Perth op shop, Laura Ashley shirt from Canberra op shop, Sportsgirl dress from op shop, retail tights and Fluevog boots.

Share: For the most part, I keep my university work and my The Social Outfit work pretty separate (although clearly both inform each other). I divide out my days and try and keep my focus on the task at hand. So it was a little weird yesterday participating in a graduate workshop at the University of Sydney with the visiting Professor Ann Cvetkovich (from University of Texas). She specialises in gender and cultural studies, especially theories of the ‘archive’, feelings and intimacy. Each person had 7 minutes to present their own work, and so I talked about young women and ‘selfies’ (self portraits, usually taken with one’s own mobile phone) through a lens of my own experiences of What Ken Be Done, The Social Studio, The Social Outfit and fashion archiving. It proved a really interesting exercise, and one I reckon I’ll be thinking through for some time to come. Then, on the way home, I saw this quote on Twitter: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I’m pleased when I take up opportunities to put myself in different ‘rooms’, and keep being open to learning. I feel like that’s so important for the progression of The Social Outfit, and myself. There are so many smart and wise people to learn from; many in completely unexpected places. That I also get to dress up, and *love* fashion at the same time is a complete bonus. xo

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Fifty-Four

Show/Share: Last night we returned to Sydney, and it proved a *spectacular* way to finish up 2012, and herald in 2013… Because we came home to see that the ATO has granted The Social Outfit ‘Deductible Gift Recipient’ status and the ‘Charity Tax Concessions’. Yep, we’re now a bona fide Public Benevolent Institution! *Great news* that is another super important step on our way to securing our future in Sydney. It made the fireworks last night feel a little extra special…

… And I couldn’t have done all the ATO paperwork and procedure without the help of The Social Studio’s Grace McQuilten. She’s supported me every step of the way, and her advice and counsel is *priceless*. A huge and heartfelt thanks to her xo xo

In other fashion-related news, can you believe I found this custom, hand-made dress in an op shop in Perth? $24.99 and my size, it’s like it was made for me! Once I spotted it I just kept clawing at it, praying it would fit. Hooray, it does! Ruffles! *You Rock* Perth op-shops; so much second-hand gold to be found…

Another highlight from Perth was going on an evening boat cruise on the Mandurah Canals to look at people’s Christmas lights. It *so* appealed to my love of kitsch, glitter and frou-frou!

Yet another super-fantastic photo by the Hawaiian First Officer, who really is the BEST live-in-photographer ever! <3 …Thanks for all your support and expertise in 2012 … <3

The Hawaiian First Officer and I also spent New Year’s Eve with friends; including dearest Bec who is sporting my Ken Done shirt she bought in the auctions when supporting What Ken Be Done. Love!

So here’s to a hopeful and fulfilling 2013 for us all! xo

Tell: Hat from ‘Cat Protection Society’ op shop in Enmore, Wa-Nyika earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, handmade dress from Perth op shop, vintage belt from London, Uniqlo leggings, Camper sandals.

ShowTellShare Ninety-One

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Tell: Miss Shop dress from op shop (underneath), The Social Studio drape top, Ken Done skirt (remixed from dress), Black Milk leggings, Fluevogs.

Share: This was my outfit on Friday. It was a great, and busy day. One highlight was visiting the *delightful* Peter and Arthur from Molly Coddle Cafe in Stanmore to talk through our Sydney business plan for the cafe work, as part of The Social Studio model. Peter and Arthur have worked in and run cafes for years and years, so they’re able to really assist me with checking our budgets and projections. Plus, both of these lovely men have been supporting me and my efforts since the What Ken Be Done days… It means so much to have supporters around this work I tell you. Love. It. xo

Arthur (left and holding Ken Done!) and Peter from Molly Coddle Cafe in Stanmore.

ShowTellShare Seventy-Seven

Show:

Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings from op shop, scarf from op shop, vintage Country Road denim jacket from op shop, vintage *pristine* Ken Done dress from op shop in South Australia, Fluevogs, Leo Monk leather bag.

Share: Yesterday we had a strategy meeting for The Social Studio work in Sydney. *Seven Smart Minds* helping me to progress the work. The meeting went really well – with plenty of enthusiasm and clarity – and now it’s back to working hard and setting plans. The good news too is you’ll soon be able to see exactly who is involved and how people are helping me… so stay tuned!

And fashion-wise, a splash of winter colour al-lah The Ken Done Master. Comfortable and oh-so-BRIGHT! I wore this dress on my second last day of What Ken Be Done (just over a year ago, now), so it’s got plenty of *rad* memories… xo xo

ShowTellShare Sixty

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Tell: Vintage Versace shirt from op shop, necklace from op shop, Saba skivvy, ‘Creaciones Natian’ Mexican skirt from second-hand store Santa Barbara US, Spin Dance petticoat (underneath), Fluevogs.

Share: I love this skirt. I can’t believe I never showed it during What Ken Be Done, but I was never quite able to coordinate an outfit with this Mexican *gem* and The KD Master. And then today I end up pairing it 1990s Versace… All in all, a perfect outfit for this Friday.

ShowTellShare Forty-Seven

Show: If I paint the top of my eyelids with colour, why wouldn’t I just paint my eyebrows as well?

Tell: Jean LaFont glasses, handmade earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, MKOne bolero from UK thrift shop, bodysuit from Berlin, Oroton belt from op shop, Ken Done vintage skirt from eBay (with Spin Dance Petticoat underneath), Fluevogs, Ken Done tote bag.

Share: Just returning to *Ken Done Love* after some recent press from The Vine about my What Ken Be Done project and KD’s influence on Australian fashion. The article’s title is ‘Australia’s Top 10 Fashion Brands’. And who knows, maybe in a few short years we will be reading about the influence The Social Studio fashion brand has had on our contemporary Australian landscape, including better, and more creative, opportunities for people from refugees backgrounds. I just know *something* like this is going to happen, in fact, I know it must.

ShowTellShare Forty-Two

Show:

Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings from Shag Melbourne, Uniqlo skivvy, Simona Sport 1980s shirt from C’s Flashback Newtown, Levis jeans from California, Camper boots.

Share: You see this smile? Well, it’s happening for at least two reasons.

The first reason is my ongoing happiness and joy in sharing my blog with you all. You see, I’ve often been nervous and therefore reluctant at times to keep blogging, primarily because this blog doesn’t have the ‘neat’ story that What Ken Be Done had. In many ways, this blog is much more about the day-to-day aspects of my life: my love of recycled clothes and my real wish to see The Social Studio happen in Sydney, despite all the challenges that brings (this isn’t guaranteed at all). So *every single* time you comment – via blog comments, via FaceBook, via Twitter, via email, in person – my heart skips a little beat… your participation helps to remind me just what a community we have here and how much you all mean to me. Really.

The second reason for a smile? Well, I am wearing a second-hand Australian 1980s oversize, high-colour shirt with the collar up. Kind of speaks for itself. xo xo