Mantalk #2

Craig Sutton and Seán Ó Grifín, aka Mantalk

Your two favourite boys with style are back for another round of mantalk. A birthday week for Craig means a new Zara jacket and Seán fills us in on the trials and tribulations of trying to break the fashion industry.

Craig –

Me again, budgies! How was your week? Miss me? This week was a bit of a roller coaster now; there were highs points, but also some low points. Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me! Yeah, I turned 21, finally (quare young for a final year, eh?) Had the auld cake and a sing-song in a restaurant on Monday (thanks, mam). Anyway, a bit more about the fashion highs and fashion lows of the week. Absolutely devastated by the sudden death of a favourite pair of pink shoes of mine, thanks to none other than Gary Gillick. This man has less respect for other people’s clothes than most people have for the Catholic Church these days – don’t lend him anything. And you think there will be a replacement? HA! Instead of my ‘Pick of the Week’, I am giving you all my ‘Prick of the Week’.

On the upside, I did manage to pick up a quality jacket in Zara for a decent €40. It has a nice navy quilted pattern that’ll be sure keep you snug on these chilly nights – I know from Sunday night’s experience of roaming the streets of Carlow until about 5.30am – not fun. Sound for that too, Gary. There’s some good stuff in Zara these days, and it’s not as much of a rip off as people may think. Pop in yourself or check it out the lazy way and go on their website. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love the jacket and probably won’t get out of it for a while, but I do understand it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Some may argue that you’d find Green Street’s Pete or Steve Dunham strolling around in it (Oi! Oi!) Sure, check out the picture and make your own minds up!

Penneys can do no wrong at the moment. Get yourselves down to your local one ASAP. Four pairs of gloves for €3 – two pairs of navy and two pairs of black (can’t be clashing obviously). Getting to the library with frozen hands can’t be good for those productivity levels. My personal opinion on gloves is that they feel like a luxury but you can’t even answer the auld touch screen. Scauldy enough but it’s worth not answering that call. Don’t get me started on those fingerless yokes either – what purpose do they actually serve? Please find me and let me know.

Before I go for this week, I’ve a bit of inside scoop on those winter woolies. Word came in from a secret, beloved source that Fat Face are selling men’s snoods for the first time ever. Retailing at a rather steep €30 – €35 euro, they won’t be for most budgets (not mine, anyway) but when it comes to keeping that chin warm, maybe quality is the way forward. Check out the snoods for yourself at
Until next week…

Sean –

“You’re studying Business and Irish? What do you want to be? A teacher, or something?” – nah man, I want to be the next Jacobim Mugatu. Turning a hobby into a vocation is the best choice I think anyone can ever make – work suddenly becomes as enjoyable as frequenting your local farmer’s market of a Tuesday. I made the choice to pursue a career in fashion after interning in an Irish design collective, Project 51 during the summer after first year. This gave me my first insight into the industry having worked with 15+ Irish designers. Most of them told me to run as far away from the industry as I possibly could – I think that encouraged me more to explore. Like telling a child not to smoke, children are going to smoke, fact! INTRA gave me an opportunity to delve further into the fashion industry, placing me with International Irish designer, Pauric Sweeney. Sadly, this didn’t last long. Working for a meagre €150 per week wasn’t feeding my cashmere habit and getting paid sparsely didn’t help either. I later found out that it’s common practice within the industry not to pay interns at all and this is accepted by interns – daddy’s wallet brigade should stick it to the man. Actually, Pauric, if you’re reading, you owe me 150 sheets, kid.

I left the more “glamorous” side of the industry for a job in Dunnes Stores’ buying office. 11 months of monotonous data entry and reporting was not for me so I tried hard to work on the more creative side of things. Towards the end of my placement I got to work more on the creative side, influencing design, colours, working on photo shoots, store merchandising and styling. It’s quite satisfying knowing I can walk into 155 stores in 5 countries, knowing I have influenced them in some way; whether it’s merchandising, in-store photography (POS) or changes I made to garments.

Dunnes offered a generous wage, one would presume I spent most of my green on clothes, but no, restaurants in Dublin 2 are way too enticing. I actually became more thrifty having discovered many industry secrets which I hope to discuss in the coming weeks.

Can someone please tell me what the story is with the amount of Braveheart extras around DCU of late, stay faithful to your favourite English high street retailers, girlos, even if they do produce war garments conflicting their nationality.

Craig Sutton and Seán Ó Grifín

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