DJ'ing at SoundCheck in Spy, South William Street (map) this Thursday with others are the creative and friendly duo behind one of the most fashionable blogs in Ireland, Dublin Streets.
Andrea and Matt promise to share "the joy of their musical tastes. Being highly experienced DJ's (ahem), attendees on the night are in for a musical treat... or at least a laugh."
Their blog though is not about "fashion", they told me when I met them, it's not about labels and trends and the must have from Oasis or Top Shop, it's about style. Individual style and personality. Something Dublin seems to have lots of.
Walking around the centre of Dublin at any time now, I've become more aware of people putting clothes together in unique-and-stylish ways. My reaction ranges from "I'd never wear that" to "I'd never have thought of that", and I can't help but admire people with the sense to pick clothes to reflect who they are.
If I'm not in shirt and pants, it's jeans and a jumper. Shopping for clothes like waistcoats, cardigans, hats, colours that aren't black, blue or grey doesn't even occur to me. I'm comfortable in the clothes I have because I'm both a bit resistant to change and I haven't got the necessary fashion sense.
"But", says Andrea, "that's not unusual. The Irish are breaking away from the "I should wear" and going with the "I want to wear" or "I'll try that" mode. People are only growing into becoming stylish, It ranges from outrageous to nicely done, displaying garments you'd never expect. There's a difference between cheap clothes and affordable outfits". They've certainly got an eye for it, with some very individual photos of the people they snapped.
More and more I'm beginning to understand that choosing a creative wardrobe is a talent born both from self-reliance and financial independence. Most of the clothes I had when young were either good quality hand me downs or Dunnes finest. Nothing wrong with either, it just meant that I was happy enough to wear the clothes that were bought for or given to me.
Moving to Dublin and post seminary I bought shirt and tie for the office and then back to jeans and rugby shirts at weekends. Barretstown started a hoodie phase and now it's a bit of a mix of whatever I have ready.
The people both on the Dublin Streets blog - "Dublin Street Style. Stuff we like. On the Streets of Dublin" - and on the streets of Dublin seem different though. Maybe it's more Temple Bar clothes shops, more money, more freedom and more people to compare to. I have no doubt after my own travel in Europe that the Irish have had a distinctly conservative way of dressing and the fact that the Dublin Streets blog was inspired by Matt and Andrea's visits to Berlin seems to back that assumption up.
"We always check out the style blogs there, to track what people are wearing and also to see what to do while we're there because they always feature club nights... We just found there was a lack of representation of the innovative fashion that's happening in Dublin" said Matt in a recent Sunday Tribune interview. It's at the launch of their photo exhibition, Shoot Me, in the Bernard Shaw, supported by Genius.ie that we've met.
"We have loads of pictures on our site that some people might hate and think 'You're trying too hard' whereas they're actually not and they're just wearing the clothes that they like although it's not necessarily the norm.Another feature of their blog I love is their eye for street art and graffiti, one I share but don't post enough of. In fact it's through the 3D I Love Lamp post that I've got the courage to say hello. I'm slightly in awe of people who can pack a venue and organise such cool events, including a collaboration with Maser, one of the best street artists I know of, someone's whose art never fails to make me smile. They're doing what they do very well indeed.
It's about starting conversations and getting people to open their minds.... It's just someone who's doing something different or who happens to be wearing something interesting."
Anyway, back to tomorrow night. What can we expect? Well, according to their Facebook Group Page, they say
"Rick O'Shea is after us. We're pretty sure we are going to whip his ass. What does he think he is, a bonefied DJ or something?"They then sent me a link to this video earlier, a song I haven't heard in years. Unique, unusual, provocative, fun - terms as applicable to the two lovely people I met as much as their blog and hopefully their playlist. I look forward to saying hello again and jiving along.
If you're around, please do come. We'll be there (possibly throwing underwear) and you'll be welcome. Say hello!