Fashion Filosofy: Documenting Ireland’s Streetstyle Revolution.

March 19, 2009
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When I first started researching fashion/style-related blogs in Ireland, prior to launching Male Mode, this was the first I happened upon. Combining streetstyle snaps, news and reviews on Dublin-based cultural events as well as their own ingenious editorials, the Fashion Filosofy team (fronted by Arsheen Qasim) offer some of the most fashion-forward Irish content online. Arsheen graciously granted me a few moments of her time to be my generally pesky self…

1. Many people consider Fashion Filosofy to be the premier Irish fashion blog. Why was it launched, and who undertook the challenge of doing so?

I guess ‘premier’ in the sense that we were the very first blog to represent and showcase the personal style on Dublin and Irish streets in the format of a streetstyle blog, but as regards lifestyle (including fashion) there was Style Treaty before us and for beauty of course!

I used to waste hours perusing the streetstyle sites from around the world when I realised Ireland didn’t have one. So my friend Linzi [McGlennon] and I decided to set one up and the two of us set off with our cameras roaming the streets! (with much trepidation because we were worried Irish people might be that much shyer and probably a bit more wary. Fortunately, we were wrong.)

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2. I’ve found truly unique style in Ireland to be a “diamond-in-the-rough” situation. Is it difficult to scope out trendsetters on the streets of Dublin?

It can be. Because we’re such a small city and geographically and culturally close to the UK, we tend to emulate what’s happening in London and also more recently Berlin, and Scandinavian countries. It depends on what you’re looking for. We don’t necessarily look for anyone in costume or someone doing something drastic. What’s attractive is how someone is comfortable in what they’re wearing. Sometimes it captures on the camera quite well and sometimes it doesn’t translate. In a way, style can be subjective, we don’t claim to be the arbiters of fashion or the fashion police, we just try and take pictures of ordinary people doing something interesting with their clothes. It may not be something we’d choose to wear personally, so what we put up isn’t necessarily reflective of our tastes but an archive of what we think some might find inspiring. It’s also a collection of style stories of people from different walks of life, different age groups, various subcultures and backgrounds. It’s more than just about the clothes.

But I think even though Dublin may not have the fashion legacy of New York or Paris I think our city has a great spirit and a pretty cool bohemian vibe and part of it means being laid-back and comfortable and not caring, and that, is its true essence.

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3. You guys have started featuring your own fashion stories/photoshoots on FF. How do you go about the process, and is this something you hope to continue with?

Yes definitely. It just seemed like a natural progression from taking photos of stylish people on the streets (which are almost like mini-shoots in themselves with each photo representing its own fashion narrative) to creating our own fashion stories. There isn’t much deliberation over the process, most of the photographers, make-up artists, ‘models’ we use are friends or people who want to collaborate and we just brainstorm themes and ideas and go for it! Most of us involved are either starting out in our fields be it photography or modelling, or just doing it for fun, so we’re all novices wanting to do something creative and enjoyable. Hopefully in that process, we produce something interesting.

4. Knowing Dublin’s style-savvy so well, what’s your opinion on the way Irish men dress?
I think Irish guys are quite laid back in the way they dress which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As I said it can be charming. But it wouldn’t hurt to try and take some chances sometimes. To be daring and have fun with it.

5. What denotes true style in a man? Subtle details? Caution-to-the-wind ballsy-ness? What?

Being comfortable and confident in what he’s wearing! Immaculate attention to detail also counts.

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6. Motorola Dublin Fashion Week is fast approaching. Any designers you’re particularly excited about?

I like Joanne Hynes, Kate&Ava have some pretty dresses and Caoimhe O’ Dwyer does diaphanous dressing like no other. There’s a lot of conceptual fashion in Irish design, a lot of occasion wear and formal wear but I feel that we’ve yet to see some young, cutting edge fashion coming from Irish designers, something that’s maybe a bit more youthful, fun and frivolous, aimed at the younger set.

Images from, and with thanks to Arsheen, Linzi, Sarah and Anahita of Fashion Filosofy

  • LJ March 19, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    they should come to Cork too!xx-LJ from SOS!

  • kingchic March 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    It’d be interesting to take a look at serious Irish style. Great interview.[K]

  • TheSundayBest March 23, 2009 at 11:21 pm