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Paul Galvin on the journey from bogger to blogger

Paul Galvin
Paul Galvin

I GREW up on the edge of a forested bog in a town land called Ballinclogher. It’s in a parish called Lixnaw, in the north of Co. Kerry.

I have an accent that many people outside of Kerry have difficulty understanding.

Once, I noticed a friend of my girlfriends – whom I had just met – trying to grasp what I was saying by lip reading as I spoke. So it is fair to say I am a bogger. And I’m proud of it.

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Earlier this summer I was in London for London Collections: Men, a three-day men’s fashion ‘week’. Fashion is full of little contradictions like that.

Three days is a week and there are only two seasons, next season and last season. I often wonder how the seasons became so influential in fashion when most people in the world can’t even name the months of each correctly.

River Island had invited me over to view a film on their upcoming menswear collaboration with a young English designer called Tom Lipop.

T. Lipop, as his label is known, is a former professional footballer now kicking it in fashion. This collaboration is the menswear equivalent of Rihanna’s collection so it will be big.

The film itself was shown in the basement of Covent Garden venue, The Hospital Club. It was directed by an Irish girl called Aoife McArdle and examined life in a post-apocalyptic otherworld and featured some pieces from the upcoming AW collection.

Dazed & Confused magazine were the hosts and the magazine’s editor stood nearby alongside Natalie Massanet, founder of Net- a- Porter and Chairperson of the British Fashion Council.

River Island’s creative director was also in the room, and elsewhere around me were musicians, models, writers, TV people and bloggers. I felt a little dislocated myself. I had to wonder how I ended up there.

My own website, thisispaulgalvin.com, started out as a means to express myself and If people liked that all the better.

A few months after I launched, it landed me here – a stranger amongst these people, watching a film in the basement of a former maternity hospital by a girl from Omagh, Co. Tyrone about post-apocalyptic dislocation, featuring clothes that can’t yet be bought, designed by a man called Lipop who used to play centre-half for Southampton FC, and with no phone reception and lots of champagne. I thought back to the place where I grew up.

One day I went down the bog with a friend and fell into a bog-hole. Talk about being dislocated from place. My friend eventually fished me out. I walked home with my stone-washed jeans and sweater stuck to me and my New Balance trainers full. My biggest concern at the time was whether the Velcro straps on my trainers would ever stick again.

Things made sense in a way. I had the same sense of dislocation, I was just down a different hole. From a bog-hole to a basement. From bogger to blogger. I found myself wondering the same thing. How the hell did I end up here?

T. Lipop X River Island menswear collection will be in Irish stores in September… That’s autumn right??….

Paul Galvin blogs about fashion at www.thisispaulgalvin.com

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