Shophitchcock - Words 2018-02-07T15:46:00+00:00 Shophitchcock 2018-02-07T15:46:00+00:00 2018-08-07T16:21:35+01:00 We interview Erin from Paper Mache Mind Paul Mc Connell

Erin Grant from Papermachemind caught up with us a few weeks ago to feature Shophitchcock on her amazing blog so we decided to return the favour. We discuss her area of study, her blog and what she believes makes Galway a truly special place.  



Erin Grant from Papermachemind caught up with us a few weeks ago to feature Shophitchcock on her amazing blog so we decided to return the favour. We discuss her area of study, her blog and what she believes makes Galway a truly special place.  


● You are a gender researcher, tell us a little about what gender means to you in today’s society.


Gender in society is complex and ever changing. I am delighted that there is a really visible conversation among people about gender identity, and that gender issues are starting to become represented through media, popular culture, fashion, art, activism, or politics. For me, it means everything. It means the positives of self-expression, identity and creativity and it also means stigma, inequality, and struggle. It is important that in a conversation about the absolute beauty of gender fluidity and identity, there is a long history of people being treated unfairly because of their gender, or because they have stepped outside of what gender norms have dictated for them. Despite this, as knowledge is shared, and we work together, I am positive we are moving in the right direction and happy to see people openly being themselves.


● What is your particular area of interest with regard to gender research?


The particular areas I am interested in are to do with identities, gendered impacts on society and representation of gender in art. Also, I’ve worked on pieces about gender and sustainability as this link is crucial in creating a safe, equitable and sustainable planet for us and future generations.


Erin from Paper mache Mind modelling Warrior in Galway's West End


● Some might say that the idea of gender fluidity, or the possibility of a limitless spectrum of identities, is just confusing for young impressionable minds. What do you have to say to these people?


In polite conversation, I’ll say that this is simply untrue and that I wholeheartedly disagree. We’re all human, and within that there are so many wonderful possibilities of who we are as individuals. Yet, society and people through a series of repetitive and reinforced acts, has carved out particular roles for those who are male and female. In fact, gender binaries, which are the simple breakdown of the world into boys and girls, are unworkable, unimaginative and far more harmful. People are dying because of gender norms, domestic violence and violence against women is a harrowing example, so is attacks on members of the lgbtq community, and the influence of male norms and the patriarchy which is causing men to feel threatened by emotional vulnerability and representations of femininity. Young people and children especially, are well able to see things for what they are, and learn for themselves. If your child is questioning their assigned gender, you should aim to create a space in which they can understand that whoever they are, they are still loved. I think that teaching people from a young age about gender issues, the world around us, and people's different identities or bodies, can only lead to a more inclusive, empathic, creative, and loving society.


Erin Grant from Paper Mache Mind wearing Warrior on a Black Relaxed Fit T Shirt

● You are involved in a number of social and environmental campaigns; would you care to tell us about some of your most recent involvement with these?


I’m very interested in sustainable consumption, so I try to buy things which are loose, ethical, and reusable, as much as I can. I’m regularly involved in facilitating menstrual health workshops which look at environmentally friendly options, and combat the societal taboo surrounding menstruation and bodies. Also, veganism is very important to me, as it is an ethical, environmental and social issue, so that is why I collaborate with animal friendly people and spend a lot of time hugging the dogs of Galway. I’m also proud to call myself a feminist, but I think you know that already! A current campaign which is very close to me is the fight for reproductive rights and choice in Ireland for women and pregnant people, and I’m very lucky to volunteer alongside an incredible bunch of humans in Galway Pro Choice. I always try to maintain that regardless of what you would do for yourself, you should never take the right away from another person to control their own body. Their story is not your story.


● Your Instagram is full of inspiration for vegan food and pre loved clothes, what are your top tips for eating and shopping in Galway?


If you’re coming to Galway and want to enjoy vegan food, you’re really in luck. I don’t usually have food out, so when I do dine outside of my house, I want to really enjoy it. I’ve a few regular haunts on my list, and I often review places on my blog. For a perfect vegan fry or wedges, head to The Kitchen, Temple Cafe has a place in my heart because it’s a social enterprise which gives back to the community and it just happens to be full of delicious food, cakes and vegan hot chocolate, also TGO falafel bar is great for just about anything on the menu but I suggest the vegan burger, and some satay on your chips. As for charity shops, I grew up browsing in them, so they are my usual place to shop. Galway is blessed with some great charity shops, but there is a bit of a nack to thrifting! I tend to do the rounds quite a bit, and during my Summers in college I volunteered in them. It’s a great way to learn about times, dates, and some insider tips to getting the best bits, plus it’s a nice use of your time where you meet a varied spectrum of people. Most of the time, charity shopping is just about being there at the right moment. I think that’s why I like them so much, you never know what you’ll stumble across, and if you’re like me, you’ll buy all of the weirdest items just because you can’t bear to part to leave them behind.


Erin from Paper Mache Mind modelling Warrior on a black relaxed fit T Shirt


● What public figures do you most admire? Is there anyone you follow in popular media that you believe is making a difference?


I am influenced by creativity and that comes from so many places, and of course sometimes I see it in musicians, designers, and artists - but it’s usually in the people I meet around me. That being said, public figures have such an influence on our popular culture and minds, especially during our youth. I think Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a brilliant feminist writer and speaker, who illustrates poignantly why gender norms are harming our society. In Ireland, Louise O’Neill uses her platform to integrate feminist concepts into colloquial conversation and should be commended for that. Also, The Rubberbandits are doing a great job supporting equality in Ireland, and generally using satire to inform and engage the public. They’re articulate, especially about masculinity and issues such as repeal.


● You chose ‘Warrior’. What was it about her that spoke to you?


I adored all the designs, but as someone who is often identified by her long hair, I wanted to wear another version of ‘woman’ to show how we are more than how we look. I like Warrior because I think she is always changing for me, I never see her in the same way. Then, during the week where I was picking my shirt, my amazing mother wasn’t feeling great. She’s a fighter, and I’ve surrounded myself with wonderful and strong people, under her influence - so Warrior is for her, them, and me.

 Erin Grant from Paper Mache Mind wearing Warrior on a Black relaxed Fit T Shirt

Erin's Blog is over at - check out her amazing writing skills (and pics of Donkeys!) 

Photography by Love Joules at 

]]> 2017-09-04T18:07:00+01:00 2018-08-07T16:24:26+01:00 An Interview with Candy Warhol Paul Mc Connell We interview one of our favourite Irish personalities ahead of the launch of Cork's NUA Festival: organiser and Queen Supreme, Candy Warhol. 


Cork Drag Queen Candy Warhol


Shophitchcock started with the aim of creating designs that anyone could wear - inclusivity has always been one of the brands cornerstones. Furthering the vibrant and exciting nature of our designs, we wanted to feature articles showcasing some of the wonderful personalities that we have come into contact with: the first of these is Cork Based Drag Queen Candy Warhol.

 Drag was one of the first areas the designer, Peter Bradley, looked to when creating our latest print. It echoes what we are about as a brand: everyone is welcome, you can be whoever you want to be. We wanted to reach out and get to know one of Ireland’s top drag queens as she embodies everything we strive to promote: artistic flair coated in acceptance and inclusivity. We caught up with Candy to find out where her drag originated, what inspires her and what the rest of 2017 holds in store.


 Where did your drag name come from?

I took my name from Candy Darling, one of Andy Warhol's muses'.She would often speak for him in interviews and once said people should start calling her Candy Warhol.

I was fascinated with the world of Warhol - in particular his statement about everyone having fifteen minutes of fame  - and how so many interesting people were drawn to him and his factory for different reasons; people like Edie Sedgwick, Holly Woodlawn, Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling. The more I explored this world the more I wanted my name and my drag to reflect my interests in old stars, fame and pop culture. So the name was a perfect fit.


How did you first get involved in drag?

I was first introduced to drag at a young age: my father brought me to one of my grand uncle's (Danny La Rue) shows when he was on tour in Ireland.

I was also obsessed with films like To Wong Foo and would watch them on repeat! When I was in art college I began creating different characters for my project about personas.I re-created Andy Warhol's movies with the characters just staring at the screen.These ranged from a GAA player to a monster like creature but at the heart of it was a doll character that came to life. This was my first time in drag.

In my second year of college I decided to run a clubnight and host it as the doll character. It went well and the club invited me back for round two where I was performing two numbers -  a month later I was competing in The Alternative Miss Ireland, hosted by Panti Bliss.



Who or what inspires Candy’s persona and style?

I really love fairytales, especially the villains usually! Stories like The Wizard Of OZ inspire so much of my work. I also look at runway collections a lot, especially new designers. Sometimes I will contact a graduate and collaborate with them. It's fun to work with and support fellow artists. I think its important to stay ahead and look at things outside of trends.

Recently, drag has become quite mainstream and there are obvious makeup and fashion trends seen amongst the queens so its hard to tell people apart. This is something I try to avoid because its important to keep your own identity or else you will get swallowed up amongst the crowd.


Is there any particular aspect of Drag that you love the most?

I really love so much of it. Creating the look is both challenging and exciting. Being on stage can either be the best time of your life or the worst - it all depends on the crowd! Luckily, most of the time its great! I love making a crowd laugh or gasp and always engaging them! Waking up and reflecting on the night knowing everyone had a great time is the best feeling.


What are your thoughts as to the gender lines in areas like fashion become more and more blurred? Does this make drag more exciting and give you more options with regards your performance outfits or does it make it harder to stand out?

It's a great sign of where things are headed.Fashion should always be about the future and where things are going so having androgynous models or gender neutral models walking for designers is fantastic.

I think its an exciting thing; its another step towards people being more open about who or what they identify with and a rebellion against what we should look like.Also seeing drag queens model for designers and brands in commercial shows and campaigns is great. Starting from a fashion background, this is something I've always wanted to do so I'm all for it.


Cork drag queen Candy Warhol


Do you see drag as a political statement?

Drag is a huge political statement. Its a mega "Fuck You" to society and pop culture. In the 1960's and 1970's drag was proper punk: it was illegal. Queens like Marsha P.Johnson - who threw the first brick at Stonewall - paved the way for young guys being able to paint their faces and post it on Instagram without realising how lucky they are.

We are all so lucky to be doing what were doing because of the queens of the past. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. Now more than ever its important for queens to stay visible, but I think a lot of the younger queens, club kids and makeup fans are doing it as its a trend (which is totally fine) and some of the punk political spirit has been lost, which I want to see a return of.

It needs to get gritty again.


Who do you most admire in the Drag world?

As I mentioned above, I'm most inspired by the queens that paved the way. Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis seemed like a dangerously fun trio. Marsha P Johnson and all the queens of Stonewall. Current queens I love Jackie Beat,Coco Peru and Sharon Needles who I think speaks so intelligently. I love a smart queen! And I have to say my grand uncle Danny La Rue (she would smack me otherwise).



You chose Willow as your favourite of our designs -  what was it that drew you to her?

All of the illustrations are so beautiful but something drew me to her! I saw a mix of both a queen and a villain. Of course I chose her! Also, Willow was my fave character in Buffy so ;)


What can you tell us about the NUA Festival and what you are working on at the moment? 

NUA Festival is an arts and fashion festival launching in Cork City on September 14th. I created it in order to support, showcase and celebrate new emerging talent in Ireland. I've been working on my debut fashion collection ,Cailleach (Witch), for the last year and I wanted to show it in an unusual setting, so I began organising a fashion show with new talents. This became a four day festival with an exhibition, classes, shows and of course the fashion show! So many of my friends including my best friend of ten years Erika Marie are making it over to get involved and its really exciting! Hopefully it gets bigger and better! One of the events I'm most excited about is 'Mockie Ah' (A Cork phrase for make believe) which is a new open mic drag/performance show I'm hosting!


Once the dust settles on that I will be hosting at The Outing which is the worlds only gay matchmaking and music festival in October and then I'm running a queer film weekend in November which I'm announcing soon. I'm also in the planning stages of a film about my grand uncle which I'm really excited about so hopefully I will have news on that quite soon.

 Cork Drag Queen Candy Warhol


NUA Festival runs from the 14th to the 17th of September in Cork City. For details on the events happening during the festival and to purchase tickets, hit up for more information. 

]]> 2017-08-10T20:09:00+01:00 2018-08-07T16:55:02+01:00 Body Positivity Paul Mc Connell

5 of Irelands highest profile women talk about their body image, their favourite outfits and how they view the current state of fashion for plus-size women. 



Andrea Horan - The Irish Times (photo credit Andrea Horan)

The Irish Times features some of our greatest female personalities. 

5 of Irelands highest profile women talk to Deirdre Quinlan about their body image, their favourite outfits and how they view the current state of fashion for plus-size women. "

"I wanted to blend in for a long time and then as a response I wanted to stand out", Louise McSharry, 2FM Presenter/Irish Times Journalist

 Check out the full article here

]]> 2017-07-13T00:22:00+01:00 2018-08-07T16:55:47+01:00 The Model Who Broke Every Stereotype - HB Interview and StyleLikeU Video Interview Paul Mc Connell "I truly do think that fashion is reimagining its ideals, but it’s only because people such as myself are actually making it happen." - Melanie Gaydos


Melanie Gaydos Facebook photo

An interview with model Melanie Gaydos (from Harper's Bazaar). 

Melanie Gaydos was born with ectodermal dysplasia - the condition means her small bones, teeth and nails grew abnormally. She has become a powerful force in the fashion industry over the past few years, destroying the stereotypes that have been corner stones of the catwalks and editorial pages for decades. 

Her unique appearance and her amazing personality have catapulted her to the top of the modelling leagues; shows in New York, Berlin and London have curated her place at the top table. 

She is one of the most inspiring figures to arrive on the fashion scene in a long time - her refusal to let her condition ever affect her life and the outlook she has thereof is something we can all aspire to and should thrive towards. 

"I truly do think that fashion is reimagining its ideals, but it’s only because people such as myself are actually making it happen." - Melanie Gaydos,

Check out the full interview on Harper's Bazaar  and follow Melanie on Facebook here while the StyleLikeU interview can be found over here

]]> 2017-06-13T16:48:00+01:00 2018-08-07T16:56:45+01:00 Why Witchcraft is Making a Comeback in Art - from Paul Mc Connell

Portrait of Juliana Huxtable by Alex John Beck for Artsy.

How the age-old practices of paganism are making a comeback in feminist-led art circles. 

Artsy delve into the history and resurgence of the Paganist movement currently breathing a dark light into every corner of the art world. 

"...the history of witches is not just a fairytale, but a history of gynocide—that is, the killing of girls and women—one that feminists have addressed as a history of female suppression. And for female artists working today, paganism is making a comeback" - Izabella Scott,


Check out the artists and their work over on

]]> 2017-06-06T17:36:00+01:00 2018-08-07T16:58:45+01:00 "They": An Interview with Director Anahita Ghazvinizadeh on Paul Mc Connell

"I think that defending the right to define ourselves is a human issue, and is not only about the LGBT community. I see it as a general human question: how can I bring complexity and depth to the idea of personhood?," Anahita Ghazvinizadeh on how her work brings the spotlight down on the Bathroom Bill. 



Still from They Anahita


Gender, acceptance and growing up neutral. 

Iranian director Anahita Ghazvinizadeh explains how her art becomes queer activism

Iranian director Ghazvinizadeh's first full length feature - produced by acclaimed Top of the Lake director Jane Campion - tells the story of J, a gender neutral teen trying to make sense of a world that isn't trying to understand but rather assign them to a certain mould. 

The Dazed article features a full interview with Anahita on the status of gender in her home country of Iran, her stance on the Bathroom Bill and how Arthouse cinema is the perfect vehicle to reach and educate mass audiences. 


Click here to read the full interview over on




]]> 2017-06-06T17:36:00+01:00 2018-08-07T16:59:29+01:00 20 Female Artists Making Waves in Figurative Painting (from Paul Mc Connell "While gender plays no role in the capacity to create a compelling painting, today, a critical mass of female painters are embracing figuration, diversifying it, and pushing the conversation around it forward," Casey Lesser (



Mira Darcy by Nick Simmons fro Artsy

These 20 Female Artists Are Pushing Figurative Painting Forward.

This fantastic article from Artsy showcases some of the female talent that is currently wowing the figurative art world with their work. 

“We are living in a time that’s ripe with debate over what it means to be a human in one kind of body or another,” Emily Mae Smith
Click here to check out the article over on