We're not fashion experts by any stretch of the imagination. But Paul Mescal has tapped into a market we never knew existed.
The Normal People star first became a GAA fashion pusher when he was spotted buying a few cans during lockdown near his home in London.
It's not obvious if Mescal deliberately tried to turn a pair of O'Neill's into a fashion statement. Given the casual nature of the photo, it appears to be purely accidental.
Paul mescal in a funky jacket, O’Neills shorts, carrying 2 cans of pink gin is really what the world needed on a Tuesday pic.twitter.com/4IQRthTtLw
— richélla #Empath (@reeshla) May 26, 2020
But the iconic photo of the actor in his multicoloured jacket and sunglasses might have got the ball rolling for future events, as seen at Coachella at the weekend.
Mescal And His GAA Shorts
Mescal played into our hands by donning a pair of Kildare shorts at the star-studded event. People were quick to spot his Irish-inspired clothing choice on social media.
What's funny about his outfit at Coachella - is that it would be socially acceptable to wear it at a celebrity-packed music festival and simultaneously during a GAA warm down.
The O'Neill's shorts represent an effortless, casual touch that might fly over the heads of most people outside the island of Ireland.
— normal people bot (@normalpeoplebot) April 24, 2022
But the Paul Mescal fashion influence has been felt worldwide. So much so that Gucci, in a 2020 'Cruise' collection, came up with a similarly looking pair of shorts.
These shorts would set you back about 500 quid now and not 20 or 30. They're made of waterproof nylon and the Gucci logo adds a bit of value.
We look forward to the day, or maybe dread the day when O'Neill's becomes a worldwide sensation and GAA gear ends up selling at a premium like the brand Supreme.
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) June 10, 2020
Mescal has earned his role as a potential brand ambassador for O'Neill's. Aside from his acting career, he was a dab hand on the football pitch.
In 2014, he captained the Kildare minor footballers and lined out for their U21 team for the following two years. He was a regular for Maynooth at club level.
What about GAA gear on the catwalk? This might appear as a surprise to most; it has been done before. We've Dublin designer Robyn Lynch to thank for that.
She upcycled a pair of retro Dublin jerseys for the catwalk at London Fashion Week back in February that dated back between 1993 and 2001.
Robyn inherited the set of jerseys from her Dad, Mick, and turned them into an ensemble of garments that certainly didn't look out of place on the models.
Some vintage Dublin GAA jerseys have made an unexpected appearance at London Fashion Week.
Dublin designer Robyn Lynch told the Independent that her AW22 collection involves old shirts that belong to her dad, Mick. pic.twitter.com/uzbuWzf68y
— Adam Moynihan (@AdamMoynihan) February 21, 2022
The Future Of Fashionable GAA Gear
If you're a jersey puller or far from, anyone with a bit of Irish heritage will be mildly intrigued to see where this new GAA fashion trend goes.
What could be next up? You can't look past the classic Mikasa gloves. The black polka dots and the bright yellowy-orange make for a visual masterpiece.
If there's an Autumn/Winter collection coming out for any of the big brands, they could do worse than sporting the gloves with an outfit or two.
— Oisin Langan (@oisinlangan) February 21, 2020
Will we see a tracksuit bottoms revival? The tight-fitting O'Neill's trackies are well worn in this country but the big sporting brands have their own equivalent.
Retro jerseys are already a trendy route to go down, more often than not seen with football jerseys from the 90s or early 2000s.
Getting your hands on an old GAA jersey isn't as easy as you'd think. But there are plenty of websites offering decent replicas.
It might just be the O'Neill's shorts that end up being a standalone phenomenon. If so, we're here for it.
the matching o’neill shorts… oh she’s down bad pic.twitter.com/0woYEzN3wz
— lee pace is 6’5” (@IaureIheII) November 12, 2021