Why the Quinns are now the height of fashion
SO: PETER Darragh Quinn wears a peacoat. Very interesting. And something called a button-up shirt. Curiouser and curiouser. These sartorial details have been seized on by rivals of the Irish Mail on Sunday to pour scorn on a Mail exclusive.
Yesterday the newspaper ran a front-page story on Peter Darragh Quinn’s appearance at a local GAA match in Co Fermanagh, nine days after he had failed to turn up at the High Court in Dublin. He had been sentenced to three months in jail for contempt of court. Fermanagh is in Northern Ireland and consequently in another legal jurisdiction.
Of course the rival news organisations are motivated entirely by jealousy at the Irish Mail on Sunday’s scoop but they might have had a point when they complained that the story contained quite a lot about clothes. Quite apart from the fact that the photo showed Peter Darragh Quinn’s father, a former GAA president, who was at the match with his son and was indisputably wearing “a dark knee-length coat and cap”, in the matter of sartorial detail there was a whole lot more to come.
Inside the same newspaper was a caption-by-caption breakdown of what the wife of Seán Quinn jnr, Karen Woods, was wearing when she visited him in prison last Saturday. Seán Quinn jnr, Peter Darragh Quinn’s cousin, is serving three months for contempt of court in what is said to be the most comfortable part of Mountjoy jail.
But enough about that, okay? Jails and courts are soooooo boring. Those of us who are fans of celebrity and fashion magazines – by which, of course, I mean Grazia – are on firmer ground with the caption-by-caption breakdown of a photograph of a pretty girl. In Grazia these breakdowns are a regular and most enjoyable feature and are usually called something such as “Celebrity Style”. Photographed in the grounds of Mountjoy, Ms Woods was working a black fitted top from Zara, a white jacket by French Connection, black skinny jeans from Topshop and six-inch heels also from Topshop. She had dried her own hair, she told the newspaper. Only her handbag was designer-made, by Prada.
Well. Here we have a soap opera leaping, fully formed, from the boring old world of national catastrophe. And it’s not just about the clothes either, although the sociologists among us will have noted that Ms Woods’s mother in law, Patricia Quinn, was also wearing black trousers and black high heels and was carrying a large black handbag at the jail on Saturday. What this country will do if there is ever a shortage of black trousers I just don’t know.
And it’s not like the Irish Mail On Sunday was the first to make a fashion feature – a fashion icon even – out of an attractive young woman who has appeared in controversial news. In July last year the Sunday Independent’s Life magazine ran a short, heavily illustrated article in its Style Notebook section: “We’re loving socialite Avila Lipsett’s classic sense of style. The nursing-home director works a smart boyfriend blazer with a crisp cotton shirt for a timeless, chic look. To balance out the oversized jacket, Roz’s big sister opts for some black skinny jeans. Nude peep-toe pumps will go with almost everything and Avila’s pair are a great option with their mid-height heel. We’re seriously lusting over her tan leather bag, which will only improve with age. But it’s Ms Lipsett’s choice of accessories that give this outfit that added edge: her bright colour-pop earrings – and matching toes! – instantly lift the look.”