The Irish have brought many wonderful things to the world. Guinness, leprechauns, potato based foods, a very unique way of pronouncing the word ‘tart,’ and lots of general cheery charm. No wonder I’m moving to Dublin, what’s not to love? Hmm, the exchange rate maybe – but that aside the emerald isle is one of the most iconic places in the world, and then there’s the street art scene which turns the city wall into a canvas itself. Turtlehead are a t-shirt design collective stemming from Dublin, but also featuring artistic collaboration with designers from New York and Canada. They have been ‘touching cloth since 2006’, and they have a solid mission statement. Aiming not to bring down corporations or presidents, Turtlehead simply want to show that they care, which they do by donating 5% of their profits to a charity of the customer’s choice and printing on ethically and environmentally friendly tees. If this isn’t enough to whet your appetite and get your teebuds tingling then you should know that all their designs are limited to 500 pieces, so your shirt will be pretty original. And if you’re an aspiring designer your artistic submissions will be welcomed, with all winning designs rewarded in prize money and your very own Turtlehead line of shirts!
But before your incredible winning design is featured on Turtlehead’s website, maybe you’d like to have a peek at their current edgy designs, firstly from Irish designers Chris Haughton and Will St. Leger. St. Leger’s design features a taster of the artist’s famous stencilwork, and handily reminds us that not all pigeons love bread. Haughton’s more colourful purple-headed, yellow-eyed, big-bearded posing man is printed on a bright yellow shirt and accompanied with a bit of Irish vocab: ‘ag damhsa,’ which means ‘dancing’ in the Gaelic language – and as you can see, this guy sure has some moves
If you prefer dentures to Irish dancers then maybe Marc John’s ‘Famous People’s Teeth’ shirt is the one for you. This could be part of the perfect outfit if you’ve scheduled an appointment with the dentist in the near future. But if famous artists rather than famous teeth are more your thing, then you might like to display the progenitor of pop-art on your chest. Why not wear this Andy Warhol shirt by Italian designer Laura Paperina, which shows the famous artist looking worried while he eats a banana. Maybe it had gone mouldy, I hate it when that happens.
Just in case none of these capture your eye, you’ll find it impossible to dislike my all time favourite Turtlehead shirt, which has to be Mountain Man, designed by Melbourne artist Adam Cruickshank. Simple and effective, this shirt works because specs and beards are cool, and it’s like carrying a friendly little friend around with you. If you spill some soup down your t-shirt, don’t worry – you were just feeding him, if you need to go somewhere fancy dress – wear your shirt over your head, and if you get lonely – have a little conversation with the guy. People won’t think you’re strange, promise.