On the eve of the ‘Love/Hate’ series finale, characters Fran, Elmo and Andrew step into their Sunday best
Actor Peter O'Meara – posh dentist Andrew from 'Love/Hate' – can't contain himself admiring his black patent 'Strictly Come Dancing' shoes and does a stylish turn around the photographer's studio.
The Hollywood-based, Thurles-born actor knows exactly what he likes when it comes to clothes, so the tan polka dot shirt and jumper on the rail is definitely not for him, he says – he prefers the Marshall Artist fine gauge wool-knit top.
"And if you like this, you're going to love this," he announces with a debonair flourish, heading off to the changing room and emerging a few minutes later in a Without Prejudice blazer, gleaming white shirt and Kurt Geiger patent shoes worthy of James Bond.
The Weekend magazine shoot featuring smart and casual clothes from Arnotts of Henry Street is an opportunity for the three 'Love/Hate' actors – Peter Coonan (Fran) Laurence Kinlan (Elmo) and Peter O'Meara (Andrew) – to bond between posing in international and Irish fashion labels.
It's six months since filming wrapped, and to date the RTE series has been sold to nine countries – Australia, Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, Scotland, South Korea, the UK and the US, including the all-important Netflix. So the three lads larking around in front of Mark Nixon's lens and ribbing each other mercilessly could soon be famous around the world.
Peter O'Meara's witty style is loaded with self-deprecation, and the 'Love/Hate' wayward dentist laughs at the idea of an exaggerated smile.
"Show my teeth?" he laughs. "Listen, if anybody needs crowns, it's me."
Laurence is so impressed by Peter's stylish look (he's wearing Brooks Brothers trousers, the same brand Barack Obama likes) that he nominates him as best-dressed man from the crew.
Drawing a sartorial line between himself and Elmo when it comes to dropping his young son off to school in the morning, Laurence says: "Jeans are fine. It's the hoodies, the jackets and tracksuits I'm trying to stay away from."
Fashion-wise, Laurence confesses that his girlfriend "does a lot of my shopping – I could count on one hand the number of times I went buying this year".
However, the reluctant shopper admits he can look sharp. He says: "I wear tails in 'The Threepenny Opera' at the Gate. I'm quite small, so those long jackets don't really work for me, but I look quite dapper."
Pulling on a Richard James blazer, he admits that when it comes to clothes, he has something of a soft spot for jackets.
"It's funny, but I buy jackets – I think I have about nine or 10 – but I don't wear them. Even if I go into town on a night out, I wear a T-shirt because I hate leaving jackets into cloakrooms," says Laurence, who dresses for our shoot in a fine-gauge knit from Nigel Hall, a London brand new to the store.
Ironically, for the actor who breathes life into hardman Elmo, the flowery shirt from Liberty of London didn't cost Laurence a moment's thought. The sartorial leap from tracksuits and hoodies to sharp Savile Row styling from Richard James is complete.
"I wouldn't have thought of myself as fashion-conscious," says Peter Coonan as he pulls on a plush-pile Simon James velvet jacket with satin revers.
His character has been dentally challenged in the recent episodes of 'Love/Hate', and his teeth now have their own Facebook page.
"Recently I've started to think about the clothes I wear a bit more," says Peter. "You look at some people on set like Robbie Sheehan and he used to wear some very interesting clothes. He has a lot of cool hats and interesting jackets. My father has a very dapper style – he has worn a suit every day of his working life and takes pride in his appearance. I've always worn jackets and shirts, and I like buying a nice coat at Christmas."
As for heading for Hollywood like Peter O'Meara, Coonan says: "I think you'd be lying if you said you didn't have goals to get work in America. It's a difficult work choice but it's something I would definitely consider."
Fran's infamous catchphrase of "Coolaboola" has been parked by writer Stuart Carolan, so we don't bother Peter for a reprise. Besides, he's too busy checking out the rail of clothes and the Hackett separates that stylist Grace Moore has selected for him.
The whole smart/casual concept is something that bedevils a lot of Irishmen. However, Valerie O'Neill, menswear buyer at Arnotts (the biggest menswear department in the country), maintains that "smart/casual looks are easily achieved by investing in statement pieces like a good blazer and a dark indigo jean".
"To make the change from formal business wear to smart casual, a patterned shirt with a fine-gauge knit will complete the look," she says, pointing to an arsenal of international brands including Nigel Hall, Marshall Artist, Gagliardi and Liberty of London and championing Irish brands such as Magee, Paul Costelloe and knitwear brand Fisherman Out Of Ireland.
Photography: Mark Nixon
All clothes from menswear,Arnotts, Henry Street, Dublin;
Stylist: Grace Moore, assisted by Celine Uzell
Hair and Grooming: David Cashman