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Editor’s Letter

Michael Wolff After decades of US indifference to the UK, will our Brexit breakaway rekindle the magic of the special relationship?


Foreword Clean-eating detox divas are turning our food into faddism. GQ serves up a slice of humble pie. BY YASMIN ALIBHAI-BROWN 106

61 Olympic goddesses; the low-down on Details

The Get Down; star guitars; the voices of LA Salami; LCM puts on a great show.

111 Taste Bernardi’s beefs up; Brixton Jamm packs it in; 10 Castle Street rules; a tour of Oxford’s sweet spot, Jericho.

118 Bachelor Pad 165

The art of seduction isn’t just for the bedroom – GQ uses it to liven up the lounge.


99 Tony Parsons What it means to fall in love – the single greatest thing a man can do (five times).

105 My Style As son and heir of The Clash’s Paul Simonon, model-musician Louis rocks a strong look.


120 Our Stuff GQ Fashion Director Robert Johnston opens up his little black book.

127 Travel London’s hotel upgrades; the luxury railways of South America; it’s Aman’s world; GQ sails away in Bermuda.


The Style Manual Tom Odell’s check point; Lou Dalton is the best of British; why Jim Chapman loves autumn; Jared Leto finds Gucci Guilty; Style Shrink.


GQ Preview Products, events and offers.

165 The Lab


Flame on! GQ tests trailblazing barbecues.

168 Watches

As Breitling unleashes its latest series, life in the fast lane has never looked so good.



The Drop

106 Cars The white-hot Maserati Levante takes SUV style up a gear with Ermenegildo Zegna. 138

Britain bids the EU adieu; David Brent is on song; the story of the ill-fated Constellation; Facebook’s global status update; Woody Allen returns to form... again; why coaches love the Premier League; galleries in revolt; this month’s cultural roundup. SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 25




Jacket, £499. Waistcoat, £175. Jumper, £119. Jeans, £109. Boots, £399. All by Polo Ralph Lauren.

240 Polo Ralph Lauren

The first family of American fashion gets a new London re-up. Jack Waterlot Robert Johnston




King James

183 GQ’s Paul

Now holding court on America’s Late Late Show – starring sing-along smash hit Carpool Karaoke – James Corden is talking his way to the top.


Solomons smashes his fitness roadblocks in 12 weeks; secrets of the supersmart; the new trend for aural sex.


Jonathan Heaf

Features 130

On Brexit, Corbyn and Chilcot, Labour’s former comms boss takes a moment to reflect.

260 Stockists All the labels in this month’s issue.

Alastair Campbell vs himself



From Miranda Kerr to Rita Ora, GQ lays bare the most seductive images from photographer Mariano Vivanco’s beguiling new book.

264 Out To Lunch Olympic high-flyer Tom Daley finds an appetite for dim sum at Park Chinois.

Scenes of the flesh



Is this the bitcoin genius? GQ meets the mysterious figure behind the world’s most successful digital currency, but is credit due or is it just a web of lies? BY STUART McGURK


Wes Lang We bang the drum for an artist whose body of work is built around his own tattoos.




David vs Goliath How British talent David Adjaye stood up to the titans of global architecture to win a major new commission on America’s National Mall. BY ALICE RAWSTHORN



The GQ Collections, Autumn Winter 2016 A culture war hits the streets, with rebellious streaks from Boss and Berluti squaring up the cityboy classicism of Canali and Hermès. PHOTOGRAPHS BY Giampaolo Sgura



Discover more.






DESIGNER Oliver Jamieson









FASHION EDITOR Grace Gilfeather




GQ.CO.UK INTERNS Ailis Brennan, Zak Maoui






STAFF WRITER Eleanor Halls

CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITORS Luke Day, Elgar Johnson, Luke Leitch, Lou Stoppard CONTRIBUTING ART EDITOR Adam Clayton





COMEDY EDITOR James Mullinger





Contributing Editors Mel Agace, Andrew Anthony, Chris Ayres, Jason Barlow, Stephen Bayley, Tara Bernerd, Heston Blumenthal, Debra Bourne, Michael Bracewell, Jennifer Bradly, Charlie Brooks, Ed Caesar, Alastair Campbell, Naomi Campbell, Robert Chalmers, Jim Chapman, Nik Cohn, Giles Coren, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Andy Coulson, Adrian Deevoy, Alan Edwards, Robert Elms, David Furnish, AA Gill, Bear Grylls, Sophie Hastings, Mark Hix, Julia Hobsbawm, Boris Johnson, John Kampfner, Simon Kelner, Rod Liddle, Frank Luntz, Dorian Lynskey, Piers Morgan, John Naughton, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Dermot O’Leary, Ian Osborne, Tom Parker Bowles, Tony Parsons, Oliver  Peyton, Julia Peyton-Jones, Hugo Rifkind, David Rosen, Martin Samuel, Darius Sanai, Kenny Schachter, Simon Schama, Alix Sharkey, Ed Smith, Ed Vaizey, Ed Victor, Celia Walden, Danny Wallace, Jim White, Michael Wolff, Peter York, Toby Young

Contributing Photographers Miles Aldridge, Guy Aroch, David Bailey, Coppi Barbieri, Matthew Beedle, Gavin Bond, Richard Burbridge, Richard Cannon, Kenneth Cappello, Matthias Clamer, Dylan Don, Jill Greenberg, Marc Hom, Benny Horne, Norman Jean Roy, Tony Kelly, Steven Klein, David LaChapelle, Brigitte Lacombe, Joshua Lawrence, Sun Lee, Peter Lindbergh, Steve Neaves, Zed Nelson, Mitch Payne, Vincent Peters, Sudhir Pithwa, Rankin, Mick Rock, Mark Seliger, Søren Solkær, Mario Sorrenti, Mario Testino, Ellen von Unwerth, Mariano Vivanco, Matthias Vriens, Nick Wilson, Richard Young DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATION AND RIGHTS Harriet Wilson INTERNATIONAL PERMISSIONS MANAGER Eleanor Sharman








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SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS The subscription rates for GQ for one year (12 issues, including postage) are: UK £47.88. Overseas Airmail per year: 99 euros to EU, £90 rest of Europe and £119 to the rest of the world, $129 for air-assisted periodicals postage to the US – USPS/ISSN 003615. (Postmaster: GQ c/o Mercury Airfreight International Ltd Inc, 365 Blair Road, Avenel, New Jersey 07001.) Customer enquiries, changes of address, and orders payable to: GQ, Subscriptions Department, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 9EF. Subscriptions hotline: 0844 848 5202, open Monday to Friday 8am-9.30pm; Saturday 8am-4pm. Manage your subscription 24 hours a day by logging on to Distributed by Condé Nast & National Magazine Distributors (COMAG) Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QE (Tel: 01895 433600; fax: 01895 433605). The paper used for this publication is based on renewable wood fibre. The wood these fibres is derived from is sourced from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources. The producing mills are EMAS registered and operate according to highest environmental and health and safety standards. This magazine is fully recyclable – please log on to for your local recycling options for paper and board.

Open door policy: Theresa May assumes her role as prime minister amid a startlingly new and unsettling political terrain, 12 July

Photograph Getty Images

WELCOME TO THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY IT seems like a lifetime ago now, but when Brexit Britain woke up on 24 June, the world had tilted a little on its axis. OK, maybe not the world, but Europe was certainly reeling, as were a considerable percentage of the UK population. To say the result of the referendum was a surprise is the political understatement of the year, possibly the political understatement of the millennium. And, as has become lore, the person who was most surprised of all was one of the Leave campaign’s most virulent supporters – publicly at least – Boris Johnson. The domino effect that transformed British politics over the following days and weeks is something that will keep journalists, students and political analysts occupied for decades to come. In cases like these, context is everything, which is why having an international perspective on Brexit becomes increasingly relevant, not just from mainland Europe, but from the US too. Having largely ignored the topic for months, the New York Times eventually kicked into gear, spluttering about the pros and cons of the result (cons, mainly), and the reaction in the US was generally one of bewilderment and shock. Michael Wolff’s predictably trenchant piece in this issue underscores yet again what a keen political and media observer he is, a journalist who not only never takes the shortest journey between a story and its interpretation, but who also would never conceive of doing so. He processes news in a way that very few writers these days attempt to, principally by stepping back from the story and staring at it until it bends to his will. Which is to say, one never quite knows what angle he is going to take. In this issue you’ll also find Matthew d’Ancona’s typically measured appraisal of the topic. D’Ancona’s own skills are based on his ability to always keep his head while those around him are losing theirs. As the former editor of the Spectator, he was a keen supporter of David Cameron, while managing to marshal and control a small army of rightof-centre polemicists; in his current role at the Guardian, he not only explains the motivations of the right to a resolutely left-leaning audience, he somehow manages to detoxify it too. The Brexit fallout has been a gift to all kinds of political experts (many of whom display absolutely no expertise at all), including those who think that the outcome of the referendum was the end result of a chain

Brexit has been a gift to all kinds of experts, many of whom show no expertise at all


Cover: Suit, £1,080, Shirt, £150. Both by Canali. Tie by Tom Ford, £160. At Harrods. Pocket square by Eton, £40. At Harvey Nichols. Watch by Cartier, £6,500. Photograph by Sebastian Faena

Dylan Jones, Editor 44 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

Follow us @britishgq @dylanjonesgq

Explore a range of creative installations and events celebrating London’s vibrant design scene at the London Design Festival 2016 (17-25 September). The annual event has been showcasing the work of designers, architects, artists and retailers since 2003, and this year will feature over 400 exhibitions and pop-ups all over the capital.

Football And The Will: How To Create The Perfect Team by Steve Dickson (Adam & Eve Publishing. £6.99). In this fascinating book, Dickson used two philosophical ideas (from Schopenhauer and Heidegger) to explore exactly what a great football team is and what is necessary to build one. This is an essential read for the season ahead.

One of the joys of the summer has been spotting Dylan’s Mobile Bookstore at various festivals throughout the UK. Dreamt up three years ago by former antiquarian bookseller Jeff Towns and his son Joe in a bar in Laugharne, this is the perfect way to spend an hour or so while you’re waiting for Kasabian/Catfish and the Bottlemen/Jeff Lynne’s ELO to bounce onstage.

Dolce & Gabbana’s 6cm printed silk ties (£135). Everyone and their mother is queuing up to tell you that you can’t wear ties anymore, especially if you want to get into a Soho House, and yet not only do we still need to wear the damn things, many of us actually like doing so. Trust me, wearing a tie can still frighten the living daylights out of people.

Aventus eau de parfum by Creed (£105). Personally speaking, I rarely wear anything other than Creed’s Green Irish Tweed, and yet the company keeps making valiant attempts to convince me to trade on. This is actually one of its finer efforts, and is a laudable addition to its range. Eau, Lordy!

Photograph London Design Festival

of events that started with the invasion of Iraq (and on page 130 you can read Alastair Campbell interviewing himself about the Chilcot Report), via New Labour’s immigration policy, the financial crisis at the end of the noughties and the MPs’ expenses scandal, leaving whole swathes of the population aghast at the state of institutional indifference. Hey, hasn’t everyone got a theory right now? If the past six weeks have proven anything, it’s that where politics is concerned – much like Hollywood – no one knows anything. As for the subject of d’Ancona and Wolff’s stories this month, for a while it was difficult to find fault with the following missive, one that made the rounds on social media in the aftermath of the result. For those who voted for revolution, it is perhaps less salient, yet for many – including, I would imagine, many of those who were shocked that their protest votes had helped nudge the Leavers over the line – its ironies were manifold. The filmmaker Benjamin Timothy Blaine put the following post up on Facebook soon after the result became irrefutable. It bounced around online for ages, and yet it still holds up as a snapshot of an extraordinary quicksilver moment in British politics: “So, let me get this straight... the leader of the opposition campaigned to stay but secretly wanted to leave, so his party held a non-binding vote to shame him into resigning so someone else could lead the campaign to ignore the result of the non-binding referendum which many people now think was just angry people trying to shame politicians into seeing they’d all done nothing to help them. “Meanwhile, the man who campaigned to leave because he hoped losing would help him win the leadership of his party, accidentally won and ruined any chance of leading because the man who thought he couldn’t lose, did – but resigned before actually doing the thing the vote had been about. The man who’d always thought he’d lead next, campaigned so badly that everyone thought he was lying when he said the economy would crash – and he was, but it did, but he’s not resigned, but, like the man who lost and the man who won, also now can’t become leader. Which means the woman who quietly campaigned to stay but always said she wanted to leave is likely to become leader instead. “Which means she holds the same view as the leader of the opposition but for opposite reasons, but her party’s view of this view is the opposite of the opposition’s. And the opposition aren’t yet opposing anything because the leader isn’t listening to his party, who aren’t listening to the country, who aren’t listening to experts or possibly paying that much attention at all. However, none of their opponents actually want to be the one to do the thing that the vote was about, so there’s not yet anything actually on the table to oppose anyway. And if no one ever does do the thing that most people asked them to do, it will be undemocratic and if any one ever does do it, it will be awful.”

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Sebastian FAENA Photographer Sebastian Faena did not expect comedian, writer and now US chat show host James Corden to be so reserved. Faena, who has shot Cindy Crawford and Kate Upton, was surprised when he met this month’s cover star. “I found a sweet, kind man who was actually quiet,” says Faena. Quiet, that is, until Corden produced his on-set playlist and began singing at the top of his voice.

David Adjaye is the British architect behind the National Museum Of African American History And Culture, which opens in Washington DC next month. Alice Rawsthorn, author, journalist and former director of the Design Museum, spoke to him about this epic project. “Adjaye expresses the building’s spirit in its structure. The more you interrogate the thinking behind his projects, the more intriguing they become.”

AA GILL AA Gill can remember every stag he’s ever stalked. On, Gill takes us back to his first ever deer kill 33 years ago, which gave him a taste for the hunt. “For the first time I caught that smell, that heavy, delicious, repellent scent of cud and blood,” writes Gill. And yet, deer stalking is only the half of it. Gill’s story is about something much deeper. “I think it’s about smoking. And typing. And my grandfather.”

Luke DAY The September issue can only mean one thing: “GQ Collections”, a biannual feature bringing together the best looks by the top designers in menswear right now. Luke Day, Editor of GQ Style, styled the shoots – so which trends does he think will translate most directly onto the high street? “Military coats,” he says, “and punk inspired denims.”

Photograph Rex

Stuart McGURK Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? As the inventor of bitcoin – the virtual currency worth billions – Nakamato’s true identity is the subject of wild speculation, according to GQ’s Senior Commissioning Editor, Stuart McGurk. “A man called Craig Wright was the first to claim the title – but, far from being the end of the story, it was just the start.”

Mariano VIVANCO Mariano Vivanco believes beauty is clearest in black and white. This is the concept behind his latest book, Portraits Nudes Flowers, a collection of monochrome images of actors, models and musicians including Emma Watson, Candice Swanepoel and Rita Ora, a selection of which you can see on page 202. “Initially, I had no plan to pair flowers and portraits,” explains Vivanco, who has shot a host of GQ cover stars including Rihanna, Ora and Lana Del Ray. “But as time developed I saw striking similarities.” SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 51



Room for more: The strict rules of some fad diets are turning meals into a moral crusade

FOOD, INGLORIOUS FOOD The cult of clean eating was once the preserve of detox divas and their pious disciples, but it’s only a matter of time before these fads target men, too. Join the fight to keep our dishes dirty STORY BY

gaggle of third-year media students – all female – ask if I can meet them one evening and talk to them about newspapers and broadcasting and my professional journey. They want to meet at a nice restaurant in Notting Hill and offer to buy me dinner. I agree. Six of them turn up, all smart, stylish, confident. We order drinks and they ask me questions about why and how and when I became a journalist and columnist. They are animated and eager. The menu arrives and all but one of them claim to have various food allergies or sensitivities. Between them, they reject all dairy products, meat dishes, carbs and sugar. Fish is fine, but they need detailed information on where it came from. Beatrice (not her real name) has read somewhere that aubergines cause gastroenteritis and so she wants courgettes. They don’t have courgettes in the kitchen. It takes forever, is tedious and embarrassing. I order a steak sandwich and cheesy leeks. Beatrice wants to know how, with so


Illustration Michel Streich

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown much online malevolence I stay strong and feisty. It’s the meat, bread, chips and cakes I eat, I reply facetiously. The food faddies look disappointed. Their role model, it turns out, is a vulgar glutton. The next day, some of these fine looking ladies send me extensive published tracts on healthy eating. The emails go into the junk box. You see them everywhere, teenage girls and young women who carry garish, plastic mugs and swig sludge – turd brown or pond green. I blame Gwyneth Paltrow for this nauseating craze. The Hollywood star metamorphosed into a food sage and now holds sway over millions of dippy females around the world. Here is one enthusiast, Catherine Kast, a reporter and writer for People, the US magazine: “Whenever Gwyneth Paltrow posts anything involving food, the internet goes wild, and so did I.” Paltrow’s bestselling 2013 book, It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look And Feel Great was neurotic and fanciful. A plate of fries, she claimed, nearly killed her SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 53

and set her off on a tough journey to culinary nirvana. She gave up all regular foodstuffs including dairy, sugar, gluten, peppers, aubergines, soy, “fatty nuts”, meat and shellfish and virtuously filled up on, yes, spirulina, protein powders, chlorophyll and other weird stuff. The radical change made her feel “much lighter, pure and happy”. Now, this modern Mother Teresa renounces her own previous pieties. She, who tum-washed so many, says it’s over, no more “elimination diets”, no more kale trifles. Her new cookbook celebrates “healing” food, such as chocolate mousse – made with avocado, almond butter, brown rice syrup and cacao. We could just laugh and hope the latest mania will pass. It won’t, for we now have a growing line of clones, “detox divas”, as the food writer Felicity Cloake describes them. They’re taking over the first world. Almost all of them are smart, cutesie, slender, groomed and glossy, have porcelain teeth, plummy accents, blissful friends and families. Their lives were bad, sad or mad before they discovered, yes, pure and perfect food. And they so want to share their precious secrets with us lumpen commoners. Look, here comes Henrietta Inman bringing Clean Cakes, which contain no gluten, dairy or refined sugar and heaps of Himalayan pink salt, Palmyra nectar powder, bee pollen and Arctic power berries. Sara Wilson is into a no-sugar, “toxinfree, anti-compulsion” living. The current queen of “clean” food is Ella Woodward, daughter of ex-Labour MP Shaun Woodward and heiress Camilla Sainsbury, who became a vegan, started a blog, then wrote Deliciously Ella, the fastest-selling debut cookbook ever. Try this for starters: “This is the best bowl. I feel amazing at the end of it! The carrot and sweet potato mash is just a dream! Nut and pea quinoa is making me feel so good!” Some of Ella’s dishes do look appetising, but she, like others in this pack, sells herself as the new ascetic redeemer come down to save the world. Tess Ward, whose book is called The Naked Diet, appears to believe spelt can help fight bowel cancer and recommends “stripping ingredients right back down to their bare essentials”. What does that mean? Peel a carrot? Wash mushrooms? Madeleine Shaw, blogger and “modern day hunter-gatherer”, is convinced modern wheat is wicked because it has shorter roots than the wheat they ate in ancient times. Her food, apparently, can nourish the body and soul. OK, these enterprising women are inventive and plucky. They create cravings, have assembled a narrative and become astute suppliers. But I am getting increasingly dismayed as more prissy foodies invade the cultural space and the trend becomes a surge. Jay Rayner denounces their “joylessness, piety, self-regard, self-delusion and staggering pomposity”. And, I would add, the untested “science” and therapeutic claims. Some of these zealots are criminally irresponsible. Belle Gibson, an Australian Instagram messiah built up a massive fanbase and fortune after claiming her eating regime had cured her of cancer. Turned out to be untrue. Delicious Ella felt betrayed by “this wonderful healthyeating blogging community”.

“Miracle” diets have always been with us. They come, they go, like floats in the carnival of life. This “clean” food movement is different. Its advocates have online access to millions of hungry, self-loathing teenagers and young females looking for magic potions that will make them look like models or pop stars. Research shows most females in the UK hate their bodies, think they’re too fat or flawed. Hell, I’m one of them. I must have eaten 5,000 grapefruits in the Seventies – before, during and after meals. I stayed round and plump like an apricot. Ella, Tess and the gang affirm some of the most damaging psychodramas of modern femininity. Like misery memoirs, they whip up fears and insecurities. Food is the enemy, the infiltrator, the delivery system of foulness into the body. There is sin and retribution in the simple human act of eating: scoff yoghurt (dairy), bread (gluten), “nightshades” (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers), meat and shellfish and your body will punish you by getting fat and spotty. Men, in general, are not prone to these anxieties. They don’t buy these puritanical cookbooks, don’t fall for such bunkum. I know four twentysomething females, all fanatical devotees of Woodward. Month after month, they eat what she eats and still, not one has her hair, style, body shape or panache. They feel guilty and somehow responsible for this “failure”. University students used to eat Pot Noodles, curries and chips. Now they have juicers and consume sludge. See above. Daughters are refusing to eat with families and are rude about roast dinners and pasta carbonara. Sarah, a TV producer, says mealtimes are more fraught now than when her daughter was a toddler. “I cook from scratch, never use ready sauces or boxed grub,” she says. “Now my daughter makes me feel like a poisoner and ruins every mealtime. Honestly, the arrogance and righteousness of the girl and her mates as they put together a delish plate of pretentiousness, sorry, vegan recipes, which are always so exciting! This is fanaticism of food.” So it is. At a girls’ school I spoke at, all but three of the 30 pupils in the class were off dairy and only drank soya milk. They said they had food allergies and illnesses that were linked to “bad” food. Some were string thin and survived on steamed veg and a few nuts. The head teacher told me that she had noticed more pupils displaying obsessive behaviours and body dysmorphia. So sorry to spoil the vegan/clean/naked/perfect food party. Good food, like good sex, is impure and sensual, not ordered, anaesthetised and prescriptive. Detox divas are messing with our heads, demoralising our daughters and spoiling life’s appetites. Why isn’t there a feminist fightback against this destructive trend? Because it is easier to blame men for our ills than to confront the enemy within.

They whip up fears and insecurities. Food is the enemy and there is sin and retribution in the simple act of eating



For these related stories, visit

The Schlock Of The New: How Digital Life Got Messy (Tom Goodwin, August 2016) Real Men Do Do Therapy (Louise Chunn, July 2016) Love Is The Tinder Trap (Stuart McGurk, June 2016)


harder than you think


the get down


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urban beaches



Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard), tennis, Canada

Jaqueline Carvalho (@jaque1212), volleyball, Brazil

Brooke Sweat (@brookesweat), beach volleyball, USA


Ella Nelson (@ellanelson200), 200m, Australia

Ellen Hoog (@ellen_hoog), field hockey, the Netherlands

Michelle Jenneke (@mjenneke93), 100m hurdles, Australia

gq intel rio 2016 will be the biggest social media olympics in history, with an estimated three billion people using mobile devices as they watch the action unfold on tv



Photographs Instagram

Ana Ivanovic (@anaivanovic), tennis, Serbia

Tonia Couch (@toniacouch), diving, Great Britain

Annaliese Rubie (@annelieserubie), 400m, Australia


LET’S be candid: the appeal of the Olympics goes beyond the immediate sense of competition. While we’re not for a moment suggesting that the nation isn’t primarily drawn to the beach volleyball for its athleticism, there is, well, a scintilla of pleasure to be found in marvelling at the finely tuned physiques on display. And this year, there’s a cohort of women heading to Rio determined not only to be stars of track and field, pool and pitch, but also – after Instagram clocked up millions of views during London 2012 – to emerge triumphant on social media. For your convenience you’ll find these Instathletes pictured here, from Ana Ivanovic to Michelle Jenneke. Hit follow; win the summer... CB SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 61


HACK YOUR SUMMER BETTER You can enjoy the long days – or you can nail them. Here are four life hacks that will give your downtime an extra ten per cent...

Swim by yourself

Waterproof your summer shoes

Sartre was right: hell is other people, as anyone who has ventured into a local pool on a Saturday morning can attest. The key is to ditch the lanes in favour of “wild swimming” in secluded natural waters, and you’ll find favourable sites at The best one near the capital? Head out to Pangbourne, Berkshire for a picturesque, safe stretch of river.

Since 2007 the UK has been in a cycle of wetter Augusts thanks to shifting ocean currents. And yet the shoe of the summer is the eminently permeable espadrille! Our advice is to buy some beeswax and rub it all over the upper. Next, use a hair dryer to melt the wax before leaving it to dry as a waterproof seal. Take that, climate change.

Chill your wine rapidly

Get a charcoal grill roaring

When you’re throwing a party and you need to re-up the wine situation, bottles can take a preposterously long time to cool. Here’s a pro trick to have in your locker: take a wet paper towel and wrap it around the bottle before you put it in the freezer. You’ll have the wine at perfect drinking temperature within 15 minutes.

Lighter fluid will ruin the taste of your food. Instead, take an empty can and rip the label off. Using the tin opener from your penknife, punch holes around the base and fill the first third of the can with cooking-oil soaked paper towels and the rest with charcoal. Light at the base and once it’s blazing, tip the hot coals into the grill and pile more coal on top. You have ignition. CB

THE TV SERIES: THE GET DOWN HERE’S what Netflix’s The Get Down has got going on: a tale about the birth of disco, punk and hip-hop in the Seventies South Bronx; Baz Luhrmann in the director’s chair; Jaden Smith in a serious role; and Grandmaster Flash advising. (Yes, we’re psyched too.) Flash, of course, was one of hip-hop’s pioneers but there’s always been a mystery – who actually invented scratching, Flash or fellow DJ Grand Wizard Theodore? We asked Flash for his take... “Well, let me clear this up. I’m credited with being the first DJ to put my fingertips on the record which allows crabbing, scratching. And my first student was Grand Wizard Theodore because his big brother [Gene ‘Mean Gene’ Livingston] was my DJ partner. But when I tried to show Mean Gene [scratching], he couldn’t figure it out. But then I said, ‘Who’s this little guy playing around with the turntable?’ ‘Oh,’ he replied. ‘Its my little brother, Theodore.’ When Gene used to go out I would sneak Theodore in and show him how to scratch. Theodore was one of the very first to get it. Then he added his own innovations and it went on and on.” Eleanor Halls The Get Down is out on 12 August. 62 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

A slice of style: LA Salami opened Burberry’s spring/ summer show at Hyde Park last year

Illustrations The Red Dress Photograph Diane Sagnier




HIS INNER VOICE Folk musician LA Salami is breaking through thanks to a highly unusual collaboration LOOKMAN Adekunle Salami – or LA Salami as his records’ sleeves would have it – has a peculiar inspiration. He credits his talents, which have caught the attention of everyone from Lianne La Havas (his touring partner in 2012) to Christopher Bailey (Salami follows in the footsteps of Tom Odell and George Ezra in playing for Burberry) to one man: Papa Stokely. Who’s he? A voice in his head. “He’s been in my head all my life,” says Salami. “He’s what keeps me motivated.” His upcoming album Dancing With Bad Grammar is as introspective as you might imagine, given its psychological origins, probing subjects such as death, love, philosophy and the urban gq intel so far, salami experience. He repaid Papa has written nine Stokely by making him albums’ worth of material, although a character on the record. his next record is his The songs have a gentle first commercial release optimism. Having grown up in a foster home, been evicted from several homes thereafter and slept rough on the streets of London, Salami is used to accentuating the positive. “I wanted to make the cruel, ugly things in life beautiful by filtering them through music,” he says. Still, the lyrics have a dark humour. “I Wear This Because Life Is War” references the dog tag that he has worn around his neck ever since he found it on a London estate aged 12. “It’s so they can recognise my corpse.” Next up, Salami’s hip-hop side project, T.U.S.K. (The Unscene Supper Klub). A group that features? Papa Stokely, of course... EH The City Nowadays is out now; Dancing With Bad Grammar is out on 26 August.

‘I wanted to make the cruel, ugly things in life beautiful’


©2016 COACH®

SE E T H E F I L M ON S A N DRO - PA R I S .COM FA L L/ W I N T E R 16/17



THE AXEMEN COMETH The history of the world might be the biography of great men (hat tip: Thomas Carlyle), but the history of rock music can be told through guitars – at least that’s the contention of Bruce Wexler’s new book, which shows how developments in guitar design chart the transformation of musical tastes and influencers from Twenties pop via the growth of rock to the present day. Herewith, four favourites...

Photographs Bruce Wexler

the history of rock in fifty guitars (the history press ltd, £12.99) is out now

Epiphone Buzzsaw

Fender Floral

Rickenbacker 360

Fender Electric XII

zakk wylde, ozzy osbourne

james burton, elvis presley

roger m c guinn, the byrds

jimmy page, led zeppelin

Les Pauls had an atavistic quality for Wylde, who first bought one in honour of deceased Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads, and he gave his ones distinctive paint jobs. The background colour of the Buzzsaw, was based on the car in The Dukes Of Hazzard.

Session musician Burton’s axe was the workmanlike Telecaster. It’s a model associated with plain (often battered) looks, making this floral edition inspired by 1967’s Summer Of Love, remarkable. It became a key visual feature of Elvis’ Vegas shows.

Early adopters of this 1964 12-string included George Harrison, but its poster boy was McGuinn. The string pairings differed from other manufacturers’, giving it a jangly sound that afforded his version of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” a zing that helped it to No1.

Led Zeppelin’s full sound – a mix of blues, rock, acoustic and big melodies – demanded a 12-string guitar. With its rich bass, clear treble and easy picking, the Electric XII was Page’s natural choice for “Stairway To Heaven” in 1971. CB SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 67




As Blake Lively gets into deep trouble in The Shallows, GQ surveys the Trapped-In-An-Unlikely-Situation genre...


bring your ’a’ game no 21

THE SHAW SWIMMING METHOD Drained by front crawl? You’re doing it wrong. Learn from cult instructor Steven Shaw





Adventurer James Franco

Young skiers Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell and Kevin Zegers


With his arm under a boulder for five-anda-bit days

On a chairlift


D’oh! He didn’t tell anyone where he was going

“real” reason

He’s complacent about his loved ones

They wanted one last go on the slopes

They’re spoilt college kids

the shallows




Surfer Blake Lively

Truck driver Ryan Reynolds

Colleagues Alice Eve and Brian Geraghty

Party kids Scout Taylor-Compton and Travis Van Winkle

On a rock in the sea

In a coffin under the Iraqi desert

There’s a great white shark

He’s been kidnapped by locals

In a walkin cash machine

In a sauna

There’s a killer outside

They are total idiots

She’s grieving for her late mother

He’s an American interloper

Buried writer Chris Sparling needed another hit

Gratuitous bikini shots

She’s 200 yards from shore

There’s a snake in there

Brian fancies Alice

Breaking the window ups the temperature

“We’re locked in!”

“Why not make it hotter than it already is, huh?”


Hello, blunt penknife

Wolves are gathering below

sample dialogue

“This rock has been waiting for me my entire life!”

“We have to get off these chairs!”

“Get out! SHAAAAARK!”

“I’m buried in a box!”

could it happen to you?

It did, to Aron Ralston

Yes. Yes it could

On a really bad day

Kinda unlikely

1 Only start pulling back with one hand as the other is about to enter the water (fingertips first).

No! Go contactless

2 Use your lower arm to pull backwards. Stretch the front hand forwards as you do so, allowing your body, not your head, to rotate.

3 On the first stroke look down. Hold your breath. Next, look forwards and exhale. On the third stroke turn your head and inhale.

Worst. Swingers. Party. Ever. Matt Glasby

4 Keep the front arm pointing down. This will raise your rear arm further out of the water, affording you more time to breathe.


BAND Do something different this month; tune into these new sounds...

















This Brooklyn indie/ electro pop outfit make a lasting first impression with their ambitious, trippy concept album about space and death.

Harcourt turns his rapier wit on modern culture, male egos and the environment. A very English exercise in social commentary and anger. Furnaces

Madrid has become one of the world’s garage rock capitals. On this debut, The Parrots make a claim to be the scene’s slacker kings. Los Niños Sin Miedo

A longtime collaborator of Sufjan Stevens and Ariel Pink, Torrisi turns her hazy, West Coast sound to a break-up record that’s irresistibly cool. Advice From Paradise

Crayon Soul is out now.

is out on 19 August.

is out on 26 August.

is out now. Kevin Perry


5 Kick from your hips and only put effort into the downwards movement. Because that’s the key: relax.

*Not that one! Photographs Alamy; Landmark; Rex

127 hours

these cantilevered buildings are a proposal for a spa resort and restaurant atop table cape in tasmania







A CONVERSATION PRIMER ON MIR The hottest designers you’ve never heard of THE Norwegian studio Mir may be one of the most prolific creators of large-scale architectural projects in the world, but its buildings don’t actually exist. Instead, the company specialises in “unbuilt architecture”, creating visualisations with a level of computer-generated naturalism to match a James Cameron film, all to serve the likes of Zaha Hadid’s practice. Yet Mir’s striking images (pictured, a Dubai design for KPF architects) have gained such traction online as artworks in their own right that its fandom has now grown way beyond its clientele. Trond Greve, who co-founded Mir in 2011, puts this down to the attention the company gives to the environment around the structures. “We grew up playing in the forest, fishing the fjords and skiing the mountains,” he says. “Our focus is as much on the ephemeral as on the architecture itself. People are attracted to things they can relate to emotionally.” The result: if you drop the name in front of a design-oriented friend, you’ll earn serious props. CB


Photographs; Alamy; Getty Images; Rex

Theresa May had the political nous required to survive six years as home secretary – so how will her successor, Amber Rudd, fare in the job? Well, let’s consider her career to date. The onetime “aristocratic coordinator” on Four Weddings And A Funeral once let slip that she only ran for her Hastings and Rye seat because it was “within two hours of London and I could see we were going to win it”; formerly at Energy And Climate Change, she alienated a host of environmental groups; and her ex-husband, AA Gill – who referred to her as “Silver Spoon” in his columns – has said he never saw her as a potential MP. What could possibly go wrong?

New heights: Atlantis, Dubai (2014), from the architectural visualisation specialist Mir



Claudio Ranieri leicester city (returning)

Arsène Wenger

Antonio Conte

arsenal (returning)

chelsea (new)

Jürgen Klopp

Mauricio Pochettino

liverpool (returning)

tottenham hotspur (returning)

24: Number of league titles won by these managers collectively


José Mourinho

Pep Guardiola

manchester united (new)

manchester city (new)

Outspoken respect Worked together Rivals off-pitch Challenged for Premier League title last season Challenged for Premier League title before last season Challenged for title in a foreign league


The new Premier League season kicks off the greatest managerial battle in the history of football. Here’s how the tactical titans face off...


@ F * * *J E R RY

Take a picture; it lasts longer. Even better, let Instagram do it for you. Here are the three funniest ’grams we’ve seen this month.


@ B E TC H E S







Shirt by Orlebar Brown, £175. Sunglasses by Ray-Ban, £125. Rucksack by Bally, £1,250. Watch by Paul Smith, £220.

A fresh trend in street style is breathing new life into a holiday mainstay

Let’s get this out of the way: you can’t make a reservation. Our advice? Suck it up, because you’ll be queuing with all the right people. The Barbary comes courtesy of the team behind Jerusalemcuisine restaurant The Palomar, which, as one of the current stars of the London dining scene, is quite the pedigree. Seating just 24, the restaurant is no less intimate than its sibling but this time the concept is food from the Barbary Coast (the central and western parts of north Africa). The pata negra neck (blackened on the outside, pink in the middle) and the “hash cake” dessert (an intense pistachio and date pie) were some of the best things we’ve eaten for months. In a sense, the no-res policy is a blessing – if they took bookings, you might never get one. CB 16 Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials, London WC2. sp

ot • th e





t he p re m




o n t he l e t-




n d co rn e


Grooming Dani Guinsberg at Carol Hayes Management using Dermalogica and Bumble And Bumble Model George Admiraal at Models1


Olly Burn

carry it off with the four golden rules

1 DO N ’ T DO WH ITE It’s a cliché. Keep things up-to-date by opting for a colour.

2 DO U B LE LI N E N It’s a fashion crime on a par with double denim.

3 F IT I S E VE RY TH I N G The shoulder seam should sit at the end of your shoulder; the fabric should only give three inches around your stomach when pulled; and the cuff should fall where wrist meets hand.

4 M IX IT U P Pure linen has very little elasticity, hence the wrinkles. If looking unironed fills you with dread, buy a shirt made from a linen blend.

LINEN shirts have a bad rep. We get it. The creasing, the billows, the connotations of middle-aged history teachers holidaying in Normandy. But if you subscribe to all that then we can only assume you haven’t left the house this summer. Spurred by enthusiasm from on-point designers including Hermès and Ralph Lauren, the fabric has become a street-style staple, proving that cut right and worn smart it’s a rewarding extra gear for your wardrobe. And it’s a practical one to boot: made from flax fibres, linen has a much lower thread count (and therefore higher breathability) than cotton. So when the mercury rises, iron out your objections and observe the rules above... CB


A line in the sand: London’s pop-up beaches offer everything from cocktails to cabanas





by alex wickham


HANG OUT on an URBAN BEACH You don’t need to head to the coast to find some sand: this summer, London has plenty. From artificial coastlines to indoor simulacra, here’s where to hit...

Beach East

Myki Sand Bar

Best for: Family guys Beach: 2,200 sq m

Best for: Rainy days Beach: 79 sq m

While there’s plenty here for adults – beach bars serving beers and cocktails, live music, DJs and volleyball – there’s also a fairground so you can earn good-guy points by bringing your niece along in tow. Make yours a: Vedett Blonde (£5.50). Until 10pm. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park E20.

It might be inside the Archer Street bar, but Myki goes to theatrical lengths to emulate a chic beach club. There’s sand, obviously, but also a crisp interior, tropical plants and backdrops that change throughout the evening. Make yours a: Heatwave (£12.50). Until 1am. 3-4 Archer Street W1. archerstreet.

Brixton Beach Boulevard


Beach 338

Best for: Celebrations Beach: 350 sq m

Best for: Olympic action Beach: 500 sq m

Best for: Clubbing Beach: 600 sq m

Inspired by Eighties Miami Beach, this rooftop sandscape plays host to screenings and parties (after 8pm it becomes a nightclub). Themed private rooms are available for events. Make yours a: John McClane’s Mojito (£7). Thurs, 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 1pm-12am. Popes Road, SW9.

Inspired by Rio 2016, the Southbank Centre’s urban beach is back, complete with a Brazil-style lifeguard posto (it’s actually a bar), bossa nova music and a food tram. Make yours a: Caipirinha (£6.95). Until late. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. southbankcentre.

Attached to the gargantuan Ibiza-style nightclub Studio 338, Beach 338 is as vast as you would expect. It has a capacity of up to 3,000 people and features barbecues, hot tubs, cabanas, hammocks, oh, and a 23-hour licence. Make yours a: Jack Daniel’s & Coke (£5). CB Until late. 338 Boord Street SE10. studio338.

THE BOOK: HOW TO PERSUADE ANYONE Robert Cialdini’s 1984 book Influence was taken by many as the last word on the science of inducement. But now the social psychologist is back to explain a crucial new piece of research. His upcoming volume, Pre-Suasion, argues that it’s also vital to make subjects receptive to a message before they encounter it. Here are two things we learned... Channel caprice: In a study, asking the pre-suasive opener, “Do you consider yourself to be somebody who is adventurous and likes to try new things” made 75.7 per cent of subjects inclined to hand over personal details for a marketing campaign. Forcing people to brand themselves as “adventurous”, “happy” or “helpful” tees them up for how they later engage in the conversation. Cultivate debt: People are hardwired to reciprocate. Dutch residents were more likely to finish a survey if a payment was enclosed rather than promised later on. Equally, US hotels that asked guests to reuse towels found using a note was 47 per cent more effective if it informed guests that a donation to an environmental charity had been made in their name. CB Pre-Suasion (Cornerstone, £18.99) is out on 8 September. 74 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

How did Jeremy Corbyn end up on comedy show The Last Leg? Staff at Labour HQ forwarded Channel 4’s media bid on to Jezza’s office as a joke, but instead of politely declining as expected, the amateurs in Team Corbyn horrified their colleagues by saying yes! During the referendum, Eurosceptic Tory MP Tom Pursglove received a prank call from a man claiming to be Donald Trump, offering his support for the Leave campaign. Pursglove fell for it hook, line and sinker. Why? Turns out the backbencher is quite pally with The Donald... Wannabe Tory MPs have submitted their applications for 2020 and are going through the vetting process. One prospective parliamentarian was told to remove all evidence of their university polo club days from the internet. Well, we’ve all done embarrassing things in our youth. Nigel Farage was, predictably, perplexed when one of his top aides turned up for work having had his eyebrows threaded. Will Nige take inspiration and sport a more shaped look himself in his new life after Ukip? Alas not. He warned the flamboyant staffer in no uncertain terms, “I am not for it!”









Four days of presentations, shows and parties – from Samuel L Jackson’s karaoke night to Tommy Hilfiger’s soirée – made this summer’s LCM go with a bang, but then there was plenty of cause for celebration. Over the past nine seasons LCM has established the capital as the centre of the men’s style universe. Take the American brand Coach: where is the only place it shows menswear? You guessed it, here in London, in the company of Barbour, Belstaff, Bobby Abley – and that’s just the Bs. Here’s how it all went down... 80 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

Gutter creditXxxxxxxxx hereplease Gutter name here Photograph


Andrew Weitz, Oliver Cheshire, Robert Konjic and David Gandy

The Coach show

Photographs Kensington Leverne; James Mason; Ashley Verse; Richard Young

The Oliver Spencer show

George Lamb

Dermot O’Leary

The Christopher Raeburn show

Becky Tong

Johannes Huebl, David Furnish, Paul Sculfor and Robert Konjic

Nick Grimshaw and Jack Guinness

Tinie Tempah



Sophie Ball and Richard Biedul

Clara Paget

The Dunhill presentation

Sai Bennett and Callum Turner

Photographs Kensington Leverne; Mike Marshland; James Mason; Ashley Verse

The Agi & Sam show

The Nasir Mazhar show

Toby Huntington-Whiteley

The Lou Dalton show

Nicole Scherzinger

Suzy Menkes and Paul Smith

Samuel L Jackson

JahmĂŠne Douglas

Roberto Pardo

The Jermyn Street show


Roxie Nafousi

Russell Tovey

Jim Chapman, Oliver Cheshire, Robert Konjic, Johannes Huebl, Eric Underwood, Tommy HilďŹ ger, Andres Velencoso, Paul Schulfor, David Gandy, Toby Huntington-Whiteley and Dougie Poynter

Henry Holland

David Furnish

Lucky Blue Smith

Oliver Cheshire and Hu Bing

The MCM X Christopher Raeburn show

Photographs Darren Gerrish; Kensington Leverne; James Mason; Ashley Verse; Richard Young; Getty Images

The Agi & Sam show

Jean-Claude Mpassy

The Burberry party

Christopher Bailey

The Alex Mullins show

Ellie Bamber

86 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016 The Ximon Lee show

Haley Joel Osment

Photographs Kensington Leverne; Mike Marshland; James Mason; Jonathan Daniel Pryce; Ashley Verse

Hu Bing

Kylie Minogue, Samuel L Jackson, Nicole Scherzinger and SoďŹ a Davis


The Turnbull & Asser show

Richard Roundtree

Suki Waterhouse

The MCM X Christopher Raeburn show

The Richard James presentation

The Craig Green show

The Astrid Andersen show Paul Schulfor

Grant Pearce

The Barbour presentation

Caroline Rush

88 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016 Anthony Mackie

The Thomas Pink presentation

The Pretty Green presentation

The Pretty Green presentation

Photographs Kensington Leverne; James Mason; Ashley Verse

The Harrys Of London presentation

The Rory Parnell-Mooney presentation for Fashion East

The JW Anderson show

David Gandy

Jordan Barrett, Kate Moss, Nikolai von Bismarck and Nick Grimshaw

The Chester Barrie show

Eva Herzigovรก

The House Of Holland presentation

The MCM X Christopher Raeburn show

The Topman show


The Wales Bonner show

The Tiger Of Sweden show

The Belstaff presentation

Lou Dalton and Rioria debit optae Brix Smith Start que debit molore

The Tiger Of Sweden party

Darren Kennedy

Photographs Kensington Leverne; James Mason; Ashley Verse

The Christopher Raeburn show

Kit And Ace X GQ Lunch

Daisy Lowe

The Craig Green show

The Neil Barrett X Harvey Nichols presentation

Winnie Harlow

The Matthew Miller show

Skye Harrison, Andrea Mestrovic and Charlie Strodl

Jim Chapman





A$AP Rocky

The E Tautz show

Soo-Jung Kim and Frances Corner

The Katie Eary show

The Joyrich X Novelist presentation

The ASOS party

The Bobby Abley show

Photographs Kensington Leverne; Mike Marshland; James Mason; Ashley Verse; Getty Images

Patrick Grant

The Cottweiler show

The Oliver Spencer show

The Casely Hayford show

Christopher Raeburn and Lloyd Almond

Model Ombra and Evelyn Tsekoura

The LCM show space

The Sibling show

Johannes Huebl

MCM X Christopher Raeburn

The Maison Mihara Yasuhiro show

Camilla Kerslake

The Lou Dalton X Jaeger presentation

The Hardy Amies show



Puglia, Italy

Inspired by Puglia, we blend design, functions, materials and colours to create harmonious living. Pasquale Natuzzi Free Interior Design service available in our stores. Find the nearest one at


You only get five shots at true love

Whether we are looking for it, fighting to save it or pining for what we’ve lost, a man’s life is measured by his search for love. And time is always running out... hen I was a boy and I knew nothing about women, life or love, I read a 1,000 page novel about men who were experts in all of these things. From Here To Eternity by James Jones can lay claim to being the greatest book ever written about men at arms. But From Here To Eternity – although it begins with barrack-room bullying and ends with Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor – is ultimately not a book about war. Its great theme is love and, more specifically, how many times a man might know love before his time is done – real love, the kind that you want to build your life on, love that turns you inside out, love that you recognise the moment you see it. James Jones already knew what it would take me a lifetime to learn. Love will not keep happening forever. We do not get endless chances to get love right. Opportunities are limited. Time runs out. As Sergeant Warden (the Burt Lancaster character in the film of the book) drives away from his married lover for the very last time, he counts the number of times that he has truly loved a woman and how many more times love might find him again. “Five real ones. Five that counted. Out of how many years? Out of sixteen years. Maybe if he was lucky, there would be time enough left for two more, three more perhaps, before

After that first time, falling in love is always a triumph of hope over experience

can hope for endless shots at love. It doesn’t work like that. I recently found myself sitting next to a woman of the world. The subject had turned to how many times the human heart can love – really, truly love, a love that is somewhere beyond infatuation and sexual obsession, a love when you place the happiness of another above your own. “Four or five?” I suggested. She sipped her wine. “That sounds about right,” she said, checking her messages. We are animals looking for a mate. It���s not

complicated. We preen, we display our genitals, we buy another round of drinks. For her book Anatomy Of Love: A Natural History Of Adultery, Monogamy And Divorce, American anthropologist Helen Fisher researched love in all its ages – from that initial blood-pumping eye contact to the messy, tearful end of love in dozens of cultures. Fisher found endless echoes of our search for love in the animal kingdom. “A wild female chimpanzee in estrus will stroll up to a male, tip her buttocks towards her nose, and pull him to his feet to copulate. When she has finished, she copulates with almost every other male in the community.” I am sure we have all been on dates like that. But Fisher says that the dream – for feather

Illustration Sam Kerr


he got too old... He had that much to look forward to. Maybe. And he had that much to look back on. For sure. Three more to look forward to, if he was very lucky.” When all of life was still waiting for me, this revelation hit me like a hammer, and yet even then I recognised the ring of shining truth. There are a finite number of times that a man can fall in love. How many times? It is single figures, that’s for certain. No matter how many sexual partners you notch up, the women you genuinely love will not make it to double figures, unless you are deluding yourself – and them. In From Here To Eternity, Sergeant Warden, who is in his early thirties, is five down with three to go. Eight real loves in a man’s lifetime. To me this seems on the optimistic side. But then optimism is what all this stuff is built on. After that very first time, falling in love is always a triumph of hope over experience, optimism over cynicism, when your head says “forget it” but your heart’s still smoking. But none of us


LAST MAN STANDING and fur, for man and beast – is The One. And the problems start when love’s dream turns out to be just another mirage. “We search for true love, find him or her and settle in,” Fisher writes. “Then when the spell begins to fade, the mind begins to wander.” The seven-year itch is, in biological terms, a four-year itch, reports Fisher. We form what the anthropologists called “pair-bonds”, we propagate the species and then we get hot for somebody at the office. Here is the great mystery of love – there are seven billion people on the planet and your true love just happens to be working at a nearby desk. Because we find love where we can get it.

efore I ever undid my first bra strap, I heard my father playing “It Was A Very Good Year”, Frank Sinatra’s grand opus of a man’s sexual history. It was like having my fortune told. This is how it will be, insisted Sinatra. There will be the girls from the neighbourhood. Then there will be the women you meet in the big city. And then finally there will be the women who already have a life and money and status, who love left behind. And so it proved. “It Was A Very Good Year” is devoted to three stages of a man’s life - at 17 years old, at 21 and at 35. First comes the torrents of spring – the soft summer nights with small town girls, the nights when you have sex under the sky, not because you are a young heart running free but because are still living at home with your parents and have nowhere else to go. Then comes the bright lights, big city. “When I was 21 it was a very good year for city girls,” Sinatra sings, and there has never been a more accurate description of what it means to be a young male with no wedding ring living in a city of ten million people, having sex in rented flats and girls who live up the stairs. And then in the final chapter of man’s sexual history, there are the women who are married, and usually not to you. “It Was A Very Good Year” is a beautiful song, full of memory and melancholy and regret for times that will never come again. But it is emphatically not a love song. Unlike Sergeant Warden in From Here To Eternity, who is taking stock of the true loves he has known, the narrator in “It Was A Very Good Year” is logging the sexual encounters of a lifetime. But where else would a man find the women that he could love?



Only a small percentage of our sexual

encounters can ever blossom into love. My guess would be, oh, ten per cent. But every sexual partner is auditioning for the love of a lifetime. With hindsight, some of these auditions can seem as comical, farcical or tragic as the first round of a Simon Cowell talent show. But you inevitably have to wade through a lot of no-hopers for the great prize at the end of the romantic rainbow. It is only possible for a man to love a handful of times – two handfuls if he is lucky, or if he lowers the love bar – which means that with the majority of our sexual partners love never comes into it. But among all the dalliances and disasters, the unhappy affairs and the onenight stands, among this sorry mess of hurt feelings and spent passion, you will find the best reason to be alive. And when love ends, nothing will matter more than finding it again.

The lucky man is the one whose big love is not his first love but the last ou will do anything for love. The biggest cynic will turn his life inside out for love. The man who has seen it all will inflict enormous pain on those he shares his life with, and put his heart through a mincer, and make himself miserable – all for love. No, not even for love. For just the promise of love, for the vague hint that he might get the chance to go round one more time. And hope that this time it lasts. So many fish in the sea and all of them so slippery. Our judgement is clouded by love. But life is horribly tame without it. Our lives are defined by love – or by the lack of love. And even if we suspect that it always ends in tears, still we keep on believing, because we can do nothing else. And whatever our measure of success – the money in the bank, the car on the drive, the glittering prizes casually placed on the bookcase – we know that it is all worthless if we do not have someone to love who loves us in return. So what if it wears off? So what if she runs off with your best friend? So what if she does it all again with someone who has more money than you and has her


happy-ever-after in a better part of town? The heart is a muscle and it will carry you towards love until the day it stops beating. Love is so hard – to find, to watch die, to let go – yet it comes into our lives so easily. We are all romantic suckers. Always, love is based upon a hunch, an instinct. The curve of a face, the shape of a leg, the way her hair swings when she laughs. That’s the thing about love. It always seems like a good idea at the time. Love can build into something more – trust, affection, shared memories built over years, especially after the great life project of having children together and staying together long enough to watch them grow. But most times, love runs out on you or you run out on love, a fleeting moment that promised forever. There is always the love of a lifetime. The lucky man is the one whose big love is not his first love but the last. But don’t count on it. The love of a lifetime is real, it exists, there is one love that will tower above all the rest – but the bitter truth is that it can come at any time. Yet it cannot be too soon. It will not come when you can get an erection looking at a shapely pair of table legs. In our extreme youth we are at our least discerning and ready to fall in love with anyone. When you get young love wrong then the ramifications – divorce, children, a lack of trust, the fear of getting it wrong again – can echo through your lifetime. First love is real love but there is more and much better to come. But then again the big love can’t arrive too late – when you have to worry if her children are going to get along with your children, when you can feel your lifetime piling up, when there is far more behind you than ahead of you. The romance industry – from online dating sites to love songs – all promise that love can always come again. But it’s not true. A man can have so much luggage that he misses the love train. In From Here To Eternity, Warden’s great love comes in his early thirties – young enough to throw his heart and soul at the feet of one woman yet old enough to know that time is always running out. “But he suspected, somehow, none of them would ever measure up to this one, that had come in his early thirties. He suspected; he was afraid; that this one was going to have been the top of the hill.” That sounds right, although I wouldn’t rule out a ten-year margin of error. But that is how you tell the love of a lifetime from the rest. You know it the moment you leave it behind.



From Boots, Superdrug, supermarkets, Holland & Barrett, health stores, pharmacies *UK’s No1 men’s supplement brand. Nielsen GB ScanTrack Total Coverage Unit Sales 52 w/e 26 March 2016

Live life well

I’ve been taking Wellman since my twenties to support my health and hectic lifestyle.

David Gandy

Made in Britain

WHAT I WEAR Model, musician and DJ Louis Simonon, son of The Clash’s dapper bassist Paul, pays tribute to his punk lineage P H OTO G R A P H BY


Hat “Arnold Hatters in New York was my dad’s favourite spot, but now it’s closed. I’ve always liked the Thirties mobster look – my style icon is Al Capone – and the store had been open since 1926.”

Jewellery WISH LIST

Turntable “I prefer the SL-1200 and I won’t settle for anything other than Technics. My style and the music I listen to are always interlinked.” £625. At Amazon.

“The rings are heirlooms. As for the bracelets, they were both gifts from my family. The only piece I bought is the necklace. I’m very proud of my Irish heritage, and so I bought the cláirseach [Celtic harp] to represent it.”

T-shirt “I grew up with rocksteady, ska and skinhead reggae, and the polo is synonymous with those looks. I used to wear Fred Perry. This is a John Smedley, so I’ve upgraded!” £70. WISH LIST

Fragrance “I’d never been that bothered about fragrance but a female friend with a keen sense of smell sorted me out with Limette 37. It was for the best!” By Le Labo, £123. At Lucky Scent. WISH LIST

Story Eleanor Halls Photographs Nicholas Kay; Jody Todd Grooming Alice Howlett using Chantecaille and Bumble And Bumble

Trainers “I bought three pairs of black Nike Air Max when they first dropped. I’ve been through all mine and am struggling to find another pair.” £100. At Office.


Jacket “I wear a Harrington almost every day, but one of much lower quality than this Baracuta – this is the original!” £525.

Jeans “Levi’s 501s are a perfect shape for me. I tend to sway towards simple, clean looks such as jeans and an all-black outfit.” £75. WISH LIST

Drum machine “The Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer is my favourite. I have samples but it’s not the real thing. I could play with it for hours.” £2,650. At Vintage Synth Explorer.

Shoes “I really like a classic pair of Church’s. They’re chunkier than a more contemporary shoe.” £265. SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 105


ildo Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna, is talking fabric. “Putting real silk in a car is a huge challenge. We wanted to create a cocoon-like feeling within the car while allowing the driver to experience all the comforts that a Maserati is known for.” Maserati’s boss, the straight-talking German Harald Wester, is even more explicit. “If you like this type of precious material, you don’t only want to wear it. It’s even more appealing to get into the car and drive it.” Silk in a car: it’s a very Maserati thing to do. And it really works. Woven at Zegna’s Trivero mills, the limited-run Maserati Quattroporte uses 12 metres of specially emboldened silk, four times the amount used in a two-piece suit, a highly tactile and visual enlivener of the seats, door inlays and the head-lining. These are the bits of interior real estate that usually receive very little love. The Zegna option is also available on Maserati’s new SUV, the Levante. Purists, if they haven’t all been beaten into submission by commercial realpolitik, would point to Maserati as the most fashionable and aristocratic of Italian car brands, the epitome of period Como chic more understated than Enzo Ferrari’s slightly arriviste rival, and creator of arguably the greatest grand prix car ever in the shape of the Fifties 250F. Surely this is the last company that should be wading into the 4x4 market? But those same naysayers should also know that Maserati has flirted with fiscal disaster repeatedly during its 102-year existence, and the only way to stay truly relevant – and profitable – is to give the people what they want. And they want one of these. This, the company insists, is the “Maserati of SUVs”, a claim that could mean any number of things depending on how you feel about this most quixotic of Italian brands. Having spent some proper time in the Ghibli sports saloon, I can confirm that character goes a long way towards atoning for its dynamic


It’s as good as every other Range Rover, which is to say very good indeed


Divine wind: The Levante’s grille and headlights are typical of its adherence to Maserati’s sport aesthetic



The tailor-made SUV Maserati’s latest marriage of silk and steel is as theatrical as you would imagine, but the Levante also brings some unexpected utility to Italy’s most individual and charismatic marque STORY BY

Jason Barlow


Alex Howe

The Levante is a daring reinvention of the carmaker’s current design language SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 107

FROM GQ! INTERACTIVE EDITIONS Available to download from the App Store and Google Play

CARS failings, and that Maserati makes cars you can’t help looking over your shoulder at when you’ve just parked up. Which is a more polite way of saying that the Ghibli doesn’t quite fulfil its promise. The Levante does, though. Maserati’s design team is full of well-dressed young tyros overseen by the now semi-retired styling maestro Lorenzo Ramaciotti, and the Levante is a daring reinvention of the current design language. The grille and headlights are extraordinarily expressive, the glass area manages to preserve Maserati’s inherent sportiness and the upswept curve over the rear wheels evolves the cues used with mixed results on the Ghibli. It’s a big car – in excess of five metres long – but manages to camouflage its bulk with more charisma than the rather lumpen Audi Q7 or amorphous Porsche Cayenne. Warning: it’s colour-sensitive, and Maseratis more than most cars benefit from the appropriate context. White in Miami works, less so in Macclesfield. Actually, think of the whole car as an evolved Ghibli and you’re about there. It uses the same platform, but feels a lot more polished. Its aluminium suspension uses longer arms to enable the extra-wheel travel you need on a car with off-road aspirations. It rides on nicely calibrated height-adjustable air springs and features chassis enhancements such as electronic dampers, torque vectoring and a limited-slip rear differential. Most of the power is sent to the rear axle most

A perfect pairing: Maserati has partnered with Ermenegildo Zegna to create a luxury silk interior

Despite being an entirely new Maserati model, the Levante follows the marque’s tradition of naming its cars after winds. This one comes from the Viento de Levante, which blows through the Strait Of Gibraltar. ENGINE 271bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel PERFORMANCE 143mph top speed, 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds PRICE From £54,335 CONTACT

of the time, in time-honoured sports car fashion, until the car’s systems detect otherwise. Or you’ve actually ventured off-road, though God knows why anyone would ever do that. Low-revving, smelly diesel is another concept that should be anathema to Maserati, but it’s the power source that most SUVs use, so the Levante arrives in the UK armed only with a 3.0-litre turbo diesel. Actually, it’s pretty good – torque enough to hustle 2.1 tonnes of Italian metal down the road with imperious ease, without sounding like a rattly, old freight train shunting up a Milanese railway siding. (Don’t worry: a Ferrari-developed, twin-turbo V6 petrol unit is waiting in the wings.) The Levante needs 20-inch wheels to fill out its enormous wheel arches properly, but these don’t punish the ride quality too badly. Nor does it loll or roll around as much as you’d

expect given its increased centre-ofgravity. Maserati has stuck with hydraulic power steering (rather than the increasingly fashionable fully electric setup), so it’s way more communicative than you might expect. In fact, in the quest to deliver the Maserati of SUVs, Maserati may just have served up the most “Maserati” Maserati of the current line-up, at least until the Alfieri sports car arrives next year. Especially if you tick the Zegna box and apply the same sartorial rules when it comes to configuring the Levante’s handsome interior as you would at your tailor’s. The appealingly louche undercurrent that the best Maseratis possess gets a new lease of life in the Levante, and what Italians refer to as sprezzatura gives it an edge over some of its more uptight rivals. Only this time it has the ability to go with the big personality.


Size matters: The smaller engine allows the EcoBoost to turn corners more smoothly

Every few years, a new Ford Mustang model arrives. And every few years, toes curl as the same image of Steve McQueen is circulated and the word “original” is exhausted of its frail profundity. But this year, Ford has done something a bit different. It’s brought the Mustang to Britain and offered us a radically downsized engine option alongside the big 5.0-litre V8. And in doing so, created the best of the breed yet. The little 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine has its doubters – it has 313bhp compared with 412bhp, gets to 62mph in 5.8 seconds rather than 4.8 seconds and hits 145mph not 155mph. But its strength is a skill that the car’s never really had: cornering. The littlest engine is 65kg lighter, and that weight reduction is over the front wheels, so when you hit a corner faster than you meant to, the front end goes more or less where you want it to. In that respect, the V8 is a fitting tribute to the original. But if you want a low-calorie, high-fibre homage to the Mustang, buy the EcoBoost. Matt Jones From £29,590. SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 109





L ’ Œ U V R E













The grill of it all A young chef is winning praise and prestige at Bernardi’s in Marylebone, where the T-bone steak is a cut above the competition BERNARDI’S has a “neighbourhood Italian” vibe about it. And when that neighbourhood is the stylish and sleek Marylebone Village, you know that vibe is going to be uptown trendy rather than tacky trattoria. It stands to reason, then, that instead of there being an old-school pasta master in the kitchen, they would have a young, talented, double-Roux Scholarship finalist running the show. Her name is Sabrina Gidda, her cooking is already picking up awards, and this recipe (see over) illustrates why. PH

TH E F I LLET OThis is the tenderest cut, so cooking it requires extra care. If it’s thinner than the sirloin, cut it off and fry it separately.


Photograph Andrew Urwin

OChargrilling the lemon for around ten minutes on the grill, will pick up meat juices and also add a sweet flavour.

OIt is always a good idea to leave the fat on – but remember to score it. The rendered oil can be used to baste the steak.



Class in a glass: A Tokyo Bullet and Olive Oil Old Fashioned (below) at Sager + Wilde


Ultimate Bistecca Fiorentina served with salsa verde, charred asparagus and lemon For the steak O750g T-bone steak (dry-aged if possible) at least one-inch thick O50ml rapeseed oil OMaldon salt OFresh black pepper O2 sprigs of rosemary O1 unwaxed lemon O1 bunch of spring onions O1 bunch of asparagus

Method OChop the salsa verde ingredients. Place in a

bowl. Add lemon juice and zest, drizzle with balsamic vinegar then season. ODrizzle the oil over the steak and season. Put

it on the grill at 45 degrees to the bars and don’t mess with it. You want nice markings, so after 4 minutes rotate 90 degrees and leave for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes has passed, turn the steak over and repeat. When you have nice crosshatch bar marks, turn the steak so the fat gets colour on the grill too. OWhen the steak is cooked, allow it to rest

somewhere warm for 15 minutes. Add a little finely chopped rosemary and salt. Meanwhile, cut the lemon in half and chargrill it flesh side down. Allow it to cook for 10 minutes or so on a lower heat, taking on some smokiness and caramelisation. Chargrill the spring onions and asparagus with the remaining oil before setting aside with your steak. OTo serve, follow the T of the bone and

remove the sirloin and fillet steaks. Serve the chargrilled veg and lemon alongside with the salsa verde. You can add any seasonal sides, but aim to use the grill as much as possible – all those smoky chargrilled flavour notes will really complement the beef. OBernardi’s, 62 Seymour Street, London W1. 020 3826 7940.



Sager + Wilde For a splash of alfresco sophistication in London’s Bethnal Green, look no further than this cocktail destination YOU can’t help but think that the staff at Sager + Wilde subscribe to novelist James Thurber’s saying “One Martini is all right. Two are too many. And three are not enough.” Swap Martinis for all drinks great and small, and this would explain their eagerness for customers to pour cocktail after cocktail down their throats with gleeful indulgence. Not that anyone’s complaining: the drinks, concocted by Marcis Dzelzainis – previously of Dandelyan and 69 Colebrooke Row – are incredibly moreish, both in terms of taste and aesthetics. On Sager + Wilde’s new alfresco terrace and courtyard bar, greedy eyes covet their neighbour’s gorgeous cocktails, each looking so intriguing you’ll want to try them all. After a few – don’t miss the Olive Oil Old Fashioned – you’ll need a good haul from the food menu. A hearty aged Galician beef sirloin and some chicken liver, pink radicchio and grapes? Go on then. Sager + Wilde has a seriously good formula going. Eleanor Halls OArch 250, Paradise Row, London E2. 020 7613 0478.

Ne wl e an ads d p aves (fro m above): Fiddlehe ig t lm a C o l a i l s ; t h e te B n r r a ce ; a L e m o lin s; tles a r tich okes , ferns and net

Photographs Addie Chinn; Charlie McKay; Jody Todd; Andrew Urwin

Ingredients (serves 2) For the salsa verde O2 anchovy fillets in oil O¼ bunch of parsley O¼ bunch of basil O¼ bunch of tarragon O3 tbsp capers O50ml extra-virgin olive oil OMaldon salt OFresh black pepper O1 shallot O1 lemon, juiced and zested ODrizzle of aged balsamic vinegar


Out of office: Three London work/eat spaces


Rosa del Rosa Sperino 2015 THE grape and area might call to mind the serious, thoroughbred wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, but this Piedmontese Nebbiolo from Proprietà Sperino is a delicate summer delight. It’s not short on pedigree either. Paolo di Marchi of famed Tuscan producer (which makes the acclaimed Super-Tuscan Cepparello as well as a consistently superb Chianti Classico) inherited this small estate and has brought in his jovial and energetic son Luca to take charge. Together, they concentrate on preserving lesser known local varieties such as Erbaluce di Caluso, as well as finding the purest expression of Nebbiolo, some 60 miles to the north of Barolo. Balanced by Vespolina (an indigenous grape variety, not the local two-wheeler of choice), this is a savoury, fresh wine with the minerality you’d expect from the northern Italian mountains, elegant strawberry fruit and a hint of silky tannin to remind you that you’re still in Nebbiolo country. Amy Matthews O£14.50. At Vinoteca.

Providores & Tapa Room

Charlotte’s W5

Leman Street Tavern

109 Marylebone High Street W1.

Dickens Yard, Longfield Avenue W5.

31 Leman Street E1.

The setup: There’s a dining room upstairs, famous for its Kiwi wine list, but Providores’ ground-floor Tapa Room – open from 9am with no minimum spend, free WiFi and excellent people-watching opportunities – has grown into a hub for Marylebone creatives. Eat this: Dare to resist a Crosstown doughnut (£3.50). There are also lots of delicious small plates, such as sardines on roast-tomato bruschetta (£9). In other words: brain food. Drink this: The Arabica beans are roasted by South London’s Volcano Coffee Works, or boost your superfood score/hipster credentials with a spirulina smoothie (£5.50).

The setup: Transformed from derelict Victorian stables, this smart all-day venue presents itself as Ealing’s “third place” (ie, neither home nor office). In fact, it feels like a members’ club, with WiFi, USB sockets and no obligation to actually buy anything. Eat this: The food, available in three sharing sizes, is ambitious, but hit and miss. The truffle and artichoke risotto (from £6) bursts with umami joy, though, and will power you through the afternoon. Drink this: All 38 wines are served by the glass – and there are 22 different gins – but those wanting to hold down a job will love the cold-brew coffee (£3.50).

The setup: Opened in March, this new City bar brings a versatile mix of buzzy work space (outsized sofas, free Wi-Fi and power points aplenty) and hearty British pub food to Whitechapel. Eat this: There’s a substantial and imaginative snack menu to keep you and your laptop company, with dishes such as truffled royal camembert and soldiers (£7), or rabbit, mustard and wild garlic pie (£12.50) if you’ve worked up a real appetite. Drink this: There are 23 bottled beers, including the local Hoxton Stout and Shoreditch Blonde (both £5.50), plus a range of coffees and Clipper teas.


The Three Oaks

Jennifer Bradly

Beets working: The homegrown salad at The Three Oaks

With meat fit for royalty, local ales and ambience to spare, this elegant hostelry is a true triple threat THE almost comically good roast potatoes should be reason enough for you to take a leisurely Sunday drive to The Three Oaks in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, just 25 minutes west of London. But if you need more persuading, then know this: its Sunday lunches, featuring meat from the Queen’s butcher Aubrey Allen, are a modest £16.50 – winning a Michelin Bib Gourmand (the value-for-money award) and a loyal fanbase. After all, while many restaurants boast of “seasonal ingredients” and “local produce”, head chef Mikey Seferynski genuinely knows his artichokes from his elderflowers. The venue is beautiful – elegant, modern and expensively finished. Indeed, it describes itself as a “country eating house”, Buckinghamshire code for “fancy pub”. Behind the bar until mid-September, look out for Blonde, a refreshingly light summer ale produced by Rebellion Beer Co, based around the corner

in Marlow. The wine list, too, is supplied by independent wine merchant Corney & Barrow and features unsung old-school gems such as Delamotte champagne. So, if you manage to catch the last rays of summer, then take a chilled glass of Blonde (and those roast potatoes) outside to enjoy them in the flawlessly manicured sun-trap gardens. JB OAustenwood Lane, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire SL9 8NL. 01753 899 016.



Benedicts Norfolk The acclaimed restaurateur behind East Anglia’s new culinary hot spot dishes on kitchen gadgets, London’s best eatery and the food that gets him in the mood

Rich pickings: Barbecue quail at Benedicts; (below) Caesar salad


RICHARD Bainbridge’s first proper job was at Morston Hall, the Michelin-starred boutique hotel in Norfolk, where he started at the age of 16. Over the years he worked his way up, culminating in seven years as head chef whereupon he was offered a directorship. It was a fantastic opportunity, but Bainbridge had that classic chef’s dream – he wanted to open his own place. Last year saw the opening of Benedicts in Norwich and, somewhat inevitably, it’s received rave reviews. But it hasn’t been easy. Working long days, living and breathing his restaurant, Bainbridge is clearly exhilarated by the challenge, if not the risk. His immaculately presented, locally sourced menu, featuring dishes such as Norfolk spring lamb with broad beans and Cromer crab ravioli with a sauce vierge and shellfish bisque, are winning him a loyal following. And his profile, thanks to appearances on Great British Menu, is rising steadily too. All he needs now is a short interview in GQ and he should be set for culinary stardom...

has been eating this month...

What gadget should every kitchen have? A Thermomix… a food cooker/ processor that can do everything. £925, What gadget should we throw out? An electric carving knife. My mum still has one and they’re truly horrendous. If you only have one knife… A Wüsthof boning knife (from £44. with a flexible silver point because you can bone or fillet with it.

If you could only use one herb. Dill. You can use it with fish and meat dishes and even dessert. It’s beautiful. If it was healthy and had no side effects, what would you drink or eat every day? Beer. And ice cream. What dish is the star of the barbecue? Celeriac on a barbecue is stunning. It blows people’s minds and many say it’s better than a steak. I put it on cold and slowly roast it for about an hour. Then just slice into it. Food as an aphrodisiac – myth or is there a magic ingredient? Figs. If I bite into a juicy, ripe fig it gets me randy. What is the one ingredient you can’t live without? Salted butter. What’s the best music to listen to in the kitchen? Fifties rock‘n’roll. Which cookbook should every kitchen have? Well, the cookbook that blew my mind and made me want to break into the industry was White Heat by Marco Pierre White. I still use the lemon tart recipe.

Favourite restaurant besides your own? If I’m in London, I would have to say The Ledbury ( It has got such a great balance of amazing food in a relaxed environment. And your favourite foodie destination? Iceland. I really like the way they cure their meat and cook underground. Cass Farrar




Indian small plates with big flavours – plus cocktails with an Asian twist. standout dish

A modern take on Athenian food comes to Soho, along with its all-Greek wine list. standout dish

This Soho dive bar, serving sticky, spicy Thai barbecue, is definitely worth the queue. standout dish

Raghogarhi sea bass, baked with rice and wrapped in a banana leaf

Chicken thigh suvlaki, cooked on a robata-style grill and marinated in Florina peppers and tarragon

Barbecue aged-beef short rib served with massaman and pickles

21 Bateman Street, London W1. 020 7287 6638.

7 Denmark Street, London WC2.

152-154 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2. 020 7836 5400.


Photograph Katja Bainbridge

O9 St Benedicts St, Norwich NR2 4PE. 01603 926080.

TASTE Masterplan (from top): Oxtail and ox cheek faggots; pistachio soufflé; pheasant with walnuts; prune flan

Brixton Jamm

Dress up or down? Blend in with the local hipsters and musos with a baggy tee, ripped jeans and all-white Stan Smiths.

For the best summer gigs, look no further than the newly refurbished Holy Grail of south London’s cultural heart

What’s the billing? Lengthy. There’s reggae throughout the summer courtesy of Channel One Sound System, as well as weekly performances from grime and hiphop artists, plus DJ sets for house, techno and disco-funk lovers. Look out for their garage and jungle party.


THIS restored 18th-century inn is hallowed as the site of Adele’s first gig and has since hosted acts from Bloc Party to Congo Natty via Skepta. Now it has been stripped back and spruced up just in time for summer, with a list of killer events... What’s changed? The live room has been expanded to host an extra 100 people, the stage is bigger and a thumping new MLA compact sound system has been installed – the very same used on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

Turn up at… 8pm for drinks and street food (duck rolls from The Rolling Duck and jerk chicken wraps from Mama’s Jerk) on the large outdoor terrace before the music gets going after 10pm. What’s my order? Beers on the terrace; G&Ts in the club. Fancy cocktails? Wrong postcode. EH O261 Brixton Road, London SW9. 020 7274 5537. Tickets from £6.


Photographs Laura Edwards; Mayer Hawthorne

Memories Of Gascony by Pierre Koffmann LONG before Pierre Koffmann was declared a culinary genius, he was a small boy in a small French village where he would often stay with his grandparents – a couple whose rustic food philosophy shaped the man who would go on to earn three Michelin stars, nurture a dozen more and endure for 50 years as one of Europe’s most influential cooks. Now, to celebrate Koffmann’s golden anniversary in the business, his timeless Memories Of Gascony, a season-by-season collection of recipes looking back on his childhood, has been rebound and reissued. From his famous stuffed pig’s trotter to pistachio soufflé, there is an emphasis on the spoils of harvest and hunt. It can be treasured for its writerly charms as much as its kitchen advice, while Koffmann’s anecdotes, crafted with the same love, balance and sincerity as his food, will leave you with something that you’ll never forget either. Holly Bruce OMemories Of Gascony by Pierre Koffmann (Mitchell Beazley, £20) is out now.

Hipster haven: The club is the heart of Brixton’s live music scene; (inset) barbecue chicken served at the bar


10 Castle Street Dorset’s first private member’s club is the perfect getaway for escaping metropolitans, boasting fine art, fine dining and stunning views of Cranbourne Estate IF you prefer your country weekends to start with the crunch of Goodyear on gravel, you’ll feel immediately at home at 10 Castle Street, previously Cranborne Lodge, an 18th-century Palladian-style house-turned-Dorset’s first private members club. It’s the work of local publicans Alex and Gretchen Boon – who put the King John in nearby Tollard Royal on the hunting and shooting map, and have recruited its chef, Simon Trepess, to cook here – and comes complete with all the touchstones of the modern metropolitan’s getaway. So contemporary art abounds (including Hamish Mackie sculptures in the ornamental gardens), there’s a well-stocked bar powered by a 40-strong back shelf of gins and a decent cigar collection, and the nine rooms, while missing some of the prerequisites of travel-worn guests such as bottle-aged cocktails and a smartphone hook-up, do boast handsome bathrooms (GQ’s featured a standalone shower as well as the obligatory claw-foot tub) and wonderfully relaxing views of the Cranborne Estate. There are currently three tiers of membership (from £550), but “passing members” can have the run of the place, as well as a room for the night, from £235. BP O10 Castle St, Cranborne, Dorset, BH21 5PZ. 01725 551 133. SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 115


Jericho, Oxford The Old Parsonage Hotel’s burger; (below) pizza at The Rickety Press

Train: London Paddington to Oxford from £25 return

Time: Around 50 minutes each way

Watermelon paloma; (below) chicken special with potatoes at The Varsity Club

Drive: One hour forty minutes from London (62 miles)

Spindly spires, tinkling church bells, a pattering of earnest feet and the soft and steady splash of a punter’s pole in the water… you’re picturing a perfect summer’s day in Oxford. Just a five-minute walk north of the city centre you’ll find Jericho, the city’s quirkiest neighbourhood, which is full of toy-town houses, tweedy academics and cocktail lovers.

(1) Start your stay at the Old Parsonage Hotel

Fry-up at The Jericho Café


ry Roa d


Raoul’s cocktail bar

B anbu

Ribeye steak and pasta with salmon and pancetta at Gee’s

(1-3 Banbury Road. 01865 310210. oldparsonage-hotel. It may feel a little dated, like most of Oxford’s hotels, but that’s part of the charm. The first things you notice – pretty white bikes with wicker baskets, a crackling log fire and a heavy wooden door with a knocker – are deliciously old-fashioned. Having navigated the hotel’s winding corridors and random staircases, enjoy a pot of tea in the library stuffed full of intriguing paperbacks. If, come lunchtime, your heart aches for a proper burger in a decent British pub, (2) The Rickety Press (67 Cranham Street. 01865 424581. offers hearty fuel for a stroll in Port Meadow up the road. It’s all fresh, local and affordable – and bottomless Bloody Marys for a tenner will put a spring in your (uneven) step. For something lighter, (3) Gee’s (61 Banbury Road. 01865 553540. gees-restaurant. is Jericho’s prettiest restaurant – its flower-filled conservatory is perfect for idle lunches and romantic dinners. Proving you don’t need to be a seafood restaurant to serve great fish, Gee’s fillet of hake with pink fir potatoes, mussels and monk’s beard is a no-brainer. Mid-afternoon cravings? (4) The Grand Café (84 High Street. 01865 204463. was, according to Samuel Pepys England’s first coffee house in 1650. Now coffee has been swapped for high tea and

cocktails in this tiny mirrorwalled café with a beautiful old bar. Grand is no understatement. For drinks with a view, (5) The Varsity Club’s heated roof terrace (9 High Street. 01865 248777. offers a picture-perfect panorama across Oxford’s sky-pricking spires and library domes, particularly at sunset. Its cocktails are pretty good too – try the Flower: lavender vodka, pear purée, vanilla syrup and prosecco. Across the road, Quod (92 High Street. 01865 202505. is a lively spot for Earl Grey Martinis and a pizzette once the sun goes down. There’s a fair amount of hustle and bustle in Jericho – on its tiny main street three cocktail bars are vying for the top spot. The Duke Of Cambridge (5-6 Little Clarendon Street. 01865 558173. and Angels (Little Clarendon Street. 01865 554224. put up a good fight, but (6) Raoul’s (32 Walton Street. 01865 553732. raoulsbar. com) takes the prize with its intimate setting, ace bartenders and killer Piña Coladas. Often, it seems like the whole neighbourhood, plus all of Oxford’s middle-aged intellectuals, congregate at


(7) The Jericho Café (112

Walton Street. 01865 310840. for a weekend fry-up, papers and paperbacks in hand. If you manage to nab a table, it’s a proper send-off before checkout. EH 

University of Oxford

rd Oxfo




CONTACT: +44 (0) 20 77 20 97 25 UK@THOMASSABO.COM





Double exposure Mount an artistic revolution in your living room with a photograph that makes waves in more ways than one PHOTOGRAPH BY


Matthew Beedle

WEST of the Iron Curtain, the striptease ballpoint pen was nothing more than a frivolous end-of-the-pier frippery, but to artist Ivan Kiuranov and other socialist-era Bulgarians it became a rare and subversive object of material culture, smuggled in past the censors. By 1998 – the single-party state by then consigned to history – Kiuranov was working with provocative art movement XXL and sought to lay bare this alternative reading in his photographic piece “PenUp”. Now, fellow Bulgarian and art patron Spas Roussev is lending yet another dimension to the image with his Soundwall technology, which turns art into slim, wall-hung speakers – in this case playing music chosen by the artist. From trivial titillation, via an icon of popular revolt, to a striking work of art that speaks for itself, if there’s a better way to make a space sing we’ve yet to hear it. AC





Rug by Natuzzi, from £840.

2 Sidetable by Natuzzi, from £700. 3 Radio by Ruark Audio, £200. 4 Lampshade, £49. Tripod, £39. Both by Vita Copenhagen. 5 Lampshade, £55. Tripod, £57. Both by Vita Copenhagen. 6 Pen-Up by Ivan Kiuranov, £1,249. At Clippings. 7 Sofa, from £2,300. Cushions, from £130 each. Both by Natuzzi. 8 Radiator by Bisque, from £334. 9 Coffee table by Natuzzi, from £600. 6






Robert Spangle

GQ’s menswear master divulges the secrets of la dolce vita, from silk scarves and streetstyle to home comforts

This month: ROBERT JOHNSTON, Fashion Director, GQ STIMULATION To read: The Life Of The Robin by David Lack To read again: La Comédie Humaine by Honoré de Balzac To listen to: The Bride by Bat For Lashes To drink: Islay malt from Bruichladdich (above); red Burgundy from Maison Dieu, Domaine de Bellene; Martini with Bombay Sapphire and a twist To eat: Dinner at Gymkhana, London W1; lunch at Landgate Bistro, Rye; Es Calò, Formentera, Spain Bar: Fanny Nelsons, Hackney Magazines: Private Eye; Economist; Lucky Peach (below); National Geographic Museum: V&A Location: Calton Hill, Edinburgh Secret hideout: Rye, East Sussex Romantic place: Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire (above)

GEAR Phone: HTC One Computer: MacBook Pro App: iPlayer Radio Headphones: MH40 by Master & Dynamic Home audio: SuperConnec by Revo (above) Gadgets: Apple TV (below); Brilliant Power Bank by EasyAcc Kitchen gadget: Duo Ice-cream maker by Cuisinart Watch: Bi-metal Globemaster by Omega (right)

Suit: Canali Blazer: Pal Zileri (pictured) T-shirt: Sunspel (above) Denim: Nudie Swim shorts: Orlebar Brown (right) Shoes: O’Keeffe; Gucci Trainers: Onitsuka Tiger (above) Scarf: Wolff Et Descourtis (pictured) Wallet: Cellerini Glasses: Statesman Three by Dita (above) Skincare: Dermalogica (left) Fragrance: Vétiver by Christian Dior (right)


On the nightstand: The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore (right) Artist: Maggie Hambling Albums: Views by Drake; Chambers by Chilly Gonzalez (above); Young Americans by David Bowie Instagram: @1000yardstyle (right) Podcast: The Mysterious Secret Of Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium  TV: University Challenge; 30 Rock; Absolutely Fabulous Films: All About Eve; Apocalypse Now; Amy Looking forward to: The Magnificent Seven

Photograph Jody Todd


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Spruced-up classics and a future favourite in the capital; South America’s luxury sleeper train; plus, the ultimate Aman expeditions

Guilty pleasure: A deluxe double at the Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch

UNTIL 1996, a night in London’s Old Street Courthouse was generally the prerogative of the accused, but since shuttering for the obligatory stretch as a location for gritty urban dramas (Spooks, Luther, Rooms with a hue: The you get the picture) it’s now Berkeley’s Collins Room reopened as the Courthouse and Blue Bar (right) Hotel Shoreditch. Whether it’s the first or last of those words that gets you drooling depends on whether you fancy pacing the same corridors as Ron and Reggie Kray, or hanging out in the fast-moving social scene of LONDON’s East End. Rest assured that, whichever it is, the 86 guest rooms and 42 suites (including two rooftop one-bedroom “residences”) are a world away from the quirky setting of the bar, with its five refurbished cells. Rooms from £189. The cornerstone of Knightsbridge’s five-star hotel portfolio since 1972, the Berkeley recently unveiled its new façade, the first phase of an exterior/interior renovation that includes a new Robert Angell-designed restaurant-bar, the Collins Room, named after the designer of its iconic Blue Bar, which has also undergone an extensive refurbishment. New suites are available this autumn, together with a fleet of south-facing rooms benefiting from their own private terraces, also designed by Richard Rogers’ practice. Rooms from £325 plus VAT. The footprint of Piccadilly’s The Athenaeum might not have changed, but refurbishment has transformed the dowdy lobby into an atrium, and added a terrace from which to observe the goings-on in Green Park. Passers-by can benefit from Michelin-starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin’s involvement in the rebranded restaurant and bar. Park view rooms from £260. Next year sees the launch of SOUTH AMERICA’s first luxury sleeper train services, with the Belmond Andean Explorer offering previously unimaginable comfort on one- and two-night journeys through the Peruvian Highlands from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa. Prices start at £315 for the one-night Spirit Of The Andes expedition, including, meals, drinks and scheduled excursions.

Range finder: The Belmond Andean Explorer’s dining car (above) and (right) amazing views of the South American hinterland

Spice world (below): Aman’s two-masted sailing ship, Amandira

For the ultimate Aman fix, sign up for two all-inclusive journeys: an 18-day expedition across China, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka by private jet that runs from 9-26 October, and costs £43,185, or a ten-day voyage aboard the two-masted sailing ship Amandira exploring the spice islands, casting off on 21 October and costing £6,190 per two-person cabin. BP SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 127

EPIC SAIL Ahead of next year’s America’s Cup, GQ’s able seaman learns the ropes in Bermuda STORY BY

Mark Russell

“WHOMP… [wait]… splosh!” Capsizing a boat is a curiously slow-motion event. The sails puff up, the boom swings across, your bottom slides to the wrong side of the vessel, the hull starts to rise, and you know exactly what’s coming but can’t do anything about it. So you wait for the “whomp”, that’s the sail bellyflopping on to the water; and then the “splosh”, which is you falling in. But if you’re going to capsize anywhere in the world – and if you’re learning to sail, you’re definitely going to keel over – you’d be wise to do so in Bermuda. Warm, tranquil waters, ethereal pink sands and glorious natural bays make a man-overboard situation a rather pleasurable experience. Something I can vouch for, having faced this semi-regularly on day one of the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Level 1 Start Sailing course at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, in the capital, Hamilton. Spread over two-and-a-half days, the UK-recognised qualification was an excellent introduction to everything from rigging a boat to basic sailing techniques. To newcomers, the sport can seem complex with an air of exclusivity, but after a few days of coaching it was surprising how quickly I was sailing along gently-ish 128 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

in a 12ft RS Feva dinghy, tacking (turning) and gybing (turning the other way) through the water. Despite all the whomping and sploshing, it was a thrill to complete the course (thanks largely to the RBYC’s patient sailing director Nathan Bailey) in the waters where the best yachtsmen will go bow to bow in the 2017 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup. Currently working its way through a world series, the event culminates in Bermuda next year, when the champions – the American billionaire Larry Ellison-backed Oracle – will race the challengers in the waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound. A British Overseas Territory, Bermuda was made for sailing, with its storied maritime history and insurance industry wealth putting it at yachting’s top table. Hamilton will be at the heart of the America’s Cup, and undoubtedly the place to stay is




First class: It’s plain sailing for GQ at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

the Hamilton Princess, a richly appointed hotel with an infinity pool where you can put your feet up and see right out across the harbour. Its three restaurants offer menus with neat mixtures of modern American, Caribbean-infused and traditional Bermudian dishes, such as fish chowder bites and grilled onion. As expected, most restaurants serve locally sourced seafood, but few beat the magnificent Mickey’s Bar & Bistro (, on the sand at Elbow Beach, or Breezes (, overlooking the Cambridge Resort & Spa. It’s the perfect setting for gazing out across the Atlantic and sharing some newly earned sailing stories. The days spent on the water are enough to inspire a Brit’s deep-rooted maritime urge and so demand a trip to St George’s, the buzzy former capital that’s a living, breathing Unesco World Heritage site. Take an evocative Haunted History tour and top off with dinner at The Tempest Bistro (001 441 297 0861), named after Shakespeare’s shipwreck-inspired play. It also does a great Rum Swizzle, the national drink, invented up the road at the Swizzle Inn (, whose current efforts are also worth a stop-off. While here, it’s only right to observe that other seafaring tradition of partying like a sailor on shore leave. So, put a night out at the Royal Naval Dockyard on the agenda and check out Calico Jack’s floating bar (complete with plank to walk), Bone Fish Bar And Grill and nearby Woody’s Bar, a locals’ haunt that has a distinctly Caribbean feel and a ramshackle party vibe. And maybe keep the next day clear of sailing. Learn To Sail Bermuda courses, from £110pp.; Seven nights at the Hamilton Princess, from £1,899 for two people. fairmont. com/hamilton-bermuda. BA flies to Hamilton from £446 return. Prestige Holidays. 01425 480400.

The America’s Cup presented by Louis Vuitton takes place in Bermuda on 17-18 and 24-27 June 2017 (provisional).

Photographs Royal Bermuda Yacht Club; Barry Johnson for Bermuda Tourism Authority



CAMPBELL interview

When I first asked Alastair Campbell to become GQ’s arch interrogator two years ago, it’s fair to say one or two readers were somewhat displeased. How dare I give a platform to such a controversial, partisan figure? To me, the emotion he arouses was part of his appeal. People love him or hate him, but all seem to sit up and take notice of what he does and says. Also, what became clear from his very first interviews – with Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond – was that he didn’t see his monthly slot here as a platform for himself, but for the interviewee. Since then, he has pitted his wits against some of our most influential personalities, the likes of Sadiq Khan, Nicola Sturgeon, Nick Clegg and Chuka Umunna in politics, Steve Coogan and Kevin Spacey in culture, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, José Mourinho, Paul Gascoigne and Sebastian Coe in sport. His having operated at the top level in politics and government, and his passion for sport, seemed to encourage greater openness from his subjects. As Bolt said last month: “I enjoyed that interview. Most people just ask the same stuff and it’s boring. That was good fun. I enjoyed it.” But of course, although also a spectator, Alastair remains a player in our politics and public life. So, with the party conference season approaching, I had what Alastair initially dismissed as a “mad idea” – interview yourself. But frankly, in these extraordinary political times, with Brexit despatching one prime minister and delivering another, Labour’s leadership in turmoil, the SNP pushing for a second independence referendum, Nigel Farage resigning and the Chilcot Report coming down hard on Tony Blair, I could think of nobody better for him to interview at this time. So here it is: as ever, direct, simple questions and direct, revealing answers. On the Iraq War and Chilcot; on Brexit and Labour’s wilderness years; and on his darkest days of depression: Alastair Campbell faces his toughest opponent yet – himself. Dylan Jones, Editor 130 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016


David Bailey

AC: So, what’s this? AC: Me interviewing myself. It wasn’t

my f***ing idea. AC: Whose was it? AC: Some bright spark at GQ. I said it sounded like journalistic masturbation, but they were keen. AC: You mean you couldn’t land the big guns? AC: Yep. Tried them all. Wimps. Osborne was close, but in the end he said, “We learned something from you lot – only do the things where you can control the message.” They just think I hate all Tories. AC: Do you hate all Tories? AC: No. Alan Clark was a good friend; others are too. Also, on the EU referendum, for once I was on the same side as Cameron and Osborne.

‘Tony Blair had to make a decision most of us never have to. There were no easy options’


Speaking truth to power: Alastair Campbell was Tony Blair’s comms boss from 1997 to 2003 and has been GQ’s interviewerin-chief since 2014


ALASTAIR CAMPBELL AC: That went well. AC: Tell me about it. I still can’t believe we lost. Won on

the arguments, lost on the emotions, and now we have to live with the bloody consequences. AC: Will you put Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in Winners: And How They Succeed now? Quite a win. AC: It sure was, and they were the difference, I think. But what a mess. Won on a pack of lies, then they run and hide, then Gove knifes Johnson just like he did Cameron, and having banged on about how the people, not unelected elites, should choose our leaders, we get a new prime minister not chosen by the electorate. Farce. So no, BoJo and Govey will go in the follow up, Losers: And How They Fail.


Will Brexit definitely happen?

Photographs Ben Cawthra/LNP; Alan Davidson/The Picture Library Ltd

AC: I hope not. We are already seeing

that “Project Fear” was, if anything, understated. It is a disaster on so many levels, a moment of real lasting decline. AC: Did you feel sorry for Johnson? AC: No, not at all. He went for Brexit for opportunistic not principled reasons and got his just deserts. AC: What was the brief from GQ about interviewing yourself? AC: Ask the questions you most get asked. And answer them frankly. AC: So what is the question you get asked most? AC: “What are you up to these days?” It’s irritating, because it’s really just a way of saying, “Didn’t you used to be important?” AC: So what do you say? AC: Depends on my mood. Sometimes I say, “If I told you I’d have to kill you,” or I might say, “I’m devising a new app,” but my autopilot answer is [bored voice] “A mix of writing, speaking, consultancy, both alone and with the communications firm Portland, media, charity and campaigns. I do a fair bit in sport too.” AC: Ah, Portland. Didn’t they orchestrate the Corbyn coup? AC: I have seen some lame conspiracy theories in my time, but that was one of the lamest. Some guy I hadn’t heard of heckles Corbyn and suddenly there is a sinister Blairite plot. AC: But you did call for Corbyn to resign. AC: Yes. I don’t think he can win an election. He is great at preaching to his natural supporters. But he isn’t reaching new people. AC: Would you help him if he asked you?

Right to remain: Alastair Campbell joins the push to stay in the EU in London’s Hyde Park, 19 June 2016; (above) with Tony Blair at the peak of New Labour power, 21 January 2003

AC: I can’t see it happening. Also,

I really think Labour politics needs a new generation of strategist. I left Downing Street 13 years ago but have gone back for every campaign since. At the last one, especially, I felt sure there must be younger people who would be better at what the politicians were asking me to do. AC: What do you enjoy most and least about all these things you do? AC: I really like the work for Time To Change, trying to change the way people think about mental illness, but I couldn’t do it full time. I’ve written eleven books now, and have six more in the pipeline: four volumes of diaries; a children’s book about depression; and a novel. The speaking market is very lucrative – someone called it “white collar crime” – but it can be soul-destroying. I enjoy it when they want something specific – addressing a particular issue that makes me think, or analysing their strengths and weaknesses in a kind of strategy boot camp. The Winners book opened up a new raft of approaches from firms wanting me to apply lessons from the book to them, a lot of them in sport. I also have a golden rule: two unpaid speeches for every paid one. AC: So you feel guilty about making money. AC: Not guilty as such, but I often enjoy the stuff I do for nothing more than the stuff I do for money. AC: Are you not somewhat obsessed by sport? AC: Yes. I enjoy it but also we can learn so much from it. I’ve studied great sports teams and I honestly think if New Labour had been better at teamship we would still be there. AC: Even after Iraq? AC: We won an election after the Iraq war. I do not think we lost power because of policy or Iraq or because the Tories came along with better ideas for the country. We lost because we failed on teamship. Not just Tony Blair and Gordon Brown but all sorts of levels. And then when it came to 2015, after Ed Miliband resigned, there simply wasn’t the depth or breadth of candidates. Partly, that was because so many from the New Labour team had bailed out. That is a failure of teamship and culture. AC: Did Labour pick the wrong Miliband in 2010? AC: I get asked that pretty much every day, which suggests the public thinks

we did, but the party elected Ed not David. Fact. And when Ed resigned, the party elected Jeremy Corbyn. Fact. AC: Could David come back? AC: It would be good if he did, but would he get elected in the new [sic] Labour Party under JC? Dunno. AC: Is today’s Labour a rejection of New Labour? AC: Partly, yes. Without a doubt. But it is sad as well as stupid that we have turned our most successful ever leader and election-winning strategies into negatives. It’s not just about Iraq. So much of this is media driven. Yes, I meet people who say they hate Tony, but I meet plenty of others who say they hate the way the media vilify him and that the country could do with someone like him back in charge. But Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t happened in a vacuum. We didn’t cement the legacy securely enough, we didn’t develop talent enough, and the energies taken up by the Blair/Brown struggles meant we did not have the debate we needed about the future direction of the party when we needed it most, when we were helping Gordon to take over. AC: Were you surprised Cameron got a majority last time? AC: No. The public struggled to see Ed as a prime minister. And he made a strategic error by failing to rebut the Tories’ attack on Labour as having caused the economy to crash through overspending. “The mess we inherited” became the soundtrack for the parliament. It allowed the Tories to trash our record and we helped them. It also gave them an excuse for a lot of the dreadful things they have done. It is quite something for them to have missed pretty much every economic target, presided over worsening schools and hospitals, been divided on Europe, and sparked a crisis in homelessness and inequality, SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 133

yet won an election, lost a PM and still stayed ahead in the polls. AC: What are the most asked questions out on the circuit? AC: I get more and more about mental health, which makes me feel the campaign for openness is working. I get a lot about Burnley. Taxi drivers I would say are now 50-50 between politics and sport. I get asked whether I am proud that people say Malcolm Tucker is based on me. (Yes, because it is funny and my kids love it.) And why I don’t stand for parliament. (I’ve thought about it, but the time has never been right.) AC: You didn’t mention Iraq. AC: I do get asked about Iraq a lot, and I did dozens of interviews defending Tony when the Chilcot Report came out. But I find Iraq gets raised much more by the media than by the public. I was talking to Alan Johnson about this the other day, who was saying in his new life as an author he gets very different questions from the public than from the media.


Run for office: Alastair Campbell with partner Fiona after finishing the London Marathon, 13 April 2003

Were you surprised at the severity of the Chilcot Report?

AC: I was a bit. Maybe I was lulled into a false sense

of security because I didn’t get a letter of criticism. But also the letters sent to others, who asked me for advice, including Tony, suggested Chilcot was not going to be quite as harsh as he was. But ultimately, experts can analyse all the documents and the processes, but Tony Blair had to make a decision the likes of which most of us never have to, and there were no easy options. AC: So you don’t accept it was a total catastrophe and that Blair’s legacy is trashed for ever? AC: No and no. Saddam fell. That is a good thing. Iraq is now a democracy engaged in the fight against terrorism. But I completely accept the aftermath planning was woeful. There were things we did not predict. Iraq is not as we wished it to be and too many lives were lost. But I also think it’s unfair so much of the blame falls on Tony. The UK contributed five per cent of the military, but it seems to me he gets most of the blame. AC: So you feel the Yanks should be held to account? AC: I think Tony had a more positive influence on George W Bush than Chilcot judged him to. But there were others in there, the real neocons – Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld – who should have focused much more on the aftermath, not just the invasion and fall of Saddam, and we should have pressed them more. As for Tony’s legacy, of course Iraq is a huge part of it. But so is Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, development and debt relief. So is the biggest schools and hospitals spending programme since the war, 134 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

minimum wage, devolution, Bank Of England independence, gay rights, smoking ban... I could go on and on. AC: Is Iraq to blame for Isis? AC: That is too simplistic. It is like saying the war in Afghanistan caused al-Qaida. Jihadist terrorism was a developing phenomenon and cannot be ascribed to one event or one reason. Also, those who think we should have left Saddam in place – and let’s not forget he was a brutal, brutal dictator – should reflect on what might have happened had he still been there during the Arab Spring. I worry leaders are learning the wrong lessons, above all ducking difficult decisions for fear of the fallout on them personally. Every time I see Jeremy Corbyn in front of his “Standing up, not standing by” slogan, I think, “We sure as hell aren’t standing up for the Syrians being hit with Assad’s chemical weapons and barrel bombs.” That was meant to be a red line for the major powers. AC: Do you hate the media? AC: No. I hate parts of the media, especially the Mail, and I hate a lot of the media culture. But for all my battles with them, I am a big supporter of the BBC. AC: How hard was the transition to the life you have now? AC: Very hard. It’s actually what led to this self-interview. I mentioned to GQ that I kept bumping into retired sports stars who’d seemed to go through exactly what I went through when I left Downing Street. AC: Namely? AC: Depression, and a real struggle to find meaning and purpose. AC: How bad was the depression? AC: Bad. Suicidal at times. I could barely function, and my partner, Fiona, was worried for my sanity. I’m in OK shape now, thanks partly to having finally found the medication that seems to work for me. It’s my new addiction. I’ve been incredibly lucky in the way Fiona has supported me and it has helped that I decided, when the children were old enough to understand, to be open with them about my depression. AC: So what is it that stops you going back into something so all-encompassing? AC: Family and freedom. It was only when I went through my diaries I realised what a nightmare I must have been to live with and how much I was

putting my health and our happiness at risk. That is another question I get asked a lot, especially by women: “Is Fiona a saint and why does she put up with you?” AC: And is she? AC: She is, pretty much. She didn’t always make it easy for me but looking back I realise she had our and the family’s interests foremost. I think if either of us were weaker characters we would have split up at times, but I am very, very glad that we didn’t. I still do too much and can be a nightmare to live with, especially when I am a bit manic or in a depression, but I think we have a good life. And freedom is a wonderful thing to have. AC: Have your children inherited your politics? AC: More or less. Rory is a total Blairite, thinks Tony should still be leader and PM. Calum is more left wing and rages against inequality in the world. Grace expresses her politics through passionate feminism and the belief that Fiona’s generation won equality for women in the eyes of the law, but that we are still a million miles away from genuine equality. AC: Do you think any of them will go into politics? AC: Not as things stand. Rory was a poker player during and after university and now works in data, analytics and player recruitment for West Ham United. Calum works for a strategy and comms firm and is setting up a foundation, All Human, to support people living on the streets. Grace is at film school and has already made some brilliant films. I am really proud of them and find my own focus on the future is as much about them as about anything I will do. AC: Is there anything else you would like to tell a grateful nation? AC: No. I’m at the end of the word count. I just need to work out how much expenses to claim for this one. I’ve done it in Hong Kong so I’ll probably put in a return Upper Class Virgin flight from London. AC: And what are you doing in Hong Kong? AC: If I told you that I’d have to kill you. Winners: And How They Succeed (£9.99, Penguin Random House) is out now.

Photograph Alan Davidson/The Picture Library Ltd




Style that breaks barriers ‘MINI Fluid Fashion’, a convention-defying capsule collection in cooperation with five promising international designers, made its debut at Pitti Uomo 90 The catalyst for this exciting project is the principle that today’s fashion is heading towards a new dawn where gender is a fluid concept – where simple definitions and mere garment types come second to expressing style and self. With its proud legacy of self-expression and forging new paths, MINI is a perfect partner for this innovative experiment. Plus, a long association with the fashion and design industries further underline its credentials to support the latest generation of the creative class through the “MINI Fluid Fashion” initiative. Five young international designers were asked to showcase their own unique styles in a capsule collection inspired by MINI’s unmistakable character – and create a vision with the power to overcome gender’s style limitations. The result, unveiled at Pitti Uomo 90 in Florence, marks the beginning of MINI’s journey into challenging fashion conventions. A bold move for a brand trusted by the creative classes for its faith in innovative, bold ideas above all else. After the success of the MINI Gentleman’s Collection at the previous Pitti Uomo 88, the brand prepares to surpass the limits of menswear with this exclusive capsule collection of sweatshirts, due to be sold online at Luisa Via Roma ( Meet the designers and hear the story behind their design at

All of the designers participating in the ‘MINI Fluid Fashion’ project, which was presented at Pitti Uomo 90 in Florence

SUNNEI Loris Messina & Simone Rizzo

AGI & SAM Agape Mdumulla & Sam Cotton

G Partnership

HIEN LE Hien Le SANKUANZ Shangguan Zhe

ÉTUDES Aurélien Arbet & Jérémie Egry

Come here, boy: The US, blindsided by the Brexit vote, has not had to have a British strategy for generations



BREAK UP America is in shock. After decades of ignoring the UK as a separate entity, Washington now needs to rekindle the ‘special relationship’. So what does Brexit – the opening shot in the battle between global elites and fact-free populism – mean for the US and its would-be presidents?


Michael Wolff


André Carrilho


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MICHAEL WOLFF he UK has long had a bilateral, international identity as EU pillar and English-language mother country – the root of its special relationship and “most important ally” status with the US. It is that latter role that has arguably most shaped the UK’s modern global view and identity. And that came undone even before Europe came undone. Somewhere following Tony Blair’s exit from Downing Street and Barack Obama’s election, the special relationship – a commercial, cultural, historical and diplomatic bond – was seriously downgraded to silly legacy. Hence, the Brexit debate was a non-issue in the US. The New York Times not only failed to address the sides of the debate – that is, to acknowledge that there were two – but barely covered the event until the final days (and when it did happen, its most upto-the-moment response was to get Blair to write a comment for the paper). The Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, whose conservative editorial pages might logically have been a Brexit supporter, could hardly be bothered (Murdoch himself, up until the vote, seemed largely indifferent). Obama, extending David Cameron a begrudging favour, took an opportunity to haughtily dismiss the issue – and threaten it would send the UK to the “back of the queue”. Europe was the global entity, he was saying, not Britain. When I interviewed Donald Trump less than a month before the vote, he was unfamiliar with the term “Brexit”. (“Huh,” he said.) Hillary Clinton would, I suspect, not have been much more passionate. The US was subsumed in its own election, of course. What’s more, to the extent that there was any awareness, it was through London eyes: Brexit as an outlier issue not worth having any other opinion about than a London one. But most of all, it was just a matter for Britain, a country that, in some not-insignificant but quite unnoticed, historical development, had completely exited the US imagination. Well, you’re back. The morning after the referendum, the US woke up not only to a spectacular dénouement – bodies scattered across the stage – of a drama it did not know was unfolding but also to the unmistakable fact and sudden new sensation that the UK mattered. The Beatles in the form of Brexit had come to America. Quite literally, nobody had any idea what had happened – the New York Times, wholly blindsided, had to run a Brexit primer, as much, one suspected, for its own reporters as its readers – other than that something terribly large and full of

Photograph John Frost Newspapers

foreboding had gone down. Mind-bending. People, many among them the most incredibly ditzy airheads of the social media era, who on Thursday had no awareness at all of Brexit, by late Friday morning were full of passionate intensity on the subject. And everybody, truly approaching 100 per cent, was shocked and appalled – among them, almost all of the people you most enjoy seeing shocked and appalled. So again, The Beatles: overnight this new thing had rocked the establishment, violently rocked it, back on its heels. The question, every day seemingly more urgent, is: “What does it mean?” But, especially given that the answer will surely be elusive – even if there is no answer, just Paper over the cracks: The American media gave Brexit little consideration – until it happened

Britain is a prima donna, exerting national ego at a wartime level an unfolding new era – the question might be better phrased as: “What is it worth?” Having repositioned and redefined itself, and now having commanded the attention of the world, not least of all Washington, what is the value of this new British leverage and mindshare? Having gone, in the blink of an eye, from a low-value interest of the United States to the most volatile and combative entity, in what remains the most significant region of US interests, what can Britain, suddenly the Iran of Europe, get with its new, threatening bugbear profile? At the risk of self-parody, it may be worth looking at this not solely as a global economic event but as a media event too. Remain

argued, in a fumfering way, that there were unknowable risks in undoing the structural details of complex contractual and business relationships. Leave, always shy on details, argued something larger. Sovereignty and democracy, yes. But something also more theatrical, demonstrative and cathartic. Look at me. And, of course, f*** you. What is the meaning of this gesture? It’s Trumpian, obviously. That’s part of the apoplexy striking markets and opinion columns. He’s everywhere, or it’s everywhere – this new form of political expression, of speaking in symbols not policy (of course, in many ways, an old form too). And that is also its media appeal: a roiled, ongoing, ever-surprising narrative constantly resupplying itself with new outrage and pithy sound bites. That’s Trump and that’s Leave. Forget whether Leave is ultimately good or bad and see Leave as holding the world’s attention. Extraordinarily so. Now, having the world’s attention, what’s to be done with it? How to monetise it? And what message do you send to the world? Leave is as much agitprop – something Remain notes with contempt and anger – as it is economic programme. And in agitprop you have to keep explaining and refining the gesture. Let me double down on self-parody and see this as, in part, a branding exercise. Not to mince words: the general perception of the old brand was that the British are lazy and hate change and are never at the forefront of anything (except, occasionally, music and fashion). So this sudden “what have they done?” is some remarkable reinvention. From quiescent stalwarts and practiced bootlickers, the British have become global prima donnas, exerting national ego at a wartime level. Leave is pure aggression. Wilful belligerence. Now, nobody is going to clap you on the back for that. This is bad behaviour of a very unsporting kind. And yet, that’s the point. The squeaky wheel. The mouse that roared. Henry VIII. From the beginning, to general derision by the media and the professional political class, Boris Johnson defined Brexit as a negotiating posture. That was offensive, both to the people who thought they had already done the negotiation and to the people who thought that they were operating on settled terms, the US and President Obama included. Johnson was like a new, slickster agent, promising, with hijinks and brinkmanship – Brexit is quite a storming out of the room – a new deal for a long overlooked client. Nobody likes this style of negotiating, except the suddenly richer client. (To type, the old, respectable agents charge the new agent with being a charlatan, who will leave the client high and dry when he can’t make his quick buck.) SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 141


The special relationship hinges on personality and mutual interests It’s indeed a peculiar assumption that the status quo is a stronger hand than being a free agent, and by people who should surely know better (rather the entire negotiating class). In a multilateral world, you want fewer variables. But, given that a new variable suddenly exists, now it has to be put to advantage. Brexit has, to date, been cast as a negative for the UK, that it will lose its place in Europe and as a point of influence. Surely, from a US view, that’s nonsense. Having two entities to negotiate with, playing one against the other, invariably improves your position – that is to say, the US position. The US position and leverage with regard to Europe now potentially increases with its closeness to Britain. And so, the special relationship becomes truly quite special again. State, Defense, CIA, NSA and other under-the-radar offices of US government are surely now gaming not merely the drawbacks of the Britain’s exit, but the new possibilities of its free agent in Europe. (Not to say that the US won’t also double-cross the Brits, but that’s life as a free agent.) In this, for better or worse, the UK becomes the US’s strategic foil against Germany and Brussels. Indeed, a potential, hidden downside (as well as potential upside) is not that Britain is sent to the back of the queue, but rather that it exchanges its vassal relationship with Europe for a greater vassal relationship with the US. In this, the UK becomes not the Iran, but the Israel of Europe (for better or worse). Britain too, in its Brexit embrace, becomes, to the US, the objective correlative for the inchoate political rage that everybody feels 142 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

but nobody has been able to name or really accept – one reason why, against all prior lack of interest, Brexit suddenly made it so big in the US. “My God, this is real,” every liberal suddenly said. Trump, curiously – helping liberal denial – has rather marginalised his own movement. Trump is an anomaly. He is a media creation and hence can seem less real than he might actually be. As much as he might claim to represent a frightening mood, he more clearly represents himself. Hillary Clinton surely feels she can run against Trump on his own merits, or demerits, and largely avoid what Trumpism is about. Until now.


ritain, through Brexit, enters the political psychology of the US in a way that it has not since Margaret Thatcher. The Brexit vote gives particular clarity to what is reasonably the era’s most acute political reality: the new class structure. It is not rich and poor, but savvy and unsavvy, insider and outsider, educated and not educated, old and young, super cities and shitty cities. Brexit is a cautionary tale – the call to attention that Trump should be, but isn’t because he’s Trump. While Trump confuses the issue, Brexit provides a rather pure, demographic portrait of resentment and disappointment. Clinton, as opportunistic as Johnson or Michael Gove, is surely dwelling on this now. It’s where the political upside is. It is too where the Clinton political talents lie. Hillary has, quite against her temperament, been pulled to the Left. But the real Clinton

country is somewhere else. And that’s an opportunity. In the old politics, the future promised all for some – efficiency, freedom, convenience, wealth. In the new politics, the future is going to have to come slower and more judiciously, indeed more sceptically, balancing greater promises for some, with an understanding of the reality for all. (I offer that paragraph to Hillary Clinton as she pivots to the middle and reaches to form a vast new constituency of middle-of-the-roaders repulsed by Trump.) She is, too, likely rewriting her “expert” views. One hopes she is anyway. It’s not a small Brexit lesson. In a world that is talking in symbols, don’t try to talk back with facts (the data-driven world has devalued them). If it’s an emotional argument, you have to uncover your own emotions. Looking towards her presidency, Clinton must now be thinking about her UK strategy. A US politician has not had to have a UK strategy since before the EU, which is the point – a benefit of being top of mind. And yet the flipside of opportunity is blowing it. The special relationship has always hinged as much on personality as on mutual interests. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were smitten with each other. Blair was able to bond with both Bill Clinton and George W Bush and became an ideal Brit for American media – a singular accomplishment and cautionary tale. But Gordon Brown and David Cameron could not get arrested in the US. It would not seem like Theresa May is a natural either, but perhaps we will see May and Trump together smiling on a Scottish golf course or some Theresa and Hillary magic. Brexit as a media and branding moment – a Britain full of eccentricities and bluster, whose value should not be underestimated – may most logically be pursued by Boris as its face. His fully realised future has always seemed – again like The Beatles – as a media figure in the US. And perhaps as foreign secretary, facing an aghast State Department and a perplexed White House, with sideways remarks to a charmed American press, he will be the salesman for a resurgent and quixotic British brand. As I write this, not only does Brexit seem without purpose or message, but Britain appears to be going crazy. But crazy too is a redefinition of a nation’s place in the world, and its own peculiar leverage. The way forward for Britain without Europe is surely through the US. And there is a deal to be done.


For these related stories, visit

The Last Days Of Sumner (Michael Wolff, August 2016) What Wendi Knows (Michael Wolff, July 2016) Donald Trump. Really? (Michael Wolff, June 2016)

Photograph Rex

America’s sweetheart: A mural in Bristol featuring Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, by In campaigners We Are Europe, 24 June 2016

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH RAYMOND WEIL is proud to be supporting Swiss sailing team Realteam as its OfďŹ cial Timing Partner and to introduce a new freelancer able to support the crew in the most extreme sailing conditions. A nice little tip of the hat to Mr Raymond Weil who was a member of the Geneva Yacht Club. Join the discussion #RWRealteam

freelancer collection



Jody Todd Briefcases by Hugo Boss, £600 each.



THE MOST WANTED: For many years men’s classic work bags were the Cinderella of the accessories world, but they have since transformed and are now one of the hottest tickets in town. And you don’t have to sacrifice style for practicality as the Signature briefcase by Boss comes in a variety of colours. It will hold all your essentials with ease while ensuring you look the business on the way to work. SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 145

TOM ODELL: CHECK HIM OUT Coat by Tommy Hilfiger, £320. Top by Sunspel, £175. Trousers by Michael Kors, £270.

PUT him in this season’s retro-inspired checks and it’s not hard to see Tom Odell as 21st-century Britain’s answer to the Seventies super-rocker. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter rose to fame after Burberry used his epic ballad “Another Love” at its spring/summer 2013 womenswear show. A Brit Award and an Ivor Novello-winning album followed soon after and this summer he performed at Glastonbury for the second time in as many years. That’s one rock’n’roll rise. Of his latest album’s title, Wrong Crowd, he explains he’s always found the idea of cliques and fitting in fascinating. “There’s so much judgement when you’re growing up and it still applies to me. I’m still trying to find the place where I belong.” We think he’s found it, though. The stage – whether it’s the Paradiso in Amsterdam or San Diego’s House Of Blues – is undoubtedly his natural stomping ground. Style-wise, he says he has matured, moving away from “baggy jumpers and jeans” to a sharper-edged uniform. Clothes, admits Odell, have taken on a new role as an “extension of the stage and what the fans are hearing”. Zaki Maoui

Photographs by Rhys Frampton Styling by Jessica Punter


Style assistant Nicole Kaur Grooming Tim Pateman at Fox Represents for The Lion & The Fox

Blazer, £715. Trousers, £370. Boots, £370. All by Paul Smith. T-shirt, Tom’s own

Jacket by Dior Homme, £1,500. Top by Michael Kors, £270. Trousers by Hugo Boss, £149.

WHICH WALLET? Gone are the days of the bulky trouser pocket. Upgrade your wallet game with this streamline cardholder that holds all the eight-till-late essentials. £135.



In my previous job I wore suits with mainly black shoes but in my new role I am wearing smart casual, so jeans and shirt. Black shoes with blue jeans just doesn’t seem right, so do you have any advice or do I make black shoes redundant? Giovanni De Marco, via email

The problem here isn’t the colour. It’s the combination of two contradictory styles. Jeans can look great with black Red Wing Beckman worker boots, for example, or even, at a pinch, a pair of Chelsea boots. I will admit that I have been known to wear a pair of black Bass Weejuns with jeans. But try matching a pair of classic black brogues with your well-loved Levi’s and you will end up looking like an off-duty policeman. The same is true of chinos. Indeed, it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid mixing the casual with the very smart. Put it this way, you wouldn’t wear a pair of Stan Smiths with a navy three-piece pinstripe suit. Or would you? So save the black dress shoes for suits, weddings and funerals. If you want a smarter option of footwear for the casual office stick to loafers or monk-straps, and if you insist on wearing brogues go for a brown pair and veer on the side of chunky. Denim-wise I would suggest sticking to dark. Perhaps my favourite shoe for an office jean right now is the Bristol suede monk straps by O’Keeffe. The toe and heel are lightly waxed to give them that perfect lived-in feel so they look like you have loved them for a long time.

T-shirt by Sunspel, £60. Jeans by Nudie, £145. Blazer by Burberry, £595.



I have a very simple question. Were you to be forced at gunpoint to wear one designer’s wares for the duration of your days, which would you choose? This has to be for all sorts of occasions so choose wisely. (For the record, I would go with Prada.) Drew, via email

I love these ridiculous questions, like the famous one about who would win in a fight between a bear and a shark or whether it would be better to drown or freeze to death. And the truth is, like your Desert Island Discs selection, even if you could choose, the likelihood is that it would change constantly. What experience has taught me is that it is easier to have a number of go-to brands for favoured items – shirts, jeans, whatever – and to buy these in bulk. I am by inclination a maximalist. Recently, for example, I reduced my everyday wardrobe to the bare minimum. This consists of a white Sunspel T-shirt, dark blue jacket and a pair of Nudie jeans. The jacket is one of a number I own – from a cotton Burberry single-breasted to a double-breasted number by Pal Zileri. It may sound boring but it has made life very easy and has resulted in a gratifying number of compliments. Yet I don’t think I could go to the extent of having to limit myself to one label for the rest of my life – even though the thought of a pensioner in Prada is rather chic.

I am attending a fairly large work night out in a cool bar. What do I wear? I’ll not be suited and booted but I don’t want to be T-shirt-and-jeans casual either. Is there a middle ground? Tone, via email

One of my latest obsessions is the evolution of the suit, and I have given a talk to GQ readers at the Burberry flagship store on London’s Regent Street and even appeared on Radio 4’s consumer show You And Yours to speak

Shoes by O’Keeffe, £350. At

on the subject. On the radio I managed to come out with the somewhat mad quote that “men are the new women”. By this I meant that men were no longer satisfied to have only a suit option for work and – like women – now want a wider choice of options when it comes to “smart”. The reason I say this is that, conversely, the suit should no longer be seen as just a work uniform; it can be for going out too, paired with a crisp white T-shirt. For a more casual suit, look for one in cotton. Stores such as Reiss sell some suits as separates so

you can also wear the suit jacket as a blazer, which opens up a whole new wardrobe option. Twin a navy blazer with some light-coloured trousers – for great value look out for the white chinos at Uniqlo – and again twin with a white tee. Shoes-wise you can either go the smarter route and think loafers or just as easily get away with a cool pair of trainers (as long as they aren’t too grungy). Blazer by River Island, £110.


As one of Geneva’s most famous watchmakers it is fitting that Raymond Weil is the official timing partner of the Swiss Realteam for the 2016 season of D35 catamaran races on Lake Geneva. To mark the relationship, Raymond Weil has produced a new model of the popular sporty Freelancer with a striking flash of orange on the bezel. £1,595.

Motor racing has long been a passion for Links Of London, which describes its latest Driver Dashboard model – perhaps our favourite of all its offerings – as “adrenaline-fueled”. It comes in a variety of different iterations, but perhaps the most eye-catching is gunplated stainless steel with yellow detailing on the dial that is picked up in the contrast stitching on the strap. £750.

El Primero Chronomaster Cohiba Edition by Zenith When you consider the fact that a humidor containing 50 Cohiba 50 Aniversario cigars sold at auction in Cuba for £267,000 – that’s £5,340 a stick – it’s not hard to see why the world’s most celebrated smoke (created for Fidel Castro’s personal use in 1966 and launched worldwide commercially in 1982) might make the perfect partner for an enterprising brand such as Zenith. To celebrate their union – and Cohiba’s half-century – the Le Locle manufacture has created a limited-edition El Primero Chronomaster 1969, its open dial recast in Havana brown and emblazoned with the famous squaw’s head logo (allegedly designed by Castro himself). Featuring Zenith’s similarly world-renowned high-frequency movement, 50 pieces of the Cohiba Special Edition are available in rose gold (£14,900) and 500 pieces in steel (£7,000). BP 01204 424 051.

Patek Philippe has always been famous for its hand-wound chronographs and its calibre CH 29-535 PS is considered by many to be one of the finest traditional chronograph movements available. That’s what you’ll find in the 5170R 010, the latest model, which comes in rose gold with a black dial. Looks alone should see it become a classic. £53,320.

WATCH NEWS: Zenith’s smoking hot Special Edition;

new, adrenaline-fuelled favourites; plus, why less is more this season 150 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

SIMPLE SOULS The trend towards minimalism is a smart movement Photograph by Mitch Payne 1 2

3 4





1. Watch by Junghans, £1,500. At Selfridges. 2. Watch by Nomos Glasshütte, £1,610. 3. Watch by Skagen, £175. 4. Watch by Mondaine, £285. At John Lewis. 5. Watch by Christopher Ward, £399. 6. Watch by Oris, £990. 7. Watch by Rado, £1,720. 8. Watch by Georg Jensen, £1,790.



Luke Leitch

Guts and graft have taken Lou Dalton from adolescent dreams of being a designer to the top of her game. GQ’s Contributing Fashion Editor meets the hardest working woman in menswear. THE LAST TIME I glimpsed Lou Dalton was in a crowd: the seasonal sardine-ball of street-style snappers and the peacocks that hang around on The Strand outside the official venue for London Collections Men. Dalton’s collection – a damned fine one – had only moments ago finished showing. And there she was. Yet, wait: had she come a cropper? Dalton, normally a deft mover, was making slow progress, apparently aided by some elaborate, industrial two-legged crutch. The truth was less dramatic: poor Dalton was lugging the ironing board out of her own show. So much for glamour. While she is still sweetly embarrassed about the incident – and hints that her partner of 13 years, Justin Haigh, might just have been ruffled by a brisk breeze of Dalton opprobrium for nipping to the bar post-show – she really shouldn’t be. Because it perfectly illustrates the recipe of hard work and ‘Lou Dalton is gumption (with a double-shot of 100widely admired proof talent) that makes Dalton such for combining a particularly desirable dish on the wearability with menu of British menswear. One of the garments on the rail forensically Dalton delivered to the lorry in that applied detail moment from Coronation Street and quirk’ was a fine-gauge knit – produced in collaboration with John Smedley – that features the up-close topographical Ordnance Survey hieroglyphs specific to the corner of Hodnet, Shropshire, where she was raised: her grandmother’s farm is positioned lovingly under its left armpit. When Dalton was 16 and released from an unspectacular academic career she went on a Youth Training Scheme – “£35 a week!” – to work for Pardie, a clothier in Market Drayton. Here she learnt how to fold trousers and mastered the intricacies of the action shoulder. “It was all about getting to grips with the paunch, the French bearer, and which side a man dresses,” she says. After several years of this excellent education, a friend from a nearby farm, who was heading to Central Saint Martins, encouraged


Dalton to follow a yen to be a fashion designer she first felt at the age of 12 after seeing Zandra Rhodes on This Is Your Life. Dalton’s route was unromantic. After being turned down by the University Of Northumbria (she was mortified) Dalton studied locally for an HND – “Have no degree,” she recalls ruefully – before having the last laugh by being accepted by the Royal College Of Art for an MA. “I never haven’t worked,” says Dalton. “I always work.” That mantra took her to Bologna the Monday after her graduation, where she worked at a design studio whose clients included Iceberg and Stone Island. Later, back in London, she worked indirectly for Japanese brands United Arrows and Beams. This job required her to travel the UK, sourcing manufacturers whose quality and authenticity would satisfy the finicky demands of the Japanese market. “A lot of it was knitwear,” she recalls. In Shetland, she had two life-altering encounters; the first was with Haigh (who works for BP), and second was with a sweater that suddenly cemented the long-dormant Dalton urge to strike out under her own name. “It was a kid’s sweater, very old and beautiful, that I found in Shetland. I thought, ‘Oh my God,’ we could recolour this and put some fluoro in and mess around with it.” This led Dalton to produce her first designs and launch her label in 2005. She is dedicated to menswear (“I’ve always just wanted to dress blokes”) and support, both financial and emotional, from Haigh has nurtured the company into a brand that is widely admired for combining wearability with forensically applied detail and quirk. Today Dalton is in Dalston, home of her studio (she calls it “the sweatshop”), and has just toured me through her most recent collection as well as showing me her current collaborations with John Smedley and Jaeger. She says that she and Haigh refer to the company as “our moody child – it consistently needs to be fed”, and her ambition for it is simple: “I’d like it to be selling more!” To achieve that she has just completed a top-to-tail sourcing audit. New factories in Lithuania and Poland mean she has been able to reduced her prices but maintain quality, and buyers, especially in Japan, have responded positively. Many designers believe their own hype and become complacent. Dalton deserves hype, but to her credit never allows it to dull her momentum. Both artistic and pragmatic, her clothes suddenly represent excellent value as well as being fine items for progressive dressing. As we finish our coffee, Dalton says that she is off to Santorini tomorrow. It is the first holiday she and Haigh have taken in years. This is a designer who started at the bottom, has her eye on the top and carries her own ironing board. A holiday is the very least that Dalton deserves.

Good for Lou: Looks from Dalton’s autumn/winter 2016 collection at LCM

Grooming Chloe Botting using American Crew Model Michael Gioia at Premier Model Management

The DSquared2 fashion shows are one of the highlights of Milan’s menswear week. And no wonder – the combination of tongue-in-cheek fun, great beats and clothes that are eminently wearable without ever taking themselves too seriously all add up to one of fashion’s most winning tours de force. For their autumn/ winter 2016 collection Dean and Dan Caten turned their attention to the east – a part of the world they have, up until now, rarely visited – albeit a case of Mandarin meets denim. The label is also brilliant for its dramatic take on formalwear – guaranteed to brighten up any red carpet. Because what man doesn’t go quietly mad for metallics?

Jacket, £3,520. Jeans, £325. Shirt, £350. All by DSquared2. dsquared2. com. Sunglasses by Persol, £200.

Photographs by Lottie Bea Spencer Styling by Carlotta Constant

THE GOLD RUSH It takes two (above): Dean and Dan Carter photographed by Inez & Vinoodh; (right) the DSquared2 uniform designed for Canada’s Rio Olympics team

There’s a proud tradition for a nation’s fashion icons to be invited to design their country’s Olympic squad uniforms. If you take the London 2012 games alone, Ralph Lauren kitted out the Americans, Giorgio Armani dressed the Italians and Stella McCartney went for gold with the Brits. So for Rio, Canada turned to Toronto’s most terrific twins, Dean and Dan. Give those boys a medal.


Small Mount Street in Black Croc | Passport Cover in Black Croc & Red Suede






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From left: Cabin bag, £25,000. Briefcase, £1,000. Laptop case, £740. All at Serapian.

leather goods, wallets and so forth, with his landladies’ offcuts and starting selling them, cycling across Milan with his wares. As his wallets became more sought-after he swapped the bicycle Shear luxury: Stefano Serapian’s for the train and travelled to other affluent cities and wife, Gina, cuts a six-metre crocodile skin; (inset) Frank resort towns. In Montecatini he fell in love with one Sinatra with Serapian case in 1956 of his customers, a young shop owner called Gina Flori. By the time she came to join him in Milan, in the Thirties, he had established himself as a maker of not just diaries and wallets but bags and suitcases, and in the year that the war ended the brand Stefano Serapian was born. The shop next to the factory became a magnet for the well-heeled and well-dressed Nick Foulkes recalls how Italy’s post-war Milanese bourgeoisie, and soon a Serapian bag was a hallmark of the northern Italian city’s affluent chic. creativity boom fuelled the ambitions Word spread. Yul Brynner was spotted at the airport with of leatherware’s most revered old master Serapian luggage, Humphrey Bogart was a customer too, and if you were Frank Sinatra, trotting down the steps of an airliner and into a burst of flashbulbs, a Serapian BUOYED by Marshall Plan aid, the years following the end of the suitcase was as much of a style signature The shop Second World War were golden for Europe. In France they called as a snap-brim. became a this period of prosperity les trente glorieuses. In Italy, it was called This was the age of progress, and magnet for the il miracolo economico, although a better name would be the one Serapian was forever experimenting well-heeled Federico Fellini selected for his 1960 film, La Dolce Vita. with new designs, innovative materials Milanese While war-weary Britain descended into a drab, post-imperial and different ways of treating traditional bourgeoisie, decline of prefab housing and rissoles, Italy could not wait to materials. One Serapian novelty was a hallmark of blossom. With the end of the war the country exploded with Evolution, which first appeared in 1965: affluent chic creativity: 1945 was the year that Brioni launched; the year that a grained calfskin treated with four coats Piaggio gave the world the Vespa; and it was the year Stefano of varnish to make it stain-, water- and Serapian set up his eponymous leather goods business with his scratch-resistant. It continues to be offered today and is favoured wife, Gina, working out of a small atelier on Milan’s Via Jommelli. for items that see plenty of wear, such as briefcases, computer Stefano Serapian was a survivor: a powerfully built man who, bags and so forth. in addition to becoming a luxury goods baron, was a champion The reason that the jet-set liked Serapian was that his business weightlifter in his spare time. An Armenian who had lived through was primarily bespoke, out of which some classic models grew. the genocide and made it to Venice, aged 15, in the Twenties, he then For instance, the Doctor bag was said to have been devised as a moved on to Milan to work for a confectioner and took lodgings with Serapian response to requests from physicians in Milan in 1969. a couple of women who stitched shoe uppers. Fascinated, he started The bag itself has a bit of the old hinged opening characteristic learning their trade. of Gladstone bags, with an added outer flap pocket. It is hard to Hereafter the story resembles a feel-good Italian movie in the mode imagine a better looking bit of medical equipment. of Il Postino. Serapian found that he had an aptitude for crafting small It was not until almost ten years into the current century that Serapian took the decision to open its own shops, launching on Via della Spiga in 2009, then Venice, Rome, Moscow, and Hong Kong, with a summer It is fair to say that Brunello Cucinelli has helped change the way season shop in Porto Cervo men dress the world over with his vision of everyday relaxed style – layering quilted vests with soft, tailored one-and-a-half-breasted on the Costa Smeralda. Alas blazers and streamlined cargo trousers – but in the most luxurious London does not yet have its fabrics. This after all is the man who admits to playing football in a own Serapian shop, but while cashmere sweater. Everything has to be perfect – Cucinelli will redo we are waiting for this slice his tie five times before it passes muster in the morning. So take this scarf. It’s as light as a cobweb and as soft as a sigh. It isn’t flashy but of the dolce vita to cross the when you wear it you will just feel, well, better dressed. RJ Channel, the brand is available Scarf by Brunello Cucinelli, £290. at Harrods.

Photographs Jody Todd

Serapian has still got luxury covered

Brunello Cucinelli


T-shirt by Topman, £25.

Jacket by Topman, £60. Jeans by Topman, £80.

Nasir Mazhar x Topman Nasir Mazhar is one of the current stars of the London men’s fashion scene with his ultra-cool club kids’ take on sportswear inspired by the grime and garage scenes. Now, he has produced a ten-piece capsule collaboration with Topman that will ensure his clothes reach a national audience. According to Topman’s creative director, Gordon Richardson, “Nasir has been someone we have admired for a long time and has developed through both Topman-sponsored initiatives, MAN and NewGen Men. We have always wanted to work with him but had been waiting for the right moment. We believe this is the moment and we absolutely love what he has come up with. I can’t wait to see people actually wearing the collection.”


From the return of the classic denim jacket to Topman’s latest trendsetting collaboration, stay ahead of the curve with this month’s style briefing.

moved into shoes – all hand-crafted by artisans in Morrovalle in the heart of the Italian region of Le Marche, long known as the mecca of the finest footwear in the world. There are two formal families of shoes in the collection: the T-Sartoria, which comes in three styles and a range of autumnal browns and creams; and the T-Legender, which boasts a deep-red lining and painted sole. The styles come in either a sacchetto construction for greater comfort or a Blake-Rapid construction for a more rugged feel.

Boots by Hugo Boss, £350.

The bracelet has now become a male style fixture and some of the best come from German jewellery brand Thomas Sabo. The Rebel At Heart styles feature beads in semiprecious materials such as obsidian and agate, while the Sterling Silver Collection in tiger’s eye is a real attention grabber. Bracelets by Thomas Sabo, from £70.


Photographs Mike Blackett; Jody Todd

Hugo Boss: Boss’ Made In Italy range has now

Boots by Dior, £760.

Jumper by Michael Kors, £155. At House Of Fraser.

Jacket by Brutus, £80.


Prepare your wardrobe for the change of season by investing in timeless pieces.

Back in the Seventies the jeans brand Brutus was huge, partly thanks to its jingle “Jeans On” by David Dundas, released as a single in 1976. The brand has now relaunched its iconic Brutus Gold label including the Denim Trucker Jacket, crafted in the same factory with the same components that were used in the original. So if we really are all going back to that decade at least we’ll be dressed the part and looking good.



After a long search for the perfect location, Oliver Peoples is due to launch its first European store on London’s Sloane Street this month. It will feature a number of exclusive styles but our favourite is the MP-15: an optical frame with engraved filigree along the exposed metal eyewire and bridge. A little bit preppy, a little bit Cary Grant and 100 per cent stylish. Glasses by Oliver Peoples, £285.

IT’S PROBABLY FAIR to say that most people will be reluctant to wave goodbye to summer, but whether we like it or not autumn is imminent. Personally, I enjoy this time of year and think I make a good case for it being the best season we have, specifically when it comes to style. You get the opportunity to play with more than just one layer as it gets a little cooler, but it’s not so cold that you have to go for substance over style. I’m quite an impatient human being and I often itch for the change of season a month or so before it’s due. Even after a summer jam-packed with cloudless blue skies and short sleeves I begin to long for fireplaces and thick knits before the leaves turn brown. This need for change is one of the lies I tell myself, and my wife when she decides she wants us to move to LA, to justify why I could never live somewhere perpetually sunny (the real reason is that I’m just far too British to ever leave Britain). I’m usually pretty prepared when the seasons do finally shift, because when I shop I tend to invest. I think about any purchases I want to make and how they’ll contribute to my collection. My nature is to go for timeless clothing that works not just for this autumn, but for the next one and many more to come. I know what looks good on me and I dress accordingly, as opposed to what is currently in vogue. Because I’m not overly trend-led when it comes to how clothes fit, each season has its own uniform that I return to year after year. Obviously it evolves as my taste matures, but for me autumnal style is all about boots, layers, knits, beautiful outerwear and tactile fabrics to add a touch of luxury to the chill. When it comes to colour and fabric, though, trends do keep me curious. Although I have my go-to seasonal looks, it’s nice to keep them up to date by adding something current. I’m very easily influenced and if I see an item I like on the catwalk or in a magazine my knee-jerk reaction is to go online and search for it. For example, during the LCM shows for AW16 there was a lot of grey. Often it was grey on grey on grey, which you may have noticed has already begun to trickle into shops as autumn approaches. I fully approve of this trend and I can nearly guarantee that, while I might not stretch to 50 shades, most of the pieces I purchase in the coming months will be varying degrees of grey in various degrees of texture. Having a solid base for each season means that you needn’t panic-buy an entire new wardrobe every time the weather changes; instead you can browse at your leisure and pick a few key bits to add to your collection that will be there to welcome you back the same time next year.

G e ox : The Italian shoe brand’s new range of Nebula trainers is set to win over a whole new range of fans. The Nebula promises to ensure you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort as the Geox technology makes the entire shoe breathable – and they look cool too. Shoes by Geox, £110.


Liquid assets: Jared Leto wears Gucci at the Milan menswear show, 20 June 2016

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme eau de toilette by Gucci, £49. At Debenhams.


OU KNOW, I don’t know anything about fashion,” claims Jared Leto. It’s a line from the Academy Award-winning actor and musician that we’ve heard before – we’re just not sure if we believe it. Still, perhaps it’s a case of who you know, not what you know, and Leto is something of a muse to Gucci’s new creative director, Alessandro Michele, having repped the brand hard on the red carpet since Michele took over from Frida Giannini in January 2015. When we meet in Milan, after the menswear show, he’s wearing head-to-toe Gucci, including an embellished print shirt, hand-graffitied jeans and box-fresh white trainers appliquéed with pink rhinestone lightning bolts. In the current premier league of fashion, the position of creative director is becoming as tenuous as a high-profile football manager, with recent shock departures at Lanvin, Dior, Calvin Klein, Saint Laurent and Gucci. Incomers face the challenge of redefining their predecessor’s vision, seemingly overnight. You could start by deleting the brand’s entire Instagram feed (see Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent), but it’s much trickier to instantly align the new direction of the fashion collection with an existing fragrance portfolio. Gucci’s Michele has put the Italian house back on most-wanted lists since his takeover, which includes presiding over a collection of highly successful fragrances. His first move? To sign Leto up for a new campaign for Gucci Guilty, the brand’s bestselling men’s scent.

We can see why. Leto looks a good ten years younger than his 44 years and he isn’t scared to wear his hair long, bleach it, dye it pink or paint his nails. He’s unconventional and fits Michele’s rule-breaking, genderblending vision at Gucci. “I think men should do whatever the hell they want to,” says Leto. “I love what Andy Warhol said, ‘Labels are for cans, not for people.’” But ultimately Leto insists he’s “OK with making some [style] mistakes, so I don’t really care. It’s not apathy. I just think we men can be a bit safe.” He’s also a keen rock climber; there are snaps from Yosemite and Joshua Tree on his Instagram account. “It’s a sport you play with yourself. I enjoy it because it’s problem solving, it’s an adventure, and it’s special. It brings me to a place that I’ve never been before.” And he applies the same risk-taking philosophy to his career. His portrayal of Rayon, a transgender Aids patient in Dallas Buyers Club earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2014. “I saw a great opportunity and it was beautifully written. I had a feeling that I could contribute something,” he says of the role that saw his return to acting after a four-year hiatus to critical acclaim. He’s back on the big screen this month as our favourite psychopath, the Joker, in Suicide Squad. How easy is it to disentangle himself from his work after playing such an intense role? “Sometimes it’s hard just to let go because you’ve committed so hard and there might be certain things that you did that were really fun. The Joker has a really funny sense of humour, but it’s also brutal. There’s things that I couldn’t say, but if I was the Joker I just would. That’s what’s intoxicating about him: he just does whatever he wants.” JP

heaven. GQ meets the actor and musician to talk rock climbing, rule breaking and being Alessandro Michele’s main man. EDITED BY



Down the garden path Parco Palladiano is a fine fragrance collection from Bottega Veneta. Inspired by the gardens at the Palladian villas of the Veneto, this six-piece collection of unisex scents is an olfactory tour of the grounds designed in the 16th century by Andrea Palladio. There is crisp cypress, pink pepper and juniper in II and rosemary, sage and laurel in V – something to suit each time of day or mood. £190. At Harrods.

Photographs Getty Images; Jody Todd

GROOMING: Jared Leto and Gucci are a match made in maverick

The G Preview:September E D I T E D BY


1 5

Watch by Louis Erard, £2,050. At Goldsmiths. 2 Jumper by Pringle Of Scotland, £650. 3 Trainers by Russell & Bromley, £165. 4 Raincoat by Lyle & Scott Vintage, £95. Bag by Kenzo, £240. 6 Shirt by Native Youth, £40. 7 Swim shorts by Bluemint, £79. 8 Jumper by Barbour, £139. 9 Trousers by Kit And Ace, £215.


Photographs Mitch Payne; Jody Todd Junior Retail Editor Michiel Steur

Bringing you the very latest in fashion, grooming, watches, news and exclusive events


We love Luxury outerwear by Etro Around this time of the year, we suggest you choose a strong – and stylish - piece of trans-seasonal outerwear. For a versatile investment this season head to family-run Italian brand, Etro. Give a nod to sophisticated sportswear and bag this buttery-soft leather bomber. Cut from calfskin and lined in the most luxurious striped silk, this jacket will keep you looking sharp both on and off-duty. Jacket by Etro, £2,905.



Red gold Chronoliner watch by Breitling, £22,650.

Le Male Essence de Parfum by Jean Paul Gaultier, £70 for 125ml. At Boots.

How to

Edited by Holly Roberts

Dress like a gentleman For those modern gents among us who pride themselves on knowing their malts from their bourbons, why not escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood London? Neatly tucked away in the heart of the capital , you can expect the atmosphere and sophistication of a gentlemen’s club with a cocktail menu to boot. Whether you’re spoiling someone special, or simply heading for an after-work relaxer, it’s important to dress the part. Opt for classic outerwear with contemporary lines, such as this herringbone blazer from Next as an alternative to a suit, or this check blouson with detachable shearling collar from British brand Jaeger for a cool off-duty feel. Pair both with dark denim jeans and these navy suede craftsman boots from Australian brand RM Williams for a relaxed take on heritage. Elevate the look by injecting colour through your accessories. This portfolio case from Bally is big enough to carry your daily wares, but slim enough to be a contemporary and sophisticated alternative to your briefcase. Throw on the latest limited edition Breitling Chronoliner in red gold – which truly speaks for itself – and finish with a splash of the new est fragrance from Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Male Essence. All that is left is to sit back and relax, all served best on the rocks. Scarfes Bar, Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1


Belt by Massimo Dutti, £29.95.

Jacket, £85. Shirt, £30. Both by Next.

Document case by Bally, £450.

Jacket by Jaeger, £99. Boots by RM Williams, £350.


_mnxxyzssnslyjqj{nxntsuwtizhjxfsnshwjingqjunhyzwj|nymnsŅsnyjhtsywfxyymfy is complimented by an innovative sound bar stand that produces superb audio. A masterful television from LG’s award winning OLED TV range.

What the Experts Say



SUN’S OUT, GRILL’S ON These barbecues will draw as many plaudits as your burgers and beer-can chicken E D I T E D BY


Best smoker


Summit charcoal grill by Weber Weber has always been a go-to brand for two types of cooker: barbecues and smokers. For the first time, however, it is combining the two – so whether you want a low-and-slow rack of ribs (the dedicated vents will keep the temperature in the “smoke zone”) or a searing hot steak (the “Rapidfire lid damper” will get the heat up in no time) you have both options at your disposal. The clincher: There’s a gas ignition system to get your charcoal roaring. £1,500. P H OTO G R A P H S BY


LAB Best for precision


Joe Jr by Kamado Joe Ceramic “kamado”-type ovens are still fawned over by chefs, but they usually come at an extortionate price. That is, unless you buy a Kamado Joe. The new Joe Jr model has all the advantages of this temperature-steady Japanese cooking method – fast lighting, fuel efficiency and even heat distribution (hello there, moist, succulent chops!) – but is so well proportioned that it won’t take over your garden. The clincher: The heat deflector allows for indirect cooking. £399.

Best for convenience


X Portable  barbecue grill by Gentlemen’s Hardware A good grill need not be cumbersome. You can fold this one down to suitcase size, and when you arrive at the campsite just pop it open for a sturdy cooking surface, which, at 400 sq cm, can take a lot of food. Just be sure to let it cool down before you chuck it back into the Rangey. The clincher: At only two kilograms, it’s the lightest on test. £50. At Lakeland.

Best for smarts


X Standard  grill by LotusGrill

X Caliu  Plus A barbecue can look cool, but how many actually look stylish? The Caliu Plus was designed specifically with good taste in mind. It’s not high tech – no temperature gauges or electric ignition here – but with its heat-insulating base blocks it will look splendid on the garden table. The clincher: Comprising only four parts, it’s a cinch to clean. £198.

The BREAKDOWN Dimensions (w x h x d)


Kamado Joe

Gentlemen’s Hardware



39.5 x 45.5 x 36cm

41 x 56 x 53cm

7.6 x 22.2 x 32cm

30.5 x 14 x 40cm

35 x 23.4 x 35cm






2,916 sq cm

377 sq cm

400 sq cm

1,200 sq cm

804 sq cm

Weight Cooking area


Photographs Matthew Beedle

Best for design


If you want a barbecue that really blazes you need to add oxygen, and that’s the LotusGrill’s USP. A battery-powered motor sucks in air and pumps it up through the coals, so you’ll be ready to cook in minutes. And it only weighs 3.7kg, meaning it’s portable to boot. The clincher: The sides are double-layer insulated so they don’t get too hot. £140.

G Partnership

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‘A hole in one is amazing when you think of the different universes this white mass of molecules has to pass through on its way to the hole’

HOT SHOTS If you are going to hit a hole in one and join the prestigious BOSS watches H1 Club, here are the world’s best par 3’s to do it on… One of the best courses in the United States, the Classic Club ( in California’s Palm Springs, is 18-holes of Arnold Palmer-designed perfection, and the jewel in the crown is the 12th. Known as “Arnie’s Oasis”, this 162-yard hole is the shortest on the course, with the beautiful green surrounded by water, rocks and a small waterfall. Pelican Hill ( is set on 504 acres of Californian coastal splendour in Newport Hill, but it is the 131 yards of the short 13th hole of the South Course that grab everybody’s attention. With two separate greens in sight, both guarded by bunkers and sea breezes, the big challenges are hitting your tee shot sweetly, and aiming for the correct hole. Forget the buggy… Over The Top ( is a single hole, par 3, that is only accessible via helicopter. Set at 4,500ft in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, golfers are flown to the tee box, hit their shot (or shots – it’s difficult to judge the flight at that altitude) and then traverse down the slope to finish off. So far no one has hit a hole-in-one… but there has to be a first time.

Mac O’Gready

The watch

Three’s company (from top): The tee from the single hole par 3 ‘Over The Top’ in New Zealand; the green, accessible by helicopter; Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, California; the Arnold Palmer-designed Classic Club in Palm Springs

The BOSS watch awarded to H1 Club members is a timeless classic. With its baton dial, iconic BOSS detailing and a bold black strap that confirms your hole-in-one credentials, it is a watch you would be happy to pay for… but it looks even better if you win it with an ace.

Try for yourself To find out more about the H1 Club, visit the website ( For extra H1 Club content, you can also find more at



Breitling is a chronograph specialist that has already played a crucial role in the technical development of this type of instrument, thanks to inventions such as the first independent pushpiece at two o’clock (1915), the second independent pushpiece (1934) and the self-winding chronograph (1969). The firm is one of a growing number of watch companies to create its own mechanical chronograph movements, with pieces developed and produced entirely in the ultramodern Breitling Chronométrie complex in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The result is a range of smart, highperformance “engines” equipped with useful and user-friendly functions, all chronometer certified by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse Des Chronomètres), the ultimate token of reliability and precision. Robert Johnston

he automobile world has long had its engine tuners, responsible for adjusting motors with the aim of achieving superior performance. With Breitling’s Chronoworks department, the watch industry now also has its exceptional engine experts, in charge of developing and testing technical breakthroughs that can subsequently be introduced on its series-produced models. Turning their attention to Breitling’s first in-house movement, the Caliber 01, the specialists have already incorporated five major innovations, serving to increase its power reserve from 70 to 100 hours. The fruit of this effort is showcased in a Superocean Héritage Chronoworks limited series, featuring a standout look and equally outstanding accomplishments.


Superocean Héritage Chronoworks by Breitling, £30,410.

Gentlemen, start your engınes Breitling’s long tradition of innovation continues apace with its high-performance Superocean Héritage Chronoworks series PHOTOGRAPH BY


Mitch Payne

The New C65 Trident Vintage 38mm

DON’T GO CHANGING Our days are multifaceted, but that shouldn’t mean you need to cart around multiple outfits. Whether you’re on the train or in the office, with Kit and Ace you’ll feel as good as you look

G Partnership

Style and comfort. These things are not, despite what experience may tell you, mutually exclusive. Kit and Ace spent two years developing Technical Cashmere™, resulting in a stylish wardrobe that boasts the comfort of gym threads – breathable, machine-washable, non-shrinking, non-pilling clothes – that allow you to step seamlessly from the office to the train to the bar, looking and feeling great throughout. There’s stretch, movement and comfort for commutes, with fabric that doesn’t lose its shape however much you scrunch your sleeves, plus Italian tailoring to ensure a fit as good as it gets. Wherever you’re going, you’ll get there fresh.

Brisk coat, £465. Optical illusion long-sleeve top, £165. Executive joggers, £180. All by Kit and Ace. Opposite: Shirt jacket, £215. Mayne T-shirt, £65. Bidwell trousers, £105. All by Kit and Ace. Model Antonino Russo at Premier Models Grooming Michael Gray using Sisley & Bumble & Bumble Stylist David Nolan at Patricia McMahon. With thanks to Granary Square, King’s Cross. Gazelle Van Steel from £549.


Goodbye to all that: David Cameron’s style of collegiate statecraft is being superseded by one of emotive mass appeal

Photograph Getty Images

E TO N , OX FO R D, O B LIV I O N ? Enoch Powell said all political lives end in failure, and Cameron’s early departure means he hasn’t ruined a good quote. But he’ll be remembered for legalising gay marriage – against the wishes of many in his own party.


Well that escalated quickly. As our political leaders drop like flies, GQ asks if the high drama and hysteria of summer are here to stay. Page 179 STORY BY

Music, Sport, Tech, Politics, Film, Books and the best opinion for the month ahead...

Matthew d’Ancona 173

Rock’n’roll casualties: Ricky Gervais as David Brent with his on-screen band Foregone Conclusion


Comedy albums: Three of the best

David Brent’s – surprisingly good – album showcases Ricky Gervais’ obsessive talents and reveals how both character and creator are victims of rock dreams STORY BY

Dorian Lynskey

here are an awful lot of good jokes in David Brent: Life On The Road (out on 19 August), in which Ricky Gervais’ “chilled-out entertainer” mounts a last-ditch attempt at rock stardom, but not the most predictable one. Brent was a hopeless boss in The Office, but it turns out that he’s a more than competent singer-songwriter. Gervais has said that it would have been too easy and too cruel to make Brent talentless. The 15 songs on the album that accompanies the movie are sturdy and infectious. If they weren’t coming from a 55-year-old travelling salesman of toilet supplies they might just work. In one kind of comedy song, music is the vessel rather than the subject, of the joke. With someone like Tom Lehrer or Victoria Wood, the pleasure lies in the rhyming, the delivery and the satisfying Lego click of comedy and songwriting. The style of the music is secondary. To write a funny song that milks humour from the music itself, however, requires a great deal of knowledge and affection. It’s a skewed expression of fandom. Liam Lynch’s “Fake David Bowie Song” (“Sorry mum, I’m five years late for tea time”) and the Flight Of The Conchords’ “Inner City Pressure”, which spoofs both the Pet Shop Boys and socially conscious Seventies soul, illuminate the fine line between the distinctive and the ridiculous but nobody gets hurt. You have to love an artist in order to distort their tics so enjoyably. Gervais has that fandom but he’s doing something trickier with Life On The Road because he’s writing as Brent, and Brent doesn’t think he’s being funny. In the movie the pathos of his doomed tour with his band Foregone Conclusion comes from his unshakeable conviction that an A&R man will see him in action and be unable to resist. Even when the songs sound like Tom Petty or ELO, the joke is on the middle-aged man






TENACIOUS D Tenacious D Actor Jack Black and his friend, Kyle Gass, formed mock-rock band Tenacious D in 1994. Best lyrics: “With karate I’ll kick your ass. Here to Tiananmen Square.”

FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS Flight Of The Conchords Back in 1998, Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie formed the Conchords while roommates at the University of Wellington, NZ.

THE AXIS OF AWESOME Animal Vehicle Australian YouTube stars mock the repetitive cycle of one-hit-wonder pop musicians. They’re best known for the satirical song “4 Chords”.

from Slough, not the rock stars he’s emulating. That’s how “Electricity”, a spot-on facsimile of Coldplay’s starry-eyed anthems about the wonder of the universe, can feature Chris Martin himself on guest vocals. Gervais knows how it feels to dream big and fall short. In the early Eighties he was the singer in foppish pop duo Seona Dancing, who split up after their only two singles staggered to a halt outside the top 75. You can trace his subsequent scepticism about fame and ambition to that formative failure. He has said that he’s only a capable songwriter now because he can hide behind “the veil of irony”. When you’re not trying to present your authentic self to the world you’re free to revel in the tricks, clichés, and formulas that become absurd when you think about them for too long. It turns songwriting into a fabulous game, but one that you can only play well if you can write a strong melody yourself. In the world of non-fiction bands I’m reminded of The Darkness, a group who made some of the most pleasurable hair-metal since the Eighties by acknowledging the anachronistic ludicrousness of the

Pankaj Mishra on the motivation behind the “revolt against the West”, from Gideon Rachman’s guide to global instability, Easternisation (Bodley Head, £20), out now.

The Chinese software engineer, Turkish tycoon and unemployed Egyptian graduate... derive profound gratification from the prospect of humiliating their former masters and overlords

endeavour. It was as if frontman Justin Hawkins had invented a brasher, less selfaware character called “Justin Hawkins” who could live out his dreams for him. Although the ambiguity proved impossible to sustain, their first album had a wonderfully liberated brio. The Darkness were, unlike Spinal Tap or Tenacious D, a “real” band but within those inverted commas they could do as they pleased. I assumed Primal Scream were playing a similar game on their profoundly daft 2006 album Riot City Blues, featuring “We’re Gonna Boogie” and “Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar”, and could never listen to it again once I realised they weren’t kidding. In fact, Brent’s Stones-infatuated “Thank F*** It’s Friday” would slide perfectly onto Riot City Blues. Such borderline cases demonstrate that rock music is often just an inch away from absurdity and requires only the slightest satirical amplification. The deciding factor is self-awareness. Any fan of Queen or Muse knows that the willingness to be preposterous is tremendously empowering for both artist and listener. Conversely, nothing is more inadvertently comical than earnestness. The funniest songs on Life On The Road channel Brent’s neurotic determination to convince people that he’s not prejudiced into excruciating protest songs. “Native American”, “Please Don’t Make Fun Of The Disabled” and the reggae-lite “Equality Street” are only slightly more sanctimonious and misjudged than, say, the Cranberries’ “I Just Shot John Lennon” or Melanie C’s “If That Were Me”. Put Brent’s thoughts on the disabled (“Whether mental in the head/Or mental in the legs/Doesn’t mean their sorrow doesn’t show”) and Melanie C’s take on homelessness (“I couldn’t live without my phone/But you don’t even have a home”) to a blind taste test and I’m not sure everyone could distinguish the spoof from the real thing. David Brent’s tragedy is that he can’t see why what he’s doing is funny. He believes too deeply in rock’n’roll’s power to transform and inform to understand that it can also be very silly. Gervais understands that duality on an atomic level. That’s how, 32 years after his pop dreams died, he can finally release a very enjoyable debut album by pretending to be somebody else. David Brent: Life On The Road is out on 19 August.

Life lessons from literature No3

Recognise a global power shift

ILL-STARRED BY MOONLIGHT It takes a poet to smooth the edges of a cataclysmic air disaster that gripped post-war France. In Constellation, Adrien Bosc does so without ever letting go of the cold, dark underbelly of calamity STORY BY

Bill Prince

FLYING from Paris to New York on the night of 27 October 1949, 48 souls borne aloft by Howard Hughes’ accident-prone aircraft are lost en route to a refuelling stop in the Azores. The eccentric billionaire “drew the plans freehand”, Adrien Bosc writes in Constellation of the plane that lends its name to his account of the disaster, “leaving to the engineers the task of adapting them to the laws of aeronautics”. On board are a cross-section of the era’s global nomads, beneficiaries of this newly accelerated Atlantic crossing (20 hours, against four to five days at sea), engaged variously in business dealings, concert tours, emigrations and, in the case of its most famous passenger, a rematch with the Raging Bull himself, Jake LaMotta. Marcel Cerdan has opted to fly because his lover, the singer Édith Piaf, is performing in New York and pining for the former world middleweight champion. Her impatience overrides the warnings of two astrologers, as well as the Algerianborn boxer’s wife, who’s uneasy about the impending flight – if presumably unaware of its necessity. That Cerdan, his manager and a friend abort the travel plans of three other passengers bumped from the flight is simply another grisly corollary of the trip, culminating in a 49th casualty, who gasses herself after hearing of the death of the gifted violinist on board, Ginette Neveu. The historical contusions continue to stack up: one victim is the inventor of the Mickey Mouse watch – and thus the

SPOILER ALERT This book is about an air disaster. if you are on – or about to board – an aircraft, you may wish to turn the page now...

saviour of the entire Disney empire; another leaves a nine-year-old son so distraught that he grows up to become a psychiatrist specialising in childhood traumas. As well as meticulously researching the circumstances of this multi-part drama, Bosc searches for its echo. He  finds it in a sister aircraft, dispatched to retrace the flight path of the doomed plane (which establishes that navigational issues had ploughed the aircraft into a mountainside 55 miles from its designated airfield) being decommissioned 22 years to the day after the accident, and the unearthing of a fragment of Neveu’s missing Guadagnini violin. (Another, a Stradivarius, was never recovered.) But Bosc doesn’t stop at recovering the granular detail that goes with the loss of the Constellation; he achieves an almost telepathic connection with the fateful forces that drove its human cargo to board the aircraft in the first place. Constellation by Adrien Bosc translated by William Wood (Other Press, £11.99) is out on 20 August.


THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LAUNCH Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’ initiative aims to extend connectivity into India and the rest of the developing world. But is it an of act humanitarian goodwill, a grab to monopolise new markets or just digital colonialism? STORY BY

Andrew Keen

rom its earliest origins, the internet has been about more management. Mark Zuckerberg, certainly, is a supporter. “We believe than just showing off cool technology. Network pioneers – that every person should have access to free basic internet services – from the American father of the internet, Vannevar Bush, tools for health, education, jobs and basic communication,” Zuckerberg to Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the World posted on his Facebook page in July 2014 to celebrate’s Wide Web – wanted to use this transformative technology to first-year anniversary. enable open access to everyone and thus make the world In September 2015, Zuckerberg spoke at the United a better, fairer and richer place. Connectivity, visionaries Nations Assembly about the importance of universal access, like Bush and Berners-Lee believed, would be liberating. suggesting that connectivity should begin in refugee It would stimulate growth, create jobs, increase wages, camps, and that access can lift “one in ten from poverty”. % even enrich democracy. So what’s not to like about Facebook’s Free Basics? Isn’t of the UK’s population So has today’s internet, increasingly shaped by the likes it the obvious solution to connect those left behind by the are connected to of Facebook, lived up to these lofty expectations? Is the digital revolution? No, not quite. The benefits of Free Basics the internet digital revolution increasing growth, jobs and public services? are ambiguous – like those of the internet itself. Yes, nobody Has connectivity made the world a fairer place? can argue that the more than 25 million people already connected According to Digital Dividends, a World Bank report published earlier on Free Basics would be better off without this free internet service. Nor this year, the answer is yes and no. Yes, the report acknowledges, the can one dispute the value of Facebook’s innovative approach to connumber of internet users worldwide has more than tripled since 2005 nectivity – particularly its experiments to deliver free internet access with 3.4 billion – or 40 per cent of the population – now having access. to remote villages via drones or lasers. But there’s a big problem with Free Basics too – its connectivity isn’t But while the use of the internet is increasing rapidly throughout the developing world, it isn’t really making the world a fairer place. In fact, generally as fast or as reliable as paid internet access. Sure, it’s free. the World Bank report says, the digital dividends of the internet revolution have mostly not been realised. Indeed, it bleakly concludes, 60 per cent of the world’s population are still not connected and so totally excluded from the increasingly dynamic networked economy. Internet access in the developing world isn’t just economically critical, it’s also an intensively sensitive political issue. Indeed, at the very moment that the World Bank was warning about the emergence of a two-speed digital world, so a dramatic political firestorm was raging in India about a “free” internet access service that, many critics argued, actually compounded this two-tiered system. The universal access service is a Facebook initiative. Originally called, it offers “Free Basics”, a stripped-down internet available through local mobile phone operators. Launched in 2013, it is already being used by more than 25 million worldwide. At first glance, Free Basics represents a practical addendum to Digital Dividends. Indeed, the concerns of World Bank executives such as Jim Yong Kim and Kaushik Basu are echoed by’s mission statement: “Most of the world does not have access to the internet. is a Facebook-led initiative with the goal of bringing internet access and the benefits of connectivity to the two-thirds of the world that doesn’t have them.” Free Basics is a multibillion-dollar initiative that has the backing of Facebook’s most senior


India struck a blow against two-tier access when it banned Free Basics


Photographs Getty Images; Landmark Media; Rex


But it’s also second-class, with some, those that can afford to pay for access, being more equal than others who can’t. There’s another problem: Zuckerberg’s claim that is designed to benefit mankind is self-serving tosh. The truth is that this is a cleverly marketed commercial initiative. Facebook’s $300 billionplus market cap and its advertising-centric business model depends on growing its community of users. Free Basics is designed to expose internet newbies to Facebook’s increasingly broad suite of products – from Facebook to Instagram, WhatsApp to virtual reality platform Oculus Rift. Free Basics is a very narrow front door to an internet that is, in many ways, just an extension of Facebook itself. Free Basics is the country with decides where you can go on the internet. It’s not the most internet even possible to access social media rivals Twitter users, at 721 million or the Google+ social network on the platform. Thus the political firestorm over Free Basics. In February, Indian regulators struck a defiant blow against two-tiered internet access when it banned Free Basics from the country. The decision was taken because regulators and activists saw the Facebook initiative as a breach of network neutrality rules – the controversial principle that all traffic should travel equally on the internet. With its rapidly expanding digital marketplace, India’s decision is more than symbolic. It offers protection – real digital dividends – for the hundreds of millions of poor Indians who are about to come online. If other countries follow India in banning zero-rated services, it might ensure that the digital world will, indeed, be a fairer place in the future. I was travelling in India in February, and from prominent venture capitalists to government ministers, advertising executives to architects of India’s Networking event: Facebook’s Mark digital policy, there was universal support Zuckerberg launches for the outlawing of Free Basics. The in New Delhi, 9 October 2014 American export of free, lower-quality access to the Indian market was often perceived in neo-colonial terms. Facebook might not quite be the British East India Company – but the comparisons are sufficient to raise the hackles of millions of Indians. Still, banning services such people worldwide have access to as Free Basics isn’t a panacea the internet for digital development. As the World Bank report notes, effective digital development requires what it calls an “analogue complement”; digital technology without a strong basic legal, educational, political and health infrastructure risks both higher inequality and an intrusive state, the report warns. “For digital dividends to be widely shared among all parts of society, countries also need to improve their business climate, invest in people’s education and health, and promote good governance,” adds the World Bank president Jim Yong Kim. The success of the digital revolution thus relies on its analogue complements. Connectivity might be liberating. But reaping the dividends of the internet will, ironically, be dependent on everything except technology.




THE NEVER-ENDING WOODY ALLEN RETURN TO FORM Everyone says they love him, but for every magnificent Manhattan there’s a sorry Scoop STORY BY

Stuart McGurk

PICK a Woody Allen film made in the last two decades, and there’s one thing you can guarantee: someone, somewhere, will have declared it a return to form. It started, in earnest, with 1995’s Bullets Over Broadway. This, said Premiere, getting the ball rolling, was “a brilliant return to form”; by contrast, 1998’s Deconstructing Harry was a “return to top form”. You Will Meet A Tall, Dark Stranger was, according to the Guardian, “an elegant return to form”, and his latest, Café Society, starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg (above) as doomed lovers in Thirties Hollywood is, adds the Guardian again, with slightly more qualified praise, “something of a return to form”. For 2009’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the Economist even pointed out the trope: “Every time an Allen film comes along,” it harrumphed, “the critics fall over themselves to hail it a return to form.” It still went on to call it a return to form. Why is this? Are any of these Allen films actually a return to form? Or, if they all are, isn’t he just now on the same form? (ie, good, not great, fine for the plane).

Café Society is, in many ways, typical post-golden age Woody: a remix of all his previous themes – fate, chance, love etc – that’s judged to be better than his worst (with 2006’s Scoop on the list, how could it not?), but falling short of his 1979 Manhattan best (ditto). And that, really, is how Allen does it. By making so many films – always one a year, like tax returns – he’s rigged the game. With pretty much every other film a bad one (and when Allen does bad, he doesn’t hold back), it makes the next vaguely good one a return to form by default. For fans who are still hoping he’ll get back to his Seventies heyday, it’s like being in a cultural abusive relationship. Any small act of kindness (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) is seized upon because at least it’s not, say, a smack in the mouth (2004’s Melinda And Melinda). Any kind word (Café Society) feels kinder because at least we haven’t, say, been locked in the loft for two weeks (2007’s Cassandra’s Dream – if you haven’t seen it, you’ll probably prefer the loft). Allen has, in essence, gamed the pleasurepain principle for film criticism. It’s form, but not as we know it. Café Society is out on 2 September. SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 177

Inferior football. Inferior players. No winter break. And yet the world’s best managers all want their shot at the English title... STORY BY

Martin Samuel

obody calls the Premier League the best in the world any more. The evidence against it is too overwhelming. Over the past five seasons English and Spanish teams have met in Europe on 35 occasions, with eight English wins to 20 by Spain. In the same period, only two Spanish clubs have been removed from Europe by English opposition – and one of those victories was Chelsea’s mystifying Champions League semi-final triumph against Barcelona in 2012, despite being outplayed over two legs. Spain is where it’s at right now, and has been for several years. And yet: Rafael Benítez. On 25 May, two weeks after Newcastle’s relegation from the Premier League, Benítez announced that he would remain their manager next season. He had initially arrived in March, a firefighter hired by a desperate Mike Ashley to keep them up. It was too late. Newcastle dropped, but with no blame attached to Benítez, who did his best. The fans took to him instantly Th ri l l and it was considered a great shame l e a of d N th that having finally found a worldew e c ca ha class coach, Benítez would st l now depart. He would get better offers from Europe and Newcastle would be left to regroup with an inferior steward in the Championship. E xce p t , B e n í te z stayed. A manager who had started the previous season at Real Madrid instead signed on for a year of visits to the glamorous surrounds of Preston and Rotherham. Benítez will be putting his reputation on the line at Burton Albion’s 6,912-capacity Pirelli Stadium, with anything bar automatic promotion considered failure. So we must have something. English football may come a poor second to Spain, but it undoubtedly has appeal that transcends the 90 minutes. Benítez would not have sought employment at a club relegated from La Liga last season – Rayo Vallecano, Getafe or Levante – and probably wouldn’t consider some of those in mid-table, either, such as Las Palmas, Málaga or Espanyol. One presumes a coach of his calibre could get that type of gig any time he wishes. He doesn’t. He wants to work in England. All the best coaches do. Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, José Mourinho, Antonio Conte. Increasingly, they gravitate here. It cannot just be the money. These guys have money. They work because they want to, not because they have to – and that means they work where they want to as well. Had Mourinho dropped different hints, he would almost certainly be manager of Paris Saint-Germain now; and the same is true of Guardiola. Klopp could have followed


to hopes te z e n í re m i e r Le a g u e lB P ae he a f to t :R k se b a c e


some of his players in making the move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich; Conte would be taking his pick in Serie A. So, undeniably, English football has an X factor. It may be the unique demands, the open competition, the global reach. It certainly isn’t the opportunity to work with the world’s greatest players, because they are all in Spain too. Yet a year ago, Benítez was preparing to sign up with West Ham, until Real Madrid intervened. And not the West Ham that will move to the Olympic Stadium this season and play in the Europa League either. Benítez was coming to a club that had finished 12th and won two league matches since 18 January. He had the contract in his hands, ready, when the call came from Madrid. His decision was entirely understandable – but now he is so keen to get back to where he could have been, that he is prepared to serve a season in the Championship to make that happen. Of course, Newcastle presents a unique opportunity. More than any club it conforms to the cliché of the sleeping giant. Decades of poor executive management have left it weak – yet even in a relegation season only Arsenal, Manchester United and For the love Manchester City enjoyed a greater average of the game home attendance. The manager who makes Newcastle successful again will be fêted like One returning and two new super-coaches look no other and Ashley, stung by recent events, set to make 2016-17 is now prepared to empower Benítez over the a classic season dreaded transfer committee. With Newcastle’s size, and given those conditions, Benítez will rightly fancy his chances. Even so, this season will be a 46-game slog, with an ordinary group of players, away from the spotlight. The Premier League narrative is so strong that Newcastle will stay a subplot, and not even GUARDIOLA a very big one. The pull of the game here must Club: Manchester City be extraordinary for Benítez to work in relative Personal fortune: £32.3m obscurity in the mere hope of return. The double Champions League winner faces So what is it? Why, when the numbers a more gruelling, suggest the Premier League is palpably competitive campaign than he ever did at Bayern inferior, does the English game carry such Munich or Barcelona. allure? Mourinho encapsulated it on his return to Chelsea in 2013. “England is the mother country of football,” he said. “The competitiveness is very, very high. I don’t much enjoy winning 6-0. I don’t much enjoy playing in a league where you know you are against one other team and this CONTE is about 90 points, 92 points, 96 points, 100 Club: Chelsea points, 100 goals, 110 goals, 120 goals. If you Personal fortune: £7.3m make a little mistake, you are in big trouble He comes highly because your direct opponent won’t lose any recommended after successful spells with games. English football pushes everybody Juventus and Italy, but to the maximum of possibilities. The extra must oversee a rebuilding project in west London. competition, 60 matches, 70 matches, three matches in a row, the Christmas period, the Easter period, the accumulation to the limit. In Spain, I had a Christmas holiday. New York, then Brazil. But I prefer to play. I was totally envious watching the Premier League in that time.” It was pointed out to him that all the stuff he MOURINHO Club: Manchester United had just eulogised – the League Cup, no winter Personal fortune: £40m break, three games in seven days – was what After the disaster of that most observers thought held English football second spell at Stamford Bridge, the Special One back. His answer is the root of the conunneeds instant success at drum. “I’m not saying it’s right,” he said. “I United. Luckily, that’s his just love it.” speciality. Alfie Baldwin

Photographs Getty Images; The Times/News Syndication


THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN HAS BEGUN Say goodbye to politics as you know it. The EU referendum played out through a series increasingly unpredictable psychodramas, power struggles and false promises. Now, GQ considers the terra incognita of a post-Brexit world... STORY BY

s we absorb the first measures taken by a new prime minister, there is time to draw breath after the most extraordinary few months in British politics since (and perhaps including) the fall of Margaret Thatcher, and to reflect upon the lessons of the EU referendum and an aftermath that included the replacement of David Cameron by Theresa May. The express train will speed up again soon enough, as the annual party conferences dramatise the struggles ahead. As so often, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four provides a useful text. Interrogating rebel Winston Smith, O’Brien, the Inner Party mandarin, declares, “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake... The object of power is power.” In this fictional dystopia, there is only politics, and politics is its own purpose. The improvement of mankind’s lot is immaterial and hostile to the objectives of the Party. Superficially, at least, the referendum was about liberation from the Big Brother of Brussels and “taking back control”. At stake on 23 June was nothing less than the institutional, legal, commercial, fiscal and administrative future of the country. The outcome of the vote will have a profound impact upon how we trade, make our laws, control our borders and forge our geopolitical position in a century that is still young. Yet the debate that preceded the vote was pure politics. The technicalities of Brexit were pushed aside by the Tory psychodrama of Boris Johnson vs David Cameron. The papers were full of personality, ambition, feud and rivalry. If you looked hard, there were graphics explaining how the proposed departure from the EU might work and how it would transform our system of governance. But the spotlight never wavered from the Tory turmoil that so helpfully personified the argument. To the extent that the debate was ever about issues of policy, it often veered into the realm of fantasy. Boris’ battle bus bore big lettering


Front-page news: The British media reacts to the EU referendum and its immediate aftermath, 23 and 24 June

Matthew d’Ancona to the effect that £350 million a week was being sent to the EU as the price of membership, but that after Brexit could be spent on the NHS instead. This was doubly misleading: the £350m figure was a gross figure that did not take account of Britain’s rebate or the EU subsidies sent to UK recipients (the real, net figure has been variously estimated, and was probably closer to £120m per week). Second: who were the Leavers to say that the post-Brexit economy would be able to sustain present levels of public spending on the NHS – let alone hundreds of millions more per week? Worse, could the Brexiteers not see how dangerous their claims about immigration control might be? It was bad enough to stir the pot of ugly atavism and social fragmentation. What compounded the error grievously was to raise expectations of reforms that would assuage these sentiments. In practice, immigration control is immensely complex, once the state takes account of labour market needs, family entitlements and natural justice. All the sloganeering about immigration helped decide the referendum, but it was lousy expectation management. Ludicrously, we are only now debating the practicalities of Brexit – after the vote. Leave, it seems clear, did not have much of a plan to unroll if it won. But had anyone really prepared for such an outcome? Cameron knew only that his position was no longer tenable. His team had braced itself for a confidence vote and was sure it “had the numbers” of Tory MPs. But, in the harsh light of 24 June, it was clear to the PM that – as the figurehead of Remain – he was an implausible chief negotiator for Brexit. And so the country lost an experienced, able prime minister whom it had re-elected only 13 months before. SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 179

A shot at peace: Flower Power (1967) by Bernie Boston

Ludicrously, we are only now debating the practicalities of Brexit It may seem odd for a political commentator to criticise the consuming role that politics played in the campaign. I won’t deny that it has been good for trade. Who could resist the Agatha Christie novel that was Michael Gove’s subversion of Johnson’s leadership campaign? So one must not be priggish. Political drama is an important part of any functioning democracy, the stage on which its key protagonists act out the great battles of the day. But there is a growing risk that politics will push out government; or, put another way, that politics becomes a game about power alone, not the pursuit of power with a purpose. Social media has oxygenated a trend that predates its ruthless, instant judgments. In this country, cynicism about politics has been nurtured by sleaze under the Tories, spin under New Labour and, most recently, the disaster of the parliamentary expenses scandal in 2009. The notion of statesmanship is not taken seriously by the electorate. As a nation, we still expect a huge amount from the state, especially in our unique healthcare system. But the notion of politics as a path taken by those who want to perform public service and improve life for their fellow citizens – well, let us just say that it invites derision. Nor is this crisis of conviction limited to Britain. When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the US presidency, his inexperience in government was cited as a disqualification. In fact, it explains his appeal. He is seen by his supporters as a “clean-skin”, uncontaminated by the excuses of career politicians. Trump routinely proposes ideas that would be impossible for a civilised superpower to implement (how, for instance, would he ban Muslims from entering the US, without employing an army of telepaths?). Yet every time he does so, the voters applaud. Once again, high-octane politics has eclipsed the reality of government and raised a bombastic amateur to the brink of the presidency. Government will never be granted the same coverage or public attention as politics. But it continues all the same: taxes are imposed, spending is controlled, laws are passed, schools are built, hospitals closed. All this goes on, whether we take notice or not. Decisions are made not by those who vote, but by those whom the vote empowers. If the summer of Brexit has a lesson, it is that we get the government we deserve. 180 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

POWER TO THE PEOPLE As agents of social and political change, artists have long been on activism’s front line. This autumn, a troop of exhibitions pay tribute to half a century of revolutionary spirit STORY BY

Sophie Hastings

THREE new exhibitions fuelled by ideas of film and design that defined the counterculture political activism open this autumn and three, of an era in which a new generation imagined a different way of life. Highlights include as they say, is a trend. Later this month, interviews with Yoko Ono and Twiggy, seminal Victoria Miro Gallery (16 Wharf Road, London films Easy Rider and 2001: A Space Odyssey, N1. launches Protest (23 artworks by Richard Hamilton and a shopping September – 5 November), featuring works by Elmgreen & Dragset, Richard Prince and Isaac list written behind the barricades during the 1968 Paris Riots. Julien, whose acutely prescient 2007 film Finally, Fear And Love: Reactions To WESTERN UNION: Small Boats is a meditation A Complex World, (from 24 November) is the on migration and the hope for a better life. Elmgreen & Dragset’s “Sentence, No1” (2016) Design Museum’s inaugural show at its new home (High Street Kensington, London W8. takes the utilitarian architecture of prison, where its chief curator, doors and reduces them to a minimalist wall Justin McGuirk (who curated the winning hanging, a useless gilded cage with no way installation at the 2012 Venice Architecture in or out. The exhibition serves as “a call to Biennale, inspired by action”, says Victoria Miro’s communal living in a director of exhibitions, Erin Caracas slum), will explore Manns, “inspiring us to radical design solutions consider the social and to the problems of political issues that confront urbanisation. Architecture our global community”. has stolen a march on art, in Protest is on during terms of imaginative social Freize, the most commercial week of the year for engagement, and with Fear London’s contemporary art And Love, McGuirk hopes to community: suggesting “push designers out of their activism is the art world’s comfort zones, encourage them to build new and new black. Right on cue unexpected relationships comes You Say You Want A Revolution? Records And and to communicate with Rebels 1966-70 (10 audiences in an unfamiliar September – 26 February) way, responding to our at the V&A (Cromwell Road, collective hopes and London SW7. doubts about the pace and Get involved: Study For Idol Hands revealing a rich archive of impact of change on the by Jules de Balincourt (2012) from way we live”. the photography, music, ‘Protest’ at Victoria Miro Gallery



Wildflower by The Avalanches out now (xl)

A frankly ridiculous 16 years since their debut album, Australian collagists The Avalanches have somehow lost none of their charm. This big, friendly, psychedelic circus of a record is like a post-hip-hop version of what Brian Wilson was trying to do with Smile. This time their vivid tapestry of samples also includes flesh-and-blood performers such as Biz Markie and Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue. DORIAN LYNSKEY


Boy King by Wild Beasts out now (domino)

The Lake District quartet extend a tremendous run of albums with their most physical and immediate record yet. Rhythm is king on an album of feverish electro-funk ruminations on sex and masculinity which has one eye on Radiohead and the other on Prince. DL DON’T MISS

Liverpool Biennial until 16 october

Witness the cultural opening-up of a complex, historic city across its galleries, public spaces, unused buildings and online, by a host of top contemporary artists, including Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Coco Fusco, Mark Leckey and Olivier Laric. SH

Photographs Jules de Balincourt; Getty Images; Sony Pictures; Victoria Miro Gallery

Wiener takes it all: The Pixar/Disney spoof Sausage Party

Set your cultural compass to this month’s pole stars

Detroit Lions as a quarterback wannabe, all six of his sports books are available in the UK for the first time. OLIVIA COLE SEE



Ben-Hur 3D

War Dogs

out on 19 august

out on 26 august

The EY Exhibition: Wifredo Lam at Tate Modern 14 september – 8 january

Biblical epics are back – and this Based on the Rolling Stone story time in 3-D. A “reimagining” of the by Guy Lawson, War Dogs tells the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The true-life tale of two hapless stoner Christ that spawned film versions in bros (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller) 1925 and 1959, this one is directed turned arms traders who radically by the man who helmed Abraham undercut the competition and find Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and sees themselves securing a $300 million relative newbie Jack Huston (he government contract to supply was in Boardwalk Empire), weapons for US allies in Afghanistan. Not so play the titular Jesus much fish-out-of-water botherer, previously EAST OF EDIE as fish-deep-fried. SM played by Charlton Plimpton co-edited Jean Stein’s ‘oral history’ of Heston. STUART McGURK WAT C H

Poldark starts in september on bbc one

Edie Sedgwick, and made a cameo (as himself) in Factory Girl, starring Sienna Miller as the doomed heiress.

It’s certainly been a wait: a year and a half after Aidan Turner was first catapulted to sex symbol status (and current bookies’ favourite to be the new James Bond), his brooding 18th-century landowner is back, and it looks set to be just as upbeat and aspirational as the first (they’ve “just lost their child, his company is going down the pan, they’re broke and he’s been arrested”, Turner has said. “It’s a cheery beginning”). Utter misery. We love it. SM


Paper Lion: Confessions Of A LastString Quarterback by George Plimpton

out now (yellow jersey press)

Starting in the late Fifties, away from the legendary offices of New York literary magazine The Paris Review, editor George Plimpton turned himself into the ultimate sportswriter, participating in distinctly un-writerly activities: from boxing to baseball to high-wire circus act. And for the 50th anniversary of his 1966 classic account of joining the

A first-hand witness to the spectacle of political upheaval that was the 20th century – including the Spanish Civil War, the evacuation of artists and intellectuals from France during the Second World War and the Cuban Revolution – Lam defined a new way of painting that places him at the centre of global modernism. SH SEE

Turner Prize at Tate Britain 27 september – 8 january

Of this year’s four nominees, Anthea Hamilton has probably the highest profile – mostly due to the media’s obsession with the 18-ft sculpture of male buttocks she included in her last solo exhibition, Lichen! Libido! Chastity! – but this is a very strong year for the £40,000 prize, with no clear winner. Definitely worth a visit. SH WAT C H

Born To Be Blue out now

Why do so many musicians become drug addicts? That’s the question animating Robert Budreau’s biopic of trumpeter Chet Baker. F I N A L N OTE When we meet jazz’s The final years of former boy wonder Baker’s life was – played with desperate documented in Bruce Weber’s film, Let’s charm by Ethan Hawke Get Lost (1988). – he is at rock bottom in 1966 and he’s trying to clean up for a big comeback. That struggle drives a heartbreaking, study of the relationship between talent and self-destruction. DL READ

Nutshell by Ian McEwan out on 1 september (cape)


Sausage Party out on 12 august

Yes, adults can watch Pixar films too, but let’s face it, they’re not meant for us. The X-rated Sausage Party very much is. Essentially an anti-Disney film from Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg (behind the likes of Superbad and Kim Jong-un-angering The Interview), it tells the story of a sentient group of vegetables (voiced by the likes of Rogan, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill and James Franco) as they escape being made a meal out of. SM

Since the Seventies, McEwan’s fan base has followed him from the darkness of his early short stories to the moral complexities of Atonement and Enduring Love. But even with his facility for unexpected perspectives, nobody predicted a tale told by an unborn child party to a murder plot. The miraculously well-educated narrator is the appalled witness to his mother’s affair with a moronic property developer, Claude, and their plot to kill his father – a loving yet hopeless poet, forced out of the family home – by poisoning his smoothie. OC SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 181

this month on

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THE CHANGING MAN Discover the secrets of the 12-week Evolution Of Man programme. No cardio. No machines. No excuses STORY BY

Paul Solomons


Simon Webb

Work in progress (from top): The ‘bar-bod’ shape of week one; a selection of the sweet potatoes, venison, avocado, fish, steak and rice recommended for the diet; all food must be weighed accurately; (right) the power-building tyre flip

Consuming passion Water: 332 litres or 73 gallons, the equivalent of two full bathtubs Steak: 19.74kg or 3st 1lb, almost a quarter of my own body weight Turkey burgers: 132 see recipe over Vegetables: 2.64kg or 5.8lb Oats: 5.39kg or 11.9lb Nuts: 2.64kg or 5.8lb Miles run: 0 Crunches: 0





The theory of everything The Evolution Of Man regime will recalibrate your fitness, diet and wellbeing. GQ’s Creative Director Paul Solomons said goodbye to his bar-bod and hello to a new life OVER A DECADE AGO, in June 2005, five GQ colleagues and I took part in a six-week body transformation challenge, each doing different work-out programmes, ranging from training with the army to aerobics with supermodels. I had just returned from LA after shooting the original Baywatch superstar, Pamela Anderson. It is hard to forget that shoot, but another reason I remember that issue of the magazine so clearly is because I had promised myself ever since that I would return to the fitness I achieved back then. I was 31-years-old and I weighed a nottoo-heavy 85kg for my 6ft 3in frame, but almost a quarter of that weight – 24 per cent – was fat (28 per cent is considered clinically overweight). By the end of the programme I weighed 75kg, with a trim 14 per cent body fat. But old habits and routines kicked in. Long hours in the office, skipped breakfasts, one too many drinks after work – the hard work was undone in no time. I never made it as far as packing my gym bag since. My annual new year’s resolutions always came to nothing. Work, smoke, drink, eat, repeat. Suddenly I was 42. I had a dad-bod and I didn’t even have children, so I rechristened it the “barbod”, and on the horizon, coincidentally, was another shoot in LA, this time for the new star playing CJ in the Baywatch reboot, Kelly Rohrbach. I realised the time for false promises was over. In February I ran into an old GQ colleague. I hardly recognised him. He was slim, ripped and looked liked he had been photoshopped. “Twelve weeks,” he said, whipping out his phone to show me some images. I begged for the details of his new fitness programme.

On the back of my newspaper he wrote, “Evolution Of Man”. I met Tim Walker and Lee Bennett, the founders and head trainers at Evolution Of Man (EOM), the following week. Their website said that the 12-week transformation programme would help me lose more than a stone (6.3kg) in fat while building almost the same in muscle. I wondered if this was even possible. They told me to trust them – if I committed 100 per cent, ate what they told me to, lifted what and how they said I should, then I would, in their words, “look and feel better than you did in your thirties”. Walker, Bennett and their young recruit Hakim Mefai were all involved in my training over the coming weeks and I quickly saw that their expertise was going to produce extraordinary results. Most London-based gyms have exercise machines designed for a comfortable work-out, but being comfortable is not how Brad Pitt got ready for Fight Club. At Evolution Of Man there is no treadmill, but there is a sprinting track armed with a “prowler” (google this horror and tremble), a sled to drag, beer kegs to lift, tractor tyres to drag, sandbags to carry and throw, and sledgehammers to wield. “We just want men to go back to being men – strong, agile, fast,” says Walker. At the end of this first meeting at the gym, Walker took my measurements. I was close to where I was more than ten years ago – almost 22 per cent body fat – and it was clear that nutrition would be the decisive factor over three months. “You can’t out-train a bad diet,” growled Bennett. Full diet plans and training schedules were emailed to me within two days and off I ran to Nike Town

to get kitted out with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. “A lot of men would look at Paul’s first photo and think, ‘Hey that’s fine. I’d be happy to look like that,’” says Walker. “But our job is to make people the best they can be. Before we could do this we needed to correct some structural and postural issues – classic city worker problems – so we had Paul seen by our physiotherapist.” It was obvious my lifestyle had to change too. I stopped buying my morning coffee on the way to work to avoid the need for the morning cigarette. I also made sure I left the office on time on Friday to avoid going out for the evening. This seemed tough enough – but it was nothing compared with what was to come. I found that doing all the food prep and cooking myself helped take my mind off what I would usually be doing at home: drinking, smoking and watching box sets. Getting into a new routine at home as well as the gym is the best thing you can do. And when it got tough – and it did – I would simply remind myself of how much I had consumed in the previous ten years and the damage I would do if I continued. Then the hard work began. It would not have happened without the continual support of the team at EOM. “If the client commits to us and our plan, we’ll give them everything,” says Bennett. “Paul has learnt how to train and eat properly. He not only came out at 11.9 per cent body fat (a reduction of 9.1kg), while gaining 4.5kg of lean muscle, but his postural issues have also improved and at the age of 42 he has achieved the best physique he has ever had.” This programme became more about my state of mind than physical transformation. Keeping a diary was essential and when I look back I can see when I was focused and when I wavered. From a page with the word “Meltdown!’ sprawled across it, to the detailed, measured notes of the later weeks, it shows how this level of success depends on a totally immersive approach. I also remember that in week eight, when I was really suffering, the boys from EOM stepped in to help me maintain my focus in the gym and sent messages of encouragement at home. The website offers you 24/7 support. You’ll get it and you’ll need it. Thanks, boys. See you when I’m 50!

Evolution Of Man:

1. The prowler AKA ‘the widow maker’ As with all of these exercises, this is a whole-body conditioning tool that leaves you no option but to become extremely fit and powerful (if you make it to the end). It builds strong legs and shoulders and teaches you to keep pushing when you think you have reached your limit.

Twelve-week transformation programme OIncludes 48 one-to-one personal training sessions. OFull-body physiotherapy consultation.



2. The tyre flip An EOM favourite that combines power and explosive strength to work the whole body, building fantastic functional strength.


3 3. The sledgehammer Most top fighters use this tool, as it promotes power and strength. It builds powerful shoulders, forearms and core – a great stress reliever, too.

OPre- and post-work-out nutrition. OThe tailored diet plan, 24/7 contact and unlimited

aftercare – plus biannual photoshoots (after the 12 weeks and again later in the year) – costs £4,000. OEOM also offers a 60-day programme and group transformation for up to eight people. OEmail

Photographs Tim Walker; Simon Webb; Instagram/@paulsolomonsgq

Three of the best... or the worst



Paul’s lean, mean turkey burgers

Figures and facts

(Makes eight, ideal for freezing) OTry to buy free-range

or organic ingredients O2 large red onions,

finely chopped O2 cloves garlic, crushed OOrganic coconut oil O500g white

turkey mince O500g dark

turkey mince OGround black pepper O1 tbsp dried sage herbs OOrganic flour O2 large organic

egg yolks OBurger separators

Method OSlow fry the onion

and crushed garlic with the coconut oil in a small pan. Keep the lid on to hold in moisture and avoid burning. When soft, leave to cool (the meat will start to cook if you add the onions when they’re still hot). OInto a large bowl add the white and dark turkey meat. The dark meat keeps the burger from drying out and it’s also much tastier. Season with pepper – avoid salt if you can. OAdd the cooled onions, dried sage and egg yolks, then mix by hand. OPlace in the fridge to cool for 5-10 mins. OWeigh out the mix into 150g balls. Coat with a little flour to help it bind. OPlace each ball in a burger press or form with your hands and store or freeze with separators between. OThoroughly defrost before frying in a little oil for 5 mins on each side.

Week 1-3 Weight: 87.6kg Body fat: 21.7% Waist: 96cm The first three weeks are about getting the body back into exercise and making sure the nutrition is on point. I trained three times a week, working the whole body in each session with lifts, squats, pushing and pulling, and postural correction exercises. Diet was just meat, fish, chicken and vegetables, with some good fats on the side. By the end of week two, I was sleeping uninterrupted all night, which in itself was worth all the hard work.

Week 3-6

Week 6-9

Weight: 84.7kg Body fat: 17.5% Waist: 91cm Fat lost: 4.1kg Muscle gained: 1.2kg With improving postural awareness and technical skill I ramped up the intensity in the gym and started adding complex carbs, such as rice and sweet potato, to my diet. I used German body composition (GBC) training at least twice a week alongside strongman training. GBC consists of full-body sessions that hit each muscle group while keeping the heart rate high enough to drop fat as muscle packs on.

Weight: 84.4kg Body fat: 15.6% Waist: 88cm Fat lost: 1.7kg Muscle gained: 1.4kg I was now benching my body weight and deadlifting double my starting weight so I used heavier weights with more repetitions to concentrate on building muscle. I started using a carbohydrate cycling method in my diet to make sure the fat loss continued as muscle increased. My face was much slimmer now and although I had a few incredibly tough days, I kept my focus and felt much stronger overall.

Week 9-11

Final week

Weight: 83.9kg Body fat: 13.7% Waist: 85cm Fat lost: 1.7kg Muscle gained: 1.2kg Still very much focusing on fat loss and muscle building, I began to include more metabolic conditioning exercises – such as the prowler, sledgehammer and tyre – as finishers to make sure fitness levels matched the muscle gains made. I also targeted areas that I felt needed to look better, such as shoulders and arms to get that classic V-shaped look.

Weight: 83kg Body fat: 11.9% Waist: 85cm Fat lost: 1.6kg Muscle gained: 0.7kg This week was spent as if I was about to step onto the stage for a bodybuilding competition. During each of the first three days, I drank 6-8 litres of water, ate small fat- and carbohydratefree meals and did high-rep exercises to squeeze each muscle I was targeting. Later, I added carbohydrates and stopped exercising to let muscle soak up glycogen before the photo shoot. Total fat lost: 9.1kg Total muscle gained: 4.5kg

THE DOS AND DON’TS O Do: Keep ingredients simple and prepare meals in batches so you can assemble them easily each evening. Keep to organic or free-range if possible.

ODo: Eat at the same time every day. Consistency is key. I ate breakfast at 7.30am and 10.30am, had lunch at 1pm, ate again at 4pm and 7pm, and had dinner at 9.30pm.

O Do: Alternate proteins throughout the day: red meat, fish, chicken etc.

ODo: Drink water. Lots of water. At least four litres a day.

O Don’t: Replace food with protein shakes. They will never give you the results you get from eating good, healthy meals.

ODon’t: Stress. It produces a hormone called cortisol. This reduces testosterone levels, which makes it harder to gain muscle and can even reverse the gains you have made.

ODo: Weigh carbs before cooking and protein after (protein shrinks when cooked so allow for this when weighing your portions). ODo: Make friends with your local butcher and fishmonger. Let them know you’ll expect mates rates – you will be visiting them often.

ODo: Sleep at least seven hours a night. This is the second most important thing – after diet – to make gains. Sleep is when your body produces human growth hormone and you will be much bigger after

a work-out if it’s followed by a good night’s sleep. ODo: Buy yourself some good digital scales and lots of food containers. Mine were 750ml (pictured below) and were the perfect size. ODon’t: Beat yourself up if you miss a meal or a session. Just refocus and move on. ODo: Remember lots of small changes to your lifestyle will result in one huge one. Only you will know what they should be. For me, it included walking a different way home to avoid the pub and no morning coffee to stop me having that first cigarette. ODon’t: Give up. It’s only three months of your life.


column where she solves puzzles and answers questions on various subjects. Tip: “A great way to stay in peak form is to do novel things often, the way you did when you were a kid. To a kid, everything is novel: there’s no choice. This keeps your cognitive skills sharp and prevents boredom at the same time.” For more words of wisdom: @VirtualMvS

Think like a genius Assumed other-worldly intelligence was beyond your reach? Well, some of the world’s most brilliant minds have shared their secret smarts with us... STEVEN PINKER Intelligence: Pinker is a professor at Harvard, an award-winning experimental cognitive psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature. Tip: “No one is smart enough to come up with a truly brilliant idea out of the blue: we’re all aggregators, combiners, greatest-hits collectors. I read widely, and not just in my own field, nor just people who agree with me. I also hoard my time and concentration: no meetings or phone calls when a quick email will do; no electronic alerts while I’m working.” For more words of wisdom: @sapinker ROBERT J SHILLER Intelligence: Shiller is one of the world’s most influential economists and a Nobel Laureate. He currently serves as a Sterling Professor of economics at Yale University. Tip: “I tend to be distractible, so I try to surround myself with good reading material and avoid watching television or listening to the radio, which can suck my attention in. It is not just the quality of the books; I try to seek out less popular reading material. I don’t believe in celebrities, generally, and watching or reading about celebrities is generally a mistake, since one winds up reading the same thing as everyone else. To be useful one has to be different.” For more words of wisdom: @RobertJShiller MAURICE ASHLEY Intelligence: Jamaican-born American Ashley was the first black chess grandmaster and is an author, commentator, app designer, puzzle inventor and motivational speaker. Tip: “To stay hyper-motivated and productive, I always try to have a large long-term vision to accomplish. Thinking and dreaming big stretches my mind to try to resolve challenges that would never appear if I simply focused on knocking off the mundane day-today tasks of everyday life. As for kicking my brain into gear, I find that adding new and interesting words to my vocabulary – 186 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

whether through learning a new language, reading constantly or playing word games such as Scrabble – keeps my brain sharp, fresh and in a mode to learn and expand.” For more words of wisdom: @MauriceAshley MARILYN VOS SAVANT Intelligence: Vos Savant is known for having the highest recorded IQ (228) according to the Guinness Book Of Records and, since 1986, she has written “Ask Marilyn”, a Parade magazine Sunday

Head space: Physical activity or switching off social media alerts will enhance your productivity, the key to keeping your brain sharp

PHILIP EMEAGWALI Intelligence: Commonly known as a “father” of the internet, Emeagwali created the world’s fastest computer and has an estimated IQ of 190. Tip: “I’m more productive when I do my intellectual work early in the morning. My bandwidth is limited and I avoid ‘internet noise’ – so I don’t read emails or social media and I don’t answer telephone calls. I don’t even hold a conversation with my wife in the mornings. I drink a cup of green tea, wear my pyjamas and multitask by listening to interviews and lectures.” For more words of wisdom: DR ROBERT F SPETZLER Intelligence: Spetzler is an award-winning neurosurgeon and is director of Barrow Neurological Institute. He has written more than 300 articles on cerebrovascular and neurological topics. Tip: “In part, I credit challenging physical activity to my success as a brain surgeon. I am an avid biker, swimmer, extreme skier and marathoner. Every year, I lead a group of colleagues at Barrow Neurological Institute on a gruelling 23-mile hike across the Grand Canyon. Not only do the physical adventures fulfil the desire to be fit, but they also clear my mind to be ready for my next large surgical case.” For more words of wisdom: @BarrowNeuro PAUL G ALLEN Intelligence: Allen is founder of Vulcan Inc, co-founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates, and founder of The Hospital Club, London. Tip: “The best way to stay sharp and engaged is to keep asking hard questions and think out of the box. I regularly seek out people who know much more than I do on a given subject, and this helps me stay abreast of new developments in a wide range of fields. Sometimes I bring together leaders from diverse areas to talk with each other. Inevitably, this reveals unexpected connections and new ideas to pursue. And finally, saturate your brain with everything you can find and learn about diverse fields, and a new idea will emerge!” For more words of wisdom: @PaulGAllen Eleanor Halls

Illustration Shutterstock Photographs Charlie Surbey




Action stations

Don’t forget to pack these sport staples when you head away this summer...

Bollé cycle helmet & sunglasses The One Road cycle helmet has 31 inlets, an LED light, is aerodynamic and holds your sunglasses. Pair it with Bollé’s 5th Element Pro sunnies. Helmet, £109. Sunglasses, £149.

Kit And Ace sportswear Kit And Ace is a sportswear brand created by Lululemon Athletica’s former lead designer. We recommend its luxury Turning Point polo shirt for the golf course, the tennis court, the beach… £140.

Suunto Ambit3 Vertical The Ambit3 is the ultimate adventure tool. It monitors your elevation, is water-resistant to 100m and features a digital compass for navigation. £243.75.

Jabra Sport Pulse New Balance trainers These limited-edition all-American red, white and blue “Explore By Air” 997s are a mix of suede, mesh and leather, but with all the modern cushioning of a 21st-century running shoe. £155.

Samsonite Lite-Biz Protect your fitness kit when you travel. The Samsonite Curv collection is the toughest and lightest wheelie cases in the range. £285.

These wireless buds feature the world’s first in-ear biometric heart-rate monitor. The app’s audio coach analyses your fitness levels and monitors your pace. £200.

Bushnell Tour V4 rangefinder Not only is Bushnell’s latest Tour rangefinder faster to focus and more ergonomic than the old version, it is also 30 per cent smaller. £269.

Copper Skin:Z Pack a little performance sportswear when you travel. This compression range from Trion:Z is embedded with copper fibres to help circulation and aid post-workout recovery. From £25.



The sound and the fury

Careful whispers: Talking dirty to someone tonal can be anything from intimate to electrifying


Fifty Shades Of Grey was responsible for many things. One of the more inviting is the rise in erotic audio. Indulging in everything from fantasy audiobooks, to SoundCloud playlists and sound-only YouTube channels, a world of new male and female listeners are getting into aural sex. JuicyPeach ( is a slim, browneyed 34-year-old whose lilting Dublin/South African voice has commanded more than a million hits. She is one of the more elegant examples, but even your hard-bitten reporter finds her pace, her descriptions, heck her whole narrative arc, mesmeric. While “Hung College Stud Giving Milf Anal” boasts 57,000 hits, and “Young Texas Couple Birthday F***” more than 110,000, there is little subtlety in these straight-up sex soundtracks. Juicy, or Yael, is a photographer, viz the alluring buttock pictures on her site. “Though my professional world relies on visuals, my personal preference sexually is more aural,” she says. “Creating an erotic recording seemed sexy and fun to try. Within a week of releasing my first tape – a very sensual, whispered audio of me waking up my lover with oral pleasure – I had 200 emails applauding me. It is a growing culture. A lot of people I hear from are not turned on by visual porn.” Perhaps it was inevitable that blue audio would be the next, um, big thing: in the past five years, nearly 40 million romance and erotic books, worth £178 million, were sold in Britain alone. Many more were read on discreet Kindle and smartphone formats. Streaming them is therefore not a huge jump. Though it may be that the popularity of spoken word events such as Pin Drop (the reading of short stories) and poetry (for example the giddy ascent of Mercury Prizenominated poet Kate Tempest) has further primed the way. “As an industry we follow what happens in print,” says Michele Cobb, of audiobook erotica imprint Insatiable Press. “There was some before Fifty Shades, but the success of that pushed things to a different level.” Audible, the audiobook behemoth now owned by Amazon, hired Susie Bright as editor-at-large and executive producer overseeing erotic content: she is an outspoken “sexpert” who has run sex shops, sex magazines, and has a weekly sex-based podcast, In Bed With Susie Bright. She fixed deals with x-rated publisher Ellora’s Cave and romance publisher Harlequin, whose stable includes Mills & Boon. “The most popular types vary,” says Cobb. “We do lots of Westerns: everyone loves a cowboy, especially in the States.” According to Troy Juliar, the chief content officer of the global audio publisher, there is

Photographs Trunk Archive; Getty Images

From red-hot podcasts to fantasy audiobooks, aural sex is the erotica trend to tune your ears in to

LIFE marketing wisdom in not selling things as naughty, per se. “Most romance authors would not call themselves ‘erotica’ authors, even though many romantic subgenres contain erotica-type writing,” he explains. “Actually, it is a sure-fire way to limit your sales. Smart authors sneak in the erotic content under ‘romance’ or ‘fantasy’. Hits in the paranormal genre – the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris (which was adapted into HBO’s True Blood) – contain a fair amount of sex as part of the storyline. Fans love it. The sexual tension is often central to advancing the story and integral to the plot.” So, who is tuning in? “You’d be surprised,” continues Juliar. “We know, for example, that a significant percentage of listeners of gay romance are straight women.” Christopher Lynch, vice president of Simon & Schuster Audio, has acknowledged that one of the reasons for investing in erotic romance is that it tends to be popular among that desirable consumer group, women in their twenties. Beyond the world of spoken word lies the hinterland of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR). I first heard about ASMR in a This American Life podcast by novelist Andrea Seigel. “I’d get this tingling throughout my skull,” she recounts. “I know how weird that sounds. It was like starbursts in my head that opened in my crown and sparkled down to the nape, like glittering water...” Referred to as “Head Tingle” or “Brain

Orgasm”, ASMR has only been investigated in are talking with each other, following the same pace, you will come to be incredibly close. The the last few years. Giulia Poerio is a member of modern world makes constant demands on a group who are studying it at the University our senses. Having someone give you their of Sheffield. She resists the notion of ASMR undivided attention, especially if they speak being precisely sexual: “I’d describe it as a quietly so you have to lean in, fosters wontingling sensation that spreads down through derful intimacy. It is easy to focus on the body: you, a physical response to sounds such as sex should involve both mind and soul.” whispering, scratching, whistling and “Many women, including myself, so on. I’ve had it for as long as I are distinctly tonal,” agrees can remember. The feeling isn’t Tantric coach Elena Angel. sexual. It is relaxed.” “This means hearing is their Poerio refers me to YouTube, dominant sense; the right where I watch the 16-minute, sounds can be electrify“Oh Such A Good 3D-Sound The percentage of women who told a recent survey* that talking ing, connecting you to your ASMR Video”. It is recorded dirty was the best way to partner and building exciteby GentleWhispering, a widespice up their sex life and ment and pleasure.” eyed, 28-year-old Russian keep it exciting with Moreover, you can use your expat named Maria, and has been their partner. voice to enact any kind of fantasy. played some 15 million times. She “Take her on a journey of the imaginawhispers lovingly into twin camera mics tion,” Angel continues. A spoken escapade, and, for example, runs her nails across the briswhich doesn’t require Kylie Jenner or Ryan tles of her “wonder” hairbrush. I listen, ready Gosling. Or a narrative which may just happen for rapture. Instead I find it merely annoying. However, if the feeling ASMR prompts is to embrace those surprising little things you’d about presence, about falling into your body, like her to do to you, or perhaps cast you both it seems to me mighty similar to the effects in specifically mischievous personas. inspired by Tantra — both as a precursor to, “Women have tremendous neuroplasticity,” and a marvellous part of, centred and deeply continues Dubberly. “If you talk to her in a way that lets her understand your desires, satisfying love-making. “A key Tantra technique is to co-ordinate there’s a strong chance that she’ll be up for breathing between lovers,” says Emily them, too. Well-primed, female brains can be Dubberley, author of Garden Of Desires: The willing to explore a fabulous range of things.” Evolution Of Women’s Sexual Fantasies. “If you Rebecca Newman



* Trojan Sex Life Survey.

What Kanye West calls pillow talk THERE’S a lot to learn when Kanye West releases an album. The Life Of Pablo dropped earlier this year and the world apparently stopped, listened, and then tweeted. Sure, many of us are intrigued by his meltdowns, his wife, the way he’s seemingly won round the fashion industry despite peddling jumpers that look moth-eaten, but it’s his lyrics that should really be our focus. It’s the lyrics that appear to win him millions of admirers – people who rap along at his concerts, people willing to shell out hundreds on a shoe that looks like a sock. But The Life Of Pablo is also about sex. On Twitter, West (right) dubbed the record “a gospel album”. This from the man who penned the lyric, “Now if I f*** this model. And she just bleached her asshole. And I get bleach on my T-shirt. I’mma feel like an asshole.” Touching. The record was a festival of semi-erotic, semi-amusing rhymes, each odder and more suggestive/ offensive than the last. Note also his multi-opprobrious, “Eating Asian pussy, all I need was sweet and sour sauce.” Much was also made of one particular sexual “shout out”, his nod to Taylor Swift and their once highly publicised spat. “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. I made that bitch famous.” Oh Kanye. Yes – this is an album about sex and power and sex as power. Many of us have admired the hip hop fraternity for their boasts and digs, but their lyrical eroticism? Less so, perhaps, despite metaphorical swimming pools full of naked video girls.

So West and his cohorts appear to be filling a void. The great Casanovas of  today aren’t the pop bands and indie poets. There’s no confident speeches there – no explicit content, no wordplay as foreplay. There’s barely even any genuine romance. So Kanye, Jay Z, Young Thug, Drake and Lil Wayne reference sex like nobody else: with passion, force and unbridled mania. Spoken word porn: it’s a real thing. I’m thinking about J. Cole’s “Dick so big it’s like a foot is in yo’ mouth,” on Jeremih’s “Planes”. Childish Gambino’s “Freaks And Geeks” is equally poetic: “Fly girl on her knees, she don’t wanna come near me. My dick is too big, there’s a Big Bang Theory.” Another master of word-wood is Lil Wayne. On Drake’s “HYFR” he raps: “My nuts hang like ain’t no curfew. Bitch if you wave, then I will surf you.” And if those aren’t reductive enough, how about Young Thug’s description of a bashful partner, recoiling from his bad boy ways on “Never Had It”: “She runnin’ away from my weed like it farted. She don’t want to swallow so I put it on her neck.” Forget romance, this is music for the generation who order a partner with the same ease as a take-out meal. It’s universally physical – boobs, dicks, backsides, legs, hands, pussies. Note Kendrick Lamar in “Backseat Freestyle”: “And her body got that ass that a ruler couldn’t measure, and it make me cum fast but I never get embarrassed.” Or Kanye’s “Your titties, let ’em out, free at last. Thank God almighty, they free at last.” Observe how he’s sticking to the gospel tone. Less so here: “Black girl sippin’ white wine. Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign,” from “I’m In It”. Sweet nothings indeed. Lou Stoppard





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Pull-ups build strength and endurance in the upper body.

Deadlifts are a great whole-body strength exercise that builds powerful legs. With feet shoulder distance apart, toes just under the bar, squat to parallel and take an overhand grip just wider than shoulder width. Keep your back flat and chest lifted as you drive through your heels and hips to lift the bar to standing. Keep the bar close to your body as you return to start position.

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Exercise 2

Pull ups

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Perform 4 sets of 8 reps.

Exercise 3

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what’s the best way to deal with the bullies we encounter there? The tactics of the workplace bully are often the same as those of the playground bully, just in a different arena. It is about fear and control. But they can be dealt with in similar ways. I have three young boys, and I always tell them that the worst thing to do is to run away from the bully, just like we shouldn’t run away from our fears. If we do, the bullying, like our fears, tends to increase. So, whether they’re facing physiSupport team: Bear Grylls cal, emotional or verbal bullying and the contestants of (the latter two are always harder) China’s Survivor Games I tell my children to turn and face the bully, and in a strong, positive voice say this: “Stop. That’s not nice. No one likes a bully.” When this is all said, then they can turn and walk away. On their own terms. This achieves several results. Firstly, when you say “Stop”, it shows you’re not prepared to put up with the bullying. There will often be a show of force back, but hold firm. Bullies are cowards, and this positive reaction from you will be a shock, but you have to hold your ground when they laugh and get angry in response. Secondly, when you say words to the effect of, “That’s not nice, no one likes a bully,” it’s a statement of truth, showing that you and others are aware that this is not good, pleasant, positive behaviour to be subjected to. Finally, once you’ve made these points, then you can clear out and give the bully some space to think about what you’ve communicated and how they’ve acted. Hopefully the bullying will then stop. If it doesn’t, then report it – and don’t wait. As I tell my children, there’s a difference between reporting a bully – which is simply the right thing to do, protecting yourself and protecting others – and being a “sneak”. When it comes to bullying, there is no such thing as a sneak. All this transfers directly to adult environments. We can even use the same words I give my children. Fundamentally, it boils down to two main strategies: confront the bully calmly, positively and rationally, give them a chance to stop, and if they don’t, report it fast. If you can find the courage to do all this, I can assure you, others will thank you. I have seen this happen often. The impact of bullying is to make people hide away, but when light is shined into darkness, they begin to resurface and are invariably grateful. You won’t win every battle out there, but I’m a big believer that what goes around comes around. Bullies always get their comeuppance in the end. And as long as you hold to your principles, stand up for what is right and protect the vulnerable, you will thrive in the long term. Two words from St Paul always stick in my mind when I think about this subject: “Love protects.” Those two simple words can dramatically influence our relationships at work, with our family and with our children. And they certainly apply when it comes to standing up to bullies. A Survival Guide For Life (Corgi, £7.99) by Bear Grylls is out now.

Bullies can appear everywhere from the playground to the boardroom. Show them who’s boss to break their powers NO one likes a bully. But, sadly, bullying is a reality that most of us, from time to time, will encounter in life. This is not a column about why people become bullies. It is about how to deal with them. First up, I believe that bullies are essentially cowards. And that knowledge helps us when it comes to knowing how to handle them. As a child, I was on the wrong end of some bullying. Nothing very serious but enough to scare me as a 13-yearold, especially when the bully was five years older. He was much stronger than me physically, and whenever he was high on glue or some equivalent, I would bear the brunt of his violence. His thumpings became an all too common horror. My way of dealing with it at the time wasn’t a perfect solution, although it worked. I took up karate (eventually becoming one of the youngest second dan black belts in the country), and I learnt to defend myself. I’m not saying this was the correct way to deal with it, but the bullying stopped soon after. I was one of the lucky ones. In retrospect I should have told someone in authority straightaway, but sometimes that requires much more courage. It was courage I didn’t have as a child. That’s why, as an adult, bullying is something I’m very alert to. On occasions, I’ve witnessed some unpleasant bullying in the media world. And it is cruel, ugly and hurtful. When I see it, I come down on it very hard. Obviously, I can’t rely on martial arts at work, though, so 192 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

The worst thing to do is to run away from a bully, just like we shouldn’t run away from our fears

Photographs Ben Simms; Steve Neaves

How to stand up for yourself






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Now here’s what you call an American dream: in one short year James Corden reinvented a US institution and – with his new-media juggernaut Carpool Karaoke – left his late-night chat show rivals in the slow lane. With a private jet on standby and a direct line to superstars, tech titans and presidents, High Wycombe’s wisecracking wonderboy is laughing his way into prime-time’s royal family. GQ joins him in the green room...


Jonathan Heaf





Sebastian Faena

Michael Fisher


‘Listen, if we made this show for Saturday night on ITV, people would have destroyed it’

Jacket, £995, Shirt, £250, Tie, £115, All by Burberry. burberry. com. Pocket square by Polo Ralph Lauren, £62. Tie clip by The Tie Bar, £11. Watch by Blancpain, £13,080. SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 195

n the space of three minutes, late latenight chat show host James Corden has dropped his trousers twice for late-night chat show host Stephen Colbert. First so that a sound gopher can thread a radio mic under Corden’s billowing white shirt and the second time so Corden’s dresser can apply a little resourceful style triage – tit tape – to an inch-long tear along the seam of a suit trouser leg. “The things I have to do for America,” Corden tuts wryly to everyone yet no one in particular. “I’m such a flirt.” The green room for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in New York’s Ed Sullivan Theater can’t have changed since The Beatles were introduced to America here one fine day in 1964. While Corden waits patiently with his trousers round his ankles, the rest of the British star’s press squad – groomer, PA, stylist, publicist – flutter from leather sofa to Formica sideboard, eating roomtemperature sushi, charging iPhones and discussing whether or not Tom Hiddleston will be the next James Bond. Discounting Corden’s own show – The Late Late Show With James Corden, now 18 months in and, with four Emmy nominations, doing nothing but winning – this audience with Stephen Colbert is the first of a raft of television appearances this week for the Gavin & Stacey star. Although Corden’s own show films out of Los Angeles, the British host is in New York to rehearse, promote and present the biggest night in American theatre, the 70th Annual Tony Awards – or, as Corden will describe them while compering this Sunday, “the Oscars, but with diversity”. Today’s show is Colbert’s first since having ten days off. As Corden gets dressed, bemoaning his outfit – “Why do I have to wear a suit? I’m not going to a funeral, I don’t work in a bank and I’m not an estate agent” – Colbert bounds in, grins with teeth as white as an ice rink and grips hands with the entire room. Colbert asks his British guest how rehearsals are going; Corden in return asks what Colbert did with his holiday. “I went a-fishin’,” the American host barks. “Just me and a good pal. We caught trout and ladyfish, fell asleep at nine every night in front of the television. No women allowed. Good times!” Colbert’s show can be broken down into six main parts: a video skit recorded earlier in the day; an opening monologue (peppered with Trump gags); then a satellite link with Colbert’s first guest, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a 69-year-old retired basketball star who has been booked to talk about the death of Muhammad Ali. (Mike Tyson cancelled an hour earlier, apparently.) Then Corden is beckoned out, joining Colbert live at the desk to talk about his new Carpool Karaoke due to drop tonight and featuring the star and creator of Broadway spectacular


Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Once Corden is off camera, Colbert welcomes a final guest – actor Scott Speedman (no, us neither) – and the show closes with a performance by Death Cab For Cutie, who are essentially Keane from Washington without any tunes. Watching backstage on a jumbo screen, either it’s my jet lag or Colbert’s show has a serious problem. The format seems trite and dated. The audience might be laughing, but no one in the green room so much as titters. Having sat and watched Corden’s show numerous times this past week, it’s clear how different the two shows are – and that ranges from vibe to guest type to comedic tone. While Colbert’s show feels like, well, a television show – arid, canned, rehearsed – Corden has gone out of his way to make his show feel more like a club, more intimate, more spontaneous, more live. Whereas Colbert’s guests are wheeled out individually to sit on the host’s right side – a long tradition on American chat shows – Corden’s guests come out together and sit bunched up on his left on a too-small sofa that seems to encourage chaos. On Colbert, the studio audience are kept at least 20 feet

‘Everyone famous chases that first weekend when fame hits. That first whoosh’ back from the action, whereas Corden’s audience members can sit and drink tumblers of Old Fashioneds at a long working bar or take it easy in comfy seats, the likes of which you find in posh cinemas with chilled glasses of Sancerre and ceramic bowls of yoghurt-coated wasabi peas. Corden’s set in LA is less television studio, more Soho House. The only section that does seem to build any momentum for Colbert this afternoon is when Corden himself is on. As Corden and Colbert go head-to-head, despite Corden being the rookie host, it’s woefully clear who is most at ease with the desk-to-famous-guest format. Being a successful late-night chat show host takes big personalities, killer skits and oodles of charm – something Corden seems to run on – whereas the cynic in Colbert just can’t be kept in check. Cynicism works for Colbert when discussing politics – as it did on his former show, The Colbert Report on Comedy Central – but when he’s faced with having to essentially make small talk with a celebrity he seems to lose the nimbleness that made him feel so maverick, so vital. On air, when Colbert drops his pen by way of ribbing Corden over his casual name-dropping, Corden punches gently but effectively back:

“Well, shall we tell them [the audience] who you went fishing with last week?” Watching, you can see Colbert wondering where Corden is going with this. Yet Corden, the Brit, the interloper, the underdog, the accomplished thesp with an instinct for live performance and improvisation like no other in the business, can sense the crowd is with him. “Shall we tell them you went fishing with Martin Scorsese last week?” Although untrue, anyone watching at home or in the studio is none the wiser and the crowd roars with laughter. Colbert is left flummoxed: “You can’t take my story and make it better!” The comment doesn’t come across as a little light banter so much as utter indignation that this limey upstart had just slain him on his own show. This scene, played out in front of millions that evening, brings into sharp focus just how lit Corden’s career currently is over in America. Earlier that day, serial provocateur Howard Stern made it even clearer when Corden appeared on his early morning breakfast show. “So, James,” Stern growled, “when are you going to take over The Late Show from Colbert?” Of course, Corden made all the right noises, deflecting even the idea as preposterous. “That’s never going to happen,” he said, not least because they share the same boss, Les Moonves of CBS. Still, the very idea that this question might be asked, that James Corden – gobby little Smithy from Gavin & Stacey, the fat kid from High Wycombe who made us all chuckle in The History Boys, the man who famously got turned down by Lily Allen, who weathered the hate of a nation after cutting Adele’s acceptance speech short at the Brit Awards in 2013, the man in part responsible for a film called Lesbian Vampire Killers – could take over from Stephen Colbert, a titan of American broadcasting who replaced chat show founding father David Letterman and only five years ago got nearly 300,000 Americans to march on Washington, is nothing short of astonishing. You could call it a miracle. But then miracles tend to run on fairy dust and serendipity. Nothing that has happened to James Corden over the past 18 months has been an accident.


ey, James, my man! I love the show. Can I get a picture?” It’s early evening, Colbert is taped and Corden and I are walking down Madison Avenue to Barneys, trying to find a pair of designer trainers for his assistant, Charlie, who turns 27 tomorrow. We’re stopped every half block by fans. They bolt out of diners to shake his hand, yell out of truck windows, even jaywalk across blaring New York traffic to pay their respects. “It’s actually sort of cool,” Corden quips, mid signature, post selfie. “That didn’t sound

JAMES CORDEN Suit by Tom Ford, £2,950. At Harrods. Shirt by Eton, £140. Cufflinks by Hugo Boss, £70. Both at Harvey Nichols. Tie, £25. Tie clip, £10. Both by The Tie Bar. thetiebar. com. Watch by Cartier, £6,500. Pocket square by Polo Ralph Lauren, £62.

quite right. Listen, in LA, where we film, no one walks anywhere. If you walk in Los Angeles people stop you and ask if everything is OK, with a concerned look on their face. I leave the house, drive to the studio, film the show, get back in my car and go to bed. “Yesterday I was walking to Central Park with my kids from the hotel and a taxi stops right in front of me. A man gets out, shakes my hand and then jumps back in the cab to carry on with his day. That’s the first time I’ve worried a little bit about what precisely my eldest son thinks is going on here. He asked me, ‘Daddy, why is that man staring at you?’ I haven’t really got a good answer figured out yet.” Does Corden not consider himself famous enough? “I honestly don’t think like that. I’m not totally oblivious to it either, no one is. It’s nice being famous. I always wanted to be a big star. I don’t care if you’re Leonardo DiCaprio or Prince, everyone who is famous chases that first weekend when fame hits. That first whoosh. DiCaprio is always a bit of a weird one for me though. Why does a 40-year-old

Sending the Late Late host a mean tweet? “No. Kanye has been booked to do Carpool Karaoke now twice and both times something came up. He’ll do it eventually. He wants to do it.” What did Kanye give Corden the second time he cancelled? “About three dozen white roses, of course. Arranged in the shape of a cube. What could be more Kanye than that?” Back at Corden’s New York base camp for the week, The Mark hotel, he runs upstairs to kiss his wife and two children goodnight before we find a quiet table in the Jean-Georges restaurant to talk. It’s a warm Manhattan evening and we contemplate sitting outside, though Corden notices several of the hotel’s Upper East Side clientele smoking and decides against it. How clean and serene is Corden now he’s been living in LA for the best part of a year and a half? “I eat a bit of kale,” he admits, ordering black coffee over ice. “I drink a juice called 50 Shades Of Green, which is 50 vegetables in one glass. It’s f***ing disgusting. Never try it.” He’s lost a great deal of weight, I comment. “I lost 70lbs. I want to lose another 30lb, maybe

referring either to the creation of the Carpool skit or, indeed, the production of Late Late in its entirety. Although routinely offering heavy credit to both the show’s team of writers and his diligent studio crew, the “we” Corden refers to is, more often than not, a British man called Ben Winston. Winston, 34, is the son of mustachioed TV scientist Lord Robert Winston. To call Winston Corden’s creative ally is to underplay just how crucial his role has been to the host’s stateside success story. Winston is the showrunner – the only Brit named on The Hollywood Reporter’s 2015 Next Gen UpAnd-Coming Execs list – and is part of Londonbased production company Fulwell 73, which together with CBS co-produce the Late Late Show and Carpool. Winston landed his job shortly after Corden arrived, impressing CBS bosses with his drive to shake up a format that, you could argue, had remained unchanged in the States for decades. “We went in fearlessly,” Winston tells me. “James and I had no inhibitions as we felt like we had nothing to lose.”

Auto tune: Among the triple-A-list global superstars to ride shotgun in James Corden’s pandemic-level viral hit skit, Carpool Karaoke, watched hundreds of

man want to hang about with so many bros? If I only ever hung out with Jack [Whitehall], Freddie [Flintoff] and Dominic [Cooper] for the rest of my life, wouldn’t you think that was a bit f***ing weird?” orden’s trainer-shaped white whale is by Tom Ford: Barneys are sold out and Ford’s flagship store is already closed. More to the point, he has no idea what size shoe his assistant is. Corden makes a call: “Hi, Charlie! Quick question. This has nothing to do with your birthday tomorrow by the way but what size shoe are you?” Corden settles on a pair of black and red leather Saint Laurent high-tops, $750 plus tax. Top boss behaviour. Walking out of the department store I notice a display of Kanye West-created Yeezy Boost 350s. I remember Corden had on a pair back at the Ed Sullivan Theater and I mention how sought-after they are in the UK. “Given to me by the man himself,” Corden admits of his own pair. “They were sort of an apology.” For what?



two stone by the time I’m 40. I want to peak emotionally and physically at 40 – that’s two years away. “I do a dance class three times a week, something called PlyoJam – it’s dance using plyometrics.” It sounds like it could have been a Horne & Corden sketch, I tell him. “Basically it’s jumping jacks and skipping to music. I asked Anthony Joshua [British heavyweight boxing champion] what the best exercise for me to do was and he replied, ‘The exercise you will do.’ So I’m a PlyoJam guy. Who knew, right? I had a personal trainer called Helmut for a while but it was too easy to break. Helmut had to go.” Be it Helmut, Anthony Joshua, Kanye West, an embattled Stephen Colbert or the man in the street with a Sharpie, the one thing everyone wants to ask James Corden about is Carpool Karaoke. “We couldn’t get anyone to do it,” Corden admits of the idea when they began pitching it months before his first broadcast in early 2015. “Name someone in the music industry and they had said no.” Corden will say “we” a great deal when

Winston and Corden met on the set of a Channel 4 comedy-drama called Teachers in Bristol 16 years ago. Corden, whose career was yet to take flight, had a small part while Winston had been offered work experience helping out as a PA. “We recognised a huge ambition within each other,” Winston confirms about the pair’s working partnership. Winston is out in New York with Corden all this week, not only helping produce the Tony Awards, but also ensuring the show back in LA is kept bubbling, ready for when the pair return via private jet this coming Monday morning. “I think we both knew how far we hoped to make it in the business.” Winston founded Fulwell 73 in 2005 with brothers Gabe and Ben Turner together with their cousin Leo Pearlman. They refer to Corden as their “silent fifth member” and an interest in sport, specifically football, seems to be the glue that binds all partners and a great deal of their early work. (The company itself is named after part of Sunderland football club’s old stadium and the year the team won the FA Cup.)

JAMES CORDEN Fulwell’s formation can be traced back to a documentary called In The Hands Of The Gods, an idea that saw a camera crew follow five young freestyle footballers as they busked their way to meet their hero, Diego Maradona. Although they had no previous experience – aside from a stint making a phone-in show that aired on the dustier end of the cable listings – Winston and his co-producers took a leap, scraped together funding and ended up with 200 hours of raw footage. The resulting film was edited in Ben Turner’s bedroom. Having somehow bagged a sales agent, they found themselves in Cannes on the Croissette signing a deal with Lionsgate. Six months later the Fulwell team were stood in Leicester Square in front of the Odeon cinema for the movie’s premiere with – well, why not – an AstroTurf green carpet. Winston kept in contact with Corden throughout, and although they often talked at length about working together it wasn’t until 2009, for Comic Relief, that the pair first collaborated. That sketch, made with the England

barnstorming success. He has not failed. For Winston, this means plate spinning in extremis, keeping Corden front and centre while bringing the chat show format to life with scripts, songs and comedic set pieces – whether Carpool (celebrities singing), Role Call (celebrities doing charades) or latest spot Drop The Mic (celebrities rap battling) – that will guarantee the show lives on far beyond the borders and viewing figures of its 12.35am (PST) time slot on CBS. As of last month, Late Late has been available on Sky in the UK The original idea for Carpool was something that Corden did with George Michael back in 2011 for Comic Relief. The skit saw Corden (as “Smithy” again) being asked by comedian Lenny Henry to help out with the charity’s cause. “It worked with George,” explains Corden, “so we perused it for the show, but we’d almost given up on the idea. No one wanted to be the guinea pig and go first.” It took a chance meeting with a representative from Mariah Carey’s record company, only weeks before their first show aired, to kick-

George Clooney is moderate-looking. Thus, Late Late has aired 22 separate Carpools, with everyone from Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, to Stevie Wonder and Chris Martin. Corden is candid about who his dream Carpool would be with: “Beyoncé. It would break the internet. She’s on tour right now. We’re working on it.” And with Michelle Obama having just taped her Carpool, could Barack be next? Corden keeps his cool. “We have a regular dialogue with the White House.” Now, it’s not so much a matter of who they can get to say yes, but who they have to reluctantly say no to.

arpool Karaoke is not only revolutionising the way talk shows are being structured – both in the States and elsewhere – but it’s also revolutionising the way television (and music) is being made, consumed and shared on a global scale. Just as streaming services such as Spotify have disrupted the music business and Uber has flipped the global taxi industry on its head, so Carpool


millions of times, are (from left) Gwen Stefani, George Clooney and Julia Roberts; Adele; Chris Martin; Justin Bieber; Jennifer Lopez; and Stevie Wonder

‘Kanye will do Carpool Karaoke eventually. He wants to do it’ football team, showed Corden as “Smithy”, offering the likes of David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry some sound(ish) advice on how to win football matches. The sketch was a smash – going viral before the term even really existed. From here, Corden and Winston landed a series with ITV, James Corden’s World Cup Live, and began working together on numerous television and commercial projects. Meanwhile, Fulwell’s clientele blossomed, with productions completed for One Direction (not least their feature film, which grossed $70 million globally), Olly Murs, David Beckham, Rimmel, Samsung, Sony and Marks & Spencer. Summer 2016 will see the release of Fulwell’s next documentary feature, I Am Bolt, a flyon-the-wall about Usain Bolt’s injury-hit preparations for the Rio Olympics. Since January 2015, however, Winston’s job has been to work alongside Corden in Los Angeles and to ensure Late Late becomes a

start the in-car-sing-along revolution. “Mariah said yes, although to be fair I’m not sure she was totally convinced about what was going on,” admits Corden. If you go back and watch that first Carpool Karaoke, Corden looks, at best, nervous (although that might have something to do with his west coast glow not having quite come through yet) and Carey looks more than a little bewildered – a supernova diva in a babyblue leather jacket and, oddly, a pair of black cutoff biker gloves. At first, Carey is hesitant to sing even a single note – “I’m not singing today. I was up all night” – but as the first few bars of her single “Always Be My Baby” come over the car stereo, the eight-octave multiplatinum-selling artist just can’t help herself. As Carey starts warbling, the grin on Corden’s face is one of unquestionable relief. Today, to say Carpool is a success is like saying The Beatles were quite a good band. Or

Karaoke is indicative of how, with the right idea, television can be combined with a streaming channel such as YouTube and go from something that traditionally would air only once, becoming little more than a water-cooler moment the next day, to a format that simply won’t stop giving – and that goes for viewing figures and revenue. CBS and Fulwell are already looking to cash in. In May this year, the co-production partners made the all-singing segment available as a format for international networks in 30 to 60 minute episodes, similar to the Carpool primetime special that aired in March with Corden and Jennifer Lopez. With more than 750 million views already on the Carpool YouTube channel, you can almost hear the “ker-ching!” from Fulwell’s offices in Camden. Far and away the show’s most successful karaoke video is with Adele. At the time of writing, it’s been viewed more than SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 199

114 million times. That’s only 10 million short of the entire population of Japan. For something with such a heavy cultural footprint, the term “going viral” no longer seems immense enough. Grumpy Cat videos go viral. Game Of Thrones memes go viral. Carpool Karaoke goes pandemic. If you want to gauge how big a deal Corden’s format has become for the industry over on the west coast, ask him who he and Winston had dinner with a couple of weeks ago. “Jony Ive, Tim Cook and Jimmy Iovine.” In other words, Apple’s top-table consiglieri. (Or a trio of solid gold, billionaire cultural ballers.) “It was just a dinner,” Corden humblebrags. “It’s just interesting to see how we’ve caught people’s interest. I mean Carpool, if you think about it, is an amazing way of marketing and selling music on people’s phones. So I don’t know where that leads. I have no idea. But it’s an interesting space within which to operate.” James Corden, tech unicorn? I wouldn’t scoff just yet. Corden himself, although forever selfdeprecating, is fully aware of all the noise. Once a new Carpool goes online, as it will do tonight, prerecorded a couple of weeks ago, he and Winston forensically monitor the YouTube viewing numbers and subscribers. “We have an inside man at YouTube who tells us the real-time figures before they clock up online,” Corden admits. “And when you see a video catch fire, it’s madness. We always set out to make the most relevant show possible. So whether with Carpool or the film spoof we made of Beyoncé’s Lemonade – which was up and online within a matter of hours after she dropped her album – we have to react fast.” Does Corden, as many critics have been saying, feel he’s changed late-night television forever? “Listen, David Letterman used to do sketches that, had the internet been around back then, would have had a similar impact. Jimmy Fallon does great set pieces. I would say that is very flattering but not necessarily true. We have had a great start but now it’s all ours to lose, frankly. The bar is now very high, as I said to a few people on the show the other day. Remember we went from zero when we started 18 months ago. I didn’t buy any furniture for my house in LA, as I thought we’d all be going home in six months.” So in an alternate reality, if that Colbert job did come up? “I have three-and-a-half years on my five-year contract. I can’t see myself doing this forever, but who knows? Maybe I’ll go back to the UK and do a little play at the Southwark Playhouse. That would make me happy.” Happy? Perhaps. But unlikely. I ask Corden whether he felt much support from the wider media before his chat show began? “You’re joking aren’t you? The press in America was neutral. We had a level playing field. It was: ‘Who is this guy?’ Which was 200 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

totally fair.” And back in the UK? Corden prickles. “I felt there were only expectations of failure.” Really? “Yes, really. Listen, if we’d made this show for ITV to air at eight o’clock on Saturday night people would have destroyed it.” orden’s relationship with the British press is a sticky one. It goes back to around 2009, when he was falling out of cabs with Lily Allen and, by his own admission, “spending a little bit too much time in the Groucho Club, living out of a hotel in Soho, buying new clothes every day rather than bothering to go home and hanging out with people that I hardly knew”. He always wanted to be the centre of attention, to be a big star, and then suddenly he was writing the follow-up series to one of the BBC’s most acclaimed sitcoms and had David Beckham on speed dial. James Corden had become, whisper it, cool. There were, however, mistakes. Or if not mistakes then a series of poorly judged, inthe-moment decisions. The brattish comments he made at the 2008 Bafta awards, the atro-


‘It’s about class. Acting is becoming an elitist sport and I worry where that leaves us’ cious, vulgar hosting of the 2009 Brit Awards with friend Matthew Horne and the pair’s widely panned sketch show. And then that awful film. Speaking to him today in New York, Corden gets all this: “Some of that work deserved to be panned.” Yet as we talk, one feels Corden can’t help but be somewhat bewildered by how he is still perceived by some members of the British press. As he puts it, “No one asks Bradley Cooper about f***ing Aloha since being nominated for an Academy Award. Why is that period of my life still so much part of my story for some people?” Corden doesn’t want to care. And he’ll tell you he feels he has nothing to prove back in Britain. But as much as he’d hate to admit it, it niggles away at him. Deep down. Like a splinter under his skin that his body can’t quite reject. In truth, Corden is concerned that some people, specifically some British critics, think he isn’t smart. That he’s, well, a bit of lout. “I don’t really have any answer for it,” he explains, “but it’s something I have given quite a lot of thought to. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it is about class. Look at my career. I was in a really good play at the National

Theatre, The History Boys, which then moved to Broadway and won six Tony awards. We came back. I wrote a sitcom [Gavin & Stacey] that did really, really well. I did a couple of films, got a play in New York, One Man, Two Guvnors, and subsequently won every best actor award going. I shot Into The Woods with Meryl Streep, wrote another television show [The Wrong Mans], won the Royal Television Society Writer Of The Year, got awarded an OBE and launched a f***ing talk show in America...” Corden is not so much angry as indignant. And if the rant comes across as bragging, that’s not the vibe at all. He’s just exasperated. “I mean, that’s quite a lot of good stuff! Douglas Booth has got a great career, he’s a brilliant actor, but he’s never going to encounter the sort of shit like I’ve had. Nor will Tom Hiddleston. Nor Eddie Redmayne. Nor Benedict Cumberbatch. I fear acting is becoming an elitist sport and I worry about where that lands us culturally. I really do. Again, it’s about class. I think if you are a journalist that works for the Guardian or the Telegraph, there’s a very strong chance that your drawers are full of scripts that no one is ever going to make. And it’s OK, you can take it from the good-looking guy from Eton. But then they see someone like me, talking about football, and it’s as if they say, ‘What has he got that’s so special?’” It’s getting late, for me more than Corden it must be said. Ask the man who’s done a show such as One Man, Two Guvnors – hundreds of matinee and evening performances backto-back on Broadway – whether or not he’s tired and you’ll get a smile that says, “I know you are.” Corden won’t fall asleep before 2am tonight, staying up to watch Twitter ignite over the Carpool Karaoke with Lin-Manuel Miranda. Tomorrow morning will see him up at 6am for another round of television interviews, pressing flesh to promote the Tonys, which are scheduled for five days’ time. Then there’s the actual award show to rehearse, next week’s chat show to prepare, another series of A League Of Their Own to plan, Hollywood scripts to “punch up”, let alone a young family to pay heed to. What makes James Corden so special? In his essence, he’s a performer: apologetically egocentric; spectacularly ambitious. As I’m watching Corden from yet another television green room the following day, however, the Brit running circles around veteran broadcasters such as Charlie Rose on their own breakfast shows, it’s the writer Stephen King, in town to promote his new book and sitting next to me as he waits to go on air, who nails what the rest of the world must feel after seeing James Kimberley Corden, 37, from High Wycombe do his thing, whatever that special thing might be: “Great. And I’m supposed to follow that?” Look lively, America. You’re up.

JAMES CORDEN Suit, £1,080, Shirt, £150. Both by Canali. Tie by Tom Ford, £160. At Harrods. Pocket square by Eton, £40. At Harvey Nichols. Watch by Cartier, £6,500. Photography assistants Siggy Bodolai and Butch Hogan Grooming Jason Schneidman at Solo Artists Production Red Hook Labs


IRINA SHAYK los angeles, 2015 When Mariano Vivanco caught sight of the textured balconies in this abandoned theatre, he was adamant that he would shoot a nude. “I had to twist Irina’s arm a bit,” he says. “She was very tired. But these chances don’t happen every day. I knew that if we shot a nude here we would never forget it.” Shayk’s theatrical pose resonates with the implications of the location and is inspired by a photo of Fifties actress Ileana Simova. “I realised when I was editing it that it’s the same pose. That film [Umberto D] is always in the back of my mind.”



SCENES of t h e FLESH Power, elegance and sensuality radiate from the photography of Mariano Vivanco, the visionary whose cinematic touch illuminates his subjects – be they famous or flora. Now, to celebrate the publication of Portraits Nudes Flowers, an intimate exploration of his favourite themes, the photographer invites GQ for a private view of his most revealing images


Mariano Vivanco STORY BY Eleanor Halls



ariano Vivanco lowers his camera to stare appreciatively at the sculpted form before him. He smiles, furrows his brow in concentration and adjusts his subject’s curvaceous form just a touch to the left. Perfect. He shoots, takes a step back and shoots some more. The subject, he says while he works, is remarkable. He sighs a little and posts a shot to Snapchat so the world can experience it too. The subject, it should be pointed out, is the bottle of water on the table between us. “That’s totally beautiful.” Vivanco has always been a photographer equipped with extra-sensitive antennae when it comes to identifying beauty. On this occasion, he will also drink it. Since picking up his first camera at 16, the 40-year-old has shot a host of magazine covers, including several for GQ, published seven books with Dolce & Gabbana, a book of black-and-white nudes and a book of photographs documenting his first few years in London. Three of his images are displayed in the National Portrait Gallery. This month, he unveils his latest project, Portraits Nudes Flowers (Damiani, £35), a collection of memorable photographs that span his career and explore the similarities between flowers and people. Vivanco’s passion for photography stemmed from his fascination with cinema. Under his mother’s influence, Vivanco developed a taste for Forties Italian films, such as Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City. The book Life Goes To The Movies by Peter Selgin was

Vivanco’s bible. Now, cinema is the most powerful reference point for his shoots, even if, he says, most of it is subconscious. Often, he realises he has created a scene lifted from an old film – Irina Shayk’s pose on the balcony of an abandoned theatre was inspired by the actress Ileana Simova in the 1952 film Umberto D, but he only realised this afterwards. When shooting Henry Cavill, he asked him to pretend he was Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, reeling from having just been beaten up. Art, too, forms another crucial reference point for Vivanco. Stirred by the Renaissance in particular, he often pores over works from Botticelli, Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci while in Florence. When looking at the shot of Miranda Kerr, Vivanco realised the shoot had been inspired by Botticelli’s “The Birth Of Venus”. Enthralled by the sculpted forms of gods and goddesses in classical art, Vivanco strives to inject a similar sensuality and power in his photographs, and nudes in particular. “My job is to skim over society and the images around me,” he says. “Not to hold on to too many cultural references but to take them all in and have them in a hard drive in my mind.” Yet, outside influences were not what led to Vivanco’s passion for flowers. “My photos of flowers are my emotions recorded in a digital format,” says Vivanco. By which he means: they remind him of his childhood. “The flowers were like a thunderstorm inside my brain. I was obsessed with them.” Often shot in a soft, hazy focus, the flowers in Portraits Nudes Flowers are paired to the portrait that he feels reflects them in some way: either

JAMIE BELL London, 2007 The Billy Elliot actor was one of the first celebrities Vivanco ever shot. Bell’s wet nape caught his attention because of its beautiful texture. “It screamed for me to take the photo,” says Vivanco, who then paired the photo on a spread with one of a dewy, blood-red rose. “The veins on the flower resemble the little creases in his hair.”


through texture, colour or shape. In Vivanco’s mind, people, fashion and flowers are inextricably entwined. For the photographer, fashion mirrors the intricacy of buds and petals. “Look at the most beautiful couture dress,” he says, pausing for dramatic effect. “It only tries to be a flower.” Yet to Vivanco, beauty also seeps out from what has been stripped back to its simplest form. “Strip everything back: strip back the colour and strip back the clothes,” he says, waving his arms. This explains why he prefers his sitters nude. “Nudes are pure. They remove much of the artifice.” But Vivanco shoots without any intention of them being erotic. “People abuse sex in imagery. Sensuality does not mean vulgarity. My nudes are statuesque, poetic.” The nudes are all in black and white too. Vivanco’s craving to strip colour might stem from his love of black-and-white film. “Like the purity of the nude, black-and-white is pure,” says Vivanco. “The idea of taking colour away from an object is very romantic in my opinion.” The book, the proceeds of which are going to Amantaní, a charity for children in Peru – the country where he was born – also represents Vivanco’s belief in the ongoing power of print. “I love the idea of the boutique and the exclusive. I’d rather publish a book than whore myself out on social media.” Similarly, Vivanco will always prize photography above moving film. “A photograph speaks in so many languages. People can make their own dreams out of a photograph, because the character is ethereal, whereas in film character is imposed. For me, the photograph will always reign.”

EMMA WATSON London, 2012 Vivanco wanted to capture the two sides to Watson’s character: playful and pensive. “I think I prefer the shot of her pensive side,” he says. He loved shooting the actress with her hair cropped short because of her likeness to iconic actress Jean Seberg. “That was the first time I shot her and now I’ve shot her twice. I could do a whole book just from those two shoots, she understands the camera so well.”


MIRANDA KERR miami, 2013 After Vivanco took this shot of the Victoria’s Secret model, he realised he had been thinking of Botticelli’s “The Birth Of Venus”. “That painting is always in my subconscious,” he says. Kerr’s pose reminded him of the goddesses of Greek mythology, which have always fascinated him. “Many of my girls transform into Venus-like figures. Kerr is a force of nature.”


CANDICE SWANEPOEL new york, 201 2 Nudes often come about as a result of long-standing friendships. Vivanco and supermodel Swanepoel had known each other a while and so he felt no qualms in asking her to pose nude at the end of the day after a fashion story. “A particular light had fallen, creating a sense of eeriness,” says Vivanco. “I said, ‘It’s time, everyone off set.’ You could sense the energy mounting.” 206 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016


ISA RAHMAN los angeles, 2015 Vivanco was drawn to the texture of the walls, rather than to the fact that this is where a Britney Spears music video was shot. “Texture is an important part of my work. Anything with texture is characteristic of my photographs,” he says. Here, Vivanco has also worked heavily with contrast to bring out the model’s skin against the stark backdrop.


RITA ORA london, 2013 When Vivanco was shown a particularly risqué piece of vintage clothing – more a scarf with a hole than a top – by the stylist before the shoot, he knew he had to photograph Ora in it. Working with Belle Du Jour as inspiration, in which a bored housewife becomes a daytime prostitute, Vivanco toyed with the idea that Ora would be playfully teasing her lover. “Maybe she’s waiting for her lover to come and surprise her from behind and she’s thinking, ‘I’m ready for you,’” says Vivanco. “Every photo has its own little story for you to invent.”


CINDY CRAWFORD los angeles, 2013 Vivanco had always wanted to shoot the iconic Crawford mole twice in one shot – by reflecting it in a mirror. “I thought to myself, why hasn’t anyone ever done that?” Despite everyone advising Cindy to get rid of her signature feature at the start of her career, the model kept it. “Now, it signifies her great strength of character,” says Vivanco. “The mole shows how grounded she is.” SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 209

bitcoin: the digital currency now worth over

£8bn and threatening to do for banks what Uber did to cab offices? Or does he just really want people to believe he is 210 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

F*** OFF! Either validate or f*** off right now!” The computer scientist, Craig Wright, had stood up and was displaying the universal sign to tell someone to f*** off (the V), while also backing this up by repeatedly shouting it. A broad 45-year-old Australian man with TV hair, he wore a boxy, dark-grey business suit, wide gold tie and red socks that now matched the colour of his face. He claimed to be the inventor of bitcoin, the first genuinely successful virtual currency in the world. In total, it is now worth over $10 billion (£8bn), and he personally possessed a fortune of more than $672 million of them – assuming his identity wasn’t also virtual. This is what we were here to confirm. It was not going well. “F*** off!” Until this point, the creator of bitcoin was known only under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, ostensibly a 37-year-old male living in Japan. Perhaps due to that, or perhaps due to his blog posts, which were precise, calm and erudite, Nakamoto was imagined to be a gentle, even shy, individual. This was not proving to be the case. The object of Wright’s ire was Dr Nicolas T Courtois, a French-Polish expert in cryptology, code-breaking, virtual currencies and specifically bitcoin, who was sitting to my right. He was here as GQ’s expert witness, having made the short walk from his office at University College London, where he lectures, to the offices on the fourth floor of a narrow building on Tottenham Court Road. A big man who spoke in halting English, he wore a smart shirt and boasted trousers so blue they looked like they were part of a costume. The other people in the room were



Stuart McGurk

Grooming Sara Clark using Dermalogica and MAC

Is this man the multimillionaire genius behind


At one point, bitcoin became the most trusted form of money in the world

Blazer by Harrods Of London, £599. Rollneck by John Smedley, £139. PHOTOGRAPH BY

Nick Wilson


kitchen at a tech gathering, putting it to him that he was both Satoshi (“I’m not Satoshi”) and a college professor (“And I’m not a college professor”). Forbes tracked early bitcoin coder Hal Finney down to his home, only to find him incapacitated – Finney had to spend the best part of a day writing an email using the movement of his eyeball just to deny it (“I must be brief...”). Newsweek got particularly excited last year after thinking it had finally cracked it when it found someone actually called Satoshi Nakamoto (hooray!) and ran it as a cover story. It turned out, however, his name was pretty much the only evidence, and the story was so widely discredited Newsweek yanked it from its website. Wright had been the latest name in the frame, identified by two parallel stories in Wired and Gizmodo in December last year, after a hacker claimed to have retrieved data from Wright’s computer that proved he was Satoshi and leaked it to them. The documents – including a series of leaked emails, minutes of meetings and legal documents – all clearly pointed to Wright as the creator of bitcoin. The Wired story ran with the bet-hedging headline: “Bitcoin’s Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Is Probably This Unknown Australian Genius”. Yet only days later they both got cold feet: evidence emerged that some of the material might have been doctored, more still that some may be false; even some of his degrees were called into question. The Australian tax authorities raided his house. Soon, a remarkably strange alternative emerged: either Craig Wright was the mysterious creator of bitcoin – or he was the perpetrator of an incredibly detailed and elaborate hoax, all desperately aimed at making people think he was.

The search for Nakamoto had become the digital age’s hunt for the white whale

Bitcoin from the start: From the creation of the first bitcoin in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto’s cryptocurrency has been used to buy everything from pizza to drugs, and could potentially change the face of modern banking. Here, a timeline...


9 January 2009 The first version of the bitcoin software goes online, claiming to allow money to be paid “without going through a financial institution”.

Yet I was assured Wright would provide irrefutable cryptographic proof. So far, this was not it. The door swung open again. Wright came back in the room, sat back down, took a glug from his water bottle and slammed it down on the table like he was trying to hammer a nail. He was breathing heavily. Dr Courtois attempted to calm the mood. “I’m not saying your evidence is invalid, but it’s just one thing, I’m saying there are other sorts of evidence that people could ask from you, because it’s just one thing... ” But it wasn’t long until Wright was screaming again. Their argument was easy to understand but impossible to follow. Sentences like “Bloody regenerate things on a single... show me where” and “There are f***ing thousands of transactions on bitcoin every f***ing day signed with pissy f***ing bloody number generators” and “If I hear one more bullshit comment about how I can do it with unknown nodes, you show me proof or you f*** off out” were common. Occasionally, it looked dangerously close to spilling over into physical violence. I dreaded having to explain it for the police report. But the gist was clear: in his expert opinion, Dr Courtois didn’t feel Wright’s evidence was conclusive. Wright, in turn, was not pleased about this. “The other interviews were easy,” he exclaimed at one point. “This is bullshit!” It was suggested we move on. “You can validate,” added Wright. “Or you can f*** off.” “You have to understand,” interjected Jon Matonis, acting as peacemaker. “It’s taken us a long, long time for Craig to get to this point, you know.” The proof session ended without conclusion. After that, I had an hour alone with Wright. He calmed. He spoke expansively about bitcoin’s creation and the personal cost of it. The wife who left him, the friend’s death that made him quit it in 2011. If all this was a show, he was a convincing con man. I left thinking that, despite everything, yes, this could be Satoshi Nakamoto.

22 May 2010 The first real-world bitcoin transaction takes place – programmer Laszlo Hanyecz buys two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin. It becomes known as “bitcoin pizza day”.

9 February 2011 Bitcoin reaches dollar parity.

Value of one bitcoin


Photograph Mike Lazlo

economist and Bitcoin Foundation founding director Jon Matonis, who was the expert witness for the PR agency brokering the interview, and its two representatives, who were attempting not to look too panicked. We we r e b a r e l y eight minutes in when Wright took issue with Dr Courtois’ suggestion that his evidence was not conclusive. “You’ve got this one thing,” said Wright. “If you don’t like it, then f*** off.” There was an audible groan from the PR side of the room. “No more bullshit. F*** off!” he shouted a few moments later, when it was suggested the evidence he was presenting could have been compromised or stolen. “It’s absolutely possible,” countered Courtois. “F*** off. F*** off.” “I have over 100 papers in cryptography...” “Over. F*** off.” It was at this point he walked out. GQ had first been approached over a month before about the interview. The deal was this: the fabled inventor of bitcoin would unveil himself to be Craig Wright. The BBC and the Economist would do news stories; we would do the profile piece. The search for Nakamoto, I knew, had become the digital age’s hunt for the white whale. Imagine if the inventor of Facebook was still unknown and you get the idea. Every so often a publication would dispatch another willing Captain Ahab, and each would return having spotted him, just rarely the same one. Everyone from the New Yorker (which named a student) to Vice (which named the US government) had been on the hunt. The New York Times put an author of a book about bitcoin’s creation (Digital Gold’s Nathaniel Popper) on the case, who named cryptographer Nick Szabo, and cornered him in a

BITCOIN It was a few days later that I got the email from Dr Courtois, who had examined the evidence we had been shown. “Stuart,” he wrote. “Craig has cheated us. It is a hoax. I have proof.”

o explain what bitcoin is, it’s perhaps easier to start with what bitcoin isn’t. It is not, strictly speaking, a currency. Whereas the value of a currency rises and falls at the mercy of interest rates, inflation, trade, global downturns, whims of government and, at the most extreme, simply how much of it there is in circulation (print too much, as Zimbabwe found at the turn of the century, and it becomes worthless), bitcoin is designed to be a finite resource, and is therefore classified by the American government as a commodity. New bitcoins are created each day, but the rate they’re produced at will continue to halve


conspiracy against the United States for creating and distributing his distinctly old-school “liberty dollars” – he had minted his own coins and printed his own notes.) As with all currencies, bitcoin is only valuable because people think it is. This is something bitcoin developers I spoke to call a “collective hallucination”. The idea being: if everyone has the same hallucination, it is, to all intents and purposes, real. We can be reasonably sure the pound today is still a pound tomorrow or next year. A bank may be robbed, but no one is going to rob all the banks. The worry with a digital currency is that a single hacker could crack the sourcecode and take the lot (though even here there’s an irony: steal it all and it becomes worthless. Imagine stealing all the money in the world and you start to appreciate the irony). On all these fronts, bitcoin has proved remarkably resilient. Launched in 2009, it

The central code, also, has also shown itself to be uncrackable. This is where Satoshi’s reputation is born. Dan Kaminsky, an internet security expert who is notorious for once discovering a flaw in the internet that would have allowed a skilled hacker to shut it down, famously tried, but failed. He came to a simple conclusion: either Satoshi was actually a team of people or he was a genius. That was 2011 and it remains as bulletproof as ever. The first ever real-world bitcoin transaction took place on 22 May 2010, when Florida programmer Laszlo Hanyecz made an offer on an internet forum: he would pay 10,000 bitcoins for someone to buy him two pizzas. He was taken up on the offer by a man in England who paid with his credit card: two Papa John’s pizzas duly arrived and Hanyecz sent the bitcoins over.

Over 100,000 companies now accept bitcoin as a form of payment... From Expedia to Virgin Galactic until, by around 2140, 21 million have been created, at which point there will be no more. In this way, it’s more like gold. It is not the first “virtual” currency, but it is the first successful one. There have been the likes of digicash, which used “cyberbucks” (launched 1990, bankrupt 1998), beenz, which used a points system (launched 1998, defunct 2001), and e-gold, which used a digital currency redeemable for gold (launched 1996, everyone involved arrested by the American government in 2007). All failed for different reasons, but the crucial one is trust. Digicash and beenz failed because not enough people used them. This is rarely a problem with pounds. E-gold failed because hackers stealing money became widespread, plus it’s actually illegal to create your own currency in most countries, not least the US. (This is something Hawaii resident Bernard von NotHaus also found to his cost in 2009, after he was arrested by the FBI and charged with

1 June 2011 Bitcoin value skyrockets after being mentioned in a Gawker story about the Silk Road website.

works using a “distributed database” known as the blockchain – essentially, this is a constantly updated record of every bitcoin transaction, shared across every computer on the bitcoin network. There’s no central hub, and so no office to raid (music and film piracy works in a similar way and is similarly tricky to squish). In a stroke, it solved a key problem of electronic money – the “double-spend” dilemma. With bits and bytes, what’s to stop you copying money several times over, rather than actually moving it? Banks solve this by acting as trusted middlemen who maintain an electronic ledger. Now, everyone held the ledger and everyone’s computers did the hard work (the reward for leaving your computer on is a chance of winning the newly created bitcoins – the process is called “mining”). Put another way: the internet is an exchange of information, some of it true, some of it not. Satoshi’s code harnessed it by ensuring an exchange of facts.

8 July 2011 Top of the first “bubble”.

Value of one bitcoin


At the time, the 10,000 were worth around $20 (£15). Today, they would be worth $6.6m (£5m). Ever since, it’s been celebrated annually as “bitcoin pizza day”, where people raise a slice to the most expensive takeaway in history. For quite some time, bitcoin effectively had no value: two events were to drastically change that. On 1 June 2011, Gawker published a story about the Silk Road – an underground dark web marketplace where everything from drugs to firearms were sold. The story mentioned these items were being purchased using bitcoin, a digital currency they called “untraceable”. This was not entirely accurate: the blockchain ledger is entirely transparent. The problem was, it didn’t link back to a person unless they were to convert their bitcoins back into regular currency, at which point, it did. Regardless, the story put bitcoin on the map, and the value of a single bitcoin soared to $22 within days. Ironically, it was the arrest of the person behind the Silk Road – Ross Ulbricht,

27 February 2012 Bitcoin Magazine launches. Seven months later the Bitcoin Foundation is formed.

Value of one bitcoin

$86 28 March 2013 Total value of all bitcoin passes $1bn.


In the month and a half since Wright claimed to be Satoshi – a period that took in Donald Trump securing the Republican nomination for the White House and the lead-up to the Brexit vote, events that weakened the dollar, pound and euro – bitcoin’s value soared once more, rising from $445 to $731. Bitcoin was created by Nakamoto in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis to be free of such outside influences – and it was proving to be the case. Uber threatens to eliminate cab offices, but bitcoin is threatening to eliminate banks. It had, seemingly, become the most trusted form of money in the world. raig Wright is a computer scientist, serial entrepreneur (of many failing companies, at least one of which, Hotwire, went into administration) and serial collector of various degrees (even if, yes, he admits he may have exaggerated some on his LinkedIn profile: “It was all piss taken at myself,” he says, suggesting a curious sense of humour). He apparently has qualifications in subjects ranging from theology to statistics, engineering to law. He is also being investigated by the Australian tax authorities (late last year, they raided his house over tax rebates his companies


‘He has the skills... but you would be a fool to claim you are Satoshi. He could be prosecuted’ the disputed foundation of Facebook and the subject of the 2010 film The Social Network – has, along with his twin, invested most of his fortune in bitcoin, and the brothers are currently estimated to own one per cent of all bitcoin in circulation. He has suggested that, eventually, a single bitcoin could rise in value to over $40,000, putting the cost of that 2010 pizza at just under half a billion dollars (at which point you’d hope Hanyecz got his preferred toppings).

29 November 2013... Bitcoin reaches all-time peak price of $1,242 after the FBI tells a US Senate committee hearing it is a legitimate financial service.

Value of gold

$1,240 per oz ...and on the same day Bitcoin value surpasses that of gold for the first time in the US.


have claimed, of which Wright said, “We’ve been in negotiation with them for years! It’s not a criminal investigation!”). When I visit Dr Courtois’ fourth floor office at UCL before the interview – London skyline in the background, NSA coffee mug on the shelf – he says yes, Wright could be Satoshi. “He has the skills, he has been at the crypto conferences.” But he warns two things. One: “It’s quite possible it was a collective creation.” And two: “You

14 March 2014 Newsweek cover story mistakenly identifying the creator of bitcoin hits shelves.

would be a fool to claim you are Satoshi. Not for a criminal connection, but a criminal responsibility connection. He could be prosecuted.” The test was cryptographic, which is to say, the claim could easily be verified to be true or false. There should be no shades of grey. The real Satoshi didn’t just create the code of bitcoin. He owns – according to a widely cited internet study by bitcoin security consultant Sergio Demian Lerner – around one million himself. At today’s value, they’re worth just over half a billion pounds. Think of every bitcoin in existence as a Tetris stack: the earliest sit at the bottom. To prove he was Satoshi, Craig Wright had to spend, and therefore move, one of those earliest bitcoins in existence. Instead, however, he chose to “sign” one – essentially showing the note, rather than handing it over for inspection. Before the meeting, the evidence was evenly balanced, if confusing and contradictory. Here’s what I knew about Satoshi: he was a native English speaker, as his writing was remarkably fluent in his many blog posts (tick). He used terms like “bloody hard” and “flat” rather than “apartment”, suggesting an English, or at least a Commonwealth, origin (tick). He embedded one of the very first, unspendable, coins – known as the genesis block – with a Times headline from January 2009 about a second Gordon Brown bailout, suggesting a libertarian nature (Wright is a former subscriber to the Cypherpunks mailing list) and a British press reader (entirely possible). He wrote in a particular code (C++) and used a particular notation that several experts told me was popular in the late Eighties and early Nineties, likely placing him in his forties (tick). And finally, I knew he left. At 6.22pm GMT on 12 December 2010, seven days after a plea not to use bitcoin to donate to Wikileaks (“the heat it would bring would likely destroy us at this stage”), Satoshi Nakamoto posted his final message and disappeared. Why come out now after six years away? “I don’t want to come out,” he says. “But people in my organisation keep going, ‘We’ve got to do this’.” When Dr Courtois was in the room, he had

29 August 2015 Barclays announces it will be the first UK high street bank to accept bitcoin.

Photograph Getty Images

a 32-year-old from Austin, Texas who had gone under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts – that caused it to skyrocket. The FBI seized over 144,000 bitcoins – worth $28m (£21m) at the time and $96m today – and subsequently told a US Senate committee hearing in November 2013 it was a “legitimate financial service”. Briefly, the price soared to $1,242 for a single bitcoin, before levelling out in the low hundreds. Still, there have been problems. As bitcoins are essentially just data stored on your computer rather than in a bank, they’re remarkably easy to lose. Horror stories abound. Memory sticks worth thousands overwritten, computers worth fortunes junked. Notably, a Welsh IT worker called James Howells lost 7,500 bitcoins in 2013 when he accidentally threw out an old hard disk. It is currently somewhere in a Welsh landfill and worth over $5m. Regardless, over 100,000 companies now accept direct payment in bitcoin. You can book a holiday (Expedia), sign up for dating (OkCupid), buy everything from a computer (Dell) to lingerie (Victoria’s Secret). You can even travel into space (Sir Richard Branson has said they will accept bitcoin payment for Virgin Galactic). Japan have even declared it a legal currency. It could just be the start. Cameron Winklevoss – one of the twins involved in

BITCOIN said it was due to his family – “so they don’t get painted with this shit”. This was new. What organisation? There’s a pause. “I have a nice big organisation. We have offices in different locations, including London. No one knows who the f*** we are, and I like that.” I’d heard he was building a supercomputer in Iceland. “Yes... I don’t want to talk about where it is... it’s not in Australia.” But is it in Iceland? “If I answer that question I get in big trouble,” he says. Why? “People are going to go, ‘Craig, you’re not supposed to talk about those things.’” He looks over at the PRs. “At the end of the day, there is a company, people working for me. There are about 30 people here in London. They don’t want to be known. Not because they don’t want to be seen with me, but... because...” Because? “Because this is what they do.” He won’t say exactly what that was. Far from coming clean, every reply only opens up further questions – ones he then refuses to answer. He is curt in a half-smiling way that suggests he wants to let me know he knows more than I do. In some ways, he is almost childlike. He often leans back and straightens his tie, like a bank manager conducting an appraisal. Every so often he brings up Dr Courtois, unprompted, to bristle at how unfairly he’d been treated, despite him having been the aggressor. He didn’t need to move (ie, spend) any bitcoins to prove who he is, he says, because simply signing one showed he had access, and so, “It would be like I’ve stolen the Mona Lisa, put it on my wall, took a couple of pictures, then put it back.” It barely needs pointing out that a polaroid of the Mona Lisa would not confirm one owned it. I ask him about the claim by early bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell that the documents leaked to Wired had been edited to make it look like he was Satoshi. “Bullshit from Maxwell that we had to get disproven: the codes are f***ing out there.” The person behind the leak, he says, was a former employee attempting to extort him. “I have my suspicions [who it was], but I don’t have proof so I can’t say.”

Value of one bitcoin

$504 October 2015 Bitcoin value reaches its peak for 2015.

Curiously, it is only when we speak about his private life, about how much bitcoin’s creation had cost him, that he relaxes and calms; he strokes his tie once more, and finally the words begin to flow. This is how bitcoin started – at least, as far as he tells it. He’d been working on bitcoin, on and off, he says, for a decade. Tinkering here and there. He’d initially got into computers through his grandfather, who let him use his terminal in the basement. His father, he says, openly disliked him. “We didn’t get on. I haven’t spoken to my father in a long time. He never liked what I did, never liked my life.” He collected degrees for fun, and soon developed a reputation as the go-to guy for a range of computing consultancy roles at start-ups. It was only when he was let go, he says, from his role at accountancy firm BDO on 3 January 2008, when the financial crisis started to hit, that he fully devoted himself to it. “They gave me this whack of money, enough not to work, not forever, but from then I could dedicate my time.” He hunkered down at his house in a remote farm in Port Macquarie, surrounded by screens, and set to work. He had help, he says, notably from a friend called Dave Kleiman. As a former army officer and Palm Beach County Sheriff, Kleiman was not your usual computer geek. After suffering a motorcycle accident in 1995, which left him wheelchair-bound, he became a computer autodidact. He was regularly called on by CNN and ABC to dish out advice on security and passwords. He had so many three-letter qualifications after his name his nickname was Dave Mississippi. “He helped a lot,” says Wright. “He knew who I was.” The leaked documents – if accurate – reflect this. An email sent from Wright to Kleiman on 12 March brings it up abruptly: “I need your help editing a paper...” By October 2008, the now-famous white paper was published: “Bitcoin: A Peer-To-Peer Electronic Cash System”. By January, the software was released for free online. He says it consumed him. He didn’t look for a job. Soon, his marriage started failing.

8 December 2015 Wired and Gizmodo publish rival stories suggesting the Australian Craig Wright invented bitcoin after being leaked personal documents.

“It wasn’t the best way to maintain a marriage,” he says. His wife would ask, “Craig, what the f*** are you going to do to pay the rent?” He would simply reply, “We’re fine!” Except, he wasn’t fine. The value of bitcoin was still on the floor. He remortgaged his house just to keep going. By 2011, he says, everything fell apart. His wife decided to leave him (“Some of that was bitcoin’s cause”). Kleiman had fallen in the shower in late 2010, and was subsequently in and out of hospital (“Dave was my best friend. He kept me sane... That was hard”). The burden of being Satoshi, he says, became too great. He left it all behind. The search for Satoshi has been difficult precisely because of his brilliance. He would have to be an expert in many fields: a deep understanding of coding, of economics, of financial markets and advanced cryptology. Hardly anyone fits the bill. A team – or a genius. “I know people want me to be something else,” he says. “People want me to be an academic. I’m not. I’m an applied scientist and an applied engineer. I take different ideas and stick them together. Edison didn’t invent new theory. And Ben Franklin didn’t invent new theory. Tesla didn’t. Steve Jobs didn’t.” The most telling story, I felt, was this: once, while studying advanced economics for one of his many qualifications, he came across a famous essay, “I, Pencil”, written in 1958 by Leonard Read. It contains a proposition – the pencil may seem like a simple object, yet “not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me”. From the wood to the tools to chop the wood, to the tools to make those tools, to the graphite, the rubber and the metal, a single pencil is a co-operation of thousands of experts in dozens of skills, stretching back in time, from across the world. But Wright took this as a challenge. He wanted to make a pencil. “And I couldn’t cheat. You can’t go out and buy a chisel. You have to build the tools. And you can’t start by building iron tools. To make Continued on page 262

Value of one bitcoin

$750 May-June 2016 Large spike in value occurs for the currency.

13 June 2016 The value of bitcoin doubles in a month in the run-up to Brexit. Following the result, a surge of investors flock to bitcoin as the value of sterling slumps to a 32-year low.


Hidden away in a once anonymous corner of LA is a painter so distinctive his work has caught the eye of everyone from Marc Jacobs to Kanye West. While paying tribute to past masters such as Basquiat and Bacon, Wes Lang turns the iconography of his beloved tattoos into art, entrancing the A-list while keeping his outsider edge. Now, he takes GQ on a tour of the dark side of town... STORY BY


Dylan Jones


Gavin Bond

WES LANG Body of work: Tattoo artist turned tattooed artist Wes Lang photographed at his LA studio, May 2016

‘People who are at the top of whatever they do come to me. I’m the best’ SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 217

es Lang’s studio is so big it ought to have its own postcode. It’s so big you could park a plane inside it. It’s like an aircraft hanger, full of gargantuan canvasses and Lang’s small collection of muscle cars. His studio is a great place for parties, it’s a great place to hang out and, most importantly, it’s a great place for him to paint. It sits on the other side of the Los Angeles River, just a few miles from the centre of Downtown LA, in a part of the city that has so far not just resisted gentrification, but is, in fact, still somewhat invisible. Driving around here you feel as if you’re going from one Hollywood backlot to another, passing by hundreds of anonymous warehouses, almost as though you’re moving through an Ed Ruscha triptych. Out here, on the fringes of the city, the shadows always look the same. Out here, in a part of LA that you never see on film, it is always 4.30 in the afternoon. Wes Lang may live way back in the centre of things, up in the Hollywood Hills, but it is here that he works, here where he spends his thinking and working time. Here where he makes the art that is collected feverishly by everyone from Jay Z and Beyoncé to Matthew Freud and David Beckham. “I came out here in 2011 and did a residency at the Chateau Marmont, rented out the penthouse, and did a painting every day,” says Lang. “I didn’t know anybody, but as I was living in the hotel I was making friends, just sitting down in a garden and having drinks at night. I ended up doing a project with The Grateful Dead, bumped into a whole bunch of interesting people, and when I eventually went back to Brooklyn I thought to myself, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’” The west feels like the perfect environment for Lang, the perfect soundstage. An artist whose work plays with American iconography, his canvases regularly feature Confederate flags, crucifixes, the Grim Reaper, skulls, praying skeletons, buffalos, cowboys and eagles. And, of course, the motif that has become his most identifiable calling card, the Native American. The skull warrior in the headdress is his Mickey Mouse. Lang is a big man, a funny man, refreshingly dismissive of the world in which he has found himself, a world which is on the brink of embracing him as a seriously great artist. As he tends to say, 218 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

“I like to take American history and then completely ignore it.” Downtown Los Angeles is on the cusp. When you drive down there these days you are confronted by a clash of imagery. You have all these gleaming new glass and steel buildings, the kind that look like banks, the kind that could be anywhere from Dallas or Shanghai to Glasgow or Paris. And yet you still have the street people, the vagrants who wander around like extras from a bad zombie movie. Except that this is no movie. Parts of Downtown LA actually feel quite dangerous, in the way that New York’s East Village used to in the late Seventies, or the way that areas of Rio de Janeiro still do today. When you park your car and wonder what might be left of it when you return. You worry that your watch might look a little too expensive (even though it isn’t). This part of the city is seriously conflicted, and while there are pockets of OTT gentrification – when I visited a few months ago I lost count of the number of times that people wanted to meet up at Bestia, one of the area’s most over-subscribed restaurants – it is still rough round the edges. Which is obviously why the art world loves it so much. That, and the fact that studio space down here is still relatively cheap – so cheap that there has been something of an artistic diaspora from Brooklyn, as artists make the journey west in search of space as much as a different sensibility. “I love it out here, man,” says Lang. “It’s like my own frontier.” Born in 1972, Lang grew up middle-class in New Jersey (“My mom’s an interior decorator, my dad owned a used record store”) and moved to Manhattan when he left high

school in 1991. He worked in a tattoo parlour – he is absolutely covered in the things – and then started to get paid to turn up and party at the Limelight, which was still a cool club in the early Nineties. “When I started to get tattooed it was still very frowned upon in normal walks of life, you know,” he recalls. “At the time the shop wasn’t full of hot chicks getting tramp stamps over their asses, it was a lot of gang tattoos and then just biker stuff, and cops and people like that, people from all the different fringes of life. Now it’s so different that it wouldn’t surprise me if you had a tattoo on your neck. They’re almost like fashion – it’s wild. Anyway, after working with tattoos I started making art.” He decided to try and do it properly having seen the seminal Jean-Michel Basquiat show at the Whitney in 1992, encouraged further by the Robert Rauschenberg retrospective at the Guggenheim as well as by the artist Keith Haring. Lang was an art handler at the Guggenheim at the time, and was starting to immerse himself in the scene. You can see a lot of Basquiat in his work, not just in terms of subject matter but also execution. “I’m obviously extremely influenced by Basquiat,” he says. “But that’s fine because for me good art is about artists that obsess over their predecessors and carry on the conversation with the guys that they were in love with. And I have a fairly short list – as well as Basquiat, there’s Cy Twombly, who I got introduced to through Basquiat; Francis Bacon, who obviously was just as obsessed with Diego Velázquez’s paintings; and Franz Kline was somebody I got really into as a kid. I love being able to look at paintings and think, ‘I know where you got that from.’”

‘I like to take American history and completely ignore it’

Photographs Joshua White

Death becomes him: The spectre of mortality looms large in Wes Lang’s Untitled (Life Is Beautiful), a work in acrylic, oil stick and coloured pencil


‘I’ve been drawing and painting the same things my entire life’

Bone idols (from top): Wes Lang’s hanger-like studio is full of halffinished artworks; The Big Takeover



‘I design every part of my life. Everything is together’ rings. I design every part of my life. Everything is together, and it’s not like I’m going to make paintings so I can be cool and be on Instagram and make f***ing money. I’ve got no issue with people that do that, I just don’t do it that way. I am the opposite. I have gates in front of my place – you have no idea where I am – I’m in the middle of nowhere. Even if there’s stuff going on, nobody knows I’m in here. I don’t have social media, I never have. I don’t have an art gallery anywhere in America at all. I have one in Denmark, that’s it, but somehow people keep coming here and buying these works and I can’t make enough of them and it’s really exciting. I mean I don’t know how to put it into words really. It’s here, it’s all the things that you read and see, in this work. It’s the power of repetition, using the same images over and over again, using the same words over and over again.” Lang says he always wanted to be an artist and that he was just waiting to be pushed into it. “I’ve literally always known it, I’ve known it since I was a little kid, it was the only thing I was going to do. My uncle likes telling this story about driving back from my high school graduation. He was sitting in the back seat with his girlfriend at the time and I had my back to them, and my uncle’s like, ‘So what are you going to do now?’ and I was like, ‘I’m going to move to New York and become a famous artist and make a shitload of money.’ And he turned to his girlfriend and was like, ‘Good f***ing luck with that.’ I knew what I was going to do, but I had no idea how I was going to do it. I didn’t go to college, I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t know anything about art, I hadn’t taken any art classes, I just felt it, you know? I still have a lot of drawings from when I was a little kid and it’s all skulls and Indians – it’s the same things. I’ve been drawing and painting the same things my entire life.”

What goes on tour (from left): One of the T-shirts Lang designed for Kanye West; Lang and West at an LA book signing, December 2013


A lot of what Lang does comes from a place of referenced material. The earliest significant thing that he remembers owning was a novelty company catalogue full of skulls and Indian charms, jokes, magic tricks, “All that kind of shit... and I got that thing and I held on to it like it was the f***ing most sacred thing in the universe and I just looked at it and obsessed on it and picked out the things. I formed that shit in third grade and the language I speak here [in my art] was formed in third grade. I don’t remember much else from then, but I do remember that book. That, and my mom’s cassettes of Deepak Chopra. That was me growing up.” At the end of the day – and Lang’s days are long – he says he just has to work. “If you want to be famous, then God bless you, but there are two different kinds of famous, there’s ‘I’ve got a million Instagram followers because I’ve got sick tits’, and being known for good work. I also stay away from social media because my work gets bootlegged all the time. So that’s a really big reason why I don’t put it out there, because I don’t need people to see what I’m doing every day to feel good about myself. I’d rather just work, sell paintings to the people that are kind enough to purchase them. I don’t need to have gallery shows anymore to feel awesome, not that I won’t, but it’s not something I desire anymore.” One way in which the digital world has altered our perceptions of art is the fading importance of the critic. Once critics were conduits as well as tastemakers, whereas these days they don’t appear to be either. “A statement I heard years ago in a lecture was, ‘Beware of the good and the bad opinions of others,’ and that’s one of the credos I live by. I have noticed fewer and fewer people sending me emails of their reviews, because with Instagram and all that stuff, everybody’s a critic, you can put your shit out there and have it reviewed like instan-f***ing-taneously.” Having said something like this, Lang will shrug, lean back in his chair and spot something that needs addressing on one of the many unfinished canvasses that line his studio. In a way Lang’s studio is his playpen, a gigantic space in which he can paint, tinker with muscle cars, muck around with tattoos and, well, hang. After a day immersed in his own private Idaho, he can get into his Mercedes, turn up The Grateful Dead, and drive into Downtown, up through Koreatown, and back up into the Hollywood Hills, back into Whitley Heights, right near the Hollywood Bowl, home to his beautiful house and his beautiful girlfriend. Nice life, Wes, nice life.

Photographs; Brad Elterman; Joshua White

ne can look at Lang’s art and know where he got a lot of it from – you can see elements of Philip Guston, Twombly and Martin Kippenberger – although one of the prime motifs involves Native Americans, espoused in a celebratory, death-or-glory kind of way, a uniquely defiant sensibility that makes his work easy to spot. So much of his imagery comes from the world of the tattoo parlour, which is certainly why he has been asked to collaborate on so many commercial projects. Many of his more cartoon-like images were incorporated into the merchandise he designed for Kanye West’s Yeezus tour in 2013. “One day, he called me out of the blue and was like, ‘Will you work with me on the merchandise?’ It was real quick, man. We met in September, I guess, and it was on people’s backs a couple of weeks later. I just sat down, I did the work, got it done and got it out. It happened out of the blue. I’ve been asked about the guy many times, but I don’t really talk about it because, I don’t know, that relationship is sacred to me and I don’t want to take advantage. You see people that align themselves with celebrity and use it to try to better themselves... and it never works, it doesn’t do anything for you, it doesn’t mean shit. He’s just a guy who’s really talented, I’m a guy who’s really talented, the way that we worked together worked, and that’s it, you know? I’m not surprised that people who are at the top of whatever they do come to me. I’m the best at what I do, and I’m never surprised when the best of other things show up in my life, you know what I mean? That’s what I make.” He has also worked with Marc Jacobs, produced badass Rolexes with George Bamford, training shoes and huge biker rings, and designed the artwork for The Grateful Dead’s Spring 1990, an 18-disc box set of concert recordings (like many ex-tattoo bods, Lang is a massive Deadhead). All of this contributes to the Wes Lang world. “I live and breathe every part of what I do... it’s my cars, my house, the things I collect, my shoes, my T-Shirts, my


Portrait of the artist (from top): Wes Lang at work in his LA studio, May 2016; The Eagle’s Gift diptych

Autumn Winter 2016

The GQ Collections

With counterculture rebels, servicemen and city slickers, fashion’s tastemakers are dictating a classic season of urban uniforms from tailoring to leisurewear. Consider this your call to arms


Giampaolo Sgura


Luke Day

Punk From left:



Hugo Boss


Jacket, £2,580. Top, £300. Trousers, £480. Shoes, £1,220. All by Berluti. Accessories and socks, stylist’s own

T-shirt, £1,275. Trousers, £470. Boots, £940. Belt, £330. All by Lanvin. Accessories and socks, stylist’s own

Jacket, £530. Shirt, £99. Trousers, £159. Shoes, £220. All by Hugo Boss. hugoboss. com. Accessories and socks, stylist’s own

Shirt, £225. Jeans, £585. Shoes, £405. Tie, £143. Tassel, £95. All by DSquared2. Belt and socks, stylist’s own




Military From left:

Bottega Veneta Jacket, £1,935. Top, £535. Trousers, £535. Shoes, £775. All by Bottega Veneta. bottegaveneta. com. Hat, stylist’s own

Corneliani Parka. Shirt. Trousers. Shoes. Prices on demand. All by Corneliani. Hat and belt, stylist’s own 224 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016


From left:

Burberry Jacket, £1,695. Top, £395. Trousers, £295. Boots, £395. All by Burberry. burberry. com. Hat, stylist’s own

Calvin Klein Parka, £ 1,645. Jacket, £890. Trousers, £360. T-shirt, £135. Shoes, £886. All by Calvin Klein. Hat, stylist’s own


City From left:

Hermès Blazer, £2,000. Jumper, £960. Trousers, £670. Document holder, £1,760. All by Hermès. Glasses, stylist’s own

Dolce & Gabbana Suit, £1,585. Shirt, £198. Tie, £115. Belt, £211. All by Dolce & Gabbana. Glasses, stylist’s own



Canali Suit. Shirt. Tie. Prices on demand. All by Canali. Gloves by Hermès, £800. Glasses by Gucci, £210.

Ermenegildo Zegna Jacket, £2,090. Shirt, £610. Trousers, £790. Tie, £175. Briefcase, £830. All by Ermenegildo Zegna. Glasses, stylist’s own


e t a k S From left:

Michael Kors Gilet, £681. Top, £167. Trousers, £201. All by Michael Kors. Trainers by Vans, £47. Hat and socks, stylist’s own. Skateboard by Philipp Plein, price on demand.


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Sailor From left:

Louis Vuitton Jacket, £7,000. Top, £395. Trousers, £600. Shoes, £750. Hat, £350. All by Louis Vuitton. Socks, stylist’s own

Giorgio Armani Jacket, £1,750. Gilet, £590. Trousers, £530. Shoes, £570. All by Giorgio Armani. T-Shirt by Calvin Klein, £135. Socks, stylist’s own

Pal Zileri Cape, £25,200. Knitwear, £720. Trousers, £1,910. Shoes, £415. All by Pal Zileri. Socks, stylist’s own

Prada Jacket, £2,530. Shirt, £590. Trousers, £860. Shoes, £870. Hat, £225. All by Prada. Socks, stylist’s own




Seventies From left:

Gucci Jacket, £1,630. Jumper, £495. Trousers, £815. All by Gucci.

Oliver Spencer Jacket, £750. Jumper, £150. Trousers, £170. Scarf, £80. All by Oliver Spencer.

Salvatore Ferragamo Jumper, £490. Trousers, £670. Scarf, £155. All by Salvatore Ferragamo.

Paul Smith Cardigan, £530. Shirt, £210. Jeans, £275. All by Paul Smith.



Styling assistant Emily Tighe Grooming Andrew M Guida at Close Up Milano Grooming assistant Mara Li Quadri Photography assistant Filippo Tarentini Digital operator Giuliano Carparelli Casting Simone Bart Rocchietti Models Julian Schneyder. Eric Bergmann. Both at D’Men. Benjamin Benedek. Jordy Baan. Both at Elite


Alice Rawsthorn


Suki Dhanda

magine being an architect and preparing to present the design proposal for what promises to be your most important project. All of the architects competing against you are older and more experienced, with bigger practices that have already undertaken commissions of a similar scale and political sensitivity. You haven’t. And you care so passionately about this particular project that you would be heartbroken to lose it. That’s pretty much how David Adjaye felt eight years ago, when he was poised to make his final pitch to design the $540 million (£400m) Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History And Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington DC. “It was a baptism of fire,” recalls Adjaye, who turns 50 this month. “This is the kind of project that comes around every half century for an architect, if you’re lucky. I had Oprah Winfrey in that room. I had Colin Powell. I had the whole canon of the African American community throwing questions at me like, ‘Who are you? Why should you do this?’ And I had to answer. I’d look at Oprah, who’s scary because



The sky’s the limit: The National Museum Of African American History And Culture in Washington DC is architect David Adjaye’s (above) most high-profile project to date

Photographs Camera Press; Alan Karchmer



David vs Goliath As an outsider in an unforgiving industry, success came the hard way for British architect David Adjaye, yet his socially conscious designs have made him a global superstar. Now, GQ meets the people’s champion whose monumental, history-defining new museum opens in Washington DC next month

‘I won’t be taken down. I just keep going like a crazy person’


she doesn’t say much. You don’t know what she’s thinking so you just assume it must be bad. Then I’d look at Colin Powell and all I could think was, ‘Good God, it’s Colin Powell.’” Not that fielding questions from America’s reigning media queen and former secretary of state was the end of Adjaye’s travails with the NMAAHC. Having won his dream commission, he spent the next eight years fighting to protect his design vision in the face of political squabbles, budget cuts, soaring construction costs and a barrage of personal attacks accusing him of being too young, too inexperienced, and (having been born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents and lived in Britain for most of his life) not African American. Yet the museum, which commands one of the grandest sites on the National Mall, next to the Washington Monument and the White House, is now completed and preparing for its official opening by President Barack Obama on 24 September. “Winning the project changed my career, and completing it has dominated my working life ever since,” says Adjaye. “There were so many attacks on our design that it felt like a bloodbath at times. But we ended up with a building that’s got 90 per cent of what we wanted, which for architecture is pretty damn great. And even though we’re now doing massive projects in different parts of the world, I don’t see them as stressful any more.” Just as well. Having completed such an imposing and complex commission (which the Washington Post has predicted will be “an instant favourite”) Adjaye has joined the elite band of “starchitects”, such as Foster & Rogers, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron and David Chipperfield, who are contenders for the city master plans, museums, airports and equally ambitious projects that affect the lives of millions of people. Just as the late Zaha Hadid was a rare exception to starchitect stereotype as the first woman to join their ranks, Adjaye is the first black architect to do so. ot only has Adjaye played a decisive part in making contemporary architecture more eclectic, inclusive and truly international by opening it up to African culture, he has established himself as one of the few designers with the vision, discipline and ingenuity to express their ideas or tell stories through the structure and layout of buildings that are appealing and empowering, as well as efficient. The challenge for him now is deciding how to make the most of his new opportunities. “David is a true 21st-century architect,” says the industrial designer Yves Béhar, whose San Francisco-based company Fuseproject shares an office with Adjaye Associates in New York’s Chinatown. “The NMAAHC is his crowning

‘There were so many attacks on our design



achievement. I think David’s status will change with it, but not his propensity to design standout charismatic buildings that are equal parts beauty and intelligence.” Sitting in the conference room of Adjaye Associates’ London offices, in an art deco building on Old Marylebone Road, Adjaye looks remarkably relaxed for someone who has not only worked hard to achieve so much in a brutally competitive profession, but is

also a newish father. (He and his wife, Ashley Shaw-Scott, a former model with an MBA from INSEAD business school, who is now head of research at Adjaye Associates, had their first child, a son, Kwame, last year.) Softly spoken with a trilling giggle, the shavenheaded Adjaye, who once modelled in an Alfred Dunhill campaign, always looks casually dapper. For a day of meetings in London, he is wearing a caramel-coloured sweater and


that it felt like a bloodbath at times’

slim, black trousers. Unlike so many architects, who seem hell-bent on baffling the rest of us by conversing in inscrutable jargon, he speaks about his work passionately and knowledgeably, but with refreshing clarity. After spending his childhood moving around Africa and the Middle East to wherever his diplomat father was posted, Adjaye’s family settled in London when he was 14 to provide a stable home for his brother Emmanuel, who is severely disabled. The experience of caring for him inspired Adjaye’s graduation project when he completed an architecture degree at London South Bank University in 1990. His design proposal for a respite centre for people with disabilities won a prestigious Royal Institute Of British Architects student award. “I’d seen so many of those places with Emmanuel and was really appalled by them,” Adjaye recounts. “I wanted to create a really well designed environment for him, and when it won the award I thought, ‘OK, maybe I’m good at this.’” He worked briefly for Chipperfield and the Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura before starting a master’s degree in architecture at the Royal College Of Art (RCA). fter graduating in 1993, he formed a partnership with an RCA friend William Russell then founded Adjaye Associates in 2000. His first clients were artist friends such as Chris Ofili and Giorgio Sadotti and Elizabeth Wright, a couple who had bought a small plot in Whitechapel. Adjaye designed the Elektra House for them but faced legal action from the local council for modifying its design during construction. He was saved by Lord Rogers, who, having asked to meet Adjaye after spotting the house in an architecture magazine, wrote a letter of protest to the mayor. Not only did the mayor stop the legal action, but he invited Adjaye to enter a competition to design two Idea Stores, a new concept intended to reinvent public libraries by adding learning, fitness, meeting, talks and performance spaces. Clad in colourful glass panels through which passers-by can see what is happening inside, Adjaye’s Idea Stores in Whitechapel and Poplar appear cheerful and welcoming, in stark contrast to traditional libraries. “It was an important project for David that showed how the design of public buildings could be rethought to create open and inviting spaces,” said Zoë Ryan, John H Bryan chair and curator of architecture and design at the Art Institute Of Chicago, where she presented an exhibition of Adjaye’s work last autumn. “David uses architecture as a platform to provoke new thinking about how we live. And those ideas have only got stronger and more explicit as he has developed more projects.”

Photographs Eyevine; Getty Images; Alan Karchmer


Building history (clockwise from top left): The NMAAHC; David Adjaye’s winning design model; the view of the Washington Monument; a close-up of the ironwork façade


Elektra House London, 2000

Dirty House London, 2002

Idea Store Whitechapel London, 2005

This building’s blank exterior is a challenge to the traditional house. Conceived as a large-scale lightbox and devoid of front-facing windows, a chimney or even a roof, Elektra House is visually striking yet decidedly alien. Capitalising on the house’s width and lighting, the residents use the space behind the façade to display art.

Chiming with Adjaye’s belief in “emotive” architecture, this seemingly windowless, black, anti-graffiti studio and apartment in Shoreditch is designed to unsettle. Built for artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster, the converted warehouse is shielded from wandering eyes by mirrored glass windows and a parapet on the top floor.

When Tower Hamlets realised that fewer than 20 per cent of its residents had set foot in a library, Adjaye was commissioned to design a new Idea Store, housing a café, classrooms, computer suite and an extensive collection of books. The modern, blue and green design more closely resembles a shopping centre than a civic institution.

‘The dream for me is not to be the exception in architecture’ His public commissions also saved Adjaye from being stereotyped as an architect of homes for fashionable clients, such as Ofili, Ewan McGregor and the fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic. The last describes him as “an utter joy to work with” and also commissioned him to design her Mayfair boutique. Whereas the focus of his public buildings is openness, Adjaye’s homes tend to be conceived as refuges from the frenzy of urban life. He designed the Dirty House in Shoreditch for the artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster in 2002 to resemble a fortress with a forbidding façade of darkbrown bitumen paint. Whenever street art appears on the walls, Webster covers it up with a fresh coat of paint. Adjaye’s rapid rise drew criticism from rival architects, which intensified in 2007 when his firm hit a cash-flow crisis after several projects 238 GQ.CO.UK SEPTEMBER 2016

were cancelled or postponed, a common problem in architecture. “With all the challenges, and there have been so many all the way through, I decided, ‘No, I’m not going to be taken down,’” Adjaye says. “So I just kept going like a naïve, crazy person.” Has one of those challenges been racism? “Undoubtedly,” he replies. “It’s never aggressive, but it is always there. But what’s important to me is that I see more diversity in the built environment. The dream for me was always not to be the exception in this profession.” Nor is he, thanks to the recent emergence of gifted young, black designers such as Kunlé Adeyemi, the Nigerian founder of NLÉ Architects, who designed one of four Summer Houses for this year’s Serpentine Gallery architecture programme in Kensington Gardens.

djaye’s ascent has continued unabated with the completion of more homes, studios and galleries for art world friends and a house in Ghana for the former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, as well as cultural commissions, such as the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo and Museum Of Contemporary Art in Denver, Colorado. All of his work was influenced by a personal research project he began in 2000 to document architecture throughout Africa. “I was sick of the clichéd images of Africa,” he says. “So I’d run away there for a week or a month whenever I could. I thought I knew Africa, but soon learned that I really didn’t.” His photographs and notes were published in a seven-volume book, Adjaye: Africa: Architecture, in 2011.


Photographs Alamy; Getty Images; Lyndon Douglas; Ed Reeve; Jeff Sauers; Edmund Sumner


Nobel Peace Prize Centre Oslo, 2005

Francis Gregory Library Washington DC, 2012

The centre’s status as a 19th-century, Grade I listed building meant Adjaye could barely change a thing. Instead, he reinvented the interior with light and colour and organised a sequence of interactive and high-tech installations that would jar with each other to create friction.

Adjaye designed the Francis Gregory Library to entice people inside and for the building to stand “porous and open”. How? By swapping a traditionally closed building front for a large, welcoming canopy and by adding diamond cut-out windows that show the park greenery from any given point within the building.

The research proved invaluable in developing the NMAAHC design proposal. Adjaye wanted his architecture to reflect the museum’s mission of tracing the history of the African American community from the 17th-century slave trade, through segregation and the civil rights movement, to the present day. To do so, he encased the 400,000 square foot building in a lattice of 3,600 bronze-tinted cast-aluminium panels that form a shape inspired by the ancient Yoruban sculpture made in West Africa. The filigreeing of each panel alludes to the ornamental ironwork produced by African American slaves in New Orleans. “You can just enjoy looking at the patterns, or, if you dig into them, they pull you into this idea of Africans becoming American and what that human experience meant,” Adjaye explains. The museum’s completion comes at a timely moment when he has established a productive structure and schedule with his 100 colleagues in London and New York. His travel schedule is

relentless, but Ashley and Kwame accompany him whenever possible from the family home, a flat overlooking the Thames in Westminster. “It helps that Ashley works here, as that’s one way to make sure that we’re always together,” he says. “Thankfully, she is very open to travel and my slightly nomadic life. So we’re really trying to make the most of the time until our son starts school. I take a couple of hours or a day off whenever I can, something I rarely did before.” Not that he is slowing down. Among Adjaye’s current commissions are the $122m (£91m) expansion of the Studio Museum in Harlem, and urban master plans in Germany, Ghana and Qatar. He has also begun a new research project, this time in collaboration with a friend, the Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor. “It’s on what Marcus Garvey called ‘The Black Atlantic’, looking at the relationship of cities in South America, the Caribbean and the southern states of the US to Africa,” Adjaye explains.

William O Lockridge Bellevue Library Washington DC, 2012 Perched above street level, this new library is a yellow, square beacon for its neighbourhood. It offers sweeping views across the residential area, in line with Adjaye’s belief that design should be a social force and that communities need “empowering buildings”. Eleanor Halls

“It’s taking up a lot of my research time, and there’s much more for me to learn. There are 28 island nations in the Caribbean. Who knew?” Thrilling though his new challenges are, Adjaye insists that his objectives are unchanged. “For me, the joy of architecture is to keep on transforming the built environment to make it more inclusive for more people,” he states. “I believed that when I designed the disability respite centre as a student, and I still believe it. Though that’s one project I haven’t realised. It’s the commission I’ve always wanted, but have never had. And I’d love to do it.”


For these related stories, visit

Welcome To The New Brooklyn (Emily Wright, August 2016) Built For Good (Edwin Heathcote, July 2016) Work Is Moving House (Emily Wright, March 2016) SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 239

River wears jumper by Polo Ralph Lauren, £245. Bregje wears dress by Polo Ralph Lauren, £349.

SIDEWALK EMPIRE From the mean streets of the Bronx to the steps of the Met, RALPH LAUREN is the New Yorker who dressed the American Dream. Now, to celebrate the opening of the Polo Ralph Lauren European flagship in London, GQ goes back to where it all began for the designer who remains as vital as ever PHOTOGRAPHS BY


Jack Waterlot STYLING BY Andrew Holden WORDS BY Robert Johnston


Coat, £895. Hoodie, £129. Jeans, £145. Loafers, £410. All by Polo Ralph Lauren.


alph Lauren may have started his career selling ties to his classmates at the DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, but today he is one of the most influential fashion designers in history. Indeed, he has achieved that ultimate accolade of becoming an adjective, in his case one to describe an enviable lifestyle – indeed a world – ruled by a unique melange of sportswear, Americana and classic British tailoring. But there is more to Ralph Lauren than Gatsby-esque dreaming (he worked on Robert Redford’s wardrobe in the 1974 film of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel). With the opening in September of his vast new European flagship Polo Ralph Lauren store on London’s Regent Street, the entire Polo collection will be gathered under one roof to show that, as well as the candy-coloured polo shirts that have become the summer staple for three generations of men, Lauren still has his finger on the fashion pulse and can be as hard-edged as any New York City street. In the line-up at his latest presentation in Milan, the keen-eyed could spot a certain River Viiperi, who is modelling the new Polo Ralph Lauren collection here. The 25-year-old Spanish-Finnish supermodel has become one of the most sought-after faces in the business and is thought of as very much the next big thing. The next generation of Lauren aficionados starts here.



Bregje wears coat, £849. Dress, £299. Both by Polo Ralph Lauren. ralphlauren. River wears jumper, £435. Jeans, £145. Both by Polo Ralph Lauren.

FASHION Blazer, £595. Waistcoat, £199. Shirt, £99. All by Polo Ralph Lauren.


River wears jacket, £1,035. Hoodie, £245. Trousers, £245. All by Polo Ralph Lauren. Bregje wears dress, £349. Boots, £399. Both by Polo Ralph Lauren. ralphlauren.



Jacket, £519. Jumper, £435. Both by Polo Ralph Lauren.


Jacket, £499. Waistcoat, £175. Jumper, £119. All by Polo Ralph Lauren.



Coat, £895. Waistcoat, £199. T-shirt, £30. All by Polo Ralph Lauren. Models River Viiperi at Soul Artists; Bregje Heinen at The Lions Make-up and grooming Deanna Melluso Hair Joey George Manicures Geraldine Holford. All at The Wall Group

Polo Ralph Lauren’s new flagship will open this summer. 69-183 Regent Street, London W1 SEPTEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 247


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Continued from page 215

them you need copper tools. And for copper tools you need stone tools.” He spent years on it, even building his own kiln to make the graphite. In he end, he made five pencils that cost him over $1,200 each. “That’s probably another reason I got divorced.” It was that story, perhaps, that saw me leaving the room that day thinking, yes, this could well be Satoshi. Despite him not moving early bitcoins. Despite the unconvincing answers about his reasons for coming out (what was this company?). Despite the unauthored paper I was given to disprove Maxwell’s claims about the leaked documents having actually been written by himself (“It doesn’t say ‘By Craig Wright’ on the piece as such,” says the PR firm when I contact them after a tip-off, “but as the whole pack is called Craig Wright and relates to him, it seems clear it’s his piece”). Despite, also, a source of mine, who asked not to be named, seemingly confirming a company had forced Wright to say he’s Satoshi: “They are big players, but they want him to come out as Satoshi Nakamoto in order to basically get more gravitas.” Also, for a man supposedly worth near half a billion (“I’m not spending them,” he said of his bitcoin stash. “They’re going nowhere”), he was weirdly boastful about what car he drove (“I own an i8, a BMW, a nice fast car. I get speeding tickets but I pay them”) or the restaurants he ate at (“I’ve been to three of Gordon Ramsay’s so far”). Because didn’t that pencil story just sum him up? The genius who would have to master so many skills; the man who would have to put them all together. Wasn’t it such a great story? But this story was about to get stranger still.

hen the judgement came, it was swift and unforgiving. This happens on the internet: damnation goes viral. Reddit forums light up. He lied. When the news embargo was lifted a few days after our interview, it took the world no more than a few hours to realise what Dr Courtois had already discovered: the cryptographic proof he had presented was fake. Or rather, he used an early bitcoin transaction that



had already been signed by Satoshi years ago. Anyone could have done it. To use Wright’s own Mona Lisa metaphor: he didn’t present a polaroid of the painting on his wall. He presented someone else’s old polaroid. Stories around the world that first reported his outing as straight news – from the BBC to the New York Times to the Guardian – were swiftly followed up by claims of a hoax. Wright countered: he would now provide “extraordinary proof” to match his “extraordinary claim”. It never came. Days later, he released a statement on his website: “I know now that I am not strong enough for this. I’m sorry.” I speak to various experts working on bitcoin-related projects. “If he is who he claims to be, there’s an easy way to prove it,” says Pavel Matveev, of bitcoin start-up Wirex, which is working on a bitcoin debit card. “It seems like he’s Satoshi Nakamoto,” says Frank Schuil, of bitcoin spending platform start-up Safello, “but he has one hell of a reason not to reveal it.” “It’s a strange play either way,” says Dr James Smith of Elliptic, a bitcoin company that identifies illicit activity for financial institutions and law enforcement agencies. “I think he’d be nuts if it isn’t him, but I think he’d be nuts if it is as well.” Something else came to light too – there was another journalist, unknown to GQ, who had been chronicling Wright’s story from the inside. The novelist Andrew O’Hagan had been contacted some months before by the mysterious company who were now in business with Wright – the one only mentioned under duress to GQ, and not mentioned at all to the BBC and the Economist. In O’Hagan’s subsequent profile in the London Review Of Books, published just before GQ went to press, it would be named as nCrypt. Its offer to O’Hagan was to write the life story of the real Satoshi Nakamoto. The people behind nCrypt, it turned out, had rescued Wright. His businesses were failing, he was in trouble with the Australian tax authorities; he owed his lawyers millions. They offered an out: they would buy up his companies and settle his debts. In return, he would work on patents linked to the underlying blockchain technology behind bitcoin. And he would publicly out himself as Satoshi. The package, they felt, was worth billions. They planned to sell to Google. Coincidence or not, just weeks after O’Hagan had accepted to write the story, the documents linking Wright to Satoshi were leaked to Wired and Gizmodo. It would contain a neat explanation of why a man worth nearly half a billion should need such help: most of his bitcoins were held in a trust, a document suggested. Wright could not sell them until 2020. It would be one of many “facts” that didn’t quite add up.

The patent story was true enough. A search on the patents pending by nCrypt uncovered nothing, but a search at Companies House showed the company director as a Mr Robert MacGregor. He, in turn, is linked – in documents seen by GQ – to an umbrella company called EITC Holdings Limited. Between 23 February and 29 April this year, they filed 51 patents, all linked to blockchain technology. They were, in essence, trying to corner the market in the new internet of fact exchange. Though experts GQ spoke to expressed scepticism that the patents would be successful. They were really selling Satoshi. The documents show plans to use the technology for everything from voting to payroll, from money lending to music and film software that could eradicate piracy. But many other claims by Wright in the story don’t stand up to scrutiny. Take his story about his friend Dave Kleiman. That story is a tragic one. After the fall in the shower that December day – which saw Wright, so he says, leave the mantle of Satoshi behind him – Kleiman’s condition worsened. He developed sores which became infected with MRSA; he was in and out of hospital and had multiple operations. Yet every time, say people familiar with the matter, he would get right back to his computer, holding up for days at a time, rarely going out. After dismissing himself from hospital for a final time, he was to be found dead in his wheelchair on 27 April 2013. According to the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner Office, his body was decomposing; there was blood and faecal matter; an empty bottle of alcohol and a loaded handgun next to him. He died apparently penniless; his Palm Beach home was in foreclosure. It had been suggested, however, that as one of the founders of bitcoin, he actually passed away with some 350,000 bitcoins sitting on an encrypted USB drive he kept on him at all times. “Yes, that’s accurate based on the information that I have,” says Jon Matonis when I contact him by email. The question remains: why didn’t he cash out to get private health care? Speaking to O’Hagan, Wright confirms Kleiman did indeed have 350,000 bitcoins. Yet in explaining why he didn’t sell, Wright says, “It wasn’t worth much then. Dave died a week before the value went up by 25 times.” O’Hagan then adds, “He emphasised something he said the commentators never understood: for a long time, bitcoin wasn’t worth anything and they constantly needed money.” This goes unquestioned, but it’s not remotely true. At the time of Dave Kleiman’s death, on 26 April, 2013, bitcoin’s value was at $136.90, making his 350,000 stash worth just under

BITCOIN $50m. The next week, meanwhile, rather than having gone up in value 25 times as Wright claims, it had gone down, to $98.10. In fact, it wasn’t until just under six months later that it had even reached the same level. It was baffling: why lie? What was being hidden here? One of the few solid things that we know came from the real Satoshi are his blog posts, now archived at satoshi.nakamotoinstitute. org. He writes about the task at hand; personal details are virtually nonexistent. Yet the most telling thing isn’t what the posts are about, but when they were posted. In more than 500 posts, Satoshi almost never published between the hours of 5am and 11am GMT, suggesting that’s when he slept. When Wright spoke with me, he simply said: “I was up at all times always doing stuff, as people have seen I was around the clock... ” Yet in Sydney, where Wright lived at the time, those hours would suggest a truly bizarre sleeping pattern of 3pm-9pm. Transpose those same timings to Florida, however, where Kleiman lived, and it becomes 1am-7am. Kleiman is rumoured to have died without giving anyone, not least his family, the drive’s encryption keys, meaning no one can access

SiliconAngle piece cited in this article was produced by an impostor site posing as the real SiliconAngle.” Someone had gone to the effort of creating a fake website to create that story, the only difference being an extra “l” in the name. When I contact the senior editor at Bitcoinist, Evan Faggart, I ask how long the Wright story was on their website before the editor’s note was added. “No more than 24 hours.” Twenty-four hours. Is it feasible that Wright clicked on this link once then never again? A man sobbing at the prospect of being locked up in whatever he assumes the British Guantánamo Bay to be? Would he not check back? One thing the editors at both sites agree on – the fake site, which has since been taken down, was an uncanny replica of the real thing. It would have taken substantial computer skills, and no little effort. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Faggart. One line in the London Review Of Books piece, therefore, felt particular pertinent: when the act seems to slip; when Wright seems to admit he was actually Satoshi’s sidekick. Wright makes the point that he wrote all the new patents himself and “not just Dave”.

they could have no bank account, and were at greater risk of kidnap and trafficking and abuse. Edge is a likeable, plain-speaking northerner. He is also not a shy man. On his second date, he said to the girl, “I think this system can get a billion people a bank account.” In the UN conference hall, there are over 400 people, and along with various NGOs and seemingly every major tech company, there are representatives from virtually every bank in the world. When I ask why, I get the same answer: because a billion micro-payments add up. As the keynote speakers stand and talk, a running theme becomes clear: the technology is spoken about as being a second internet. The internet of fact and record. Or, as Microsoft’s John Paul Farmer, puts it, “I look at it akin to where the web was in the early Nineties.” It’s a sentiment repeated throughout the day. Bitcoin may change banking, but it’s the underlying technology that may truly end up changing the world. Some weeks before, I sat in the back of a lecture theatre at University College London, and watched students specialising in the tech, pitch to start-ups who were specialising, too. There was no shortage of positions. The tens of thousands of jobs that have already been created are likely just the start.

Bitcoin may change banking, but the underlying technology may truly end up changing the world them. At today’s prices, the bitcoin on it would be worth some $235m. If Kleiman – and not Wright – was the real Satoshi, it would explain why Wright didn’t move them. Maybe no one could. It would also mean he stepped away from being Satoshi after first being admitted to hospital, as his health began to fail. When I call Kleiman’s former colleague at Computer Forensics LLC, Patrick Paige, and let him know I’m working on a story about Craig Wright, the first thing he says to me is: “Is he on suicide watch yet?” His tone does not suggest concern. Perhaps most bizarrely from the London Review Of Books story is the reason Wright finally gives for not wanting to move the early bitcoins and thereby proving beyond all doubt he’s Satoshi. He sends O’Hagan a link to an article with the headline: “UK Law Enforcement Sources Hint At Impending Craig Wright Arrest”. He sobs about this. He says, “The Brits have got their own version of Guantánamo Bay.” He says he’s damned if he does, he’s damned if he doesn’t. He’ll be seen as a fraud, or he’ll go to jail. Yet it turns out this isn’t true either. The story appeared on specialist bitcoin website Yet go to that link now and it starts with an editor’s note: “The

n May of this year, after Wright’s claims had begun to unravel, I travelled to New York and sat in on a United Nations conference called ID2020. It is the brainchild of John Edge, a former investment banker who on 4 May 2013, was set up on a blind date with a girl who asked him, “All this money stuff, fine, but what are you doing to make a difference?” He didn’t have an answer, but he did have an idea. He knew how money flowed through computer systems. Specifically, how the FIX (Financial Information eXchange) protocol radically changed trading when it was introduced in 1992, all but eliminating human errors. “What it did was turn a telecommunications network into a transactions network.” He realised Satoshi Nakamato, with the shared ledger that underpinned bitcoin, had done the same for the internet. But how to use it? He’d had meetings with BT, with major banks, but the reaction was always the same: don’t be stupid. Isn’t bitcoin that thing for drug dealers? Only now, he had his lightbulb moment. What if there was an altruistic use for it? The bitcoin technology, the shared ledger, was incorruptible. It sat with no single government. He knew 1.5 billion people around the world didn’t have identities on paper – and without birth certificates,

In one of the few breaks during the day, I catch up with Edge. Has it hindered you, I ask, that no one had convincingly come forward as Satoshi? Quite the opposite, he says – it would have meant you would have had to ask permission. “Satoshi might be the most genius sales strategy of all time.” And even here, of course, there’s a final irony. That a man who sat in his house and invented the future but never wanted his own identity known – perhaps Kleiman, who died alone, and whose real identity perhaps we’ll never know – may end up providing identities for billions. When Satoshi first went missing, a popular tagline among bitcoin’s early adopters suggested they knew it was for the best; that perhaps one man would be too small for it, the invention was too big. It’s a line repeated to me again and again at the United Nations. “We are all Satoshi now.”


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...with TOM DALEY Sex, drugs and dim sum – GQ takes the plunge at Park Chinois with diving’s golden boy ’ve been to Park Chinois, Alan Yau’s oligarch canteen on Berkeley Street, once before. It was a dinner party – more party, less dinner, it must be said – held in celebration of designer Marc Jacobs. It was a threateningly fashionable crowd – Georgia May Jagger canoodling, Edie Campbell vaping, Naomi Campbell planking – and about as much fun as a man (who isn’t Leonardo DiCaprio) can have without the police being called. Shortly after it opened, Yau – the man responsible for the democratisation of trendy noodle dishes through his Wagamama chain – described Park Chinois as “an entertainment lifestyle project”, which to me is the sort of thing David Brent would say about a potential underwear collaboration with H&M rather than anywhere you’d actually want to eat. Still, I’m back and hungry. This time, however, rather than sharing endless sidecars with supermodels (the shame of it), I’m here to grill professional budgie smuggler-cum-aerial ballet dancer Tom Daley about winning an Olympic gold medal in Rio later this month. I’ve never really got sports stars. In my mind these are men who have chosen to take triple PE professionally for the rest of their lives. What sort of a person does that? Daley’s sport in particular seems like an odd way to spend one’s adult life. From what I can gather via YouTube, diving is essentially gravity with embellishments, a competition to see who can fall best. At least with something like the javelin an athlete must compete against Newton’s common laws – exceed one’s reach to defy human limits – whereas diving just seems to give in to them. It could be the national sport of lemmings. But what do I know? It certainly seems to captivate. Ever since Daley took part in the Beijing Olympics (aged 14) he’s risen to become no less than a national treasure. He’s Elton John in Speedos. The Sir Macca of the aquatic centre. Eureka indeed... Daley must be the only person for whom wearing clothes, any clothes, counts as a disguise. Shouldn’t he be training rather than sitting here eating salt and pepper squid, black cod with chilli jam and carbonara with sea urchin? “It’s my day off,” he chirps as we take a seat – actually an iridescent, violet banquet – in a basement that looks like its been

decorated by the interior designer responsible for Christian Grey’s “red room of pain”. Does anyone actually care about the Olympics? Isn’t every athlete on dope? “Not everyone,” Daley protests. “Testing is rigorous. I could be tested at any time.” What would happen if an inspector arrived at our lunch? “They would immediately take me into the bathroom. I would have to take my trousers down to my knees, pull my T-shirt up to my chest, spin around 360 and then pee on demand. They have to watch the pee come out.” How thorough. A great deal has changed for Daley since 2012. He moved to London, switched coaches and overcame his fear of camera flashes from big crowds – something that, in part, stopped him from achieving gold rather than settling with bronze four years ago. He’s also learnt a new dive to ensure a gold medal, a dive that has never been attempted by any diver ever before. “It’s the forward, three point five somersault with one twist,” he explains. “It’s the sort of thing you see a clown doing in a circus strapped to a harness. I’ve nailed it.” Thanks to David Beckham, every athlete who wants a career beyond sport must now be one of two things: either a fashion model or a role model. On 2 December 2013 Daley confirmed his sexuality as only a millennial should – via a grainy, heartfelt YouTube video. He is now happily engaged to Dustin Lance Black, the writer who won an Academy Award for Milk. “I never wanted to be known as the gay diver,” he says of his decision. “I’d dated girls. I never denied being gay; I was just vague.” The sporting world can be notoriously homophobic. Was Daley advised against taking such a stand? “Lots of people in the industry told me if I came out as gay it would end my career. I was told I would never get sponsorship again. But the good thing about sport is, if you excel when it counts – for me, in the pool – then the rest follows. Get the results, get the glory.” Speaking of glory, never mind winning gold, isn’t Daley looking forward to all that naked, sporting flesh in the Olympic village? Are the rumours about the shagathons all true? “You’ve got hundreds of athletes crammed into student accommodation. They are in peak physical condition and have been locked away training for months. Talk about a need for a release. Let’s just say the sex is...” Olympic? “Exactly. The sex is Olympic.” And who wouldn’t want a gold for that particular sport? Park Chinois, 17 Berkeley Street, London, W1. 020 3327 8888. parkchinois. com. Watch the Out To Lunch film with Tom Daley on

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Daley is a national treasure. He’s Elton John in Speedos

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HOZIER: Singer/Song writer, 2016