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139

33 Editor’s Letter

45

Style Manual

Foreword

Fortnum’s does menswear; Frederic Malle breaks the rules of fragrance; Jim Chapman unravels black-tie.

Boris Johnson is back (again): but this time it really is his last chance to make history. BY GUTO HARRI

53 Zoë Kravitz (and where to find her); Alan Details

Partridge, rambling man; become a better chef with help from the knives of others.

85 78

85 Travel Freddie Fox explores Marrakech; tsar-trekking on the Trans-Siberian railway; plus, Bali’s Mandapa is hotel of the month.

91

Taste 91

105

74 Our Stuf GQ.co.uk Picture Editor Alfie Baldwin punches in.

78 Cars Mercedes-AMG’s new tourer fjords ahead in the Norwegian mountains; plus, the Zenos E10.

53

From Coombeshead Farm to fork; Salvador Dalí’s artistic palate; Burlock, stock and barrel; a culinary guide to Scottish bordertown Kelso.

105

160 GQ Preview Products, events, offers.

169 The Lab Snap happy with the best in retro-style cameras; plus, the wireless earphones taking on Apple’s AirPod.

177

Bachelor Pad Keep your glass half full with our selection of desirable drinkware.

107 Watch Montblanc’s new worldly goods.

126 Michael Wolf vs millennials The age-old tale of generational strife gets a new chapter this month, as GQ’s pocket boomer locks horns with Sunday Times Style columnist Dolly Alderton.

177

193

The Drop Andy Warhol’s dice with death; putting the mockers on sports journalism; literary crime is on the rise; boxers are Hollywood’s new heavy hitters; art’s jeans genie; Dermot O’Leary sinks his teeth into the film that defined his childhood; the life and death of Pokémon Go; Kendrick Lamar’s Butterfly effect; the secret life of Brexit; London’s new Design Museum builds on the past; in conversation with director Ivo van Hove.

Life

Think like a superhero; Bear Grylls’ driving force; get built for the ring; apps are killing your sex life; friendly warnings from Hugo Rifkind. DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 15


248

Why aren’t you following? Riding high with Victoria’s Secret Angel and social-media slaying Swede Elsa Hosk... STORY BY

Eleanor Halls

PHOTOGRAPH BY

Jimmy Backius DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 17


308

Michael Fassbender

207 Tony Parsons Mixed martial arts joined sport’s major players when Conor McGregor first stepped into the octagon.

Life lessons with Hollywood’s fastest-rising power player. BY

Jonathan Heaf

Features & Fashion 108

306 Stockists

BY NICK CARVELL

From A to Z, all the labels in this month’s issue.

116

Alastair Campbell vs Nicola Adams Our punchy interrogator weighs in with British boxing’s bright gold star.

308 Out To Lunch

240

Naomi Campbell is still worth waiting for, as GQ (eventually) found out at Claridge’s.

274

Craig Green The winner of this year’s BFC/GQ Fashion Fund is a cut above his competition.

Stella wears the trousers Artist Alex Israel speaks to Stella McCartney about her inaugural menswear collection.

250

230

Beyond the merits of his music, the true legend of Robert Zimmerman will live just as long. BY DAVID HEPWORTH

256 Erdogan’s Warriors This year’s failed coup left Turkey’s president stronger than ever. So what was behind the “people power” that put the rebels down?

274

The underrated Bob Dylan

BY

Black cops matter GQ goes on the streets to examine the frayed blue line between US police and the communities they sometimes fail to serve or protect. BY ALEX HANNAFORD

266

Deep cover Get the drop on winter with long, luxe coats. PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHILIPPE VOGELENZANG

282

Prada’s next act Hollywood’s young Turks Ansel Elgort and Dane DeHaan face a fashion-forward future.

Sune Engel Rasmussen

PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTIAN OITA

211

GQ Extraordinary Times 211

The people, places and products ushering in an era of unforced luxury.

256

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 19


Editor

DYLAN JONES PA TO THE EDITOR Lottie Stanners DEPUTY EDITOR Bill Prince

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Paul Solomons

MANAGING EDITOR Mark Russell SENIOR COMMISSIONING EDITOR Stuart McGurk

COMMISSIONING EDITOR Charlie Burton

ASSOCIATE ART EDITOR Oliver Jamieson

ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHIC EDITOR Anna Akopyan

FASHION EDITOR Grace Gilfeather

DEPUTY CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Aaron Callow

GQ.CO.UK NEWS EDITOR Conrad Quilty-Harper

FASHION ASSISTANT Carlotta Constant

SUB-EDITOR Kevin Long

ASSOCIATE STYLE EDITOR Nick Carvell

GQ.CO.UK PICTURE EDITOR Alfie Baldwin CONTRIBUTING WOMEN’S EDITOR Katie Grand

HEALTH & SPORTS EDITOR Paul Henderson

DESIGN ASSISTANT TO THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Anna Gordon

PHOTOGRAPHIC EDITOR Ryan Grimley STYLE & GROOMING EDITOR Jessica Punter CHIEF SUB-EDITOR George Chesterton

FASHION DIRECTOR Robert Johnston

FEATURES DIRECTOR Jonathan Heaf

JUNIOR SUB-EDITOR Holly Bruce

GQ.CO.UK FEATURES EDITOR Matt Jones

ENGAGEMENT MANAGER Becky Lucas

STAFF WRITER Eleanor Halls

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

POLITICAL EDITOR Matthew d’Ancona EROTIC AFFAIRS EDITOR Rebecca Newman

LUXURY EDITOR Nick Foulkes

LITERARY EDITOR Olivia Cole

COMEDY EDITOR James Mullinger

PROGRAMME MANAGER Liam Keating

FENG SHUI EDITOR Tracey Emin

TABLET PRODUCER Lucy Streule

GROUP DIRECTOR OF VIDEO CONTENT Danielle Bennison-Brown

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, David Hicks, Mark Hix, Julia Hobsbawm, Boris Johnson, John Kampfner, Simon Kelner, Rod Liddle, Sascha Lilic, 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, Amol Rajan, 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 Wolf, 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

EDITORIAL BUSINESS MANAGER Stephanie Chrisostomou

SYNDICATION syndication@condenast.co.uk

CONDÉ NAST INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Nicky Eaton

Publisher

VANESSA KINGORI PA TO THE PUBLISHER Emma Cox ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Vikki Theo ADVERTISEMENT AND DIGITAL DIRECTOR Hannah O’Reilly SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Lauren Maher FASHION MANAGER Madeleine Wilson BUSINESS MANAGER AND JUNIOR RETAIL EDITOR Michiel Steur ADVERTISING ASSISTANT Manny Chadha CREATIVE SOLUTIONS DIRECTOR Kristen Lazaric CREATIVE SOLUTIONS ART DIRECTOR James Warner CREATIVE SOLUTIONS ART EDITOR Nick Paterson SENIOR CREATIVE SOLUTIONS MANAGER Alexandra Carter CREATIVE SOLUTIONS MANAGER Ottilie Chichester TALENT AND INNOVATION MANAGER Nicola Butler RETAIL EDITOR Holly Roberts EVENTS DIRECTOR Michelle Russell REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Karen Allgood JUNIOR DIGITAL DESIGNER Jeffrey Lee HEAD OF THE PARIS OFFICE Helena Kawalec PARIS OFFICE Florent Garlasco US ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Shannon Tolar Tchkotoua US ACCOUNT MANAGER Keryn Howarth ITALIAN OFFICE Daniela Conti, Valentina Donini CLASSIFIED DIRECTOR Shelagh Crofts CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER Emma Roxby CLASSIFIED SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE Harriet White CLASSIFIED SALES EXECUTIVES Casey Drabble, Selina Thai DEPUTY MARKETING AND RESEARCH DIRECTOR Gary Read ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL MARKETING Susie Brown SENIOR MARKETING EXECUTIVE Celeste Buckley SENIOR DATA MANAGER Tim Westcott SENIOR RESEARCH EXECUTIVE Claire Devonport CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Richard Kingerlee NEWSTRADE CIRCULATION MANAGER Elliott Spaulding MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS MANAGER Michelle Velan CREATIVE DESIGN MANAGER Anthea Denning

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Chairman, Condé Nast International

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Photographs Getty Images; Shaun James Cox/British Fashion Council

Power dressing (from top): Theresa May’s shoes at the 2015 Conservative Party conference in Manchester; David Cameron and Theresa May, 27 October 2009

TRY WALKING IN HER SHOES

t was the boots I noticed first, as they looked as though they belonged to another person entirely. Theresa May was perched precariously on a rickety chair in a primary school classroom somewhere on the outskirts of Birmingham, and frankly the only thing anyone was looking at was her gigantic pair of leopard-skin boots. They weren’t exactly knee-length – which would have been too much even for her – but they wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Milanese nightclub, on a Parisian catwalk, or indeed in the pages of Vogue. She was sitting quietly, watching David Cameron, her boss at the time, telling a bunch of teachers, county councillors and local dignitaries why they should vote for him at the next general election. This would have been about eight years ago, when Cameron was traversing the country on a regular basis, trying to drum up as much support as he could, building equity for his electoral fight with Gordon Brown in 2010. I would often see May at events like this, but unlike the rest of Cameron’s inner circle, she never appeared to be hankering for the limelight, never appeared to be putting herself between Cameron and a TV crew, rarely butting into public or private conversations. She would sit quietly (in her big boots), listening, watching, waiting perhaps to be asked her opinion. And if she was asked, she would respond. If she wasn’t, she wouldn’t sulk, or stand up and stride off to make a phone call, she’d just quietly get on with her business. Yes, of course there was always a fancy pair of dominatrix-style shoes in the room to distract you, but then I would imagine that’s one of the reasons she wore them (maybe the principal reason she wore them). She wanted her shoes to speak for herself so she didn’t have to. At the time I remember thinking that she may have been a bit of a makeweight, or at least considered as much by her peers (and perhaps by her boss). In fact, during the four-year period in which I was close to the Tory Party, May was often the one who was demonised in conversations, not in a sexist way at all, but at the time she didn’t appear to be taken as seriously as some of the other, more prominent members of Cameron’s team. She was also rubbished on a regular basis by the press, and I remember one especially fierce piece by Matthew d’Ancona in the pages of GQ, an article which seemed to imply that not only was she not good enough to be home secretary, but that she was lucky to be an elected MP in the first place. Ouch.

The politics of style (from left): Peter Pilotto, Christopher de Vos, Mary Katrantzou, Theresa May, Natalie Massenet, Christopher Bailey, Sophia Webster and Nicholas Kirkwood at a British fashion reception in Ten Downing Street, 16 September 2016

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 33


Cover: Coat by Coach, from £1,750. uk.coach.com. T-shirt by Made Worn, £120. madeworn.com. Photograph by Matthew Brookes

Dylan Jones, Editor 34 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Follow us @britishgq @dylanjonesgq

this month on

US Election: Clinton vs Trump Read the sharpest commentary on the US election and beyond from Michael Wolf, Matthew d’Ancona, Andy Coulson, Alastair Campbell and Rupert Myers. Hear how Clinton voters, Trump supporters and non-voters feel with our vox pop interviews from Nashville and Nevada. Visit GQ.co.uk/USelection

Facebook Live Get up close with sports stars such as Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs and Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerin. This month we interview F1’s Jenson Button, England rugby’s Jonathan Joseph and world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Search Facebook Live on GQ.co.uk

Christmas gift guide Buying for a menswearminded man this Christmas? From shoes to shirts to books, there are some spot-on suggestions for Christmas at GQ.co.uk

The Guyliner GQ.co.uk’s Sex And Relationships columnist shows you how to smell good all the time, approach girls in bars, deal with rejection, be attractive, and know if you’re good in bed. Get a refresher at GQ.co.uk/guyliner

Ten coolest things in the world every week We reveal the classiest classic car, the most stylish watch, the fastest private jet, the most luxurious superyacht money can buy... Get your credit card ready at GQ.co.uk/10coolest

Photographs Getty Images; Indigital; Zuma Press, Inc/Alamy

Like everyone in the country – including those who should know, and a fair number of people who would profess to knowing better – I have no idea how successful our new prime minister’s attempts to disentangle Britain from Europe are going to be. But what I do know is that as far as I’m concerned, it will be good to have a PM who is not desperate to be on breakfast television, who won’t be clamouring for airtime, and who appears to want to spend more time in her office rather than other people’s. Unlike Tony Blair, Gordon Brown ‘It will be good to or indeed David Cameron, it doesn’t look as have a PM who is though she’s searching for the camera not desperate to whenever she’s interviewed by someone be on breakfast holding nothing but a pen. Of course, when she was home secretary she was responsible television, who for some fundamental mistakes on appears to want immigration, and so far has been rather to spend more heavy-handed in her attempts to articulate time in her oice her government’s recently acquired rather than understanding of what it means to be a working citizen in this country; but I think other people’s’ it is necessary now for us all to cut her some slack and let her get on with it. For a while, at least. A few months ago, May hosted her first reception at Downing Street for the British fashion industry, an event that traditionally takes place twice a year, and which is attended by fashion designers, industry figures, newspaper and magazine editors and the like. Samantha Cameron was always a significant supporter of the industry (which continues to contribute more to the country’s GDP than the car industry), as was Sarah Brown before her, and it’s instructive that May has decided to follow in their footsteps. It’s also telling that Mrs Cameron was not only invited to the event at Number Ten, but also turned up, which says a lot about both women. Theresa May is a fundamentally shy person, yet she not only made a pitch-perfect speech in front of a Brexitsensitive (and quite possibly suspicious) crowd, but chose to embrace the opportunity to espouse the growing importance of an industry that was so closely associated with the wife of her predecessor. There is such a lot of noise at the moment surrounding the PM’s apparent disinterest in remaining on good terms with David Cameron, one wonders what, if anything, is going on here. Taken at face value, this move was nothing but classy. At the time, the job looked as though it had taken a toll on her. Whereas David Cameron always looked rather bluff about being the prime minister, and appeared to carry the role lightly (even when he didn’t), Theresa May looks as though she is carrying a heavier load. When I asked her how it was going, she looked a little weary and said, almost in a whisper, “Well, it’s different.”


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Contributors

Danielle BENNISON-BROWN This has been a great month for GQ Video. “Two Whiskies With...” – in collaboration with Haig Club and starring David Beckham – won two Lovie Awards, and we worked with James Corden for our series “Celebrities Explain Complicated Things”. “In a short time, GQ Video has established itself as a must-visit channel,” says Group Director Of Video Content Danielle Bennison-Brown.

Guto HARRI

Dolly ALDERTON

Former BBC chief political correspondent and one-time lieutenant to Boris Johnson at City Hall, Guto Harri watched the EU referendum in despair, but thinks his old boss might yet make a decent job of it. “Johnson delivered the vote, but bottled Brexit when he could have been prime minister. Yet Brexit also showed Boris at his best,” says Harri, who weighs up the pros and cons of the new foreign secretary in this month’s “Foreword”.

As GQ’s Michael Wolff considers the generation gap between himself and millennials, we give Sunday Times Style columnist Dolly Alderton the right of reply. “Because of the way modern life has developed, we’re less connected to each other, to the earth, to a sense of something greater,” she says. “This can be mistakenly reduced to: millennials are self-obsessed and won’t stop looking at their phones.”

Photographs Mary McCartney; Josh Redman; Rex; David Yeo

AA GILL This month on GQ.co.uk, AA Gill mulls over how, like a fine malt whisky, the best Hollywood actors get better with age. “Most young actors are so terribly bad at acting,” says Gill. “Acting has boy-band bubblegum disposability. They simply walk on, take their shirts off, smile and vanish. On the other hand, lots of older actors have talent.”

Nick CARVELL Innovative London-born designer Craig Green is this year’s winner of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund. Associate Style Editor Nick Carvell interviewed him. “Green has begun a tailoring revolution,” says Carvell, “proving that the more relaxed cuts of his streetwear can be just as precise and covetable as a bespoke British suit.”

Stella McCARTNEY After 15 years as one of the world’s most celebrated womenswear designers, Stella McCartney launches her first menswear collection this month. And if McCartney’s collaboration with Adidas for Team GB’s Olympic kit is anything to go by, we’ve got much to look forward to. “The McCartney man has inspired so much of what I do from day one,” she says. “I want him to feel as comfortable with Stella as our woman does.” Her menswear line is modelled in this issue by LA artist Alex Israel. DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 41


NOT YOUR AVERAGE BOJO Boris Johnson may be gifted, intelligent and charismatic, but can he ever be a serious statesman? Following the new foreign secretary’s shock return to government after a humiliating Brexit retreat, his former comms director at London’s City Hall says this is the blond bombshell’s last shot at greatness – and the stakes for Britain could not be higher STORY BY

Photograph Getty Images

 W

hat would you do if you were standing on the 100metre Olympic track in the Bird’s Nest stadium, where the world record had been smashed a few days before? Boris Johnson had the same thought. Even in a suit and shiny shoes, the urge to chase the ghost of Usain Bolt down those lanes was pretty strong. But this was a sober moment. Late August 2008. I was chaperoning the new mayor of London to the critical rehearsal of the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games. Scary Chinese soldiers were watching, as were diplomats, protocol experts and state choreographers. “Hey,” says the blond. “That’s where Bolt set a new...” “I know.” “You. Me. Now.” “Don’t be silly.” “Why not?” And off he went, the tighthead prop who captained Eton (so he claimed) accelerated fast. I beat him in the last ten metres, which I’ve never been forgiven for, but we both laughed and I’ll never forget that moment. It was curious behaviour for a senior politician, but the most natural response in the world as a human being. Boris’ role that day was to accept the Olympic flag and wave it in a preordained pattern to signify it was London’s turn next. He did so in front of a global audience of around three billion people without a flicker of stage fright. He didn’t even bother changing his shirt after slurping a bowl of noodles. The British team cheered him loudly. Critics, however, complained that his jacket wasn’t buttoned up. His predecessor as mayor,

Guto Harri

Ken Livingstone, led the charge that Boris had embarrassed the UK and offended his hosts. So when we headed back to Beijing to close the Paralympics, the protruding Boris belly came into sharp focus. The first time might have been a gaffe. If he did it again it was deliberate. That’s why, I guess, en route to his second round of flag waving, the now infamous mayor was escorted to a private room in the stadium to meet China’s communist leaders. We’d often joked about the English interrogatives – particularly prominent in the training of journalists – that echo the names of many in the Politburo. Who, when, how and why.

Power Games: Boris Johnson flew in the face of diplomatic propriety during the Beijing Olympics

Well, Hu, Wen, Hao and Wai, anyway, and here he was face to face with some of them. They were very clear. They’d like him to button up. Eyeballing some of the most powerful and menacing men in the world, Boris politely explained that in our tradition we respect the individual and as an individual he had never closed his jacket and would not do so now. He strode again onto the global stage with shirt and tie in full view and jacket blowing in the breeze. Some will cite this as evidence that Alexander

Boris de Pfeffel Johnson will be a liability as foreign and commonwealth secretary, too careless, cavalier or crass to be our face and voice in the world. Some of the more pompous commentators have even questioned his intellect. But pity the first “double-first” bureaucrat to patronise him. Any attempted put-down will prompt a merciless riposte. Here is a scholar of Latin and Ancient Greek who could challenge the EU’s Alternative Investment directive in fluent French. He’s not bad in Italian, has useful phrases in German and set out to master Mandarin as a new year’s resolution a couple of years ago. Memorising The Iliad in Homer’s mother tongue was his 2012 target – in addition to gaining re-election and hosting the Olympics. John Kerry wisely paid tribute to his intellect when the US secretary of state shared a stage with Boris in July. Only a foolish man would underestimate him in that department. But after the referendum roller-coaster has he not fatally undermined his integrity? Kerry and Johnson’s joint press conference was a painful parade of ill-judged moments from his previous life, from that image on the zip wire to what he acknowledges was a “thesaurus” of questionable comments. The US press corp had a field day. I was appalled when Boris claimed that Barack Obama’s view on Brexit was motivated by an anticolonialism passed down through the blood of his Kenyan ancestors. Ditto the suggestion that a bust of Winston Churchill was moved from the Oval Office for similar reasons. It was crass, stupid and backfired spectacularly when Obama explained the bust was still in his official residence, but as the first black president thought it was appropriate to put a bust of Martin Luther King in his place of work. DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 45


There’ll be a frisson, too, when he next meets Hillary Clinton, having said she looks like a “sadistic nurse in a mental hospital”. I’m sure I’m not the only one who found it amusing and disturbingly resonant, but was it wise? hat’s not in doubt is that Boris has a formidable knack for having his finger on the pulse and cutting to the chase. He reads people as quickly and thoroughly as he devours books, a man of great instinct, empathy and political courage who most end up liking and respecting. Michael Bloomberg wasn’t impressed at their first encounter. The then-mayor of New York showed up for breakfast on my first day working for Boris at City Hall. He talked such sense that Boris began taking notes. Then he produced as a gift a beautiful Tiffany crystal “big apple”. No one had anticipated this so Boris improvised, grabbing a T-shirt bearing the London Tube map and handing it over in its plastic bag. It was left behind. Embarrassing, no doubt, but ultimately endearing. The two mayors developed an excellent working relationship and campaigned together in defence of financial services when the world was queuing up to lynch bankers. It wasn’t a popular stance – but as custodians of the capitals of finance they did the right thing. Then there was Arnie, rocking up at the glass testicle (as London’s City Hall is often referred to), unnervingly well-briefed on our environmental policies and eager to try a “Boris” bike. The small talk kicked off in German, briefly dwelled on “push-ups” and then zoomed in on politics in Schwarzenegger’s former patch: “Who’s the governor of California now?” “Jerry Brown.” “Wasn’t he the governor before?” asked Boris, pretty sure of the answer. “Yes, err... He came back.” Time slowed down. “Do you think you might, err...” We all clicked where this was heading. A brief pause, smile and the Terminator delivered: “Of course I’ll be back. I invented the line.” So in a world of pomp and protocol, our new foreign secretary could thrive, providing the one date in a packed diary his counterparts will genuinely look forward to, the one delicate meeting that will be memorable, and not because the ball was dropped. As the Chinese discovered, Boris has a view of the world and a macro moral compass that’s not easily compromised. Livingstone admired China, but Boris would never be an apologist for a authoritarian regime. His criticism of Ken’s curious relationship with Hugo Chávez was as heartfelt as it was funny: “It’s Caracas.”

 W

46 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

He did briefly suck up to Sepp Blatter when practically ordered to do so as part of England’s pitch for the World Cup. But he hated it. Fifa’s deposed president first came to City Hall at the height of his powers, projecting a revolting and seedy arrogance. “Usually, when I visit people, there are girls,” he said. “Que?” “Girls, you know?” I think we all knew. “So let me introduce my private secretary...” “No, girls.” Just in case we missed it, the custodian of the “beautiful” game then gave us an eerie insight into his life: “What is the point of having power if you don’t wield it?” Who knows if our refusal to cater to Blatter’s expectations played a part in the miserable failure of the mission to bring the World Cup to England in 2018. When the votes were counted in Zurich six years ago, England had secured just two of them, including that of its own association. Our only revenge was to have him kicked out of the Dorchester, where

The PM brought him back from the grave – now Lazarus has a lot to prove he’d set his heart on spending the London Olympics. He wasn’t exactly slumming it in a tent, but the creepy megalomaniac – for once – did not get his way. I should also mention Riley Bechtel, chairman of one of the largest engineering firms in the world. Back in 2010 they were upgrading the Jubilee line, or at least they were meant to be. Boris was fed up with failure and summoned the boss to his office. Mr Bechtel had no doubt been briefed that Boris was a clown, didn’t do detail, had never run anything and had a debilitating craving to be liked. In a nutshell, he got his arse kicked, and London eventually got the Tube line it deserved and was paying for. Diplomatic behaviour? Maybe not, but appropriate nevertheless. And I still have a stubborn ray of hope that Boris will deliver. He is not our top diplomat. He is the politician entrusted by our democratic system to hold the diplomatic service to account. Politics is about the principled application of power, not the mellifluous maintenance of relationships – whether we like, loathe, agree or differ wildly with the relevant partner.

Let the Ferrero Rocher brigade smooth the path, probe the policy and charm their counterparts. But let’s also have politicians with a sense of purpose, and an ambition beyond administration. The difficult question is whether Boris still has that. Most saw his stance on Brexit as opportunistic, his paralysis after the result as pathetic and his withdrawal from the leadership race he seemed destined to win as chaotic or cowardly. I know that to many who used to admire him there is no way back. Yet Brexit also showed Boris at his best. I disagreed intensely with his view and the cynical abuse of his charisma to exploit the anxiety and (in many cases) ignorance of the disaffected. But a clear majority were persuaded, largely by him. That’s why, I imagine, Theresa May wanted him in the tent – a Heineken politician reaching areas of modern Britain long alienated and distant to most members of the House of Commons. Do we really expect Sir Humphrey to sell the new settlement to the masses? Of course not. Nor should he. But someone needs to, and if it doesn’t work out we deserve to have a target for our resentment, people we can punish and kick out. The most valid criticism of Boris is that he trashed our most important relationship with the wider world then bottled the chance to put his vision into practice. How someone as weirdly unattractive as Michael Gove could take Boris out is a real mystery. Conspiracy theories fly, yet I’m equally open to the possibility that Boris was so personally crushed by the betrayal that the stuffing was knocked out of him. Either way I thought he was finished, as did he. Master of Balliol College, British ambassador to Washington or a long-awaited return to Have I Got News For You seemed the best he could hope for. A national treasure perhaps, but not a political force to be reckoned with. But May brought him back from the grave, and now Lazarus has a lot to prove. Many will want him to fail. Many more feel it’s inevitable, but this redoubtable force has been given a second chance and in many ways we all need it to work. I am far from convinced there’s a happy ending here, for us or for him. But for our sake and yours, try not to blow it, Boris. Guto Harri was communications director for the mayor of London from 2008 to 2012.

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Major league: Zoë Kravitz’s next two films see her star alongside James Franco and Eddie Redmayne

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RISING S TA R

SWEET CHILD O’ MINE

Photograph Daniel Jackson/Art+Commerce

Actor, model and musician Zoë Kravitz is the triple threat with talent to burn

talking of films... Go to this! here are some of the things on show at “star wars identities: the exhibition”: darth vader’s suit, an original r2d2, princess leia’s bikini and 200 other props, costumes and pieces of artwork. we’ll see you there. at london’s o2 arena from 18 november

There was a time when the most notable thing about Zoë Kravtiz was her father, Lenny. That seems like worlds ago. Whether it’s starring in capital-B Blockbusters (the insane and insanely brilliant Mad Max: Fury Road or the upcoming James Franco picture Kin) touring with her R&B band Lolawolf or simply being a face of Calvin Klein and Balenciaga, the 27-year-old has rapidly become one of the brightest new stars in the sky. As she told GQ, “You used to have to be a triple threat to make it in Hollywood” – and it seems it still helps (as does, one imagines, having such arresting looks). So remember: when your nephew demands a trip to this month’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, in which Kravitz stars alongside Eddie Redmayne, you’re not doing him a favour – he’s doing you one. CB DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 53


THE

BOOK CLUB

STEPHEN’S HAT TRICK From Blitz Kid basement clubs to couture ateliers, one designer’s head-strong vision knows no bounds...

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SCIENCE BIT

HOW would we react if aliens visited Earth? That’s the question posed by this month’s film Arrival (out on 11 November). But according to Aliens, a new book edited by Radio 4’s Jim Al-Khalili comprising 20 evidence-led essays on extraterrestrials by influential scientists, it’s not one we’ll have to answer any time soon. As Paul CW Davies writes: “How likely is it that there is at least one other planet with life among the 400 billion stars of the Milky Way galaxy? That’s what we would like to know. Because 400 billion is a dazzlingly large number, it makes the odds of life arising in that milieu seem high. But a moment’s thought reveals how poor human intuition is on this matter. Suppose life’s origins needs a specific sequence of ten rather critical and rather precise chemical reactions (surely an underestimate), and each one has a probability of occurring in the habitability window of, say, one in 100, then combined probability for all ten steps to occur is 100 billion billion to one against. In that case the odds of a second planet with life within the Milky Way would be negligible.” CB Aliens (Picador, £8.99) is out now.

FOR Stephen Jones, one of the most influential milliners of our time, a good hat creates “an aura of presence”. But, he warns, it’s easy to get wrong. “A hat on a man is not about reinventing the wheel, it’s about subtlety,” says Jones. “It’s enough of a statement that a man is wearing a hat in the first place.” Jones has been in the industry for more than three decades, and in that time has worked with the likes of John Galliano, Tom Ford and Vivienne Westwood, designing lids for everyone from Mick Jagger (tiny trilbies) to Grayson Perry (little top hats) to Steve Strange (velvet pleated berets trimmed with pheasant feathers). These, and many more, are showcased in Jones’ new book, Stephen Jones: Souvenirs, out this month. The book charts Jones’ trajectory from tailor’s apprentice to master milliner through photographs and ephemera such as school reports and telegrams – much of which inspired his creations. For Jones, every aspect of life, every “souvenir”, can be made into a hat – “every conversation, a sandwich, a visit to the cinema,” he says. That’s not hyperbole: he once designed a whole collection based on a photograph of himself and his parents staring blankly at three turnips at a funfair vegetable competition. “It all gets thrown into the big pot,” says Jones, “and hats just pop out.” Stephen Jones: Souvenirs (Rizzoli, £95) by Susannah Frankel is out now. EH

The milliner’s tale (clockwise from top): Stephen Linard with Jones at the St Moritz Club, 1980; an illustration for Vogue of a Stephen Jones lace trilby; an early business card

STEPHEN JONES In this photograph from the Eighties, the milliner is seen wearing his favourite type of hat: the classic beret. “If I had to wear one hat for the rest of my life it would be my black knitted linen Japanese beret,” says Jones. His second favourite? The top hat.

BOY GEORGE Here, singer Boy George wears a Boudicca helmet commissioned to celebrate the marriage of Charles and Diana in 1981. Jones usually kitted him out in berets when they frequented London’s Blitz club. “I was making berets for Boy George and Princess Diana at the same time,” says Jones.

54 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

STEVE STRANGE Of all the Blitz Kids for whom Jones made hats, he says Steve Strange was “the most important”. Here he sports a stitched tafeta toque. Strange was Jones’ first paying client and introduced him to Covent Garden’s PX boutique. Within a year of leaving college, Jones had his first salon in its basement.


AND THE ‘SEPARATED AT BIRTH’ AWARD GOES TO... NO, it’s not just you: Tom Ford has also noticed that Isla Fisher and Amy Adams look alike. In his new film, Nocturnal Animals (out now), about a woman whose ex-husband writes a thriller based on their relationship, Fisher plays the “fictional” version of Adams’ character. Of their resemblance, Adams once said, “I get it, but I don’t get it.” So how similar are they? We fed their portraits into the image comparison algorithm at pictriev.com. You know, for science.

AMY ADAMS

more of a city guy? designed by teddy luong, the fishhotel aquarium recalls le corbusier in its geometric modernism and can be stacked to create a “skyscraper”. fish not included. £45. umbra.com THE

DESIGN U P D AT E

SPLENDOUR IN THE GLASS

Photographs Alamy; Getty Images; LMK; Robin Beeche Black Eye Gallery; Slow Loris; Graham Smith; Stephen Jones Archive; Tony Viramontes

Newsflash! Artistic aquariums have become an interior design fixation HERE’S a trend we wouldn’t have predicted (then again, in the year of Brexit, we’ve learned to disregard predictability) – designers are turning their eyes to fish tanks and producing creative takes that are becoming a bachelor-pad trope. Our favourite recent edition is this award-winning piece (above) by the company Aruliden, with its textured glass landscape. Blown by hand, each of these 2.5-gallon pieces is unique. Don’t want the piscatorial responsibilities? Fill it with plant life instead – behold, an equally on-trend terrarium. £293. aruliden.myshopify.com

GQ

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

RESULT

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THE SAME

ISLA FISHER

into

into

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THE BREEDERS?

BJÖRK?

YEAH YEAH YEAHS?

JAMES BLAKE?

DAFT PUNK?

try

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HONEYBLOOD

TANYA TAGAQ

SLEIGH BELLS

JUSTICE

Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myers are Glaswegians who make indie rock with killer melodies. Their second record is exuberant and defiant in equal measure.

Probably the best album featuring a traditional Inuit throat singer covering Nirvana that you’re likely to hear this year.

A New York duo whose mesmeric singer, Alexis Krauss, stubs her problems out under her heel to guitarist Derek Miller’s full-fat rifs.

DANIEL WOOLHOUSE

Babes Never Die is out now.

Retribution is out now.

Jessica Rabbit is out on 11 November.

The artist formerly known as Deptford Goth returns under his own name with an album of gorgeous piano- led R&B. What’s That Sound? is now.

French electronic titans Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay have their disco shoes on for their funkiest outing yet. Kevin E Perry Woman is out on 18 November.

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 55


real watches for real people

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Automatic mechanical movement Unidirectional revolving bezel Top ring with black aluminium inlay Water resistant to 10 bar/100 m

www.oris.ch


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ARTIST TO

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SOUL POWER

Photograph Carmen Daneshmandi

Gallant’s smooth vocals and futuristic R&B have won him friends in high places ONSTAGE at London’s Roundhouse in September, Sir Elton John paused his headline set to introduce a special guest. “When I hear his voice, I just lose it,” he announced. “It’s an astonishing instrument. He’s a great writer and a great artist.” Waiting in the wings, 24year-old Christopher Gallant – who has taken his surname as a mononym – was close to losing it himself. “It was surreal,” he says over breakfast in Maidstone, Kent, where he’s due to film an appearance on Later... With Jools Holland. “Elton is such an inspiring guy for so many different reasons, so to come and duet on my song ‘Weight In Gold’ and then do ‘Bennie And The Jets’ with him was completely beyond me.” John had fallen for the Washington DC-born, LA-based singer’s debut studio album Ology while looking for tracks to play on his Beats 1 radio show, but for a while Gallant didn’t think his record would ever get made. “I was trying to make it in New York and doing a lot of stuff that didn’t work out,” he says. “It was seeing the industry there and deciding I didn’t want to be a part of it that prompted me to move to LA and dig deeper lyrically.” What he came up with in the Californian sunshine was silky, retro-futuristic R&B that’s been compared to D’Angelo. “That’s way too generous!” he says. “He’s incredible. I’m so inspired by people like him who refuse to conform to any kind of category.” Kevin Perry Gallant’s single “Weight In Gold” is out on 25 November.

talking of music... What the hell is J-rap?

as k-pop’s “k” is to korea, so j-rap’s “j” is to japan. the genre has been flourishing in its homeland but it is starting to gain traction elsewhere. our pick of the current standouts? issugi from monju. don’t ask, just stream...

The voice: Gallant has earned comparisons with D’Angelo following the release of his debut album Ology

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 57


© 2016 TUMI, INC.

211 REGENT STREET • WESTFIELD SHEPHERDS BUSH • LONDON CITY AIRPORT CASE • HARRODS • SELFRIDGES • TUMI.COM/19DEGREE


‘LET’S START A WAR’ (2016) Salgado had had enough of painting “pretty white boys” and so decided to paint this young Muslim gay man. The portrait, superimposed with flowers and images of the Klu Klux Klan, is, of course, ironic. Nevertheless, Salgado received hate mail.

500 number of live butterflies at salgado's show. sponsor one to benefit orlando victims.

PORTRAITS, RE-SKINNED

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ARTIST TO

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In his new exhibition in London, Andrew Salgado paints a provocative picture of a world where change is not always for the better

an

WHEN Canadian figurative painter Andrew Salgado fell victim to a vicious hate crime in 2008 for being gay – an attack so violent he lost his teeth – his art changed. He went from painting directionless pleasantries, vacant looking men and women in pleasing colours to complex, darker works fuelled by injustice. His output has sustained this unsettling streak ever since, and to wide critical acclaim; Saatchi hailed him as “one to invest in now”. “I want to make beautiful Th things ugly through texture, to confuse and scare people,” eb ol says the 33-year-old, whose portraits are cruddy with d thick paint resembling wads of scar tissue. More recently, in reaction to Brexit, Donald Trump and the Orlando nightclub massacre, the unease in Salgado’s paintings has increased. His forthcoming exhibition, The Snake, is, in part, a social commentary. “Art has a responsibility to raise awareness,” says Salgado. “The serpent is the personification of evil.” Not that serpents appear literally at any point in the show. Instead, they slither across each painting in smears of lurid green, insidious and invisible. EH The Snake is at Beers London from 11 November to 17 December. 1 Baldwin Street, London EC1. andrewsalgado.com d

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Photographs Damian Griffiths, courtesy of Beers London

‘ECHO CHAMBER’ (2016) Upon finishing his painting of Tilda Swinton’s partner, Sandro Kopp, Salgado decided the colours were too bright and so proceeded to add a layer of muddy grey film over the whole work. “It’s like a layer of dirt. I wanted it to look gross and grotty,” says Salgado.

‘SOUND AND VISION’ (2016) David Bowie’s death came as a significant blow to Salgado, as the musical icon was the first of his personal heroes to die. “It made me think about mortality,” says the artist, who painted Bowie as a clown for his previous exhibition, The Fool Makes A Joke At Midnight, held in New York earlier this year. DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 59


hugoboss.com


MAN OF TODAY BOSS BOTTLED INTENSE THE NEW EAU DE PARFUM

#MANOFTODAY


Signature moves: Alan Partridge’s new book charts his classic adventure... from Norfolk to Kent

GQ INTEL steve coogan returns to the big screen next year in an adaptation of hit 2012 book the dinner.

his elderly mother, who was in The Golden Girls or Cocoon, or both, or neither. She gets in the way and he becomes increasingly irritated, but together they crack a crime and it all ends well. It’s staggeringly funny. What was the best anecdote that didn’t end up in the book?

Bumping into the guy from Grand Designs at a go-karting centre and having a chat. (Boring when written down.) When you’re not working, how do you like to relax?

I head to the weekly Saturday morning bring-and-buy sale at St Luke’s Church Hall in Beccles. It’s a magnet for people who like to buy chipped crockery, knackered board games and the shoes of dead people. I tend to go down there whenever I want to take my mind off the pressures of work. I fill the boot with tat from my local Mencap store, then sell it for twice what I paid for it. I absolutely rinse them. You’re supposed to give ten per cent of all your profits to the church’s Africa appeal, but I prefer to give it to my own favourite charity, The National Trust. Chapter 28 is about your ex-girlfriend. Has she been in touch since the book came out? THE

BOOK IN

TERVIEW

ALAN PARTRIDGE BOUNCES BACK (AGAIN)

The Norfolk legend has donned a windbreaker and undertaken a personal odyssey: a walk from Norwich to Dungeness A power station. It forms the subject of his epic new book, Alan Partridge: Nomad. We tracked down the man himself... GQ: You didn’t succeed in having the walk made into a TV series. Was it tough to secure the publishing deal? Alan Partridge: In hindsight, this walk was

never suited to television. I discovered that the physical exertion of rambling makes me go puce red. I’d never realised! (An exgirlfriend had told me that I go red during sex, but I’d assumed she was just getting her own back on me because I’d said she had differentsized feet.) No, this walk was always destined

THE

HAIR TREND

From Lionel Messi to Lucky Blue Smith, fashion-minded men have been stripping the colour out of their hair to go platinum, silver or, yes, green (check Frank Ocean’s recent album cover). If you’re planning on following suit, tread carefully. We asked hair aficionado Tim Pateman from London’s The Lion & The Fox salon for advice.

for print. And so on completion I dangled it under the hungry noses of the publishing industry and waited for a bite, incrementally lowering my price once a week for 18 weeks, until the book was snapped up by a publishing house I had definitely heard of.

Steady on. Do I ask you personal questions? Because I could. Where did you get those shoes? Have you ever done a wee in the shower? Do you have eczema? Why do your eyes look sad when you smile? Not nice, is it? Right, ask me another question. What was your fondest memory from the book launch?

That’s better. The finger food. Where did you get your shoes, by the way? They’re superb. What’s your next project?

I’ll often loosen up by watching a movie, typically Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sylvester Stallone plays a cop and for some reason he ends up being followed around by

I’m still trying to sell Dogs On Fogle to a UK broadcaster. Simple idea: Ben Fogle is given a one-mile head start and pursued by hunting dogs. He has the option of wearing a heavily padded suit. It will protect him, but it will slow him down. So, you see, it’s very strategic. Ben texted me to say he’s getting cold feet about the idea, but he always does this. I think it’s a bargaining tactic. CB Alan Partridge: Nomad (Trapeze, £20) is out now.

No lie: it’s gonna hurt

Treat it right

Maintain the colour

Style up

Bleaching all the way down to the scalp is painful. “The darker the hair the more tones you have to strip out, so to remove pigmentation can take two or three applications,” says Pateman. “It’s very harsh. We’ve had guys in who are really surprised by how much it hurts.”

“There’s an Olaplex treatment that you put into the bleach which helps the structure,” says Pateman. “Afterwards, try to stay away from the shampoo. You won’t feel like you need to wash it as often. In fact, you’ll come to like it when it gets a bit greasy as it helps it to feel like hair again.”

“Choose a shampoo and conditioner to keep the tone correct,” says Pateman. “If you’ve gone platinum blond then there’s a silver shampoo that allows you to stay on the white side, instead of going yellow. However, you’d only use that once a week with a normal protein shampoo the rest of the time.”

“We’ve found that Davines oil is brilliant,” says Pateman. “It doesn’t overload the hair; it almost absorbs in. With a short haircut, you’re going to put the oil in then use a matt wax, such as Bumble And Bumble Sumotech, to cut down on shine.” CB The Lion & The Fox, 28 Hatton Wall, London EC1. thelionandthefox.com

Do you have rituals that help you to write?

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 63


DAVID DUGGAN • CHURCH’S • CROCKETT & JONES • FREDERIC MALLE • KWANPEN


THE

POWER

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LONDON

Mezze eater: Yosma’s Turkish menu is among the current vogues

SCENE

But the best example is: Le Bab. Combining beak-to-claw with another trend – upscale kebabs – it serves chicken liver parfait on a lokma doughnut with peanuts and a molasses glaze. Worth crossing the road for. Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, W1. eatlebab.com

But the best example is: Smoking Goat. Its kitchen serves up smoked shoulders with Thai herbs, set off nicely by a green papaya salad. Though it’s so big you only need a kair lime and lemongrass soda as accompaniment. 7 Denmark Street, WC2. smokinggoatsoho.com

But the best example is: Yosma. A “meyhane” that opened its doors this autumn, it transports you to Istanbul. Cocktails are blended from raki, while food comes charred from the mangal grill in dishes like lamb rump with oak-fired aubergine. 50 Baker Street, W1. yosma.london

But the best example is: Caravan. It has just launched a new branch at Bankside, and with it a brand new cocktail list, many of its drinks deriving ingredients from the garden at its older King’s Cross venue. 30 Great Guildford Street, SE1. caravanrestaurants.co.uk

Why we hate it: It’s as off-putting as no-bookings restaurants. Call us old-fashioned, but a starter, main and dessert washed down with good wine maketh a meal, not a sad, single plate of one specific dish done five different ways. Time to move on. Nicky Clarke

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Where to find it: Everywhere, seemingly. Recent new openings include Borough Market’s Padella, which only serves pasta, and Tooting’s Belpassi Bros, which boasts an entire menu of meatballs. Meanwhile, Soho is getting ready to play host to Pickle & Toast (you can work that one out). Only, the latter has already been done at Melt Room – just down the road on Noel Street and just as silly.

he po w is t

Where to find it: Sustainability has seeped into the bar business, and with it a push towards locally-reared cocktail ingredients. In Clapham, The Manor sources supplies from the roof of sister restaurant The Dairy – check out its Barley Legal concoction – or there’s The Culpeper in Shoreditch – named after the historic English herbalist – with a rooftop garden and adjoining bar to showcase the proximity of its produce.

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Where to find it: High in protein, low in fat and now big business thanks to a winning dish on Great British Menu, goat is au courant. Following the monthlong celebration of “Goatober” at the ETM group of London gastropubs, you can tuck into a whole rack from Little Smoke in Islington, enjoy shoulder as a pizza topping at Homeslice (Shoreditch, Fitzrovia and Covent Garden), or try it in a methi keema at Gymkhana in Mayfair.

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Where to find it: Poultry’s answer to nose-to-tail all began at the Michelin-starred Clove Club in Shoreditch, which serves crispy chicken feet. The gamble paid off and the idea has spread. Check out the chicken livers at Legs in Hackney, stir-fried chicken hearts at Soho’s Hoppers or a deep-fried carcass with Sichuan rub at Chinese Laundry in Islington. For the less adventurous, there’s Hen on Upper Street for chicken-skin mayo.

o t • ta b l

The trend that needs to die: One-dish restaurants

e

Where to find it: Ask any Londoner where it is that they go for Turkish food and they’ll tell you Efes: the threepronged group, which has served mezze and more since 1975. But a new wave of like-minded restaurateurs have been threatening to steal its crown of late, from Hakkasan founder Alan Yau with his Turkish pizzas at Babaji Pide on Shaftesbury Avenue to ex-Kopapa chef Selin Kiazim’s debut venture Oklava in Shoreditch.

The trend: Grow-your-own cocktails

t he pow

The trend: Turkish delights

is

The trend: Gorge on goat

11

The trend: Beak-to-claw

sp

As the capital’s dining culture has matured, it has become increasingly trend-driven. So what’s hot (and not) in the country’s culinary epicentre?

r

FOOD FADS TAKING OVER THE TOWN

WAR reporters are a garrulous bunch. Not necessarily clubbable in the traditional sense, but invariably social, as they have a compulsion to share what they have seen. When abroad, this takes place in the kind of expat hotels familiar to Graham Greene readers; in London, their redoubt is The Frontline Club. This spiritual home for the far-flung and the liminal – Julian Assange stayed here – hosts events that champion independent journalism, supported by the proceeds of its public restaurant, The Frontline. The recently refurbished, 50-seat venue serves British cuisine, from Norfolk lamb to Eton mess, prepared inventively by Le Caprice-trained chef John Edwards. The room is an equal draw, with windows that flood the place with light. It’s far from a warzone, but, catch a snippet of the chatter around you, not that far. CB 13 Norfolk Place, W2. frontlineclub.com

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 65


DRAWN OUT AFFAIR

THE

TREND

Coat by Salvatore Ferragamo, £6,240. ferragamo.com

REPORT

FOR a coat to qualify as a “duffle” was once a fairly prescriptive matter. It had to be made of the hard-wearing wool found in the Belgian town of Duffel; it had to be lined with a tartan; and, most importantly, it had to be accessorised with a copy of No Logo. As you can see from the ones on show here, things have changed. It has found wide favour with the fashion world this winter, with a raft of designers turning out stylish takes that update the fabric, pattern – in fact almost everything apart from the toggles. Finally, the student staple has graduated. CB

A standout fixture of the New Yorker is Richard McGuire’s unmistakable line cartoons that cleverly tell a short story without text. Sequential Drawings (out now, Penguin, £20), collects the best – here’s an exclusive extract.

1

2

3

A WORD ABOUT SHEARLING

4

it’s no accident that this coat uses the fabric. made from the hide of a sheep, shearling is currently a street-style favourite. while it was once used solely as lining, it is creeping more and more to the outside, hence the detailing here.

5

DUFFLE COATS LEVEL UP

6

Weather the winter chill with this much-maligned staple, now the subject of a fashion-led overhaul 7

Coat by Albam Clothing, £399. albamclothing.com

66 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Coat by YSL, £1,520. ysl.com

Coat by Gloverall, £425. gloverall.com

9

Photographs Nicholas Kay

8


HERMÈS BY NATURE


MOVIE TREND

FACING THE ROTH OF HOLLYWOOD Exploring the intricacies of Jewish-American identity, Philip Roth’s novels are often considered impossible to film. But that hasn’t stopped directors from trying. On the occasion of this autumn’s double whammy, American Pastoral (out 11 November) and Indignation (out now), a brief history of Roth’s troubled relationship with the big screen... plot

why it doesn’t work

from the critics

Ageing academic Ben Kingsley falls for enchanting student Penélope Cruz. Uh-oh.

It never captures the turbulence of Roth’s The Dying Animal, the novella on which it was based.

“The film is an overly polite take on a spiky, claustrophobic, insistently impolite novel.” New York Times

Fading actor Al Pacino recovers his mojo while romancing lesbian Greta Gerwig. Double uh-oh.

Humility is in short supply in Barry Levinson’s misfire and the age gap is a creepy 43 years.

ALMOST GOOD

film

ELEGY 2008

JUST AWFUL

THE HUMBLING 2014

FOR BUYING Comprising: 350 pieces of modern art from Britain and beyond, acquired by Bowie in, as he put it, an “addictive” fashion. Key piece: “Air Power” (right) by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1984) – estimated to sell for over £2.5 million. Why you should go: This is the first full display of Bowie’s collection. Bowie on art: “Art was, seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own. It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it.” Bowie/Collector is on view at Sotheby’s now. 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1. sothebys.com 68 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

“A sombre drama copulating with a farce.” San Francisco Weekly

THE HUMAN STAIN 2003

Shamed professor Anthony Hopkins shacks up with cleaner Nicole Kidman. Anyone spot a pattern here?

Welshman Hopkins plays – spoilers! – a black Jewish man. Right...

BATTLE OF BLOOD ISLAND 1960

Bickering US GIs Richard Devon and Ron Kennedy try to survive on a Japanese-held island.

Cheap battle scenes plus a meandering pace. In short: too much island, not enough blood.

“Eventually the Japanese soldiers figure there is no way to get out of the movie other than to kill themselves.” IMDB

First-time director and star Ewan McGregor bites off way more than he – or anyone else – can chew.

“One of the most perceptive novels of the 20th century becomes one of the most ill-conceived movies of the 21st.” IndieWire

AMERICAN PASTORAL 2016

A seemingly perfect small-town family is shattered by their daughter’s act of political violence.

PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT 1972

The sexual memoirs of prodigious masturbator Alexander Portnoy (Richard Benjamin).

Young Portnoy’s fantasies never take flight on-screen, feeling both tame and seedy.

THE ART/ROCK SMACKDOWN This month, the art collections of two musical titans go on show. But which is right for you? DAVID BOWIE

SIR ELTON JOHN

VS

“Neither Kidman nor Hopkins seems to know what movie they are in.” Washington Post

“An embarrassment for everyone involved.” TV Guide Matt Glasby

FOR VIEWING Comprising: Over 150 works by more than 60 modernist photographers, spanning the Twenties through to the Fifties. Key piece: “Glass Tears” (left) by Man Ray (1932). Why you should go: It’s one of the finest collections from that period in the world. Elton on the show: “Each of these photographs serves as inspiration for me in my life; they line the walls of my homes and I consider them precious gems.” The Radical Eye is at Tate Modern, 10 November – 7 May 2017. Bankside, London SE1. tate.org.uk

Photographs All Star; LMK; Rex; Sir Elton John Photography Collection; Sotheby’s

THE


HERMÈS BY NATURE


bring your ’a’ game no 24

THE GILET KNOT Over-long scarf? Bitterly cold day? Adopt this technique...

LOOK SHARP! We’ve long emphasised the importance of owning a single, expensive generalpurpose chef’s knife. But that’s just the first step. A beautifully-produced new book by award-winning food writer Tim Hayward celebrates the more marginal tools to add to your arsenal. Here are three you never knew you needed... Knife: The Culture, Craft And Cult Of The Cook’s Knife (Quadrille, £20) is out now.

1 Procure a scarf with some length to it. Drape it around your neck and make sure both ends are even.

Deba Country of origin: Japan Used for: Filleting, skinning, boning and slicing fish and meat Hayward says: “There’s nothing in the design calculated to minimise weight. Indeed, the heel end of the blade is used as a chopper when removing fish heads. The cook takes a ‘hammer’ grip on the handle and brings the very back end of the blade down hard on the bone – and usually goes through at a stroke.”

Turning knife Country of origin: France Used for: Vegetable peeling and carving Hayward says: “‘Turning’ is rapidly becoming one of the lost kitchen arts. The turning knife is designed, uniquely, to cut towards the hand. It is held curled in the fingers with the thumb used to push the vegetable on to the blade. The tip of the turning knife can also be used to cut even grooves in the cap of a mushroom to create champignons tournés.”

Meat axe 2 Cross the scarf neatly over your chest and around your sides.

Steel yourself: Cut to the quick with knives for every purpose

4 Add an overcoat. All the warmth of a gilet; all the style of an Italian.

THE INSTA CLASSICS

Happy-snap your Instagram feed by following the ’grammers behind this month’s three funniest posts.

How many more ways can Tom Hanks F*** up traveling somewhere

@ T H E FATJ E W I S H

70 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

@ F * * *J E R RY

@ S H I T H E A D ST E V E

Illustrations Dave Hopkins

3 If it’s long enough, tie the ends together. If not, simply tuck it into your trousers.

Country of origin: Sweden Used for: Chopping wood for the fire; cutting the meat you cook on that fire Hayward says: “I have seen several Scandinavian barbecue teams use the same axes they use to dress logs to cut up and serve the sheep they’ve been roasting. I’ve ground mine perhaps just a little sharper than is needed for wood splitting and use it whenever I roast large pieces of meat over open fires.”


JOIN THE MECHANICAL REVOLUTION DISCOVER #SISTEM51 IRONY


THE LAPS OF THE GODS How will this season compare to F1’s most nail-biting finishes? 1958, MOROCCO The contenders: Mike Hawthorn (Ferrari) vs Stirling Moss (Vanwall) Who beat the other? Moss Who won the championship? Hawthorn Time diference: 1min 24.7sec End-of-season points diference: One Race notes: Though Moss won the race, Hawthorn won more points overall.

1964, MEXICO The contenders: John Surtees (Ferrari) vs Graham Hill (BRM) vs Jim Clark (Lotus) Who beat the others? Surtees Who won the championship? Surtees Time diference: Two laps ahead of Hill End-of-season points diference: One Race notes: After Clark’s oil leaked, the season came down to Surtees and Hill.

+2 Laps

1981, LAS VEGAS The contenders: Nelson Piquet (Brabham) vs Carlos Reutemann (Williams) Who beat the other? Piquet Who won the championship? Piquet Time diference: One lap End-of-season points diference: One Race notes: Piquet vomited on himself due to heat exhaustion, but still triumphed.

1984, PORTUGAL The contenders: Niki Lauda (McLaren) vs Alain Prost (McLaren) Who beat the other? Prost Who won the championship? Lauda Time diference: 13.425sec End-of-season points diference: 0.5 Race notes: Closest ever championship finish, in terms of points.

+0 Laps

tes

nu Mi

+1

IT’S crunch time at Mercedes. Team-mates THE Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg look D ATA likely to both be in championship contention at Abu Dhabi, the final race of the Formula One season – but could 2016 rank as one of the closest points finishes in history? We analyse Formula One’s most dramatic all-time climaxes...

SPORTS

+2

Mi nu

+1 Laps

1986, AUSTRALIA The contenders: Nigel Mansell vs Nelson Piquet (Williams) vs Alain Prost (McLaren) Who beat the others? Prost Who won the championship? Prost Time diference: 4.205sec End-of-season points diference: Two Race notes: Mansell’s tyre blew up on lap 64, putting him out of contention.

THE

RUMOUR MILL BY ALEX WICKHAM

72 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

1999, JAPAN The contenders: Mika Häkkinen (McLaren) vs Eddie Irvine (Ferrari) Who beat the other? Häkkinen Who won the championship? Häkkinen Time diference: 1min 35.688sec End-of-season points diference: Two Race notes: Häkkinen needed to finish first to guarantee the championship.

The BBC are nervous about their relationship with Theresa May’s government – but now they have a spy in the ranks. Director general Tony Hall’s son, Will, is working for Tory MP Mims Davies in the culture department that oversees the Beeb. Does he report back to his father?

2007, BRAZIL The contenders: Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) vs Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) vs Fernando Alonso (McLaren) Who beat the others? Räikkönen Who won the championship? Räikkönen Time diference: 57.019sec (vs Alonso) End-of-season points diference: One Race notes: Closest three-driver finish.

Hard left campaign group Momentum has taken to airing films at its events made by the rapper Lowkey, who believes the US government are worse terrorists than suicide bombers and rants about Zionists in his songs. The perfect musical inspiration for budding Corbynistas.

2008, BRAZIL The contenders: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) vs Felipe Massa (Ferrari) Who beat the other? Massa Who won the championship? Hamilton Time diference: 38.907sec End-of-season points diference: One Race notes: If Massa won, Hamilton had to place fifth (he came fourth). Ailis Brennan

Labour’s Caroline Flint recently boasted in an open letter to her fellow MPs that she had “appeared on Question Time more than any other living politician”. Not even close. Caroline has been on 23 times, well short of Ken Clarke’s impressive record of 55 appearances.

The Lib Dems took Brexit so badly that they organised an unoicial boycott of Wetherspoons pubs after the owner backed Leave. But, as ever, they aren’t keeping their word. Staff at a Brighton ’Spoons say they were packed with amber drinkers during their party conference.

Photographs Action Images; Alamy; Camera Press; Getty Images; Rex

tes


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HOW WE LIVE PORTRAIT BY

Nick Wilson

Heroes of page, stage and pitch come into focus, as GQ’s online image king turns the lens on his own cultural canon

This month: ALFIE BALDWIN, Picture Editor, GQ.co.uk CULTURE On the nightstand: The David Foster Wallace Reader (above); Notes Of A Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski Looking forward to: My Struggle: Book Six by Karl Ove Knausgard Theatre: Death Of A Salesman at the Noël Coward Theatre, London WC2 Art: The Card Players by Paul Cézanne Place: Grosvenor Victoria Casino, W2 Albums: Nashville Skyline by Bob Dylan (below); Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams; Blunderbuss by Jack White Instagram: @gavinbondphotography; @matchroomboxing (below) Podcasts: Blacklisted; The Tuesday Club TV: Sunday Supplement; The South Bank Show; Match Of The Day Films: Casablanca; Rocky; On The Waterfront

GEAR Gadgets: iPad Pro Computer: MacBook Pro Phone: iPhone 6 Apps: Microsoft Word; Score Centre by Sky Sports Watch: Formula One Chronograph by TAG Heuer (below) Speakers: Sonos Play (above) Kitchen gadgets: KitchenAid; 4 Bar Espresso Cofee Maker Machine by VonShef Headphones: E700M by Onkyo (right)

STYLE AND GROOMING Jacket: Reiss (left) Wallet: Card holder by Bellroy (right) Sunglasses: Aviators by Ray-Ban (right) Fragrance: Paul Smith (left) Skincare: Clinique (right) Trainers: Lacoste (pictured); Air Max 95 by Nike (right) Shoes: Poste

74 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Photographs Josh Redman Grooming Jess Whitbread at S:Management With thanks to York Hall

STIMULATION To read: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara To read again: A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole To listen to: Take Me To The Alley by Gregory Porter Bar: The Four Sisters, N1 To drink: Guinness; Amaretto Sour at 69 Colebrooke Row, N1 (below); Elderflower Martini at The Elk In The Woods, N1 To eat: Sirloin steak at Hawksmoor, EC2 (below) Magazines: The New Yorker; Boxing News Gallery: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Views: Eifel Tower Restaurant, Las Vegas; Steephill Cove, Isle Of Wight Location: Crown Casino, Melbourne City: Fort William; Dubrovnik (above); Barcelona


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Of ice and fire: The Mercedes-AMG GT S, which boasts a 193mph top speed, beneath the snowy peaks of west Norway

WHERE THE

78 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


CARS

E D I T E D BY

PAUL HENDERSON

WILD THINGS ARE Following the fire-breathing SLS was always going to be a monster task for Mercedes-AMG. But, as GQ discovered deep in the Norwegian fjords, they have triumphed with the GT S – a gentle giant with the strength to move mountains STORY BY

Jason Barlow

PHOTOGRAPHS BY

Armand Attard

A GT has to make the right noises and Metallica couldn’t generate this much stereophonic thunder DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 79


OVERFINCH.COM 6]LYÄUJO PZ [OL ^VYSK»Z SLHKPUN JYLH[VY VM ILZWVRL 9HUNL 9V]LY ]LOPJSLZ -VY MV\Y KLJHKLZ 6]LYÄUJO OH]L ILLU LUOHUJPUN HUK YLKLÄUPUN [OL PJVUPJ 9HUNL 9V]LY JYLH[PUN [OL TVZ[ PUUV]H[P]L ILH\[PM\S HUK ZWLJ[HJ\SHY ]LOPJSLZ 6]LYÄUJO KLKPJH[L )YP[PZO JYHM[ZTHUZOPW [V [OL W\YZ\P[ VM WLYMLJ[PVU [V TLL[PUN [OL ILZWVRL YLX\PYLTLU[Z VM H NSVIHSJSPLU[LSL;OLYLZ\S[ZHYLHNYV\UKIYLHRPUNISLUKVM JHWHIPSP[`PUKP]PK\HSP[`HUKS\_\Y`


CARS ans of Monty Python will know all about the Norwegian Blue. However, for the benefit of millennial petrolheads, allow me to explain. This cult comedy sketch sees John Cleese complaining to pet-shop spiv Michael Palin that he has been sold a dead parrot. After much hilarious toing and froing (sorry, I can’t do the voices), Palin explains that the remarkable bird – with its beautiful plumage – hasn’t actually “kicked the bucket, shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible” as Cleese claimed. The reason for the Norwegian Blue’s apparent lack of life is down to one thing: he is pining for the fjords. Now, nearly 50 years after that surreal routine was first broadcast, I finally get the joke. And having spent three days driving around the most incredible strips of tarmac in Norway, I can tell you it really isn’t funny (despite all the Radio Times accolades). Pining for the fjords is a very real and truly terrible affliction. As is pining for the Mercedes-AMG GT S. Introduced by the Stuttgart-based carmaker in 2014 as the successor to (not a replacement for, Mercedes pointed out) the bombastic and bonkers

gull-winged SLS, the GT was conceived as a smaller, stripped-back sports car that would cost less than its big brother, deliver more driver excitement and be a full-on, full-fat muscle-car rival to the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Jaguar F-Type and the Audi R8. In other words, Mercedes-AMG set themselves a pretty high bar... But they have cleared it with Olympian ease. Developed entirely in-house, what the GT S lacks in brute force (the SLS packed a 6.3-litre supercar punch that delivered a 199mph top speed) it

F  

River run: The GT S glides around the Trollstigen Mountain Road in the Norwegian fjords

makes up for in on-road refinement, sleeker and sexier styling and, dare we say, practicality. Because to be a genuine GT, this car not only has to look the part, make the right noises (Metallica couldn’t generate this much stereophonic thunder) and handle like a Grand Theft Auto cheat code, it also needs to be usable. That means: all-day motoring comfort (tick). Desirable driving position (tick). Boot space (tick). And back seats (tick, if you are travelling with Peter Dinklage and, er, Sneezy).

The GT has proved so successful that next year Mercedes-AMG will be releasing a GTR version, a GT4 race car, and also a convertible GT Roadster. ENGINE 4.0-litre V8, 503bhp PERFORMANCE 0-62mph in 3.8secs; top speed, 193mph PRICE £110,500 CONTACT mercedes-benz.co.uk

Rebel yellow: LED headlights with three beam reflectors; (below right) The GT S’ stand-out style in action

The GT S would, quite simply, look good anywhere. But to get the most out of it, you need to really be somewhere, and few places on earth have roads that can compete with Norway’s. From the snow-capped peaks and the stunning switchbacks of the Trollstigen Mountain Road (aka The Troll’s Pass), through to the spectacular curved bridges of the coastal Atlantic Road, if ever there was a country worthy of automotive exploration it is this one. GQ’s advice would be to aim for late May/early June, when all of the roads have reopened after winter and daylight stretches out for close to 20 hours. DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 81


CARS

That’s the good news. The bad news is that although there aren’t a great number of safety enforcement cameras in the country, speeding and general traffic offences are subject to extremely heavy on-the-spot fines. The Top Gear production team were so concerned about the risks of blowing their budget on driving penalties that they cancelled filming in the country (which was a shame, because paying pointless fines would have been a better use of licence payers’ money than the decision to hire Chris Evans as the presenter of the show in the first place). The other danger with driving in Norway is that the weather conditions

Mercedes-AMG set a pretty high bar and cleared it with Olympian ease

Gravity’s rainbow (clockwise from above): The GT S climbs Norway’s Eagle Road; parked in the grounds of the Juvet Hotel; its 503bhp, 4.0-litre V8 engine

THE ZENOS WAY NEVER underestimate the ingenuity and determination of the British sports car industry. Or its desire to boldly go where many have gone before, only to end up burned or broke. Sometimes, though, it works. At BAC, the Briggs brothers’ Mono is as single-minded and stimulating as it sounds. And now another feisty 82 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

can be hazardously unpredictable. Driving rain, blizzards and snowstorms can hit at any time. Freezing fog and ice can make the roads treacherous. Even in a car as well-balanced and as grippy as the Mercedes-AMG GT S, if you lose concentration you’ll soon discover that all the Collision Prevention Assists, driver and passenger knee air bags and blind-spot warnings in the world won’t stop you from plummeting hundreds of feet down rocky outcrops.

little start-up, Zenos, backed and run by former Lotus and Caterham personnel, is pursuing an equally elevated form of driving hedonism. Actually, the Zenos E10 is probably what Caterham’s eternal Seven would have evolved into if it had actually evolved. Its chassis uses a single aluminium extrusion and has a tub made of recycled carbon fibre with a thermoplastic core. It’s a clever solution and gives Zenos bragging rights among the track day faithful. So Zenos might actually be onto something. The E10 R is the raciest version, powered by Ford’s 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine, mid-mounted and turbocharged to produce 350bhp in a car with a weight of 700kg. This equates to a power-to-weight ratio of around 500bhp per tonne, roughly the figure managed by Bugatti’s monumental Veyron. The E10 R mods include stifer spring rates, new brake pads and brake master cylinder, with a reworked engine map, and carbon composite seats with four-point harness.

But don’t let something like plunging into an icy fjord in a ball of flames discourage you from exploring this incredible country. You might end up as dead as the Norwegian Blue, but it really would be a hell of a way to go... Norwegian Air flies from London Gatwick to Ålesund from £44.90 one way. norwegian.com. For more information on driving in Norway, visit visitnorway.com or fjordnorway.com

It’s easy to get into and see out of (particularly if you’ve deleted the windscreen). Take time to appreciate the E10’s excellent driving position, well-spaced pedals and twin pod instrument layout. The Zenos makes the Caterham Seven feel as user-friendly as a medieval iron maiden. The turbo whooshes away behind your head and if you’re wearing a helmet (and you will be, particularly if you’ve deleted the windscreen), the acceleration physically squeezes your body into the seat. There’s some lag at low revs, but the R has enough torque to keep things lively. And if you do stuf it, the Zenos’ body panels are simple to remove, its core super-strong. You might want to change the colour anyway. For a hardcore sports car, there’s an unusual civility to the little E10, and the guys who created it haven’t overdosed on adrenaline at the expense of common sense. Digital or analogue? This time you can have both. JB From £26,995. zenoscars.com


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E D I T E D BY

BILL PRINCE

GQ sent one intrepid British actor to step into the shoes of James Stewart and unravel the vagaries of Marrakech STORY BY

And action: Alfred Hitchcock directs James Stewart and Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Freddie Fox

For the first and last time in my life, I’m comparing myself to the Hollywood great James Stewart, a man with a voice so distinguished it could run for office. The reason for this absurdly flattering comparison is purely geographical: it might be winter but I am poolside in 25C heat in MARRAKECH, the beating heart of, as Stewart put it, “mysterious Morocco”. It was the setting for The Man Who Knew Too Much, one of many Stewart/Hitchcock partnerships. And what that film lacks in script it makes up for in location. By the end, the city itself is its beguiling star. So, from one actor to another, Stewart passes the baton to me and, 60 years on, I dive into the shadows of the souk. It doesn’t take me long to realise it’s a haggle-or-die world. Shopping becomes much more than the tawdry huggermugger of chip and pin, turning instead into a fantastic role play with the shopkeepers. By the time I’m spat back into the Jamaa el-Fna square – a heaving circus of peddlers, snake charmers and storytellers – the effect is already undeniable. I’m in a movie all of my own and totally in love. By evening, the square becomes an opium fiend’s vision of a North African Glastonbury: friendly, vibrant and buzzing with energy. And should you need a top-up, the cinnamon coffee from Café Des Epices (cafedesepices.net) is mind-blowing. For dinner, it’s back through the raffia, leather and spice musk of the souk to Dar Moha restaurant (darmoha.ma) for the best tagine, then on for a night on the (hand-painted) tiles at Theatro (theatromarrakech.com) for live music and plenty of room to groove. The next day begins with my body telling me to take my foot off the gas. I do in haute couture style at the Majorelle Gardens (jardinmajorelle.com), a jungle of peace and the chosen bolthole of the late Yves Saint Laurent, realising perfectly the intention of its creator, French artist Jacques Majorelle, to be “a living painting” for the city.

Call the shots (from top): Freddie Fox at Es Saadi Marrakech Resort; cinnamon cofee at Café des Epices is recommended

With the midday call to prayer announcing lunch, rooftop dining doesn’t come better than

Photographs Adam Fussell; Alamy; Rex Features

La Sultana (lasultanahotels.com), a beautiful riad with a stunning view of the Red City.

(It’s worth noting that while Morocco is a majority Muslim country, it’s a place where Islam sits by the side of Judaism and Christianity, a perfectly imperfect mixture of cultures, classes and creeds to be truly admired.) For boutique comfort, the Es Saadi Palace hotel (essaadi.com) offers a traditional hammam spa and the chance to chill in sun-drenched gardens with a cold beer on the way. Well, someone’s got to in January.

Riad with a view: Rooftop dining at La Sultana

And take my advice, when you come, make sure you leave two clear days after you’re supposed to get home because, chances are, you may want to “accidentally” miss your flight...

Shine on (from top): Have a haggle at Marrakech’s souk; Villa Majorelle; 25C poolside in winter at Es Saadi Palace Hotel

Freddie Fox stayed at Es Saadi Marrakech Resort, comprising the Es Saadi Hotel (four-star); Es Saadi Palace (five-star); traditional Berberstyle villas; and private villas. Double rooms at Es Saadi Hotel from £80; double rooms at Es Saadi Palace from £200; villas from £550. essaadi. com. British Airways flies to Marrakech from £330 return. ba.com DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 85


TRAVEL

Beijing or bust: The Tsars Gold skirts Lake Baikal en route to China

SAMOVAR FRIENDS ARE MISSING This year, the Trans-Siberian Railway celebrates its centenary. As Rob Crossan discovers, you can now cross eight time zones in genuine style

A FRIEND of mine decided to take the TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY a few years ago. Three days of smelly samovars, surly carriage attendants, a diet of cabbage soup and cheap vodka, plus sleeping arrangements that consisted of six-to-a-berth squalor with a group of Uzbek microwave salesmen meant that he did the only sane thing: he got off and flew home, half a stone lighter and with a lifelong aversion to bunk beds. Fast-forward three years and I’m lying on a mattress as soft as egg whites in my own modish train carriage having just emerged from my private bathroom after a piping-hot shower to take my suit out of the wardrobe. A four-course dinner awaits of smoked salmon and beef stroganoff all washed down with some ice cold (and surprisingly crisp and complex) Russian “champagne”. As the dying sun colours the sky, a landscape of verdant forests, trickling steams, damp meadows and tiny,

barrel-roofed dacha houses stream past. This is Siberia, the impossibly vast land through which, a century ago, the world’s most iconic railway line opened. The idea of Tsar Nicholas II, the TransSiberian is not just one railway line but a collection of routes all leaving from Moscow, which branch off to take you to either Vladivostok, Vanino by the Sea of Japan (the Baikal-Amur line) or, by far the most interesting route, through Mongolia and into China, culminating in Beijing. It’s the ultimate train ride, across eight time zones and over 4,700 miles. Thank goodness then for the Tsars Gold, the only luxury private train to ply the Moscow-Mongolia-Beijing route. The 16-day journey is assuaged with vodka tastings, tea ceremonies and lectures in the restaurant cars, coupled with daily stops at Russian cities en route. Cities such as Yekaterinburg (the city where the last Tsar was murdered in 1917, prompting the beginning of the

Going loco (from top): The Temple of Heaven, Beijing; Tsars Gold, Lake Baikal; Church of All Saints, Yekaterinburg; Tsars Gold staf; restaurant car

Soviet Union) and Irkutsk (where you can take a teeth-shatteringly cold dip in the blue waters of the mile-deep Lake Baikal). In Mongolia, you stay in comfortable yurts amid treeless hills and gargantuan cliffs for a night, before the train rattles through the barren barbarousness of the Gobi Desert into China. The further east into Russia you go, the more the legacy of the Soviet Union prevails. A colossal bust of Lenin’s head still stands proudly in the city square in Ulan Ude, while the concert halls and tower blocks are a constant reminder of the era before Gorby. Yet rural Siberia still exudes a feeling of time having ground to a halt shortly before the 1905 Russo-Japanese war – the first time the Trans-Siberian railway was really put to use, transporting troops and weapons. Amid tiny villages where coloured dachas squat, a hot, summer calm dominates. Stopping one evening to have a dinner of vodka, river fish, meatballs and salad at a family home, the atmosphere was redolent of a Tolstoy novel. And so to the urban bombast of Beijing. Today 25 million strong, with a mercantile bustle that sits uneasily with the monolithic severity of Tiananmen Square and the mausoleum of Chairman Mao, it’s home to fabulous dim sum, epic pollution and apocalyptic traffic. Unlovable but undeniably impressive, Beijing saps at energy levels while still being awe-inspiring in its dimensions. This is a journey that unravels not just epic distance but also enables one to travel seamlessly from the 19thcentury backwaters of Siberia to the urban cacophony of the Chinese capital. Only a train journey can deliver this narrative. Though you no longer have to deal with bunk beds and cabbage in order to experience it for yourself. From £3,240. regent-holidays.co.uk. British Airways flies from London to Moscow from £845 and Beijing to London from £1,603. ba.com

Which is the better journey: London to Venice or Venice to London? Pascal Deyrolle, general manager, Venice SimplonOrient-Express: “On the VeniceLondon journey, executive head chef Christian Bodiguel creates lobster brunch. Paired with champagne: an ideal morning.”

Which parts of the journey should we sleep through?

Which is the best part of the train, in your opinion?

Have you any style tips for travelling passengers?

“You only need to sleep at night aboard the train. We plan each journey so the train passes the most beautiful scenery during the day. The part of the journey between Brennero and Innsbruck is stunning and not to be missed.”

“Bar 3674 is the social hub of the train. Here you’ll find head barman Walter Nisi creating signature cocktails while a pianist plays. We’ve also introduced a champagne bar, serving a selection of vintage chilled champagnes.”

“A tux is a must for gentlemen travelling with us. You can never be overdressed aboard the elegant carriages of The Orient Express and there are not so many occasions in life when you can really dress to the nines.”

Don’t forget… “A camera, cufflinks for the evening and a good book.” Becky Lucas

From £2,210. Journeys between London Victoria and Venice Santa Lucia, via Paris Gare De L’Est and Verona Porta Nuova, take two days (one night). belmond.com 86 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Photographs Roland E Jung

The ‘other’ most-famous railway journey in the world is... THE ORIENT EXPRESS


TRAVEL Welcome to the jungle: Mandapa’s one-bedroom pool villa with garden

With tropical surroundings and a personal butler, the Mandapa reserve in Bali offers complete escape

88 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Go with the flow (from above): The Ayung River; pavilion; villa overlooking the reserve’s own rice paddies

Cathay Pacific flies from London Heathrow to Hong Kong five times daily, and onwards to more than 190 destinations. Flights from Heathrow to Bali via Hong Kong are priced from £829 return. cathaypacific.com

Photographs Richard Bryant

DON’T call Mandapa a hotel. It’s described as a “reserve” – the third in Ritz-Carlton’s portfolio of properties – and it’s a name that hints at a place set aside for exclusivity. This hidden tropical retreat, caught in a valley between Bali’s lush Ubud jungle and a twist in the Ayung River, introduces a whole new standard of luxurious seclusion. In this village of just 35 suites and 25 villas, linked by a tangle of lanes and a fleet of electric buggies, you may be forgiven for thinking you are the only guest. Despite it only opening last year, hi-tech amenities are paired with thoughtful design, and the attentive service (each room has a discreet patih, or butler) is countered by the sense of total escape. Pick a private villa, enjoy complimentary room service and entertain the fantasy that this plush, frangipaniscented residence – with its large pool and, in GQ’s case at least, resident gecko – is your very own Balinese bolthole. However, as you’ve flown all the way to Indonesia, try to tear yourself away from your villa occasionally. Make time for a visit to the tranquil spa and yoga pavilion (Mandapa means “temple” in Sanskrit, and Ubud is considered the spiritual heart of Bali, after all), a meal under the bamboo arches of the beautiful Kubu restaurant (reserving a table in a private riverside pod, naturally) or a tour of the nearby rice paddies. There is plenty for adventurers, too, including river-rafting or a sunrise hike up Mount Batur volcano. And this is what the reserve concept is really all about: it’s a destination that feels like a secret. Jennifer Bradly Rooms at Mandapa Reserve from £527 a night. Ritz-Carlton Mandapa, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia. mandapareserve.com


For the moment Miles wears Bevano shoes and Stilman bracelets Available in-store and at aldoshoes.com


maldonsalt.co.uk


E D I T E D BY

THE RESTAURANT

THE BAR

THE HOTEL

THE CLUB

THE PUB

THE RECIPE

BILL PRINCE & PAUL HENDERSON

THE ROUNDUP

THE BOTTLE

THE BOOK

THE HOTEL

THE GREAT INDOORS Photograph Melanie Eclare/The Telegraph

A working farm and guesthouse, Coombeshead is also Cornwall’s most unpretentious place to eat. Chat to the chefs and make yourself at home

Burning spear: Grilled asparagus with wild garlic and pork fat; (top) Coombeshead Farm

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 91


TASTE English pastoral: Pitt Cue’s Tom Adams retreats to the countryside; below Tom Adams and April Bloomfield

THE HOTEL

Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall THERE is something just a little too perfect about Coombeshead Farm in Cornwall. The 66-acre farm is tucked in a sleepy valley near Launceston and is generating huge excitement in the upper echelons of the foodie world. When GQ arrived, Pierre Koffmann, three Michelin-starred culinary royalty, and his wife, Claire, were our dining companions. It is also breathtakingly pretty. Outside, roses climb the farmhouse walls and wild strawberries spill out onto the veranda. Inside is flawless woodwork, old slate floors and beautiful, exposed beams. But there is something a little quiet about the place. What is missing, it transpires, is the livestock – an element which the proprietor, chef Tom Adams, is keen to resolve. “It will feel ‘proper’ when we get the pigs in,” he tells me over dinner. “I can’t wait until they’re here.” The pigs that Adams refers to are the rare – and, to be brutally honest, delicious – Mangalica pigs that he is raising on a neighbouring farm for his celebrated London restaurant Pitt Cue. While many in his position might have considered rolling his “restaurant that barbecues” concept into a chain, this is not the vision for Adams. Nor, for that matter, his business partner and friend, April Bloomfield, the Birminghamborn chef who runs two Michelin-starred gastropubs in New York (The Spotted Pig and The Breslin). The two have chosen to buy Coombeshead with the goal of creating a guesthouse with a simple yet spectacular food offering where the finest ingredients are sourced, almost literally, on the doorstep. As of last summer, there are five guest rooms, one with an additional bunk room, all styled in muted greys, blues and heathers. They boast a traditional yet immaculate farmhouse style, with king- or superking-sized beds and views out over 92 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

West is best (from top): Chicken liver parfait; cured ham from Mangalica pig; the communal dining room

the gardens and surrounding hills. The ensuite bathrooms have large baths, contemporary rainshowers and clouds of soft towels with soaps and shampoos from nearby St Kitts Herbery. Downstairs, guests are free to wander around the light, spacious Georgian rooms, including the cosy sitting room with it’s woodburner and eclectic selection of traditional and contemporary prints. There is an honesty bar stocked with spirits from local distilleries in the library, but the heart of the house is the kitchen. Dinner is served either at the table in the farmhouse kitchen or, if there are more guests, in the adjacent dining room. The atmosphere is very much like that of an extended family gathering, but the food is prepared with all the passion and creativity of the bustling city kitchens where the chefs honed their skills. “The menus follow the life cycle of the meat,” Adams explains. “For example if we have a pig, we might start with cuts from the shoulder, then the loin, then use the bones in broth.” The discovery of new ingredients on the farm also inspires culinary creations. A foraging venture in the last few days resulted in the exhilarating discovery of a mushroom “bigger than Tom’s head”, which was duly roasted in butter and herbs. On the evening GQ stayed we enjoyed meltingly tender cuts of steak from a local butcher, creamy spoonfuls of mashed potato with cabbage, which is grown here and slow-roasted in a wood-fired oven. Baker Ben Craven has been offering guests breadmaking workshops. There are also plans for sessions in butchery, butter-making and pickling, as well as the installation of a bakery and a cookery school. At the heart of this venture is the desire that both chefs have to control the produce that they are working with. A small area of organic crops is already flourishing; hives of Cornish black bees produce fresh honey, and breakfast involves eggs freshly laid by the farm chickens. “We are preparing the land to grow more crops, but if local producers offer something that’s better, we’ll use that,” says Bloomfield. “It’s all about sourcing the finest ingredients and creating something special for people who love good, honest food.” Victoria Carpenter ORooms from £110 a night. Lewannick, Launceston, Cornwall. PL15 7QQ. 01566 782009. coombesheadfarm.co.uk

Time: Around six or seven hours each way.

Train: London Paddington to Liskeard, from £56.

Drive: A 25-minute taxi ride from the train station.


TASTE small bites

Where

has been eating this month...

Havana nights: The underground bar; (right) an Of The Hook cocktail

HATCHETTS A new modern British restaurant and bar with ex-Ramsay/Hix/Wareing chef Andrew Evans in the kitchen. STANDOUT DISH

Slow braised then charred Tudge’s pork belly, choucroute and apples.

5 White Horse Street, London W1. 020 7409 0567. hatchetts.london

COPPA CLUB If the Tower Bridge branch of Coppa Club is anything to go by, this four-strong, all-day dining group gives chains a good name. STANDOUT DISH

Photographs Clare Menary; Lottie Mew; Greg Moss; Stephen Perez

Tomahawk pork chop, with sage, culata, lemon and greens.

3 Three Quays Walk, London EC3. 020 7993 3827. coppaclub.co.uk

THE BAR

Burlock Escape the bustle of the capital’s roaring shopping district for an intoxicating hideaway, spilling over with Cuban influences... RESURFACING from the Burlock rum room – the latest addition to The Breakfast Group portfolio – after an evening down in its cavernous bowels can be a disorientating experience. And not just because you can’t stand up half as easily as you could at 7pm. Let’s set the scene: the last few hours have been spent clinking glasses atop old Havana sewing machines, testing vintage hair dryers left over from the site’s previous occupant (a barber) and gulping down spindly grasshoppers with shots of rum (the bartenders’ sport) to the emboldening beat of Cuban jazz. It is only when you emerge a few hours later, blinking blearily and sidestepping an army of determined late-night shoppers, that you remember you are not outside Hemingway’s favourite, El Floridita. You’re not even mingling THE PUB

The Mayflower, Lymington KILN Smoking Goat founder Ben Chapman’s new “side-of-theroad” restaurant serves Thai-style food using Brit produce. STANDOUT DISH

Yunnan-style salt-cured sausages.

58 Brewer Street, London W1. kilnsoho.com

Bay watch: Grilled scallops in pancetta, asparagus and hollandaise at the Mayflower

with the hipsters in east London. You’re in Mayfair, opposite Bond Street tube station. And therein lies the magic of Burlock – the name given to the twine and hemp packaging rum runners used during the prohibition era to move their rum. Courageously parked a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, Burlock is a safe haven: a candlelit bunker merry with carnival spirit and joyous rum lovers. Manager Sam Jeavons, previously from London Cocktail Club, oversees the Almond Butter Coladas, mind-blowing Mojitos and sugar-sweet Daiquiris, paired with mouth-watering plates of jerk chicken and glazed pork ribs from the kitchen. This is the last bar we’d expect to find next to Selfridges and London’s busiest street, but by god, it’s the stiff drink we all needed. Eleanor Halls O31 Duke Street, London W1. 020 7935 3303. burlocklondon.co.uk

THERE’S a vast garden at the back real log fires and a private dining of the Mayflower, dotted with heavy room. They also added an elegant wooden tables and overlooking a terrace with a separate menu to fine slipway and its harbour’s the snackier garden. As only seems bobbing yachts. Seafarers like to polite in an upscale pub these days, wander in through the back gate to there’s plenty of local produce – enjoy a pint of something local with including fresh fish and South impeccable views of the south coast. Downs lamb, naturally – plus a (Lymington, you’ll note, is the gin menu. smarter and more mature type Upstairs, you’ll find six bedrooms, of British coastal town, with its also thoughtfully revamped, with narrow cobbled streets, Georgian roll-top baths, Egyptian cotton on architecture and clutch of sailing king-sized beds and impossibly clubs that have bred more than their serene views across those yachts fair share of Olympians.) on the Solent. Jennifer Bradly Non-seafarers are catered for, too OKing’s Saltern Road, – this big Hampshire pub on the Lymington, Hampshire, New Forest fringes got an early SO41 3QD. 01590 672160. summer makeover, and the sleek themayflowerlymington.co.uk main bar has been kitted out with DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 93


“I le crafting bd wines at deliver e unexpected” DARK HORSE WINEMAKER

DARKHORSEWINE.COM © 2016 Dark Horse Wines, Modesto, CA. All rights reserved.


TASTE

Monkey around: The sparkling interior at MNKY HSE; (inset) yellow tail aguachile

THE RESTAURANT

MNKY HSE Revel in a whole new kind of party food as the spirit of Latin America is set free in the heart of Mayfair BY TAKING up residence in the spot occupied for over 35 years by the iconic bistro and live music venue Dover Street Wine Bar, new restaurant-bar MNKY HSE (aka Monkey House) has very big dancing shoes to fill. But after two years of planning and developing an exciting Latin American concept, and two floors for it to play out on, if they get it right it will be one hell of a party. And the signs are very good. For starters, the restaurant is being overseen by head chef Pablo Peñalosa Nájera, who will be using the skills he picked up at the Four Seasons

in Bogota and Morimoto in Mexico City to create some experimental sharing plates using seasonal British ingredients. As well as the usual grilled peppers, vibrant ceviches and spicy guacamoles, the menu from the open kitchen features brochetas (meat skewers), fish dishes (including a couple of clever black cod numbers) and some heavy-hitting man-food – the Wagyu Tomahawk with chimichurri sauce claims to be for two to three people, so you’d better be hungry. And thirsty. In the upstairs saloon, Gavin Forbes (formerly of Le Peep Boutique) will be shaking up a storm using a variety of mezcals, piscos and tequilas from behind the sparkling bar – but don’t just go for a Foamy Negroni or a Jasmin Sour. GQ recommends you slide into a leather banquette and order the signature MNKY Business cocktail made from Ron Millonario XO reserve rum, tobacco liqueur, Vermouth and cherry wood smoke. But don’t get too comfortable, because whether you are upstairs or downstairs, sooner or later you will be up on your feet. With a house band a regular rotation of guest DJs and live acts, the Latin American spirit will last long into the night... Just make sure you can keep up. PH O10 Dover Street, Mayfair, London W1. 020 3870 4880. mnky-hse.com

THE ROUNDUP

Mex power Three fun and lavour-filled Taco cantinas

THE CLUB

The Camden Assembly, London At a time when dance venues have become an endangered species, GQ finds proof of nightlife It seems that the classic clubs are dropping like flies at the moment – with Fabric’s closure in August feeling like the final nail in the old-school coin. Thank God, then, for The Colombo Group, who seem to be opening up a new club for every one that goes under. Last year it was Phonox, over the summer it was Jazz Cafe and this month it’s The Camden Assembly. Here’s the low-down... It looks like a pub? Yes it does, and a nice one at that (420-person capacity, hipster burgers from Lucky Chip, candles, worn leather sofas, swanky bar), but head up the tiny staircase to the secret room at the top and ta da! There’s the party. Tell me more... The secret room (which you’ll only find after opening a lot of wooden doors along the way) is intimate. There’s room for 220 people, a stage, a mosh pit and a large bar. The bare necessities/ club essentials.

DF/Mexico

El Pastór

Mestizo

28-29 Tottenham Court Road, London W1. dfmexico.co.uk

7A Stoney Street, London SE1. @tacos_el_pastor

103 Hampstead Road, London NW1. london.mestizomx.com

The setup: Created by the Wahaca group, inspired by Mex fast food and taking its name from what locals call Mexico City (Distrito Federal), DF is perfect for a quick chilli fix. Eat this: The grilled chicken tacos (£5.95) with pasilla chilli rub and habanero and pumpkin-seed mayo is hot stuf. Add chilli fries and you’re laughing (or sweating). Drink that: Order the raspberry and hibiscus frozen margarita (£6.75) and the Lúpulo Pale Ale (£4.60) – inspired by Mexico, brewed in Brixton.

The setup: This month, Sam and Eddie Hart launch a game-changing taco restaurant inspired by their Nineties nightclub in Mexico City, El Comillo. They know how to make a good taco and how to have a good time. Eat this: The classic Al Pastór (£7.50) taco with achiote-marinated pork sliced from the “trompo” (upright grill) into the freshly made tortilla. Drink that: The Mexico City cool kids drink mezcal straight with an orange slice (sip, never shoot). The menu is small, but make yours a Mezcal 52 (£6).

The setup: You can tell a great Mexican restaurant when the owners – and a lot of the other diners – are... Mexican. This simple cantina delivers flavour and fun in equal measure. Eat this: We recommend the Pollo Con Mole (£7.50) – shredded chicken in a classic sauce (featuring chocolate) topped with queso fresco ranchero – and a side of chiles toreados (£2.40). Drink that: A frozen Mother Margarita (£7.90) made from Casa Ambar Reposado Tequila or a two-pint pitcher (£32) will get the party started. PH

Who’s on the bill? A whole host of emerging and established artists – ranging from grime (D Double E, AJ Tracey) to soul (Andrew Ashong), indie (Spector) and DJs (The 2 Bears) – will perform weekly. And it’s all blasted through a top-notch D&B sound system – you’re sure to feel the bass in your bones. It looks familiar... Previously it was The Barfly pub, until The Colombo Group spruced it up with a £1 million refurb. Wavy garmz? Please don’t. Jeans, Nikes, a T-shirt and some cash is all you need. EH O49 Chalk Farm Road, NW1. Fridays and Saturdays, 9pm-3am. camdenassembly.com.

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 95


TASTE Haggis meat pie at Foston’s Fine Meats

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Kelso, Scottish Borders Train: London Euston to Galashiels via Edinburgh, from £133 return

Time: Around six or seven hours each way

Drive: Kelso is a 30-minute taxi ride from the train station at Galashiels

Scottish lamb at The Cobbles

The Cobbles’ bar (above); Tempest’s White Cloud bottle beer (left)

Smoked fish at The Teviot Smokery

The Roxburghe Hotel

L S O , SC O T T IS

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4.5 miles 5.5 miles

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Photographs Tara Grey; Phil Wilkinson

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96 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

house party, with local ales from the barrel alongside a gin dispenser made out of a microscope donated by a veterinary college. There’s even bottles for you to take your favourite ales home in. The commitment to local produce continues at (6) The Cobbles (7 Bowmont St. 01573 223548. thecobbleskelso.co.uk), a breezy gastropub that hasn’t forgotten how to still be a pub for drinkers too. Its Tempest beer comes in more than half a dozen strains and the unusual cuts of steak (including a 5oz Bullet served blue) are sourced from nearby Hardiesmill Farm. A mile or so outside of town (7) The Teviot Smokery (Kirkbank House, Eckfort. 01835 850253. teviotgamefaresmokery.co.uk) has applied its smoking technique to venison, duck, trout and cheddar. Try the lot in its ploughman’s platter or take away from the farm shop which also stocks an array of whiskies and gins. For quintessentially Scottish slumbers, (8) Roxburghe Hotel (turnoff on Heiton by Kelso, Roxburgshire. 01573 450331. roxburghe-hotel.net) may lie ten miles from the border but a more Caledonian experience would be hard to find. Moose heads on walls, tartan carpets, four-poster beds and vast expanses of lawn feel truly Celtic. The River restaurant (part of the Tweed Albert Roux empire) serves up robust dishes of game, fish and fowl alongside a whisky menu big enough to sate Rob Roy’s army. Rob Crossan

gh ur xb et Ro Stre

Above, from top: Café U; Terrace Café Eggs Royale; microscope gin dispenser at Rutherfords, Scotland’s first micropub

KELSO’S handsome cobbled market square comes to life early in the morning, with locals making a beeline for the hot pies and breads straight out of the oven at (1) Foston’s Fine Meats (44 Bridge St. 01573 223322. fostonsfinemeats.com) where owner Greig has won awards for his haggis, steak and Drambuie creation. If that sounds a touch too heavy for the morning, more refined snacks abound at (2) Off The Square (20 Horsemarket. 01573 226909) where the scones have achieved local-legend status with fillings including pepperoni, sun-blushed tomato and cheese and mustard. (3) Café U (45/47 Roxburgh St, 01573 225177) around the corner (look for the knitted bicycle in the window) does a fine line in home-baked quiches and cheese boards. On the grounds of the mighty Floors Castle, the (4) Terrace Café (Roxburgh Estates, 01573 225714, roxburghe.net/castle) is a low-key café which, thanks to head chef Chris Weston, is serving up some of the region’s finest local produce including game and pheasant pies and the best Eggs Royale this side of Royal Balmoral. After a morning spent browsing Tony Huggins-Haig gallery on Bridge St, take a break at (5) Rutherfords (38 The Square. 07803 208460. rutherfordsmicropub.co.uk), a former wool shop that became Scotland’s first micropub last year. Simon and Debbie Rutherford operate the small space like custodians of a louche

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Local man Sir Walter Scott did his best to put the low-profile Lowland town of Kelso on the map. “It is the most beautiful if not the most romantic village in Scotland,” he wrote. Two centuries on, the tourist crowds have yet to converge, meaning one of the most dynamic gourmet scenes in Scotland is left for the very grateful locals and a few, genuinely surprised visitors...


EXCLUSIVE NEW VIDEOS AT GQ.CO.UK This month on GQ Video: Alfie Allen explores the evolution of lad culture from the terraces to the catwalk, Miles Kane sizes up the modern dandy, Craig David in Ibiza, James Corden unpicks the US presidential election and Professor Green on men and mental health. Plus, out to lunch with James Bay and a drink with David Beckham.


TASTE The surreal life: Salvador Dalí with a selection of the recipes featured in his 1973 cookbook

Paint palate: Dalí’s surreal illustrations accompany all the chapters including (clockwise from left) Les Chairs Monarchiques (poultry), Les Piso Nonches (desserts) and Les Entre-plats Sodomisés (meat dishes) and were created especially for the book, 1973

THE BOTTLE

THE BOOK

Les Dîners De Gala by Salvador Dalí From the artistic genius who gave the world the Lobster Telephone comes a cookbook like no other... IT IS A universal truth that great art, like great food, elevates the everyday experience. But in 1973 Salvador Dalí went one step further with Les Dîners De Gala, which rocketed both disciplines at once into a domestic dream realm. From apéritifs to aphrodisiacs via cannibals and erotic collage, no other cookbook can compare. That the man behind “Lobster Telephone” was capable of such a remarkable act of imagination will come as no surprise, but what does strike – thanks to a little help from some top French kitchens – is how serviceable the recipes are. As ever with Dalí, there is enough 98 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

of the familiar to make one feel at ease (avocado toast, roast lamb) and yet enough distortion to demand the attention of even the most experienced palate (peacock a l’impériale, old champagne sherbet). Dedicated to his muse Gala, and the extravagant dinner parties they hosted together, the book brims over with inspiration for the brave host. Les Dîners De Gala does come with one caveat, however, courtesy of the artist himself: “If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive and far too impertinent for you.” You have been warned. Holly Bruce OLes Dîners De Gala by Salvador Dalí

(Taschen, £45) is out now.

Now that US wine arbiter Robert Parker has turned his attention to sake, there’s no better time to switch from the grape to the grain: specifically, a highly polished grain of rice. The renowned critic’s recent focus in Wine Spectator seems sure to enhance appreciation for this underrated rice wine, both in restaurants and at home. And thankfully, it’s now easier to find the nuances of serious quality sake explored alongside the more standard wine list. Richard Ellis, buyer at Hedonism Wines in London’s Mayfair, recommends the Dassai 39 (named after the percentage of rice grain left after polishing), which could substitute for a white Burgundy at a pinch. The plentiful fruit flavours make it perfect for matching fish or meat dishes and its crisp finish makes it zippy enough to cut through the excesses of the season. Amy Matthews O£52.50. At Hedonism Wines. hedonism.co.uk

Photographs Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2016; Jody Todd

Dassai 39


G Partnership

SPARKLING COMPANY Audacious, arresting and never more appealing, Veuve Clicquot’s Yellow Label champagne gives an added layer of sophistication and taste to the festive season THE pop of a champagne cork may be the most reliable audio cue known to man when it comes to the promise of hospitality and hedonism, but releasing a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label this Christmas goes beyond the usual allure of a chilled glass of champagne. The brainchild of French widow Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, one of the great female entrepreneurs of the 19th century, she once wrote in a letter that one should, “be determined and exacting... act with audacity.” Her champagne continues to do just that using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier to create one of the world’s most consistently spectacular wines stocked today in the UK by the likes of Selfridges and Waitrose. The current Chef de Caves Dominique Demarville draws on priceless Reserve wines for the blend with these older wines, sometimes almost a decade old, always kept separately to preserve the terroir of the vineyard and the village of origin. Care, finesse and experience: all these attributes combine spectacularly in a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Epic history and timeless taste; it’s a story that just gets better with age. veuveclicquot.com

Hamburger of quail and foie gras paired with Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label

A most festive champagne The delicate blend and crisp flourish of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label make it a luxurious and fitting drink for Christmas dinner – though it can do much more than just work as a top-notch aperitif accompaniment. A regular contributor to GQ magazine’s Taste section, Rob Crossan can attest to its manifold qualities: “There’s an ability about Veuve Clicquot that means you always feel its strong personality, but it manages not to overwhelm other flavours,” says Rob. “For me a chilled glass goes best at Christmas with some smoked salmon blinis, but it complements so much festive food; it works pretty seamlessly with roast duck too or a platter of fruits de mer.”


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EDITED BY

From crystal classics to silver platters, interiors expert Emilio Pimentel-Reid presents 25 clear winners of tableware

PHOTOGRAPH BY

AARON CALLOW MITCH PAYNE

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Cabinet by Roche Bobois, from £3,510. roche-bobois.com 2 Wine cooler by Georg Jensen, £95. georgjensen.com 3 Glasses, £40. At Guinevere. guinevere.co.uk 4 Ice bucket by Alessi, £150. alessi.com 5 Cocktail mixer set by Habitat, £25. habitat.co.uk 6 Glass by Marks & Spencer, £19.50 for two. marksandspencer.com 7 Cocktail shaker by Habitat, £35. 8 Vintage cocktail shaker, from £185. At Nina Campbell. ninacampbell.com 9 Decanter by Ralph Lauren Home, £595. ralphlaurenhome.com 10 Decanter by Linley, £875. davidlinley.com 11 Glass by Nigel Coates for Nude, £18.50. nigelcoates.com 12 Tray by Georg Jensen, £150.

13 Bar cart by West Elm, £349. westelm.co.uk 14 Glass by LSA, £15. lsa-international.com 15 Glass by Riedel, £25 for two. At William & Son. williamandson.com 16 Silver straw by William & Son, £125. 17 Bowl by Georg Jensen, £70. 18 Ice bucket by Jonathan Adler, £198. uk.jonathanadler.com 19 Glass by Tapio Wirkkala for Iittala, £19.50. At Skandium. skandium.com 20 Jug by Marks & Spencer, £39.50. 21 Glasses by LSA, £40 for two. 22 Coaster by Jonathan Adler, £78 for set of four. 23 Tray by Flavia Del Pra, £225. At The Conran Shop. theconranshop.co.uk 24 Carafe by Waterworks, £128. uk.waterworks.com 25 Napkins by Avenida Home, £18 each. avenidahome.com

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E D I T E D BY

BILL PRINCE

A tale of 24 cities Montblanc celebrates another milestone with a timepiece of truly global proportions PHOTOGRAPH BY

Mitch Payne

ontblanc has been honing its watch message ever since former JaegerLeCoultre CEO Jérôme Lambert joined its Richemont stablemate in 2013. Today it’s recognised as one of the best value horological offers out there. And judging from the collection shown at Baselworld in 2016, “out there” is where Montblanc is taking us – not in a “disruptive” way, but in the sense that we are all explorers of some kind, reliant on technologies to aid and abet our daily journeys. And for those aiming farther afield, to mark its 110th anniversary Montblanc presented a world-time watch that matches a venerable complication with a pleasing sense of its own history. Named 4810 for the height in metres of its namesake peak, Montblanc’s Orbis Terrarum features a dial constructed of multiple layers, starting with the main sapphire crystal disc displaying the continents (as viewed from the North Pole) alongside the names of 24 cities each representing a different time zone. A second sapphire disc indicates day and night using colour gradients. Setting one’s home time is straightforward: aligning the city of your choice against a red triangle at six o’clock reveals local time in the remaining 23 cities at a glance. To change cities, use the pusher at eight o’clock to advance the hour ring until it lines up with your next destination. Oh, that travelling itself were so simple. BP

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4810 Orbis Terrarum by Montblanc, £4,900. montblanc.com

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 107


He who dares: Craig Green photographed at his studio, 4 August 2016

‘There’s a sense of masculine romanticism to Craig Green’s work. Rather than making a big noise, it’s quietly confident’ 108 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


CRAIG GREEN

CRAIG GREEN: THIS YEAR’S MOST EXCITING MENSWEAR DESIGNER From stylists to superstars, internet sensations to CEOs, Craig Green has earned a legion of loyal followers with his theatrical take on utilitarian tailoring. Now, as the winner of the third annual British Fashion Council/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, sponsored by Vertu, the entrepreneur has proved his intuition is as strong as his silhouettes. GQ meets the visionary who means business... Photographs Getty Images; Shaun James Cox Grooming Kenny Leung at Carol Hayes Management

STORY BY

Nick Carvell

PORTRAIT BY

Andrew Urwin

CRAIG Green’s show might have been on the first day of London Collections Men this June, but there were constant reminders of his loyal following throughout the remaining schedule. From US street style legend Nick Wooster to Harvey Nichols Hong Kong buyer Yu Adrian to GQ Style Editor Luke Day, every day seemed to bring a new flash of his global fan base on the front rows in London, Paris and Milan. This fandom isn’t limited to menswear shows. An impressive list of people in the fashion world swear by his gender fluid style, both men (stylist Julian Ganio, photographers Adriano Cisani and Nabile Quenum) and women (GQ Contributing Fashion Editor Lou Stoppard, blogger Susie Lau). However, what’s remarkable about Green is that his trademark slim quilting has already made ripples outside of the fashion industry across pop culture, from Drake and Rihanna’s stage wardrobes to Will Ferrell wearing it in character as Mugatu for the New York premiere of Zoolander 2. In the four short years since Green founded his label, he’s achieved what many far more established designers are still striving for: a globally recognised brand with an immediately recognisable aesthetic.

“There’s a sense of masculine romanticism to his work,” says Day, “but the workwear references make it non-costume and very wearable. Rather than shouting and making a big noise, it’s the quiet confidence of his work that defines him as the most exciting new menswear designer of our time.” Romanticism is something that’s arguably been missing from mainstream menswear for years, the scene dominated by hardshouldered suits at one end of the spectrum, and tough streetwear at the other. Green’s collections are unabashedly artistic, from the prints he uses to the construction of the clothes themselves. Take his last show for spring/summer 2017. The models walked out in wide-leg trousers and boxy riffs on workwear jackets – the silhouette that Green has made his signature – but this was subject to a wide variety of seasonal remixes. Some were cut from colour-burst rainbow fabric or faded, Moroccan prints, while others came in sombre brown tones. Some were belted in at the waist using a millefeuille of silk scarves. The looks were united by deconstruction. Some trousers were slit up the side or across the knee, swinging around the models’ legs.

Artistic triumph (from top): Looks from Craig Green’s spring/summer 2017 collection; Rihanna and Drake perform in Craig Green designs

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 109


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CRAIG GREEN Some jackets had poppers all down the sleeves, exposing arms. Other garments were almost cut up into patches, tied together again loosely with a series of strings and loopholes. Wherever you looked, you saw his mastery of construction: these weren’t just random holes for effect, these were examples of Green’s skill at taking his own aesthetic apart and putting it back together again to create something new that still contains his signature. And the reason it works is because his collections take the elements that appeal to both of the menswear camps mentioned earlier: the precise tailoring, beautiful craftsmanship and uniformity that would interest any Savile Row devotee and the cool creativity, relaxed cut and of-the-minute trendiness that would inspire the loyalty of a streetwear obsessive. In short, it ticks every possible box a menswear fan looks for. It’s relevant. It’s exciting. It’s beautifully constructed. It’s covetable. owever, there’s still room to grow and dominate a menswear market that’s adapting to the way men dress today – and it’s this potential that won him the British Fashion Council/GQ Designer Menswear Fund prize fund – sponsored by Vertu – earlier this year. Green is only the third designer to claim the men’s title – following Christopher Shannon’s inaugural win in 2014 and Patrick Grant (the man behind E Tautz) in 2015. Its aim? To help young menswear brands boost themselves to the next level with a combination of £150,000, plus a bespoke mentoring programme from some of the industry’s top business people, valued at £50,000. On the evening of 18 May 2016, in the exposed-brick basement bar of the Boundary Hotel in east London – located, aptly, on Redchurch Street, one of the capital’s coolest parades for menswear shops – Green stood alongside his fellow nominees Astrid Andersen, Christopher Raeburn, Lou Dalton and Sibling’s design duo Cozette McCreery and Sid Bryan. When GQ’s Editor Dylan Jones announced Green had won, no one was more surprised than the designer himself. “The ceremony

Photographs Andrew Urwin; BFC/Shaun Cox

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A winning combination: Craig Green at Sarabande studios, east London; (right) two of the judging panel, Vertu’s CEO Gordon Watson and Cerruti 1881 designer Jason Basmajian

was a shock. I honestly thought I didn’t have a chance because I just finished a business plan. I thought, ‘There’s no chance, but it’s nice we’re all here getting drunk together.’” It’s this candidness, this warm vulnerability and humour, that gives Green an instant air of authenticity. It was this, coupled with a strong business plan, that won over the judges. “I think it’s important to have a strong personality, but more importantly you are looking for conviction,” says Dylan Jones about Green. “Do they have the conviction to stick to their principles and hone that into something that’s going to work in the market place? There are lots of designers who just follow trends but I feel he has a real sense of who he is.” Green feels instantly genuine and, in a world

of PR veneer and hyperbole, you are in no doubt that he’s being himself at all times. Even if that’s in front of a panel of some of the most powerful people in the British fashion industry. “I find those things really horrific,” Green says, remembering the final presentation to the judging panel in the Tang Suite of the Boundary Hotel earlier that day. “I hate public speaking, I hate talking in front of people. I used to take days off school if I knew it was my turn that day to read out the book in English.” However, this wouldn’t exactly be a “low pressure” situation for anyone – in great part because the decision of the judging panel as to who the winner should be is left open until the evening of the awards ceremony. Everything’s to play for until the final presentation. Not only does a nominee have to show their collection, using a rail of looks and five models, and answer questions from the panel on the day, but this follows months of mentoring sessions with various members of the panel to refine their respective business plans. With so much time and effort invested, the nerves are understandable. “I thought I was all right, then when I went in I started to freak out a little bit because when you’re standing up and everyone else is sitting down, it’s really daunting. It was all very manic, grabbing at the models, then grabbing at the rail. At one point I fell over a plant into a mirror.” Green might have been nervous, but little did he know he was one of the most impressive candidates the panel had ever seen. “I’ve been involved with [the Fund] for three years now and Craig’s was the most complete package that I have seen,” says Gordon Watson, panel judge and CEO of Vertu, the

Green’s collections are unabashedly artistic, from the prints he uses to the construction of the clothes DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 111


CRAIG GREEN

Photograph BFC/Shaun Cox

luxury mobile maker, which has sponsored the prize since its inception. “I think that for such a young man, [Green] has shown great skills in terms of entrepreneurship and how he has built his brand in a short time.” “It was the fact that he was so organised and had a very strong understanding of his business, the opportunity, and what he’d do with the cash – coupled with the fact he’s a very talented designer,” says Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council (BFC) and co-founder of the Fund. “He knows his business and his customer inside and out. He knows the issues that he faces, [the] skills that he doesn’t have and therefore the kind of mentoring support that would help improve efficiency in the business. That’s opposed to others who were more about how they attracted the attention of international retailers – for Craig that doesn’t seem to be so much of a problem because he already has a really strong distribution platform and a strategy of how to grow that.”

The process of choosing a winner isn’t just an intense process for the designers, it’s intense for the judging panel too. “It’s difficult because we all know all of the designers well. What is quite surprising is the different focus within those businesses,” says Rush. “Some are incredibly ambitious, but it’s having that coupled with [an ability] to deliver that I think is the winning combination.” And while it was a tricky process for the panel to select a winner, it was nonetheless a unanimous one – a first in the history of the prize. Upon winning, a gobsmacked Green kept his speech short and sweet: “Thank you to everyone who’s supported me to this level.” “Then I held the award back to front when they were taking the photos,” Green laughs, remembering the moment. “Embarrassing.”

Across the board: Stephen Doig, Ben Banks, Helen Seamons, Caroline Rush, Craig Green, Dylan Jones, Gordon Watson, Jason Basmajian and Jon Stanley, who made up the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund judging panel for 2016

Three months after that win, and I’m talking to Green inside the Sarabande Foundation studios in east London. Created by the Lee Alexander McQueen estate, it’s a building made up of a series of studios, offices and social areas, designed to give up-andcoming creatives a space to base their craft

‘There are lots of designers who follow trends but Craig Green has conviction and a real sense of who he is’

and to mingle with other artists from different disciplines. It’s also a rather poetic location for Green to base his brand, considering that when he arrived for his foundation course at Central Saint Martins (CSM) in 2005, he had never heard of Alexander McQueen. It gets even more symbolic when you consider that a few years later Green would end up on

the MA Fashion course at CSM being instructed by the legendary designer’s mentor, the late Louise Wilson (who also mentored fashion greats like Stella McCartney, Pheobe Philo and Christopher Kane). So how does a man who hasn’t heard of Alexander McQueen end up as one of Britain’s most exciting menswear designers? “Naivety,” Green says laughing. “I knew what I thought fashion was in a small bubble of north-west London for me and my friends, but I didn’t follow fashion... There was no master plan.” Painting was Green’s best subject at school and his original plan was to study fine art at Edinburgh. However, when somebody in one of his A-level classes told him that CSM was the place to go for art, he went along for an open day. The rest, as they say, is history. After his foundation course, he specialised in fashion print (“I thought I could still paint if I couldn’t make clothes”) and ticked off six-month placements with Walter Van Beirendonck and Henrik Vibskov before moving to the MA

Fashion course and graduating in 2012. And while he found a small space at the Centre For Fashion Enterprise on London’s Mare Street for a little while after his graduation, the use of the Sarabande Foundation building has given him an affordable, much-needed base for his brand in a city where rent skyrocketed by 7.7 per cent last year (according to the Guardian). “I definitely need this space,” says Green. “To rent your own studio, it’s thousands and thousands [of pounds] a month for a box with no windows. [Thankfully] this came up.” Housed in one of the Victorian brick warehouses in Kingsland Wharves, it sits between the hipster-bustling towpaths of the Regent’s Canal, the Proud East gallery, and Haggerston’s ever-growing parade of cool caffeine-mongers. DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 113


CRAIG GREEN ow we are in a meeting room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a delicate Alexander McQueen print hanging proudly over an allblack leather-and-lacquer hooded chair. It’s a room that feels as artistic as it does corporate – particularly fitting for an interview with winner of a prize intended to both nurture creative output and provide behindthe-scenes business nous. Then again, Green has always had an innate knowledge of what it takes to make a business work: to be talked about. Green’s debut solo show at LCM was a standout moment of the autumn/winter 2013 show cycle. “I think people probably remember his first show at the Old Sorting Office,” says Rush. “He made the headlines in terms of headpieces, but I think that helped in terms of more general [public] awareness.” This was the catwalk where Green sent his models down the runway wearing painted, palette-like wooden structures over their faces – a move that saw one of his looks plastered across the front page of the Daily Mail accompanied by the headline: “What a plank”. Or, as the good-humoured designer himself likes to refer to it, the show with “fence face”. As a first outing, this was a masterclass in brand building. Not only had he garnered national attention, but the clothes underneath the masks won him solid support among key members of the fashion industry. Writer Tim Blanks commented, “The performance came by way of the huge jagged sculptural masks which were, obviously, less day-to-day wearable than the shiny and matt mixed layers beneath – for shirts and jackets in hand-painted stripes, inside-out panelling and gloss wax cotton.” It is this style signature that Green has built upon ever since. While the more performative element of his shows has subsided to a certain extent, those utilitarian layers, relaxed gender-neutral tailoring and quilted pieces that dominated his first show are still there today. And nobody showcases the ultimate practicality and wearability of his clothing better than Green himself. Today for our interview, Green has worn a black, tie-waisted, thinquilted jacket, black, relaxed trousers and a black shirt. Indeed, after watching one of his shows with that signature outlandish styling, it’s very refreshing to see the designer stride onto the catwalk for his finale wave wearing a version of his aesthetic that reminds the nonfashion world that these clothes can also slip easily into everyday life. “I think for people who see the shows it seems like it’s very extreme and a little bit theatrical – and I guess unwearable in people’s eyes,” says Green. “But they don’t see what we have in the showroom, which is a much more accessible version of everything

performance circuits, found scores of fans in the fashion press and made his way into some of the world’s most prestigious shops, but what does it take to boost an up-and-coming label with great potential to the next level? That’s where the fund – and the occasional feature in a certain bestselling men’s magazine – comes in handy. “It’s important to have representation in a magazine like GQ, which is such a wide-reaching men’s title,” says Green.

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114 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

ounded in 2014 by Dylan Jones and Caroline Rush, the BFC/GQ Menswear Fund was designed as the menswear mirror of the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund for womenswear, providing financial support and valuable business advice to starter brands. Now in its third year, the goal to give unprecedented exposure and monetary help remains unchanged – and it is arguably more important than ever. According to research agency Mintel, the men’s clothing market in the UK grew by 4.1 per cent in 2015 to reach £14.1 billion, up from £11.4bn in 2010, as opposed to womenswear, which grew 3.7 per cent in the same period. In short, men are shopping more than their female counterparts. Not only that, but British men are becoming more discerning when it comes to their clothes. Another piece of research from Mintel reveals that 27 per cent of male shoppers have a preference for purchasing British clothes, shoes and accessories. With the necessary logistics in place, Green will not only get more time to concentrate on the aesthetics of his line, but also expanding into other areas of design and collaborations – in fact, there is one such piece of tailored teamwork in the pipeline already (sorry, we’re sworn to secrecy on that one). And, having seen so many of Green’s clothes on the backs of the social media-crazed fashion crowd, perhaps the time is right for the designer to team up on a handset for Vertu? “I would definitely consider working with him – I think that would be simply a great deal of interest from my side,” says Vertu CEO Gordon Watson, his eyes drifting off in deep thought. “Something like that could be really cool.” In other words, next season keep an eye out not just for the designs being worn by the fashion crowd at the shows, but also what they’re holding in their hands.

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Touch wood: Sculptural masks for autumn/ winter 2013; (above) Green with his award, 18 May 2016

‘It’s important to have things for men to buy because at the end of the day it’s a business. People have to want to wear my stuf’

we do – and it’s all based around uniform and workwear. The theatrical side allows us to be in art installations and make tour outfits for people, but it’s also important to have things for men to buy because at the end of the day it’s a clothing business. People have to want to wear my stuff.” Here lies the tipping point for a young brand. Green might have grabbed national headlines, dressed Rihanna and Drake on their

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creedfragrances.co.uk


The ALASTAIR

CAMPBELL interview

Britain’s record-busting boxer has beaten the meanest opponents to the canvas and dodged the toughest punches life and sport can throw. Now, the happiest ighter in the ring – and an effortlessly natural role model – tells GQ why back-to-back golds in London and Rio are only the beginning

PHOTOGRAPH BY

Nick Wilson

From Bear Grylls to Billy Connolly, Mo Farah to Michael Caine, there was no shortage of famous, high-achieving men picking up glory at the GQ Men Of The Year awards in September. But it was a woman, and one who was presenting rather than receiving an award, who got the loudest cheer of the night as she strode to the stage. She looked – and later told me she was – stunned by the reception. If her first Olympic gold medal, in London, made her famous, it felt like the second, in Rio, had turned Nicola Adams into something of a national treasure. That is quite a speedy journey considering women’s boxing was outlawed in the UK until 1996 and even Amir Khan has questioned whether women should be allowed in the ring. Adams’ theory is that the audience’s sense of the struggles she’s endured to get to the top made for the visceral roar of support and appreciation. My own is that it is largely down to her personality, an accent that leaves you in no doubt of her working-class Yorkshire upbringing, a swagger, without arrogance, that befits someone who says she never contemplates losing, and above all a smile that can light up any room. Then there is the role model bit. Black and bisexual, she has become something of an 116 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

inspiration for many young black girls and also the LGBT community. Not bad for someone who describes herself as very nonpolitical and “colour blind” when it comes to race. Now 32, she was about to go on holiday when we met, taking time to mull over the many options coming her way, not least whether to join the growing women’s professional boxing circuit. Whether she does or she does not, she is determined to be in Tokyo 2020 for a crack at a third Olympic gold. Making history, she says, is what motivates her to get out there and train. We started with her regime and a breakfast diet I would not recommend to any budding athletes, even if it seems to work for her...


ALASTAIR CAMPBELL

Grooming Desmond Grundy at Carol Hayes Management

‘I looked across at her when I got in the ring. I could see in her eyes she didn’t have my confidence’

Knuckle up: Nicola Adams shot for British GQ in London, 19 September 2016 DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 117


ALASTAIR CAMPBELL AC: OK, talk me through the

AC: Did you know straightaway it

full-on training regime. NA: Well, I train in Sheffield with the rest of the GB boxing team, Monday to Thursday, up by 7am, on the track by 7.30am. AC: Why do boxers run in hoodies? NA: To sweat more and lose weight. Three miles is the longest run we do, or we might do intervals and sprints. Then we go back, have breakfast. AC: What do you have? NA: Frosties. AC: Are you kidding me? You might as well just eat sugar. NA: I love them. [Laughs.] I’m not having anything else, maybe a bit of toast, but Frosties every time. AC: When do you eat proper food? NA: In the afternoon. Mornings we do strength and conditioning. AC: What’s the most sit-ups you’ve done in one go? NA: About 300. AC: How many press-ups? NA: Fifty maybe. AC: Is that all? NA: You’d think I could do more but, yeah, after 50 I need a break. Then we have lunch, that’ll be chicken maybe, veg, rice as well. Meals are delivered according to what stage of the build up to a fight we’re in. AC: So when do you actually start hitting people? NA: Evening. I spar with the guys. AC: If you were to fight the guys, how many could you beat? NA: One or two, a couple of close ones definitely.

was your thing? NA: Straightaway. The first time I was in a gym, I knew it. My father was a big boxing fan and I used to watch a lot of old boxing films with him, especially Muhammad Ali. I loved Ali, his charisma and his charm outside the ring as well as inside. AC: How did you feel when he died? NA: Horrible. I never got to meet my hero. I would loved to have met him and said, “I watched you. I watched films of you winning the Olympics and becoming a world champion and you are the reason I wanted to become an Olympic champion too.” He will always be known, he’ll always be there, the greatest who ever lived. Nobody will ever forget him. AC: Who else has inspired you? NA: Sugar Ray Leonard. And my mum. AC: Your parents divorced, yes? NA: Yeah, I was ten. I knew it was coming. They were rowing a lot. I was upset, but I knew it would happen. AC: Have you stayed close with your father? NA: No. Not at all. AC: Do you think the experience made you more of a fighter? NA: I don’t know, to be honest. I mean, it was only by accident I got into boxing. My mother was going to an aerobics class and she couldn’t get a baby-sitter so she took me and my brother and there was an afterschool boxing class. AC: What is the women’s pro boxing scene like?

On the ropes (from top): Nicola Adams at the English Institute Of Sport in Sheffield, where the GB boxing team trains; in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, ahead of the Rio Games; Adams’ gold-medal match against France’s Sarah Ourahmoune, 20 August 2016

NA: There is a very good German boxer. It’s mainly the rest of Europe and America. AC: Why don’t you want to go pro? NA: I might. After 2012 I still had some goals to meet, the Worlds, the Commonwealth Games. I wanted to become the first ever boxer to get the grand slam and I did the lot this year, European, World and Olympic champion in five months. AC: What is next? NA: Turning pro has to be a good adventure for me. I’d love to be able to make a big noise on the pro scene. And then there’s the next Olympics. AC: So you can turn pro and still do the Games? NA: Yeah, they’ve changed the rules. AC: You’ll be 37 come Tokyo. Is that not a bit old? NA: There were a few older in Rio. AC: But they didn’t win. You did. NA: Some of them got medals. AC: Have you thought about switching to UFC? NA: I have thought about it... a little. [Laughs.] I’d be all right stood up, buy my ground game, the wrestling and grappling, I wouldn’t be so good at that. It’s a great sport, really technical, you need to be good with your hands and your feet, and the ground game, leg locks, arm locks, submission moves. It’s a tough sport. AC: Do you ever hate training? NA: The only thing I don’t like is the running. You’re never comfortable with it. Just when you think you might be, they move it up a level.

What’s the most you’ve ever hurt?

AC:

NA: I had a broken bone in my back. That hurt for months.

I had morphine patches and stuff, horrible. AC: What is the worst punch you’ve ever taken? NA: From a Ukrainian fighter in the European Champs. AC: Describe the pain from a real hit. NA: It’s like, “Ow... I really don’t want to take one of those

again.” It wasn’t like a concussive shot, more like a sting. rolling around in agony? NA: Ridiculous. AC: How do you feel when you hurt someone? NA: I don’t feel anything. I just think about winning. AC: Women’s boxing only became legal in 1996. What

if you had been around in the Eighties? NA: I can’t even imagine it. My life would have been

totally different. I was only 12 when I started, but in the Eighties I would never have been taken to a boxing gym. 118 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Photographs Getty Images

AC: What do you think when you see footballers


ALASTAIR CAMPBELL

missed weddings and birthdays, but when you stand on top of that podium, and you know you’re the best in the world, you realise what all the sacrifice is for. AC: So of all the possible things in the future, is a third Olympic gold the biggest? NA: That would be massive. [Britain] has never had a triple Olympic champion in boxing. That would be making more history.

Is making history important to you? AC:

NA: It’s a big motivator. You need

big goals to motivate yourself to do the training. AC: What was it like in 2012 to go from being pretty much unknown to becoming so well known so quickly? NA: It was strange. After London, I thought maybe things will be back to normal after a couple of weeks and I can stroll through my local supermarket, and I got mobbed. Day to day things became very different. A five minute walk to the corner shop would take 20 because people would want to talk or get a photo. AC: Have you encountered racism, sexism and homophobia? NA: Racism, yes. Sexism, yes, in boxing – people saying women shouldn’t box. I’ve never come across homophobia. The racism was more when I was younger, in primary school, and it’s about kids not understanding. Actually, I used to struggle with being called “black”. I said, “No, I’m brown. Look at me, I’m brown.” [Laughs.] AC: Did you feel different? NA: No. My mother’s side is quite mixed. My mother’s mixed race, my uncles and my auntie have white partners, my stepdad is white. I was always used to seeing white and black round the table. I never understood why people would be racist. AC: How conscious are you of being both a black role model and a LGBT role model? NA: I just like to be who I am and that all comes with me. AC: What role models do you have? NA: I admire Serena Williams. It’s victory after victory. It takes a lot to stay at the top of the game. AC: Is it important to you that she is black? 120 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Glittering career (below, from top): Adams won the first ever women’s boxing gold in 2012, and here claims her second in Brazil; at this year’s GQ awards, Adams presented Sportsman Of The Year to Anthony Joshua

NA: No. AC: What do you think your

trademarks are?

AC: Are you political? NA: Not really. AC: Did you vote in the EU

NA: I’d say my hair and my smile. I’ve

referendum?

always been a smiler. Even when stuff did go wrong, me, my brother, my mother, we found ways to be happy. AC: Your mother never worried about you boxing? NA: No. She loved that I found something to be passionate about. AC: If you’d not been a boxer, what might you have done? NA: I might have made it as a runner. I was good at 100 and 200 metres, and at one point they asked me to think about doing it seriously, but I would have had to stop boxing. AC: And now you hate running? NA: The running I do now is painful. AC: At 33, do you feel the body giving out at all? NA: Not at all. I’m strong, at my peak. AC: What did you make of the reception you got at the Men Of The Year awards? NA: Oh my God, it was amazing. I just wasn’t expecting that. Someone said it was the loudest cheer of the night. I remember just standing there and thinking, “Wow.” I was blown away. AC: Why do you think it happened? NA: I think everyone was just happy with my achievements. AC: Yeah, but Mo Farah was there, lots of achievers were. Yours was a very special response and you weren’t even getting an award. NA: Maybe it’s all the struggles I’ve had. Before it was an Olympic sport, there was no funding. My mother had to fund everything, working twice as hard to get the money to take me for training, competitions abroad. Then I was getting work as a film extra to bring in a bit more money. AC: Is acting something you will go back to? NA: Definitely. I was all right. I was an extra, Coronation Street and stuff. I played myself in Waterloo Road, that was good fun. AC: How about being the first black and female James Bond? NA: Wow. That’d be good. AC: When do you think the body will start to give? NA: I don’t know. I’ll be able to feel it; I won’t be as sharp; I’ll maybe struggle in training. I would stop if that happens. I am not going to be one of those boxers that goes past their peak and starts losing.

NA: No. I was away. AC: You went to Rio with David

Cameron. What was that like? NA: We went to see a charity, Fight

For Peace. I’m now an ambassador and we went to see the favelas. Have you ever seen the movie City Of God? It was just like that; one part of the city like London, all built up, and then it opens up and it is like City Of God. It was a real eye opener. AC: Are there things you want to use your celebrity for? NA: I would like to inspire more kids to get into sport and do more for the LGBT community, try to help people. I can’t do as much as I would like because of the training. AC: How old were you when you thought, “I’m bisexual”? NA: About 15. AC: How did it feel? NA: I just felt like... I liked both. But I wasn’t sure why. AC: And you talked to your mother. How was that? NA: I was actually quite nervous. It took a lot of courage. AC: Had you been lying awake at night worrying? NA: Yeah. It was quite a scary thought for me at the time. I knew one other person in my school who was the same and we talked. We hadn’t come out and we were thinking, “What is the best approach? How do I tell my mum?” You never know how the family is going to react, so I was nervous. Mum was in the kitchen washing up and I was like, “I’ve got something to tell you.” I was so nervous, I was really sweating, and she says, “What’s wrong?” And I was just like, “I’m bisexual.” And she was like, “OK, put the kettle on.” She said she kind of already knew. I was expecting some big reaction and I’m thinking, “Why have I been stressing about this for months? I should have said something earlier.” AC: Did the other girl get the same reaction? NA: Yeah. Her parents were OK, too. Some parents don’t take it well. Some don’t even talk to their kids for months, years even, but then they realise they are still their kids. AC: And now you have a partner. And she is also a boxer.

Photographs Getty Images; Rex

AC: Do you feel restricted in your life? NA: I can’t go clubbing as much as I would like to. I’ve


ALASTAIR CAMPBELL

together, photographed at a public event, was that difficult? NA: Not at all. AC: And you have never had a bad reaction? NA: No. It shows I’ve got good friends. If they are real friends, they won’t care because they like you for you, not your sexual orientation. It’s not superficial. AC: I’m amazed you’ve had no edgy stuff thrown at you by others, though. NA: [Laughs.] Maybe it’s because I’m a boxer. Who is going to say something to a boxer? Maybe I have been lucky. I do have a small, close circle of friends. I don’t tend to venture out with other people. My closest friends go right back. AC: So what have your best mates at school ended up doing? NA: One is a manager in retail. One is a social worker for kids. A couple run their own businesses. Danny McGuire plays rugby league for Leeds Rhinos. AC: Have you ever hit anyone outside the ring? NA: I’ve never needed to. [Laughs.] AC: You smile and laugh a lot. When was the last time you felt sad? NA: [Long pause.] My shoulder injury, 2014. AC: You’ve not been sad for two years? I was sad yesterday. NA: What have I got to be sad about? AC: What about life in the favelas? NA: Oh, yeah, that was upsetting. Also, seeing some of the stuff in Paris. I was upset at that. But I am a very upbeat kind of person. AC: You never have to put the smile on? NA: Never. This is me. I think that is why people took to me. I don’t pretend to be what I’m not. If I am sad you’ll know it. AC: When did you last cry? NA: On the podium at Rio. AC: Before that? NA: A long time ago. I was surprised I cried at Rio. I didn’t cry in 2012. AC: Yet surely that was even bigger, more emotional, the first ever women’s boxing gold, home country, all that? NA: I think in Rio I felt I had been through a lot more. 122 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

AC: What was the last film you

cried at? NA: I don’t cry at movies. [Laughs.] AC: When was the last time you lost your temper? NA: A couple of months ago. Someone forgot to use an indicator. AC: You’re a road rager! NA: That really annoys me. AC: Did you chase them? NA: No, I’m not that bad. AC: Do you never totally lose it? NA: No. It comes from the boxing. That tends to keep your anger under control. People who don’t understand boxing think it is about getting angry and throwing punches, but you have to be in control all the time and that is a part of me, all the time. AC: So you try to get your opponent to lose control. NA: Yes, because then they are not thinking straight. They start throwing punches in the wind. You can see in their reactions and their facial expressions that they are losing it, and you can relax. It’s like chess. AC: So is there a moment in a fight when you think, “I’ve got this”? NA: Definitely. AC: When was that moment in the final at Rio? NA: All the way through. I was confident from the word go. I’d beaten her four times, and I looked across at her when I got in the ring and I could see in her eyes she didn’t have my confidence. I thought, “This is mine.” AC: Do you think you getting in the ring and smiling has an effect on them? NA: I think so. I find it hard to imagine how I’d feel if I got into the ring and they were doing it to me. AC: What do you make of all the trash talking in the pro boxing world? NA: I think it’s funny. AC: Would you do it if you were a pro? NA: I might do a little bit of it. AC: Who is the best? NA: Ali, every time. AC: You obviously love it when crowds are with you. What about when they’re against you? NA: I’ve had that a few times, when you are in different countries boxing the home favourite. That works to my advantage, too. I hear the boos and I say, “I will silence them.”

AC: If you were trash talking, how

low would you go? NA: Nothing too bad. AC: I think you might be a bit too

nice for proper trash talking. NA: Yeah, probably. AC: Is pro boxing in good shape? NA: I think so. I’d like to see just

Red mist: Adams lifts her fist after beating Sri Lanka’s Erandi de Silva at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 30 July 2014

one world title belt per weight division though, instead of all the different ones. AC: Right, real GQ stuff now. Your hair. NA: I love my hair. I like the designs on the side that my barber does. AC: A barber? NA: Yeah, I go to a barber. Brian at Piranha Studios. AC: Why a barber? NA: He is really good at designs, and he knows what kind of thing I’ll like. I see him once a week. I look after the top myself, just get it trimmed every now and then. AC: How many tattoos do you have? NA: Three: one on my neck and back, a lion with “I am everything I want to be” written underneath; this one on my hand is the Chinese symbol for love; and I’ve got a lily on my stomach. I might do the Olympic rings, but I’m still thinking which part of the body they should go on.

Which of these statements sums you up: ‘I love winning’ or ‘I hate losing’? AC:

NA: I love winning. I don’t ever think about losing. Never.

You can’t. If you think about losing you’ve already lost. AC: How many fights have you had? How many have

you lost? NA: Over 150. I’ve lost eight. AC: What did you learn from the defeats? NA: That I don’t like losing. AC: What do you do with that? NA: Every loss I have ever had I have corrected with

a win. Every fighter who beat me, I’ve fought against them again and won. I decided I had to do that. AC: Do you ever think the judging in boxing is suspect? NA: After every competition we go back and look at the video and we break everything down and say maybe that was the point that swayed them, so should we have done this or that differently? But you don’t always know what they are looking for. AC: Have you ever felt cheated? NA: I’ve had ones where I felt I should have won and I’ve wondered what it is they were looking for. The only answer is to make sure it is not even close.

Photograph Getty Images

NA: Yeah. AC: Marriage? NA: Can’t say yet. AC: The first time you were out


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Text messenger: Baby boomer Michael Wolf tells iGens how it is

The real drama of the last year, the culture-shaping movement, has been that the old have risen up against the young

126 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


MICHAEL WOLFF

MICHAEL W LFF MILLENNIALS From Brexit to Donald Trump, age has become the political issue of our era. So, while the baby boomers man the grey barricades, GQ’s Michael Wolff minds the generation gap and Dolly Alderton sticks up for their embattled successors

STORY BY

Photographs Rex

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@MichaelWolffNYC

he most significant social pathology of my youth was the generation gap. This was the belief that people below a certain age were, practically speaking, a different species, culturally and even, to a degree, biologically (given drugs and sex), from people over a certain age. And, for a decade or more, almost every social dysfunction could be ascribed to the failure of the old, a shrinking demographic, to understand the superiority of the young, the mighty baby boomers – at least through the eyes of the mighty boomers. This social view failed to account for the inevitability of the young becoming old and so, soon enough, became mostly just an awkward trope in period movies. Even the term “generation gap” soon seemed from a very sorry boutique. And yet it’s a term begging for a revival. Age is, once again, a paramount predictor of what you believe and feel (or think you believe and feel) and how you’ll vote (or, in the case of

many young people, how you might vote, if you did vote). The younger you are, the more likely you were to have been against Brexit; you’d have to dig deeply to find an under-30 leaver. Trump is a movement of not just the poorer and the whiter, but the poorer and whiter who are older. Nativism and populism skew old; internationalism and cosmopolitanism skew young. More than half of Conservative Party members are older than 59; likewise the US rightwing is in its dotage. This is generally taken as good news by the young, with the expectation that the right will shortly die off, but for the fact that the older you get, the righter you get, hence constantly replenishing rightwing ranks. A popular critique among the anguished young after the Brexit vote was that the desires and prejudices of the old were adversely affecting a future that belonged to the young, rather suggesting that one’s vote should get smaller according to the actuarial tables – a 70-year-old’s vote should be worth half of a 35-year-old’s. DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 127


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MICHAEL WOLFF

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GAP STORY BY @DOLLYALDERTON

It is hard to think of a clearer political line, nor one whose sides are more uncomprehending of the other. We are back to two different species. Two different species occupying not just different world views, but different worlds. It’s super cities (that is, in the case of the UK, London, and in the US a dozen or so urban magnets) versus lagging geography. And even to a degree that age is not an absolute descriptor, you have, in effect, older people who identify with and economically participate in the culture and marketing dynamics of the young (often with quite some desperate over-eagerness) and, on the other side, young people who yet identify with the cultural assumptions of the old. In some sense, there are no independents, there may not even be any real left or right, there’s just young-leaning or old-leaning.

nlike its famous predecessor, in the current generation gap the status quo and establishment are now supported by the young, while the rebels, fiercely trying to undermine the seemingly triumphant liberal order, are old, and part of an officially retrograde culture. They are racists, sexists, nationalists and, fundamentally, apartheidists, particularly coalescing around the immigration issue. Their stubbornness and aggression here defines the barricade: for the young – pay no attention to the fact that, by any measure, their social view has prevailed and the older view receded – there cannot be any compromise with the culturally backwards, even if they are their grandparents. Indeed, it becomes more and more difficult to separate being resistant to the youthful urban internationalism from being a no-good-nik, if not a semi-fascist. Jonathan Haidt in his essay “When And Why Nationalism Beats Globalism” tries to parse the retro and reactionary, and you can see the difficulties. On the one hand, he says, in an economically expanding world “local ties weaken, parochialism becomes a dirty word, and people begin to think of their fellow human beings as fellow ‘citizens of the world’ (to quote candidate Barack Obama in Berlin in 2008).” He cites here the outcry

Staying power: Young Remainers protest Brexit in Westminster, 24 June, 2016

Photographs @DollyAlderton; Getty Images

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THE GAP FELT between millennials and the generation above has never been as brilliantly explored as in Noah Baumbach’s 2014 film While We’re Young. A couple in their mid-late forties, Josh and Cornelia, played by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, become enchanted by a couple in their mid-twenties, Jamie and Darbie, played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. Throughout the film, Baumbach poses a formula, a riddle to be solved: what is Generation X missing that Y has? What does X have that Y doesn’t? And what happens when X + Y? A bewildered Josh and Cornelia learn how to walk the millennial walk from their new friends – everything from hip hop dance classes to taking ayahuasca to riding a fixie bike. None of it comes naturally, particularly getting to grips with the uniquely millennial brand of nostalgic irony. Why do we listen to Phil Collins? Why do we play board games? “It’s like their apartment is full of everything we once threw out, but it looks so good the way they have it,” says a baffled Watts. That dynamic, that void, is something nearly every millennial is familiar with: information anxiety experienced both by Generation X and Generation X’s prefects – the baby boomers – when they come into contact with us. They fear that we live in a world housed by a diferent universe to theirs and panic that we’re going to work this out. I am not arrogant enough to assume my generation is the first to feel diferent to the ones before. I’ve heard The Who sing about it, I know the pack mentality of youth is as predictable as it is transferable. But that historic gap has been made all the more capacious with the rise of technology and the internet, a new friend we’ve all grown up with (quite literally, it is exactly the same age as me). For older generations the internet is a handy, exciting tool – an “ooooh” at a dinner party when they turn up REM to demonstrate what Shazam is. But for us, it is a part of our story. The identities we’ve built from adolescence are stitched into its URLs like pieces of a patchwork quilt. There are all our active and dormant social media profiles, friendships and relationships cultivated online. Email exchanges are as important as those kept in a locked filing cabinet and as precious as those in dusty shoeboxes in the attic. The internet has given us a language: TL;DR, lol, meme, DM, PM. We have diseases, psychological as well as physical: Fomo and Special Snowflake Syndrome; back problems from slumping in front of a computer and RSI from all that left and right swiping. Of course we perplex and alienate older generations. Ageing hipsters: Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts follow Adam Driver’s lead in While We’re Young

Global citizen: Jonathan Haidt at the Aspen Ideas Festival 2015

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MICHAEL WOLFF

Photographs Getty Images; John Frost Newspapers; Daniel Seed

that in 2007 greeted Gordon Brown’s call for “British jobs for British workers”. At the same time, there remains in this same world a group with a traditional outlook in which they believe, “their country and its culture are unique and worth preserving”. No surprise, the former group is significantly younger than the latter group. He then tries to describe this in a traditional Edmund Burke view: “There is nothing necessarily racist or base about this arrangement or social contract. Having a shared sense of identity, norms and history generally promotes trust.” But this does not really surmount a Farage stereotype, age about 62, or that of a 52-year-old tattooed yahoo at a Trump rally. Age is the new class, racism is the new old-age diagnosis, with the bias against age as insuperable as any other.

he 59-year-old novelist Lionel Shriver recently showed up to speak at a literary festival in Australia and found herself overwhelmed by social-media controversy because she took mild issue with the newish academic view about “cultural appropriation” that argues the legitimacy, even in fiction, of a writer writing about the experiences of a person from another culture or demographic. In supporting a less than rigid view here, Shriver became, at least on the social media spectrum, a racist. The argument, as it is framed, is an issue of heretofore oppressed groups without voices against the dominant white culture drowning out those voices. But that’s not really what it is. As sides go, it clearly breaks down as young people, embracing a new and untested idea of virtue (it really is a quite up-to-the-minute critical idea that the imagination ought to have precisely drawn restrictions), against older people (who, in this instance, have a large

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Immigrant songs: Niall Ferguson on Led Zeppelin, Brexit and Trump in the Sunday Times, 26 June 2016

Literary sensation: Author Lionel Shriver caused controversy at Brisbane Writers’ Festival 2016

Information surrounds us. I can barely read a book anymore because of all the information fired at me. The only way I can focus on a story and not on Twitter is by locking my phone in a separate room. In fact, to get anything done I have to lock my phone in a separate room. Sometimes we listen to older people talk and it becomes obvious that this weather of torrential information does not rain on them; or if it does, they ignore it. They’ll call middle-aged women “girls” and an overweight male politician “a bit of a slob”. “Women look better with long hair,” they might say, or, “Of course, they’re famously good at ping pong.” Those things they say with no second thought over cofee or in a meeting that make you shudder when you think of the death warrant that would be signed for them if they voiced it to anyone you knew. We are a generation who has learnt to skip the light fandango over egg shells. Don’t appropriate, don’t reduce, don’t generalise. Every scrap of opinion we have has to be thought about before we commit it to conversation; be it verbal or virtual. We have a legal team in our mind, preparing our thoughts for an audience. How liberating and simultaneously oppressive the privilege of information is.

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High roller: Donald Trump meets supporters in Las Vegas, February, 2016

oth sides feel the discomfort of that information chasm. They will never know the pain of sympathy felt when watching someone older, who you respect, grappling with technology; the boss who put every website URL into Google. Nothing like that sour pang of pity makes us feel more distant. But the irony is, of course, they feel sorry for us. You can’t open a newspaper supplement without another thinkpiece by an older journalist on poor old Generation Y – entitled, poisoned by porn culture, not even close to edging their pinky toe on the property ladder, narcissistic. Those poor little special snowflakes. The belief is that we’re homogenised prima donnas all desperately seeking distinction; victims of growing up in a celebrity-obsessed culture where everyone needs a dazzling story. Perhaps this cliché is true, but when you grow up in a world where everything – every photo, every haircut, every relationship, every thought – is recorded online and often undeletable, you are not given much freedom to play with your identity. Fluidity of self is something every generation before us was allowed to luxuriate in during their youth, but no such luck for us. We grew up filling in “my favourite hobbies” boxes and “about me” sections; a version of self to which we could easily be held hostage. It is then not surprising that we feel pressure to sign-of who we are. “Your generation are so sensitive,” my editor once told me, when giving criticism. I agree – much to our detriment. But maybe that’s what happens when identity becomes armour. Hypocrisy is one of the worst insults among my generation. But what is youth if not a playground where we all have a go on the hypocrisy roundabout?

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body of work, as opposed to the young, who have not) who might naturally know something about the foolishness of virtuous ideas. It isn’t politics that’s being expressed here, it’s youth, all the more vigorously because social media means there is no longer a publishing hurdle maintained by older gatekeepers.

Of the record: Nick Denton, the founder of now defunct news site Gawker

Flip-flop our politics, thrash out some thoughts. Go vegan for two years, have a mohawk for one. Identity is not something we’re allowed to play with as easily. So, forgive us if we cling on to one we think we’ve made watertight. Hold on to the parting thought of Stiller’s character in While We’re Young describing his scarily ambitious, entitled, deluded, needlessly nostalgic millennial counterpart played by Driver: “He’s not evil, he’s just... young.” When I asked my 49-year-old friend Chris what he feels are the biggest diferences between his generation and mine, it is our introspection he cites first. He thinks we are preoccupied with honing a sense of self to brand and sell; that the biggest leap between us and them is the bombastic manner we use to express our personal achievements. But then Chris is a child of the last Victorian-style parenting, raised by those whose sensibilities were hardened by a world war. He says he has no recollection of ever being told he could do whatever he wanted. “I felt like a tiny thing that orbited around a planet,” he says. “Your generation feels like the planet everything else orbits round.” There are so many other inches that make up the gap; we don’t drink and drive, they do. Although apparently we drink far more than they ever did. They fell in love with strangers in bars; we fall in love with avatars. Privacy, to them, is sacrosanct; we’re far less precious about it. We’re going to live longer, shifting every life phase back a decade. Childhood now finishes at 20, adolescence at 30. And we’ll Think of the children: Underage Brexit protestors

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132 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

do anything to eke youth out; have you seen how obsessed we are with onesies and Haribo? Larkin wrote that youth “is like hors d’oeuvres; you are so busy thinking of the next courses you don’t notice it. When you have them, you wish you’d had more hors d’oeuvres.” Well, there’s no risk of that happening to my generation; we are wolfing down those hors d’oeuvres with alacrity.

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Legal battle: Wrestler Hulk Hogan testifies against Gawker in court, March 2016

e are lagging behind where our parents were at our age – at the bottom of our overdrafts, giving half our salaries to rent matchboxes, ingesting horse tranquilisers recreationally, mass-dating variations on the cast of Bottom – which makes them worry. But they shouldn’t; there’s no rush for adulthood. We’ve got the time. The biggest gulf of all was articulated by a 62-year-old friend in a conversation about sexting. “You want instant gratification,” he groaned. “Why don’t you send each other love letters?” He is both so right and so wrong: we crave instant gratification because it’s all we know. But I don’t know if we want it. We long for longing. Maybe that explains all that nostalgic irony. We can get pad Thai delivered in half an hour at 10pm. We can get a cab in two minutes with an app. We can get the adoration of 100 strangers by posting a photo of ourselves. But we’ll never know reward like they did; the days in between sending and receiving a letter, the minute in between the last crackle of side A and the first crackle of side B of an LP. Perhaps they felt desire in Technicolor, while ours is dun from too much choice. Perhaps that’s the thing they truly know we’re missing out on, the biggest gap of all. Perhaps, despite our protestations, we agree with them.

Photographs Eyevine; Getty Images

he internet, of course, offers many instances of the age divide. Technological adaptation has itself become a clear line, denoting on the one side superiority and the new skills needed for a full modern life, and on the other a hopelessly backward condition. We of the digital age are citizens of an expanded consciousness (the original generation gap was premised too on the idea of expanded consciousness). Digital publishers Gawker offered a unique example of the age divide. It exclusively employed young people, in part for their solipsistic internet bias (a product of other journalism jobs not being available to them), and left them alone without adult supervision (the only oversight was Gawker’s owner, Nick Denton, who was not just young-leaning, but seemed to derive his own personal credibility from aggressively not supervising the young who worked for him) rather Lord Of The Flies style. The effect here was to define as the enemy anybody that deviated from a kind of age solidarity. The young and the underpaid were good, the old and the established were bad. The young who seemed to identify with the old – ie, the conventionally ambitious – were bad too. Gawker’s youthfulness became increasingly virulent and angry, focusing its attacks on older people and the older leaning. Gawker’s speciality attack was of a particular curious age-driven kind. Whereas the old and established once popularly attacked the young for their sexual impulses, now the young at Gawker focused on attacking the old for their sexual interests and nature. It was a puritanical attack that made sex as anything other than that between two affirmatively consenting young people ugly and corrupt


MICHAEL WOLFF and deserving merciless exposure. In the end, Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire, supported a law suit by wrestler Hulk Hogan against Gawker for airing a sex tape that he had unwittingly participated in. A Florida jury (read an old jury) awarded Hogan $140 million, thereby bankrupting Gawker and confirming every aspect of its generational virtue.

he special nature of millennials has been the subject in recent years of almost as much dissection as the baby boom generation half a century ago. It’s the biggest generation since and has now, as they exit the stage, overtaken boomers in numbers. Its size and its perceived hegemony make it a marketing phenomenon. Every advertising agency holding company and media powerhouse has devoted millions to surveying this new consumer force. It’s a group distinguished by the financial meltdown, giving it a sense of end-time fragility and feelings of exclusion from modernity’s upward economic march. This, in turn, has contributed to its greater sense of social virtue and group identity, pitting it against both the corporatism and individualism of preceding generations (of

On the edge: Edward Snowden is the hero of a borderless world

course, marketing studies usually feature characterisations general enough to include everyone). And it is distinguished, too, by being the first wholly digital generation (although the successor generation now seems to argue that faster access makes it more wholly digital), relatively speaking altering its conception of time and space. Indeed, part of its unique outlook is to see a largely borderless world. It is the world in which Edward Snowden, pay no attention to him sitting in Russia, is an ultimate hero and in which national boundaries are replaced by a vast new network of identity politics. Anyway, this is what should have been the big story. The young, in all their newness and novelty, rising. But, in fact, the big story, possibly the historic one, turns out not to be the power of this new group, its numbers, cultural importance, and consumer inclinations. Rather, the real drama of the last year, the culture-shaping movement, has been that the old have risen up against the young. Brexit and Trump are a generational revenge. This may partly be against millennial certainty and superiority, and, indeed, ageism; and it may be a natural part of population dynamics – not only are more people getting far older than ever before, but they are older for longer than they are young. It may also be among the first signs of a new culture, as full of foment as youth culture, but the opposite. It is not about a headlong and headstrong race to the future, but, rather, where we all end up, trying to claw back the past. That is a gap, truly cultural and biological.

THE GENERATION GAME The GENERATION

Gen Y

Millennials

Gen X

Baby boomers

Greatest generation

When were they born?

After 2000

1980-2000

1965-1979

1946-1964

Pre-1945

So right now they are...

Not doing their homework

Getting career angst

Status symbol

A million YouTube subscribers

iPhone 7

Loft extension

Headline-making divorce settlement

A Jaguar XK120. Now that’s a car!

Object of hero worship

DanTDM

Aaron Sorkin

George Clooney

Lou Reed

Winston Churchill

They remember where they were when

Their mother let them get a Facebook account

The final episode of Friends screened

The Twin Towers collapsed

They had their first threesome

The Queen was crowned

SMS

Births, marriages and deaths section

Snapchat

Instagram

Custom emojis

Who owes them an apology

Climate change deniers

Their landlords

Baby boomers

Greatest achievement

Winning a KidToyTesters giveaway

Scoring Adele meet-and-greet tickets

Affording the Andermatt chalet timeshare (on top of the school fees!)

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Making a prostate appointment

The Stones for Dirty Work

Maintaining their cholesterol at 6.9

Counting their birthday cards

You, for not visiting more

Brexit

Photographs Alamy; Shutterstock

How they keep up with their friends

Putting a second child through school


G Partnership

The blooms of the indoor version of the Azalea will provide you with a guaranteed pop of colour

LIVING COLOURS In Japan, it symbolises luck and joy. Allow thejoyofplants.co.uk to shed light on the azalea – just about the happiest little shrub there is As winter draws in and night engulfs day, vibrant bursts of colour are a tonic. Flowers, of course, are here to help, and the azalea is not shy. A flamboyant flower, resplendent in pink, red, white or burgundy, its effect is palpable – brimming with life, the azalea defies the darkness with vitality, a gift from the east renowned for bringing joy. This one knows what it’s doing – it has

been around for 70 million years, native to Japan and China, originally cultivated by Buddhist monks. Back in the 9th century, Chinese poet Bai Juyi compared the azalea to Xi Shi, considered to be one of the most beautiful women in Chinese history. To this day it’s wildly popular in east Asia, where there are major festivals devoted to it – to give someone an azalea is to give them

To bring out the energyboosting best in your azaleas, house them in a pale wood or matt earthenware pot, which will ensure maximum contrast. And for even further efect, combine the plant with geometric backgrounds – it’s positively psychedelic.

happiness, and it can similarly benefit your own home. As decorative plants go, azaleas are in a league of their own. Their positive energy can transform and revitalise a space – quite simply, happiness personified. Or, at least, flowerified. Winter be damned. Head to thejoyofplants.co.uk for more tips on how to help with the winter blues.


consumer.huawei.com/uk


©2016 movado group, inc.

MUSEUM® CLASSIC THE SINGLE DOT WATCH DIAL. AN ICON OF MODERN DESIGN. MOVADO.CO.UK


PLANE GEAR Troubador bags are a contemporary take on classic pieces and this vegetable-tanned navy leather weekender is the perfect fit for the coolest overhead locker. £1,270. Style.com

EDITED BY

ROBERT JOHNSTON

THE MOST WANTED: Brunello Cucinelli is the king of relaxed luxury, and we are loving this take on the classic cardigan. Made from superfine cashmere, it’s styled like your favourite shirt, so you can layer it up without bulking up (to keep warm and look cool). Photograph by Charlie Surbey. Jacket, £2,710. Shirt cardigan, £1,140. T-shirt, £180. All by Brunello Cucinelli. brunellocucinelli.com

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Twin town: Designers Dean and Dan Caten on the piste RIght: Coat, £1,529. Jumper, £419. Hat, £99. Goggles, £255. All by DSquared2. dsquared2.com

Hat by DSquared2, £449. dsquared2.com

DSquared2 Once it was considered a sartorial sin to sport denim on the slopes – mainly because jeans absorb water and weigh you down. But now DSquared2 has created Ski Denim as part of its new ski collection, layering the stretch fabric with a waterproof interior, allowing it to handle any movement on or off the slopes. And, of course, the DSquared2 denim comes in the label’s classic treatments: fading, patchwork, and acid washing. The whole skiwear and snowboarding collection is classic Caten brothers’ style with a technical twist, including hooded quilted jackets in their signature red-and-black check with bonded zippers and multiple pockets, alongside camo salopettes and the coolest fur hats ever to be seen on the piste – and in noire, of course.

NEWS:

From snowy peaks to city streets, be prepared for every eventuality of winter with the ultimate style brieing for the coolest season of them all. Sunglasses, £295. Both by Moncler. moncler.com

M O N C L E R is launching a range of six models of sunglasses inspired by the brand's original, iconic down jackets that were first designed in 1952 to help keep Moncler workers warm. Appropriately for a brand born high in the Alps, the sunglasses hark back to classic Seventies ski goggles and are available in contrasting black and red, brown and yellow, deep blue and light blue, and black toneon-tone colour combinations, with polarised or mirrored lenses.

Sunglasses by Moncler, £295. moncler.com

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THE KOOPLES: We like to think that Parisian

Shirt by Dolce & Gabbana, £435. At Harrods. harrods.com. Bow tie by Pal Zileri, £90. At Harvey Nichols. harveynichols.com

label The Kooples has always had part of its heart in this country, and its latest collection is a celebration of skinheads and terrace chic with parkas, car coats, short-sleeved polos, tartan touches and button-down shirts. So keep it normcore, pull on a woolly hat and get ready for a look that seems so right right now. Jacket by The Kooples, £915. thekooples.co.uk

Jacket by Richard James, £995. richardjames.co.uk

JIM CHAPMAN:

Photographs Josh Redman; Jody Todd

Crack the dress code of party season, when a little effort goes a long way.

Starting blocks It is the age of the luxury trainer, and this month Boss launches its own Italian-made version. The look is very architectural and features a cool geometric colour-block detail on the back third of the shoe from sole to lace in black and white, grey and white or navy and white. Trainers by Hugo Boss, £240. hugoboss.com

THE TERM “BLACK TIE” seems to send shivers down a lot of men’s spines. What exactly constitutes black tie? Where the hell does a cummerbund go? Why is it different to a suit? With party season on the horizon, nobody wants to pretend to be having a good time while being forced to wear something they deem ridiculous. The thing with black tie is that there is much more of a formula to follow than with other types of suiting. Some rules can be bent and others broken, but there are some that must be adhered to at all times. It can seem very complicated for an outfit that is worn only a few times a year but before you throw in the towel, ask yourself this: does James Bond feel like a sore thumb while dropping bad guys in formalwear? Of course not. He knows the rules for a kick-ass tux so here they are. First, consider the investment: you may don evening wear infrequently but once you own the suit you can get it nipped, tucked and altered to fit better than anything you could rent. Savile Row is going to leave you with something incredible but if that’s out of your price range, the high street has plenty to offer too. With stores like John Lewis offering a completely bespoke service for a decent price, even if you do only wear it a few times a year, it will soon work out cheaper than renting. A tuxedo should have a peak or a shawl lapel. The choice is yours and depends on taste and the width of your shoulders. Single-breasted, double-breasted and three-piece are all acceptable, as long as trousers are slim, have a single break over your shoe, no turn-up and a satin braid down the side. A dinner shirt needs to have a turndown collar, double cuffs and a bib front, either pleated or marcella. The bow tie can vary in texture and fabric, but to play it safe it should be black. When it comes to colours, black, midnight blue and white are acceptable, although if you’re feeling adventurous you could match black trousers with a velvet jacket in a shade of your choosing. Traditionally, footwear consists of simple, black patent shoes or pumps matched with black socks of the fine knit variety. Remember, feeling great in a tuxedo is the closet most of us mere mortals will ever get to being James Bond. I think that’s worth a little care and attention.

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 141


PILOT EPISODES: Enjoy some air time with the aviation style staple. Photograph by Mitch Payne

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1. Big Crown Pro Pilot by Oris, £3,500. oris.ch

3. 2. C8 Power Reserve Khaki Frogman by Hamilton, £1,035. by Christopher Ward, hamiltonwatch.com £1,550. christopher ward.com

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4. Big Pilot by IWC, £10,950. iwc.com

5. Boeing 100 by Bremont, £5,495. bremont.com

6. Heritage Pilot Ton-Up by Zenith. £3,900. zenithwatches.com

7. BR-X1 Hyperstellar by Bell & Ross, £14,400. bell ross.com


Gold blend: Malle’s Editions De Parfums are created by the industry’s top noses

The scent of man Frederick Malle’s unforgettable range tells a history in fragrance, says Nick Foulkes. YOU CAN TELL Frederic Malle is French. Only a Frenchman could launch a fragrance called Carnal Flower and make it work. Made for women and men, for those who know a little bit about French literature there was a suggestion of the decadent and erotic symbolist verse of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs Du Mal. Everyone else just revelled in the decadent eroticism of the olfactory stimulation. Malle has a reputation for taboo-busting boldness and is unafraid of making a statement. The figures he quotes for the use of rose in his woman’s fragrance Portrait Of A Lady are impressive: he uses ten per cent of rose extract where “other people use 0.1 per cent”. His Vetiver Extraordinaire contains 25 per cent vetiver. There is a discernible note of pride in his silky, accented voice when he says, “Our cost is probably the highest in the industry”. Listening to Malle and nosing his work, it seems that fragrance is like art, in that he paints a portrait in smell. For instance, Vetiver was an evocation of “someone who was a close friend of my father: a charming womaniser in the Seventies who was always wearing different kinds of vetivers and this would be our modern take”.

Beasts of the deep Engineer Master II Diver by Ball Most of us are never going to test the claims of a dive watch’s waterresistance to a depth of 300m as we would very rarely get below 30m. But Ball’s new dive range has been developed with the French free diver Guillaume Néry in mind – and he is the man who smashed the existing world record when he reached 126m in 2012. So it will be more than up for your shark dives in the Maldives. £2,000. ballwatch.ch

‘Listening to Malle and nosing his work, it seems his perfumes are art. He paints a portrait in smell’ And while he was nosing around the Seventies, it occurred to him that one of the most characteristic smells of the decade had been neglected for years. “I realised that there were almost no patchouli fragrances today.” I remember the Seventies and recall patchouli as the smell of hippies, all tie dyes and Camberwell carrots. Typically, Malle experienced a rather different decade: more jet set than dropout. “I wanted something that would smell like the Agnellis and Viscontis, which is hard to pull off.” But pull it off he did with Monsieur. Malle was born in 1962 to a mother who was an art director for Dior, while his grandfather was Serge Heftler-Louiche, who created Parfums Christian Dior. And as well as stylish genes, he was precocious, too, developing the eponymous Mark Birley For Men with the great Annabel’s owner and bon vivant in the Nineties. Then in 1998 he drew up a list of the top noses he would like to work with, among them Dominique Ropion, Jean Claude Ellena and Davidoff Cool Water creator Pierre Bourdon. This was the basis of the famous Editions De Parfums, with the nose’s name on the bottle – for instance, Bruno Jovanovic is credited on the label of Monsieur. Malle’s first shop opened in June 2000 and was just as unusual, featuring refrigerated cabinets to keep the stock in perfect condition. For Malle it is all about the fragrance; he talks about it in a way that is at once evocative and technical. For instance, with Ropion he developed the oxymoronic Cologne Indélébile, when of course cologne is the most evanescent Monsieur, £145. of fragrances, fresh, whisper-light, virginal. Portrait Of A “When you smell it, it is a very classical Lady, £145. Vetiver Extraordinaire, £120. luxurious cologne but what we did was use All by Frederic Malle. white musk. This plays a funny game with fredericmalle.com your brain because it has been in so many soaps your brain associates it with something pure and clean. But because musk is quite animalistic it is the closest thing to an aphrodisiac: your senses cry sexual magnet; it is a bit like Nabokov’s Lolita. The cologne pushes freshness and innocence and makes the musk even more wicked and a very interesting fragrance. Cologne is not supposed to last, but because of the musk it lasts forever.”

Divers Sixty-Five by Oris This range is a reissue of Oris’ popular dive range of the Sixties and we are glad to say that Oris has done the right thing and kept it simple and faithful to the original. The latest ofering has a very cool, marineinspired green dial. It also boasts an aluminium bezel, sapphire bubble crystal and cream numbers and hands with Super-LumiNova treatment. It comes on a steel bracelet, vintage leather strap and a black rubber strap, but the GQ favourite is the blue and green Nato version. £1,300. oris.ch

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 145


BEST OF BRITISH BY

Luke Leitch

From Savile Row’s rebel squire to made-to-measure king collaborator, Timothy Everest has spent 36 years at the cutting edge of tailoring. Now, GQ meets a true style leader as he heralds the next era of menswear. SOMETIMES YOU HAVE to ask an insensitive question. And my meeting with Timothy Everest MBE, one of Britain’s most thoughtful and aesthetically attuned sculptors of masculine style, throws up just such a moment. We are in the back garden of his restored Huguenot townhouse, where Everest is recounting the road that lead him to tailoring. Fate struck in 1981, when a then 20-year-old Everest spotted a classified ad in the Evening Standard. “Boy wanted,” it read: “on Savile Row”. It had been placed by Tommy Nutter, the legendary, avant-garde mid-century tailor. “Tommy was a real gentleman, great fun, and he could articulate what people might want before they knew it – he helped them realise how they could dress. He was very good at subverting tradition. Yes, he made clothes for The Rolling Stones, Elton John and The Beatles, but he made a lot of blue suits for normal, nonfamous young men too – and they came to Tommy because they didn’t want to go to their dad’s tailor.” There it is, that last sentence: the conversational cudgel I feel duty-bound to bash him with. Why? Because after five years with Nutter, then more working as a stylist in music and TV, in 1990 Everest founded a house of his own – and one which would soon enough be regarded as subversively revolutionary as his mentor’s. Then, as now, Timothy Everest was based in Shoreditch. Here his rejection of the fusty, ceremonial deliberateness of

Savile Row for a progressive, fashioninfluenced modernity saw him anointed as a leader of the new bespoke movement, alongside contemporaries Ozwald Boateng and Richard James. He rode at the vanguard of Cool Britannia and his sensibility won him the most influential gig in British tailoring: acting as creative consultant in charge of the highest-end suiting at Marks & Spencer. He made Daks profitable when it hadn’t been. He’s since worked in partnership with Brooks, Rapha and Superdry, all the while running his bespoke business. And thus, despite a great deal glossed over, we wheel from the day he saw that ad to now. Everest is celebrating 26 years ‘There’s a whole with his name on the door. So where are generation of all today’s non-famous young men – the men that don’t sons of his original clients – going for wear tailoring. So their suits today? we adapted and Everest, 55, takes this sharp kick to began exploring the proverbials like a stand-up champ. bespoke casual’ “Thom Sweeney!” he laughs. “Yes, there is definitely a new generation coming up. And there should be. But you know I think we are all young people in differently aged bodies.” He says, “Today we have this whole creative generation that doesn’t have to wear tailoring. So we adapted, and four or five years ago began exploring this notion of bespoke casual.” The idea was to offer a fully bespoke service to men who wanted everything except for the suit. Now Everest is taking the idea from his atelier into his new store on Redchurch Street, epicentre of that mobile creative generation, and takes me there, too. We wander up, through a railway tunnel that was a no-go back in 1990, but now houses a DJ playing cheesy house to hipsters on deck chairs. Not a single person we pass is wearing a suit. I love writing about fashion but rarely crave clothes. But once in that store, Everest’s long incubated offering of Japanese denim, US workwear and British tailoring leaves me itching to flex my debit card. Cashmere-spiked tees, knits based on Japanese weaves and denim that comes clean-cut and softly washed look both prosaic – in the most comforting possible way – but at close focus have the gleam of quirk that marks them out as special. “Why do denim?” asks Everest. “Because like a suit it gets better and better with wear.” Downstairs, a not-quite-ready space will soon become the hub of bespoke casual’s retail phase. I’m lusting over a forgiving, fine corduroy jacket with two tiers of four buttons that is proportioned to be worn wrapped and folded this way and that. “This is the sort of piece which you will soon be able to order in a multitude of fabrics,” explains Everest. My dream is that you’ll go into a pub and meet people who will tell you that everything they are wearing has been made for them.”

From top: Jeans by Fullcount x Timothy Everest, £250. timothyeverest.co.uk. Jacket, £360. Jumper, £120. Both by Timothy Everest. timothyeverest.co.uk

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 147


Umbrella by London Undercover, £75. At Style.com

NORSE CODE Napapijri introduces a new sensibility to outdoor apparel. With its nod to Scandinavian style, everything down to its hats will help upgrade your winter wardrobe. £35. napapijri.com

STYLE SHRINK EDITED BY

Is it ever acceptable to wear trainers with a suit? TJ, via email

The simple answer is that it depends on the suit. The look is older than you might think. Back in the Eighties, in the Santangelo series by Jackie Collins, Lennie Golden – described hilariously as an overgrown Robert Redford with a dash of Chevy Chase, which dates it – marries the heroine, Lucky Santangelo, in a suit and sneakers to signify his rebellious streak. Today, modern menswear is evolving at a rate of knots as men demand the same flexibility from their wardrobes as women so the suit is now more an attitude than a uniform. And being able to break down such an old-school symbol into something cool is very liberating. But don’t try to twin trainers with just any old suit – and don’t twin a suit with any old trainer either. To make the look

ROBERT JOHNSTON

I would like your advice on umbrellas. Specifically, where might one purchase a suitable and fitting item that will look at home both in town and country – and how one should carry and deport oneself with style and aplomb? Mike, via email

I’m enjoying my new raw denim jeans except for the blue hands and blue smears on my fresh white shirt. I have so far avoided a white sofa, but it’s only a matter of time. I know I’m not supposed to wash them, but is there an alternative to avoid a potentially embarrassing social situation? Nick, via email

The simple answer is no. It is water that helps the indigo dye set into the fabric, so the process that transfers dye (from your jeans, for example) onto lighter-coloured objects via friction is known as dry crocking and is a fact of life when you invest in raw denim.

148 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Indeed, it is this very instability in the dye that is attractive to the full-on denim head as it is this that means every pair of jeans will age uniquely – from the characteristic “whiskers” (or “hige”, pronounced hee-geh, if you are a Japanese aficionado) around your crotch to “atari” on thighs and belt loops and the “honeycomb” behind your knees. Unfortunately, it turns your furniture and your white Stan Smiths blue, too. Shoe-wise, your best bet is to give your jeans a turn-up as this will mean the lighter-coloured weft threads will be sitting on your footwear rather than the indigo warp threads. This isn’t a perfect solution by any means but will help. Another quick fix – and one that

Trainers by Axel Arigato, £150. axelarigato.com

work you have to choose the sort of suit you can wear a T-shirt with, such as a navy Hugo Boss stretch-cotton, slim-fit suit. For the trainers think classic – and think white. Something along the lines of the iconic white leather Adidas Originals Stan Smith, or perhaps something by one of the new fashion trainer brands such as the Swedish Axel Arigato.

you may consider unacceptable – is to give your jeans a quick soak in cold water as this will help set the dye and reduce the colour bleeding, although naturally this will mean that they are technically no longer raw. If your peers sneer, however, do tell them that the “one-wash” is actually used as standard by the more traditional Japanese manufacturers. The result won’t fade as quickly as raw denim and so will take longer to become perfectly personalised but fear not, this will happen eventually. Jeans by Nudie Jeans, £120. At Harvey Nichols. harveynichols.com

Photographs Jody Todd

I love umbrellas, although along with gloves they must be the most frequently misplaced fashion items. I have left more in taxis, bars and clubs than I care to think about. The truth is, it would make sense for me to invest in foldaway umbrellas but I just can’t. They set my teeth on edge, like seeing someone in a restaurant holding their knife like a pencil (I know, I am a sensitive flower). The only foldaway I have found that I could cope with is a rather handsome Etro number, which is half-sized, so has a certain gravitas. Unfortunately, I am told Etro no longer makes this model so if anyone else has come across another acceptable foldaway do let me know. My latest umbrella is a rather handsome navy and orange number with a chestnut crook from Turnbull & Asser. It is sturdily built and takes me from Bond Street to the wilds of Sussex with ease. I prefer a crook to a straight handle as you can pop it on your arm when it isn’t raining to free up your hands or even give it a good boulevardier-style twirl. For umbrella heaven head to James Smith & Sons (james-smith.co.uk), the best umbrella shop in the world. For town, I would go for its classic black City umbrella with a polished hickory handle for £325. If you fancy something a little less traditional, check out London Undercover. I recommend the maple-handle houndstooth twill model, which has an eye-catching orange underside – excellent value at £75. And if you are less scatty than I it should last a lifetime.


G Partnership

NEWBURGH QUARTER IS LONDON’S BEST-KEPT MENSWEAR SECRET Take a trip off the tourist trail in central London’s most creative style district, home to the coolest men’s brands around IF you’re a serious style fan, but not a fan of elbowing your way through the crowds of London tourists, it’s time to get off the beaten track – and the good news is you don’t have to go far. Running parallel to Carnaby Street and only a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus Tube station, you’ll find the cobbled roads of Foubert’s Place, Marshall Street, Newburgh Street, Lowndes Court, Marlborough Court and Ganton Street: a collective known as the Newburgh Quarter, packed with some of the most noteworthy independent fashion outposts in the capital. Whatever aspect of menswear makes you tick, there is a whole host of options to explore, from rugged American labels (Levi’s Vintage, Red Wing, Nixon and Shinola), and bang on-trend streetwear (Billionaire Boys Club, Oi Polloi, Evisu), to cool British brands (Cubitts, Barbour, Baracuta, Peckham Rye, Mark Powell). However, it’s not just about the clothes - there are two barbershops in the vicinity (Pankhurst London and Johnny’s Chop Shop) and a selection of coffee shops, restaurants and pubs (Little Pitt, Kua ‘Aina, Department Of Coffee And Social Affairs). It might be hidden away, but once you find it, you’ll be hard pressed to leave. carnaby.co.uk @CarnabyLondon #NewburghQuarter

Clockwise from top: Rucksack by Filson; Watch by Shinola; Traditional Weatherwear; Little Pitt; Baracuta; Newburgh Street


Capital assets: Fortnums’ new menswear floor holds all you need to take care of business

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The Piccadilly landmark has been the nation’s favourite since 1707, and now a revamped menswear floor proves that age is no barrier to innovation. GQ picks three styles in store to suit every man... 1 Trench coat by Aquascutum, £850. 2 Briefcase by Ettinger, £2,775. 3 iPhone dock by Native Union, £110. 4 Shaving set by DR Harris, £205. 5 Cufflinks and lapel pin gift set by Alice Made This, £280. 6 Watch by Cobra & Bellamy, £159. 7 Pen by Ajoto, £175. 8 Gloves by Dents, £125. 9 Cardholder by Ettinger, £170. 10 Tie by Drakes, £125. 11 Scarf by Johnstons Of Elgin, £195. 12 Pocket square by Lisa King, £55. 13 Aftershave by Penhaligon’s, £69. 14 Belt by McRostie, £155. All at Fortnum & Mason. fortnumandmason.com

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Photograph Matthew Beedle Set stylist Lisa Jahovic

FORTNUM & MENSWEAR

or the past three centuries Fortnum & Mason has been one of the most famous stores in the world, but now the Piccadillybased institution has its focus firmly on the future, with a renewed men’s offering that promises to be one of the most interesting in the capital. The origins of the company date back to 1707 (making it the fifth oldest shop in London), when it was established just around the corner from the site it occupies today – 181 Piccadilly. Founder William Fortnum worked in the household of Queen Anne. At the time, the Royal Family insisted on having new candles every morning, so the enterprising footman made a small fortune selling the half-used ones. He also had a sideline as a grocer and managed to persuade landlord Hugh Mason to be his business partner. It soon became famous as the supplier of the most luxurious foodstuffs in the world and when William’s grandson Charles went into the service of Queen Charlotte in 1738 it re-established the royal connection that Fortnum & Mason still enjoys today. From the start, Fortnum’s prided itself on being an innovator. In 1738 it invented the Scotch egg as the perfect picnic snack for the hampers it had just started to sell. The iconic hampers have come a long way since, and are now even available as “hamperlings” in Heathrow Terminal 5 for travellers who fancy caviar or smoked salmon on their flight. In 1886 it became the first store in the UK to stock Heinz baked beans,


I N T E R N AT I O N A L | R E S TAU R A N T S

CREATING ICONIC FOOD AND BEVERAGE CONCEPTS GQBAR.COM


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Keep track: Find athleisure wins and A/W hits at 181 Piccadilly

2. SPORTS LUXE

Photograph Matthew Beedle Set stylist Lisa Jahovic

1 Jumper by Sunspel, £160. 2 Backpack by Coach, £395. 3 Headphones by Aedle, £249. 4 USB by Native Union, £49.99. 5 Watch by Paulin, £205. 6 Keyring by Native Union, £40. 7 Cardholder by Paul Smith, £110. 8 Coat by Aquascutum, £550. 9 Sunglasses by Persol, £230. 10 Trainers by Norman Walsh, £185. 11 Shirt by Sunspel, £105. 12 Jumper by Genevieve Sweeney, £180. All at Fortnum & Mason. fortnumandmason.com

having bought every one of the samples that Mr Henry Heinz brought to the country. And the quest for innovation wasn’t restricted to groceries. When Yves Saint Laurent left Christian Dior, Fortnum’s was the first store in Britain to stock his new label, buying the entire collection unseen. “The business has always been based on innovation,” says retail and hospitality director Simon Thompson. “We have a lot of history to live up to so we are constantly looking for new things that we hope people will like.” But when it comes to the new menswear department, what Thompson and his team are adamant about is that Fortnum’s is not seeking to emulate the luxury powerhouses that line nearby Bond Street. “We’re definitely attracting a younger customer and I think he is somebody that wants to find something a bit different,” explains menswear buyer Sarah Burton. “The whole pace on the menswear floor is just a little slower, so customers can actually learn the stories behind the brands from the staff. Our man is definitely somebody looking for something unique and preferably British. They are looking for something that they can feel proud of and has a story behind it.”

The indulgently slower pace of the menswear floor is emphasised by the relaunch of the barber shop in one corner. Well, we say relaunch, but it is actually 50 years since Fortnum’s last boasted an in-house barber. But the years in between have had their advantages. “Bringing back the barber shop was always on the table when we started to look at refreshing the menswear floor,” says Thompson. “It’s a great way to bring men back up into the space. It encourages them to linger and get to know the people and the products. And it really seems to work. We also had the idea to offer keeps – small personal lockers – in the barber’s area. I think it’s unique for a barber but it makes sense because we have a wonderful wine department; and across the way, we have cigars. So this idea of personal space was already here. We’ve sold around two-thirds of the keeps already. It means that people can store their own fragrance to make the grooming experience feel truly bespoke.” The result is very much in the spirit of St James’s, the historic enclave that surrounds Fortnum’s and is the global hub for menswear

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Forty ways to Sunday: Seek something for the weekend among these out-of-office staples

3. WEEKEND

– from the totally traditional to the ultra-modern. And appropriately Fortnum’s is a big supporter of the British menswear and accessory industries. Everything is chosen by the Fortnum’s team and carefully curated – there are no concessions. “I think around 85 per cent of the brands we work with are British,” says Burton. “There is something very true to the Fortnum’s ethic about being able to support local businesses and young designers, both in London and the country at large. For example, we’ve been working with Genevieve Sweeney who makes very beautiful jumpers and scarfs. She has antique looms that she uses to create some of her pieces, which are amazing. And McNair makes brilliant outerwear pieces that you can wear anywhere from snowboarding to walking the dog. And each piece is signed by the person who actually made it. We love little touches like that.” In addition, you can also find St James’s institutions such as Turnbull & Asser as well as cool fashion pieces from luxury labels

154 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

such as Pringle. The real star of Fortnum’s menswear show, however, is arguably the best collection of accessories in London, including a number of long-standing GQ favourites. These include beautiful bags and luggage by Chapman; cool contemporary ties by Marwood; and luxurious scarves by Quinton Chadwick. There is a range of umbrellas by Fox, a family-run brand that is famous for making the best brollies in the business. Men’s jewellery ranges from the heritage cufflink designs of Deakin & Francis, one of the stalwarts of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter for more than 200 years, to ultra-modern pieces by London-Based brand Alice Made This. A real find is the range of Norman Walsh trainers, a classic Bolton-based company that has in its history produced footwear for Olympic teams and expeditions by Sir Chris Bonnington. “We want men to come and enjoy the floor,” says Thompson. “whether they come to the barber or to browse. We want them to come on a journey, so they should be with us for a while.” Robert Johnston

Photograph Matthew Beedle Set stylist Lisa Jahovic

1 Shirt by Sunspel, £145. 2 Travel bag by Ghurka, £1,495. 3 Manicure set by Czech & Speake, £375. 4 Umbrella by Fortnums x Mr Stanford, £175. 5 Beard oil by DR Harris, £25. 6 Tech case by Stow, £325. 7 Trousers by Gieves & Hawkes, £175. 8 Sunglasses by Ray-Ban, £125. 9 Scarf by Johnstons Of Elgin, £150. 10 Cardholder by Passavant & Lee, £165. 11 Aftershave by Czech & Speake, £100. 12 Pyjama shirt by P Le Moult, £120. 13 Jumper by Genevieve Sweeney, £200. 14 Candle by Keap, £45. 15 Watch roll by Stow, £195. 16 Watch by Instrmnt, £180. All at Fortnum & Mason. fortnumandmason.com


G Partnership

WINNING FORMULAS

The

2017

Solve your gift dilemmas this Christmas with a selection from the ninth annual GQ Grooming Awards

1. BEST NEW ANTI-AGEING CREAM Pro-Collagen Marine Cream by ELEMIS

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Levison Wood: “Nice texture, subtle scent.” Roger Frampton: “Has a light texture that left my skin feeling soft.” Neil Moodie: “My skin loved this. I noticed a positive difference after a couple of days.” Matthew Zorpas: “The most powerful anti-ageing cream at reducing wrinkles and improving skin firmness. The best choice for turning back the clock.” £55 for 30ml. elemis.com

2. BEST NEW SHAMPOO Thickening Shampoo by Sachajuan Neil Moodie: “This instantly made a difference to the thickness of my hair and I loved that the scent was very subtle.” Richard Biedul: “For fans of 2

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Swedish design, the packaging is beautifully minimal and, truth be told, wouldn’t look out of place in Patrick Bateman’s bathroom. The combination formula of seaweed and algae leaves hair looking visibly thicker and well nourished.” GarçonJon: “Best lather, goes a long way and not much product needed. Hair felt stronger and thicker after use.” £20 for 250ml. sachajuan.com

3. BEST NEW GADGET Genius 9000 Electric Toothbrush by Oral B Eric Underwood: “I love this product; it’s a dental hygienist in a toothbrush.” Roger Frampton: “Slick design and informative display that helps you get a very thorough clean.” Neil Moodie: “My teeth felt cleaner than ever, free of plaque and protected.” Jessica Punter: “A foolproof app that works like a pocket dentist and gives teeth a professional clean, every time.” From £140. oralb.co.uk

4. BEST NEW FRAGRANCE L’Homme Prada Jessica Punter: “Understated, chic and sensual, Prada’s new scent embodies the modern man.” Richard Biedul: “The glass and silver flacon adorned in black Saiano leather is the physical manifestation of the Prada man. The mixture of iris, amber and geranium is unique and has superb projection without becoming overpowering. L’Homme Prada genuinely feels like an instant classic.” Eau de toilette, £69 for 100ml. prada.com


Shades of spray: Rag & Bone’s range of eau de parfums was 18 months in the making

Tat’s life Tattoos: once the sole reserve of punks, sailors and criminals. But we can thank a generation of rappers, footballers and hipsters for making the tat as commonplace as the flat white. Now, a third of British men aged 16-44 boast at least one. This presents an opportunity for skincare brands hoping to capitalise on body ink. Enter L’Oréal Men Expert, with the first moisturiser created for tattoo maintenance. It contains bodybuilding supplement creatine to help preserve the colour and condition of your art. Sadly, it can’t do anything for that Celtic symbol that seemed so unique at the time. Hydra Energetic Moisturising Body Lotion Tattooed Skin Reviver by L’Oréal Men Expert, £7.99. At Boots. boots.com

GROOMING: Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright has long made clothes that follow his personal style, and now his new eight-strong range of unisex scents is being brought into the fold. EDITED BY

JESSICA PUNTER

156 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

PHOTOGRAPH BY

ARTHUR WOODCROFT

Photograph Josh Redman

T  

alking about Rag & Bone, his successful New York-based fashion label, there are three words that Brit founder Marcus Wainwright uses most: craftsmanship, authenticity and wearability. So it’s no surprise that his new fragrance line is all about those same three things. He embarked on an 18-month project with Firmenich, the Swiss fragrance powerhouse, and a handful of perfumers to develop this ambitious collection of eight unisex eau de parfums. Seven are named for classic ingredients – Amber, Bergamot, Cypress, Encens, Neroli, Oud, Rose – and the eighth is Oddity. Each has a solid glass bottle with a satisfying magnetic cap that speak of their German engineering, housed in a pleasing box that you’ll want to keep. “We wanted to avoid the big, flashy single fragrance launch,” says Wainwright. “We felt that to come out with one scent for men and one for women was too restrictive.” Indeed, this fashion-conscious, androgynous label has always had broad appeal, never slavishly following trends. Collections have been based on the perennial influences of Savile Row tailoring, military uniform and American workwear. All of which translates into the perfectly cut jeans, shirts and coats that blend seamlessly into our wardrobes. It might not have been the original intention but the selection process revealed a preferred Rag & Bone signature. “We realised in that search, the specific scent that represented the brand itself was the outlier, the Oddity. Leather, tobacco: it’s the smell of workwear,” explains Wainwright. “It just smells how I want to smell.” Given Wainwright started Rag & Bone out of a desire to make “clothes for me”, it bodes well for the success of his fragrance line. JP Rag & Bone Eau De Parfum, £95 for 50ml. rag-bone.com


Finishing touches: Theo James made his name in Downton Abbey and the Divergent franchise Boss The Scent Eau de Toilette, £64 for 100ml. At Debenhams. debenhams.com

From aristocratic bedrooms to dystopian worlds, actor THEO JAMES has an all-round game that appears to embody Hugo Boss’ new fragrance

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efore Hollywood came calling, Theo James was best known for his role as scandalous Kemal Pamuk in Downton Abbey (he dies in Lady Mary’s bed). But it’s his role as Four in the Divergent series that has helped cement his status in the US, driven by a devoted fan base who seem to have trouble separating his onscreen romance with co-star Shailene Woodley from reality (he’s in a long-term relationship, or at least he was when we went to press). As the face of Boss fragrance, The Scent, he’s another good-looking Brit quietly making it across the pond, but did he have to fix his teeth to break America? “Actually, I think British actors do well in Hollywood because they’re not too groomed,” he says. “If you’re

THE RULES OF ATTRACTION:

too metro, or have a very clipped beard or eyethat doesn’t date and the cut has to be good brows or whatever they do here, then there but not too skinny. Too skinny is boyish.” isn’t enough authenticity, whereas I think Brits But James thinks the art of seduction is are all right because they don’t do too much” being eroded by dating apps. “My friends He’s certainly got his off-duty style down for use Tinder and the like; sometimes it leads any lurking paparazzi: “I like a black bomber to good things,” he says. “But what is lost is jacket because it’s simple and you can chuck that spark you get when you meet someone anything underneath it. A three-quarter randomly when you’re not expecting to. If length, mid-weight winter coat is good and something doesn’t go right, the ability to an old T-shirt with a broken just get back on Tinder and down plaid shirt is always hook up with someone else easy.” For the red carpet his is just too easy.” So does he ‘I think British formula is equally simple: “A still think men should smell good suit and a nice watch actors do well of cigarettes and alcohol? kind of helps you armour up. in Hollywood “When the moment is right, definitely.” Jessica Punter And a decent fragrance is the because they’re finishing touch. I like stuff not too groomed’ hugoboss.com

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 159


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

HOLLY ROBERTS

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Jacket by Napapijri, £245. napapijri.com 2 Jacket by AG, £240. At Selfridges. Selfridges.com 3 Trainers by Axel Arigato, £165. axelarigato.com Jumper by Salvatore Ferragamo, £1,370. ferragamo.com 5 Watch by Henry London, £135. henry-london.com 6 Jumper by Farah, £55. farah.co.uk 7 Boots by Dune, £110. dunelondon.com 8 Pyjamas by Hammond & Co., £32. At Debenhams. debenhams.com Jacket by The Kooples, £335. thekooples.com 9

160 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Junior Retail Editor Michiel Steur

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


PREVIEW

We love Contemporary classics by Prada Be on the front foot when you step into the world of Prada. The label has always had a genius for blending the modern with tradition and these handsome classic Derbies with the contrasting colour rubber toecap are the perfect case in point. Wear them with the confidence of knowing you are making a real Milanese fashion statement.

Photograph Mitch Payne

Shoes by Prada, ÂŁ775. prada.com

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 161


PREVIEW

Alberts club, 92 Old Bromton Road, London. SW7 3LQ

Suit by Canali, £1,110. canali.com Jacket by Geox, £379. geox.com

BR126 Aeronavale watch by Bell&Ross, £3,350. bellross.com

How to

Edited by Holly Roberts

Dress for a members’ club Taking its name from Queen Victoria’s consort, members’ club Albert’s is nestled in the historic location of Old Brompton Road. Aimed at the well-connected, Albert’s could well and truly have taken the crown as the definitive London members’ club. Enhancing its luxurious surroundings, Albert’s is adorned in opulent fabrics and fittings. From the rich mahogany framed Martini bar and lavish dining room, to the exclusive RollsRoyce Chaufer service offered to its members (yep, you heard that right). Whether you’re popping in to have a dry malt, dine in style, or strictly let loose, it’s important to dress the part. For a contemporary take on casual elegance, opt for dressed-down tailoring. A textured suit – such as this Prince of Wales check from Canali – is not only formal enough to tick the style boxes but it is also just as effective used as separates. Team the trousers with this navy suede bomber jacket from John Lewis, ditch the tie and instead layer over a fine gauge rollneck from Jacob Cohen, a statement of laid-back luxe. Finish your look with the ultimate arm candy from Bell & Ross and a splash of the latest fragrance from Valentino, Uomo Intense. Annual subscription £500. albertsclub.com

162 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Uomo Intense fragrance by Valentino, 100ml for £73. At Harrods. harrods.com Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti, £555. giuseppezanotti.co.uk

Jacket, Kin by John Lewis, £99. johnlewis.com

Rollneck by Jacob Cohen, £432. jacobcohen.it


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


Jacket, £999. T-shirt, £45. Trousers, £110. All products are available in your nearest Michael Kors store and online at michaelkors.com


G Partnership

OFF DUTY To celebrate the lifestyle partnership between McLaren-Honda and Michael Kors, GQ enjoyed a little R&R with 2009 Formula One world champion Jenson Button to experience life in the slow lane… Jenson Button is taking a break. After 17 years on the racing circuit, and having competed in over 300 grands prix, in 2017 the McLarenHonda driver and 2009 Formula One World Champion will give his body a well-earned rest and take a year off competing. However, that doesn’t mean the end of the road for the 36-year-old “Frome Flyer”. Motor-racing’s elder statesman has confirmed he will be taking on an ambassadorial role for his team, representing McLaren-Honda not just professionally – “I intend to work hard on car-development,” says Button, “and I’m sure I’ll get behind the wheel of the new car at some point” – but also commercially. And no wonder. As our exclusive photo shoot shows, with his rugged good looks and impeccable fashion sense, Button is completely in tune with the McLaren-Honda

team’s official lifestyle partner Michael Kors. The luxury brand’s ready-to-wear range is perfectly suited to men who enjoy life in the fast lane, so who better to model it than a racing driver who has won 15 grand prix races, and enjoyed 50 podium finishes? But don’t expect to see Button smoking a pipe and relaxing in a pair of slippers just yet. “I am definitely not retiring,” he assured motorsport fans. “In 2018 there is an option for me to race for McLaren-Honda again, which is pretty awesome.” On 18 November Jenson Button will discuss his incredible career in a conversation with GQ’s own Paul Henderson… and you are invited. To attend the event at the brand new flagship Michael Kors store in London on Regent Street, register by visiting us at gq.co.uk/michaelkorsevent


Blazer, £215. Sweater, £130. T-shirt, £45. Trousers, £110. Above: Shirt, £85. T-shirt £45.


G Partnership

Sweater, £110. T-shirt, £45. Padded vest, £175. Trousers, £110. Trainers, £195. All products are available in your nearest Michael Kors store and online at michaelkors.com


E D I T E D BY

CHARLIE BURTON & STUART McGURK

Best for design

THE NEW CLICK BAIT P H OTO G R A P H S BY

MITCH PAYNE

Camera makers’ latest smartphone-battling gambit is retro design. GQ tested the best forward-thinking, backwards-looking compacts... CAMERA TEST #1

PEN-F by Olympus A gorgeous looking camera with brains to boot. The picture quality is impressive and the slew of filters, which can also be applied to video, is a further broadside to Instagram. Our only complaint is that the image stabilisation system makes an annoying whirr and it lacks 4K video. Win: Great looks. Fail: No 4K video. £1,200 (including lens). olympus.co.uk DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 169


Laurent-Perrier chosen by

Claridge’s.

Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Photo credit: Iris Velghe / Illustrator credit: Quentin Blake

CUVÉE ROSÉ CHOSEN BY THE BEST


LAB Best for low light CAMERA TEST #2

RX1R II by Sony The efective 42.4MP full-frame sensor inside this camera is insane. It can make pitch black look like twilight without a flash and captures an extraordinary amount of detail. Combine that with fast autofocus and tilting screen and a beautiful design (we love the pop-up viewfinder) and you have a camera that we’d choose over many DSLRs. Win: Incredible resolution. Fail: Expensive. £3,449 (including lens). sony.co.uk

Best for a novel experience CAMERA TEST #3

X M-D  (Typ 262) by Leica None of this group is more retro than the Leica, for the simple reason that it does not have a rear display. Yes, you read that correctly. Leica says that this “takes photography back to its purest level – allowing photographers to concentrate solely on the subject before them” and “bringing back the joy of anticipation of waiting to see how our pictures turned out”. At £4,650, we’d happily do without that anticipation. Win: Robust. Fail: No screen. £4,650 (body only). uk.leica-camera.com

Best for value

CAMERA TEST #4

X X-Pro2  by Fujifilm The unusual hybrid viewfinder feature means it can flick from a digital to optical view at the push of a button or display a small electronic viewfinder within the optical (for checking the autofocus). The downside? It’s big and the integrated shutter speed/ISO dial is fiddly. Win: Hybrid viewfinder. Fail: Fiddly design. £1,499 (body only). fujifilm.eu/uk

CAMERA TEST #5

Lumix DMC-GX80 by Panasonic Sure, it doesn’t look as alluring as the others – but then as the most afordable, you get plenty else for the price. The image quality is splendid (that’s thanks to the lack of an “optical low pass” filter, allowing it to capture more detail) and it also comes with a collapsing zoom lens, 4K capability, plus a number of filters. Sadly, the rear screen is not fully articulated. Win: Innovative kit lens. Fail: Limited screen articulation. £509 (body only). panasonic.com/uk

Photographs Mitch Payne

Best for innovation

The BREAKDOWN

PEN-F by Olympus

RX1R II by Sony

M-D (Typ 262) by Leica

X-Pro2 by Fujifilm

Lumix DMC-GX80 by Panasonic

125 x 72 x 37mm

113 x 72 x 65mm

139 x 80 x 42mm

141 x 83 x 46mm

171 x 122 x 44mm

Body weight

427g

507g

720g

495g

426g

Sensor

20MP

42.4MP

24MP

24.3MP

16.8MP

Dimensions (w x h x d)

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 171


LAB

Also this month:

Wireless earphones Want an alternative to Apple’s AirPod wireless earphones? The future of personal audio is already here. We test three of the big-hitters...

Gear IconX by Samsung Samsung’s Gear IconX does a lot of things reasonably but nothing brilliantly. Like the Dash by Bragi, it comes complete with a full set of fitness and tracking functions – even a heart-rate monitor – but unlike the Dash we found the touch controls responsive and accurate, and it boasts the same internal storage (4GB) for phone-free music. It’s the latter that proved

a slight niggle – the sound is good, but it’s still not up to the standard of high-end, wired headphones. At the moment, that’s still a compromise. Win: Full set of fitness functions; smart controls. Fail: Sound quality isn’t quite up to that of wired headphones. £170. samsung.com

M-1 by Earin We loved the look of the ultra-minimal Earin M-1s – in fact, they’re so small the only drawback was people would often speak to us without realising we had earphones in. The charging case – a slick pop-out metal tube – is a touch of class and foam tips manage to keep them firmly in place. The sound is good, and considering the size the near-three-hour battery life impressive. And yet: that’s all they are. No fitness functions and you can’t even take calls, meaning the price tag will prove prohibitive for some. Win: The smallest wireless earphones – the size of earplugs. Fail: Lack of functions will frustrate some. £199. earin.com.

Dash by Bragi The Dash bills itself not just as a set of headphones, but as a one-stop wearable device, complete with 27 sensors – from multiple microphones to heart-rate monitors to accelerometers, gyroscopes and even a flash drive of 4GB internal storage (so you can have some music without needing to be paired to your phone) – it’s by far the most fully functional on test. Yet we found it hard to love, from the temperamental Bluetooth connection to the awkward touch controls. The battery, at four hours, is decent, but then, they’re not the smallest.

The BREAKDOWN

M-1 by Earin

Gear IconX by Samsung

Dash by Bragi

Battery life

170 minutes

180 minutes

240 minutes

3.5g

12.6g

13.8g

On-board storage

None

4GB (1,000 songs)

4GB (1,000 songs)

Fitness functions

None

Yes

Yes

Weight

172 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Photographs Mitch Payne

Win: Decent battery (the case also holds five charges); multiple functions. Fail: Dodgy Bluetooth connection; bad controls. £250. bragi.com


The BeoSound 2 is the bigger brother of the pair. It needs a mainline power input, but promises completely encapsulating sound

BeoSound 1, BeoSound 2 and BeoVision Horizon all tap in to Bang & Olufsen BeoLink Multiroom system to build a seamless network across your home

Designed with mobility in mind, The BeoSound 1 is lightweight, wireless and battery powered – supporting up to 16 hours of wireless use

The systems’ bodies hover slightly above the ground, letting the bass out from underneath, while an opening towards the top provides better acoustics


G Partnership

AVANT-GARDE AUDIO Wireless, mobile and immaculately designed: Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound speakers are as flexible and dynamic as your lifestyle When it comes to sound systems, Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound range is something else entirely. For some time now, design-focused Bang & Olufsen has pushed what’s possible in entertainment across a variety of fronts – design, technology and accessibility to name three – and continues to show no signs of slowing down with its latest systems. These are the BeoSound 1 and the BeoSound 2 – a pair of futurethinking speakers designed to be as flexible as you need them to be. By marrying contemporary design with forward-thinking tech, both systems are made to be wholly adaptable to any lifestyle. Whether that’s on the shelf in the kitchen to make meals a little more interesting, in the lounge to take entertainment to the next level or anywhere else in the home. Each device sits slightly off of

the floor, allowing the bass to boom out from underneath, while – at the top – the 360 degrees of Bang & Olufsen Acoustic Lens Technology spreads the sound in a complete circle, rather than a singular direction. But, when it comes to deciding – the BeoSound 1 or the BeoSound 2, a decision not to be made lightly – it comes down to what you want from your wireless speaker system. The BeoSound 1, the smaller of the pair, is designed to be used wherever you need it and is at its best when on-the-move around your home and garden – supporting wireless use for up to 16 hours. The BeoSound 2 – a real behemoth of beats – is the bigger, more powerful sibling. While it needs a mainline power source, it offers supreme clarity and distinction, no matter your track of choice.

Smart TV So-called “Smart TVs” are now a mainstay in technology, to the point that now it takes a noticeably impressive system to get the masses talking. Thankfully, this is what Bang & Olufsen’s BeoVision Horizon TV is all about. Rather than packing the design with superfluous interfaces, Bang & Olufsen opted for a minimalist feel, helping it blend in to any environment, where its built-in viewing conditions come in to play. Inside the 4K Ultra HD TV, sits a sensor that detects varying light conditions to adjust the screen accordingly, so you can forget about that familiar glare, and sound hasn’t been forgotten. With its great quality there is no need to invest in a separate sound bar.

Handily, the BeoVision Horizon taps-in to Bang & Olufsen BeoLink multiroom technology, integrating seamlessly with other Bang & Olufsen products to create an experience like no other, which is what “smart” televisions should be all about.

But the technology goes beyond how the music sounds and how the systems operate. Both house proximity sensors that – when someone is detected nearby – will activate the user interface to turn to the user’s position, ready to start. Then, the wheel can be turned to adjust the volume, while taps and swipes will give other commands. Not to mention their clever options to integrate with Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn and the fact that they support Google Case, AirPlay, Bluetooth and DNLA. Talk about intuitive home tech. Visit your local Bang & Olufsen store before 31 December 2016 for a personal demonstration and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a BeoSound One. To find your nearest retailer visit bang-olufsen.com/en/find-store


TECH NEWS WITH REAL IMPACT Ars Technica, founded in 1998, is the world’s most influential technology website and community, providing deep analysis and impartial reporting of the confluence of science, technology, policy, and the Internet. Ars Technica UK builds upon these 17 years of experience, with high-quality journalism that spans the width and breadth of UK and Europe. “Ars comes up with insight that no one else has.” Sergey Brin, cofounder, Google

ARSTECHNICA.CO.UK


Head trip: Andy Warhol’s Skulls, 1976

N E A R - D E ATH EXPERIENCE The theme of mortality in Andy Warhol’s work came to the fore after he was shot and seriously wounded in 1968 by radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas. The incident was turned into a song by Lou Reed and John Cale, “I Believe”, in 1990.

Photograph Artist Rooms, National Galleries of Scotland and Tate

MEMENTO MORI

THIS timely exhibition of 232 works in Manchester focuses on death, both public and private, and its relationship to the American dream, as well as the artist’s conflicted feelings about his country. What Warhol loved about the US, currently labouring under fresh cultural and political struggles, was that “A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.” Which says everything and nothing, as well he knew. SOPHIE HASTINGS artist rooms: andy warhol, at the whitworth, university of manchester. 19 november - 16 april. whitworth.manchester.ac.uk

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


MY LOSING STREAK The Rio Olympics was a disaster and Andy Murray’s team crushed Argentina in the Davis Cup. Well, that’s how it was supposed to pan out... Martin Samuel

his was going to be a column about Andy Murray and the Davis Cup final. You know, the way he had performed the impossible in turning around British tennis and actually fashioning something akin to a team. It was going to take in his teenage years, his memories of being the only British tennis player in a roomful of happy French and Spanish rivals. The column would suggest he was inspired by those feelings of isolation to almost search for, and create, his own team. How he has gone out of his way to encourage young players and not just the men, but women and wheelchair athletes, too. There would have been anecdotes, recollections from colleagues, an attempt to trace his team prototypes from the tightness of his family in Dunblane, through to his time as an aspiring footballer and then to the present day. A picture would be painted of Murray at the heart of a victorious Davis Cup squad, now going for the trophy a second time, against Croatia on 25 November. Maybe I’d chuck in a bit of pop culture, too – tell the story of how Jonathan Richman gave up busking to form The Modern Lovers. “I was lonely,” he explained. And then Britain lost to Argentina in the semifinal so that plan went thrupennies up. The key moment was Murray’s defeat to Juan Martín del Potro, an opponent ranked 63rd in the world. I didn’t see that one coming. But it’s par for the course for me right now. One of the things they don’t tell you at journalism school – not that I ever went – is that sports writing involves a degree of clairvoyance: where to be on any given Saturday; which match will produce the greatest drama, have the strongest storyline, carry the most significance. Something’s gone wrong with my radar. I’m just bang out of form. The first Winter Olympics I covered, there was a guy from the Independent who decided to plough a lone furrow. While the rest of us were dashing off to the curling or to the latest figure skating scandal, he would track an esoteric subject to the ends of the earth. Some Finnish biathlete, who had to gnaw her way out of a bear trap. His office wasn’t buying into these storylines. So he’d return from eight hours in the frozen wastes and you’d hear him pouring out this epic tale over the telephone and then a pause. “Oh, right. Six pars. OK.” Click. Every day.

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It didn’t go as expected, like being Wayne Rooney

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Argentina turner: Andy Murray endures Davis Cup defeat against the man he beat at the Olympics

Wrong place, wrong time Sport’s appeal lies in its unpredicability, though that’s small comfort for the poor journalists

SERENA WILLIAMS She was supposed win the US Open to become the grand slam record holder. Martin Samuel watched her go out in the semi-finals.

RIO OLYMPICS Expected to be all drugs cheats and city-wide chaos, Samuel missed Britain’s best Games since 1908.

So that’s the job. Make sure your office is behind it, that the readers are going to be engaged and, most of all, guess right. Keep turning up losers and it becomes a costly form of ambulance chasing. Off you go, because this time you’re sure Murray is going to win, or it’s definitely going to be Liverpool’s year in Europe and, if you’re lucky, he does and it is. And if you’re not. We’ve found just the space for it under the Catford dog results. I’m on a roll here, seriously. I’m where it’s not. Get this. I decided, with my editor, that the start of the Premier League season, with José Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp and the rest duking it out, was going to be bigger than the Olympics, which in July was all Russian drug cheats, logistical chaos and the biggest turn-off since Keith Chegwin went tackle out. That’s right. The Olympics that became the “greatest of all time”, with the open-top bus parade and married gold medallists and what seemed like the entire country staying up until 3am just in case we could secure another podium finish in the kayaking. Britain won bronze in the hammer throwing and it led the news. I followed this up by arriving in New York to cover the US Open on the day Murray lost in the quarter-finals and, 24 hours later, Serena Williams failed to become the greatest women’s tennis player in history (and, arguably, one of the greatest athletes of either sex, which is the piece I was going to write had she not been knocked out in the last four). You name it, I haven’t been there this season. And, if I have, it probably didn’t go as expected. It’s a bit like being Wayne Rooney. Get it right and you are witness to history; get it wrong and you end up with an autobiography entitled You Should Have Been Here Last Night.

Photographs Allstar; Getty Images; Open Road Films/Planet Photos; Reuters; Rex Features

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CASE REOPENED Crime novelist James Crumley, heir to Raymond Chandler and creator of ‘Montana noir’, is finally back in print STORY BY

The opening line of The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley is frequently cited as one of the best in crime fiction: “When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.” Hooked? You don’t even have to like crime fiction to be snagged by this. Just as you pick up Crumley’s inspiration, Raymond Chandler, for his portrayal of LA, you read Crumley as much for his heady sense of place as for the compromised detectives, colourful criminals and sirens in distress who he places all over the Pacific Northwest. In The Last Good Kiss (first published in 1978), the private detective hired to track down trainwreck author Trahearne follows a trail from Sonoma to Oregon and Denver, but the detective himself, CW Sughrue – a character almost as thirsty as Trahearne – comes from Montana, the state with which Crumley’s writing is most associated. In his first crime novel, The Wrong Case (1975), Crumley introduced

Olivia Cole

Bout a boy: Bleed For This is based on Vinny Paz’s comeback from a broken neck

HOLLYWOOD COMES OUT FIGHTING (AGAIN) Milo Milodragovich, a deputy turned private detective in Meriwether, a fictionalised version of Missoula, Montana, where Crumley was a member of the English faculty at the university. The son of an oilfield supervisor and a waitress, who saw military service in the Fifties in the Philippines and married five times, Crumley’s life story could be that of one of his hard-boiled characters. He died in Missoula in 2008, aged 68, where his favourite drinking spot – Charlie B’s – is reputed to keep a bar stool free in his honour. Both CW Sughrue and Milodragovich appear in a further five novels between them and irresistible outlaws as they are, it’s the territory and grubby lyricism that Crumley found for it – the dive bars, shoddy motels, “instant ghost towns, as frail as dead neon signs” and summer hordes of “lumbering campers plying the hot streets like large, tired animals searching for a place to lie down” – that created “Montana noir”, and that will have you hankering to read them all. The Last Good Kiss (Penguin, £8.99) is out now. The Wrong Case (Penguin, £8.99) is out on 17 November.

With the unexpected success of the Rocky spin-off Creed and a renewed interest in boxing across the Atlantic, the sweet science is re-emerging as America’s big-screen big hitter STORY BY

Alfie Baldwin

ig-screen boxing is a tricky art to master. Over the years we have had champions (Raging Bull) contenders (Rocky) and then, of course, bums and dustmen (Grudge Match). But, given the success of Creed – last year’s rather brilliant Rocky Balboa spin-off that grossed over £130 million – it should come as no surprise that the boxing film is making a comeback. In addition to the Roberto Duran-based Hands Of Stone (Robert De Niro) and Chuck Wepner drama The Bleeder (Liev Schreiber), we have The Emile Griffith Story from director Lenny Abrahamson (Room, Frank, What Richard Did), Jawbone (Ray Winstone), and Journeyman (Paddy Considine) expected in the next year. While Creed paved the way for current boxing biopic Bleed For This – the story of light-middleweight world champion Vinny Paz, who, after a car accident, was told by doctors he might never walk again – another significant reason for the screenboxing renaissance is down to Deontay Wilder. On 17 January 2015, Wilder defeated Bermane Stiverne to become the first American heavyweight champion since Shannon Briggs in 2007. During that eight-year period (the longest in more than a century) American enthusiasm for the fight game had, understandably, hit the canvas. With the exception of The Fighter (2010), top-quality popcorn boxing was thin on the ground. But now, with Wilder in place (not to mention Floyd Mayweather’s “Fight Of The Century” against Manny Pacquiao in May 2015), Hollywood’s money men are again throwing their hats into the (boxing) ring. There is no reason why this needs to be one last bout, either. After all, for years superhero spectacle – seeing all manner of aliens, mutants and robots smashing the CGI out of each other – has become the reason to visit the big screen. The actors are real, but they remain cartoon fights. Boxing does the same – but for adults. This is where Bleed For This staggers back to the corner. Miles Teller (Whiplash) shines as the Rhode Island-based TITLE CONTENDER Paz, and director Ben Younger (Boiler Room) delivers Martin Scorcese, director of the action at a flyweight’s pace. Perhaps in this case the arguably the greatest of all set-pieces and lorry load of exposition never fulfil boxing films, 1980’s Raging the potential of this extraordinary tale. But don’t worry Bull, is executive producer – there’s plenty more where it came from. on Bleed For This.

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The jean genie (clockwise from left): The Gently Revolving Drum Goes Quiet (2016); Ian Berry creates denim artworks in his east London studio; Ideal Home (2016); Home Beautiful (2016)

501 BLUES For artist Ian Berry, denim is the perfect canvas for his deeply cutting reflections on the fabric of urban life STORY BY

Sophie Hastings

an Berry makes distinctive, photorealist pictures from denim. His self-taught technique – Berry’s background is in graphic design – involves taking colour photographs, blowing them up and re-creating them out of cut-up denim. “The fabric of our time, once rural, now the quintessential urban material,” he tells me from his denim-filled studio in east London’s Limehouse Cut. Each picture takes over a month to complete. “There are so many colour

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GONE When Pokémon Go – the augmentedreality game based on the Nineties Gameboy classic, which saw grown men across the world chase cartoon animals – launched in July, it looked as if we’d not only found a cure for obesity and loneliness but discovered a new form of Tinder in the process. Just four months later, the app gathers dust in our phone’s “random” folder, and Pikachu seem as irrelevant as Ed Balls. So, where did it all go so wrong? STORY BY

Eleanor Halls

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Pokémon Go launches in the US. Half of Britain begins to google how to change its IP address.

10 JULY

Nineteen-year-old Shayla Wiggins, chasing a Pokémon near her home in Wyoming, finds a dead body. Criminals in Missouri use the “lure” feature (for attracting monsters to your location) to entice players and rob them.

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Pokémon Go is tweeted about 15.3 million times in its first week. That’s 3.6 million more tweets than Brexit had in the week of the referendum. If this is any indication of voters’ priorities, it’s no wonder we left.

PornHub records a 136 per cent spike in Pokémon porn searches (please don’t google it). Michael Baker from Oregon is stabbed while Poké-hunting. In a show of determination, bravery or sheer lunacy, he carries on playing – despite needing eight stitches.

Pokémon Go launches across the rest of the world. Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, posts a picture of himself playing the game in his presidential residence in Jerusalem captioned, “Call the security.”

#POKÉMONGO

Photographs Ian Berry; Debbie Bragg; Capital Pictures; Collection Christophel; Getty Images

variations, shades and washes; and I have to think about light, shadow and consistency. People often can’t tell the works are in denim until they get up close.” Berry’s latest exhibition features a new body of work, Behind Closed Doors, which explores exile and the meaning of “home”. Glamorous London interiors, often with a single occupant, exude isolation and loneliness. In contrast, his installation “My Beautiful Launderette”, a large group of (denim) washing machines, harks back to a time of community and shared spaces. “It is said that 40 pairs of hands touch a pair of jeans before they reach the shop,” he says. “I feel like all those hands are part of the artistic process and mine are the 41st.” Behind Closed Doors is at the Catto Gallery until 29 November 2016. 14 Percy Street, London W1. cattogallery.co.uk


ODE TO CHIEF BRODY Why an everyman’s struggle to save his town from the wrath of a shark puts him in the pantheon of great heroes STORY BY

Dermot O’Leary

y grandad rearing up from his chair and hitting the TV with a stick: that’s the earliest memory I have of my favourite film of all time. The scene is set in early-Eighties south London in the apartment my Aunty Geraldine and Uncle Michelle lived in above their French restaurant, Jodie’s. The grandparents were over from the old country and after dinner we settled down to watch the TV premiere of the definitive modern blockbuster, the film that made Steven Spielberg. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was embarking on a lifelong love affair with Jaws. During the scene where Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) finds the head of fisherman Ben Gardner submerged where the aft section of his boat should be, the entire family leapt out of its skin, while my grandfather sprang up and hit the television repeatedly with his walking stick. That was the moment Jaws became my favourite film, and it has been ever since. Why haven’t I grown out of it? Well, firstly, I haven’t had to, as it has stood the test of time as a classic of modern cinema, minus the prosthetic shark, “Bruce”, which barely made it out of the film in one piece, such was its unreliability. Secondly, there are so many standout performances, including Robert Shaw’s Quint, the townsfolk of Martha’s Vineyard, where Jaws was

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15 JULY

Yelp introduces a “Pokéstop nearby” filter for its restaurant reviews and Tom Currie from Auckland quits his job at a restaurant to play full time. Will Pokémon Go change the way we live?

17 JULY

“Don’t Pokémon and drive” signs are erected on motorways across the United States. (Funny how the US seems keener to crack down on the app than it does on guns.)

filmed, who doubled as extras, and of course my all-time fictional hero, Chief Martin Brody, played with empathy, despair, grace and humour by the late Roy Scheider. Why Brody? I’ll give you this, he’s not the natural choice. He’s no Bond, Bourne or Marlowe. He’s hardly an alphamale muscle-flexor with killer one-liners, though he does have some great dialogue. What he is, is one of us. A character with a lot on his plate: admin, family, moving out of

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Pokémon stops trending on Google. Gymnastics gold medallist Kohei Uchimura racks up a 500,000 yen (£3,000) bill for overseas data usage while playing it during the Rio Olympics.

Pokémon Go has been downloaded over 500 million times worldwide and 231 million people are engaged in 1.1 billion interactions that mention it on Facebook and Instagram. Mission accomplished...

New York to a sleepy seaside town, and then a huge shark turns up and starts eating the townsfolk. He’s an everyman lead in the tradition of James Stewart in Rear Window or Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. In other words, ordinary people asked to do extraordinary things – in this instance, kill a 25ft great white. According to Blake Snyder, a hero needs to do something relatable early, a prime example being Ripley in Alien, who “saves the cat”. But Brody doesn’t do that and it’s one of the reasons I love him. The first thing he does? He tells his children off for playing on a rusty swing. From then on, well, here’s a precis of his day: he goes to work, discovers the remains of a body, realises it’s a shark attack and tries to close the beaches. By the time he gets to the office, he’s harangued by local townsfolk who berate him about trucks parked outside shops and local children practising karate on picket fences. Having had the temerity to want the beaches closed, he then gets attacked by the city fathers, including the mayor, played brilliantly by Murray Hamilton, and the editor of the local paper, played by Carl Gottlieb, the film’s screenwriter, and author of the only thing better than Jaws, The Jaws Log. As Sam Seaborn once said in an early episode of The West Wing, “He’s a good guy, having a bad day.”

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For the first time since its launch, after 74 days as the highest grossing app on the iTunes chart, Pokémon Go is dethroned by Supercell’s “Clash Royale”. No, us neither.

Pokémon Go loses 15m users in a month, causing Nintendo’s share price to fall by three per cent. The only person still playing it in the GQ office is the intern.

20 OCTOBER

Apparently, it undergoes a “massive update” last month. No one notices.

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SHADES OF BLACK

Inside out: Michael Kiwanuka expores the role of the outsider in art and life

After Kendrick Lamar, come two new records that put personal identity at the heart of their political message

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Frank Ocean, 2014

very year there are certain songs that seem to follow me around, growing richer each time I hear them. This year, the most tenacious has been “Black Man In A White World” by the London singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka. I first heard its snappy work-song rhythms on the radio, then as the punchiest moment on his terrific album Love & Hate, then as an anachronistic but effective addition to the soundtrack of The Get Down (Netflix’s new drama about the birth of hip hop). I took it as a broad statement about racial identity. Only later did I read an interview in which Kiwanuka talked about his life in a series of predominately white spaces – leafy north London, music college, the British music industry – and how it had left him feeling like a perennial outsider. What I initially interpreted as a general protest song turned out to be extremely specific, and all the better for it. Kiwanuka has said that Love & Hate was partly influenced by Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, one of those resounding masterpieces that shifts music’s tectonic plates. For the past decade it’s been common to describe hip hop as post-Kanye. This year has made clear that music made by black artists now exists in a post-Kendrick landscape. In tandem with D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, Lamar’s bar-raising opus has awakened a thirst to make big, dense, complex albums about racial identity that merge sociopolitical observations and personal confessions, while plugging into the expansive spirit of such landmarks as What’s Going On, Innervisions and Sign O’ The Times. The Butterfly effect is most obvious on ambitious

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MICHAEL KIWANUKA Love & Hate, 2016 Track to stream: ‘One More Night’

KENDRICK LAMAR To Pimp A Butterfly, 2015 Track to stream: ‘King Kunta’

BLOOD ORANGE Freetown Sound, 2016 Track to stream: ‘Best To You’

recent albums by young contemporaries of Lamar, such as Chance The Rapper, Anderson Paak and BJ The Chicago Kid, but it’s also audible in the music of Kiwanuka and another British singer of African descent, Dev Hynes, AKA Blood Orange. Each album sounds different, but the unifying quality is uncertainty. These artists aren’t dispensing wisdom from on high but working things out as they go. Doubt can paralyse, but it can also create dynamism. These are albums in flux, too busy asking questions to settle down in one place. When Black Lives Matter bloomed three years ago out of America’s racial turmoil, some people expected the movement to produce a slew of proud, pro-black anthems like “Am I Black Enough For You?” or “Fight The Power”, but these personal, searching albums are more fitting. After all, it’s Black Lives Matter, not Black Life Matters: the name acknowledges the vast array of different human experiences. When identity is politicised, intense self-examination can pack more power than a slogan. Blood Orange’s third album, Freetown Sound, is a lot of things at once: a bustling evocation of the city Hynes’ father came from (Freetown, Sierra Leone) and the one Hynes now calls home (New York); a beguiling Prince-like pop album guest-starring Debbie Harry and Carly Rae Jepsen; a collage Blood of sampled voices – rappers and poets, Orange, preachers and drag artists – discussing 2016

Photographs Getty Images; Rex

THE ALBUMS


G Partnership

New Signature Touch Carbon Sport, £10,000. vertu.com

CHOOSE YOUR STYLE High-performance technology comes as standard with Vertu, but what it arrives packaged in is for you to decide. This winter, every man can find a Vertu that suits his style: 1. The Signature Touch Jet Alligator comes wrapped in unmistakable alligator skin crafted by a specialist French tannery, perfect for big beasts of the boardroom. 2. The look and feel of the calf leatherwrapped Signature Touch Carbon Sport is indebted to classic sports car design. 3. The Aster Black Chevron marries Italian-made fabric with a chic, artistic design. vertu.com

BOUND FOR GLORY

The option of an orange calf-leather finish isn’t the only thing making the new Signature Touch from Vertu a joy to behold AS any executive will tell you, what makes the best the best is that they’re always getting better. Vertu are already well established as the world’s leading makers of luxury mobile phones and this season they move things to the next level by unveiling the Signature Touch, the mobile phone with their highest ever technical performance. That means the display is protected by 130 carat sapphire crystal, the screen resolution is over 100

pixels per inch higher than most other phones on the market and you can play back your music collection in Dolby® Digital Plus virtual surround sound. Of course, what really sets Vertu phones apart from the competition is their worldfamous curated services. At the heart of these is Vertu Concierge, which offers 24/7 luxury lifestyle assistance and enrichment, alongside Vertu Life, which offers privileged access to

experiences and events, and Vertu Certainty, delivering security for customers, their data and their phones. Of course, it’s not just what’s inside the phone that counts. The Signature Touch is perhaps the most stylish mobile phone available today, with leather-bound options in either black alligator skin or orange calf leather. Vertu offer what most phones can only dream of: a touch of class. vertu.com


RUTLAND BORN & BRED

www.thebritishbeltcompany.co.uk


Illustration Ben Jennings

In the post-Butterfly album, identity is vexed and slippery identity. The wandering mixtape vibe dramatises the tension between being a proud member of a community and an artistic individual who’s loath to be pinned down. As a young man in London, Hynes said recently he struggled with “being black in a particularly white world”. With Freetown Sound, he has crafted his own world and dedicated it to “everyone told they’re not black enough, or too black, too queer, not queer the right way, the underappreciated”. The album’s message is that there are as many right ways as there are people, but not that it is easy. “Be yourself” is both a ubiquitous self-help cliché and the hardest thing in the world. Michael Kiwanuka channels his misfit anxiety along straighter lines. Given luxury and heft by producer Danger Mouse, Love & Hate immediately sounds like a well-worn classic, with strong shades of Pink Floyd and Ennio Morricone as well as Curtis Mayfield and Bill Withers. Kiwanuka may have the gravitas of a Seventies soul singer, but not the spiritual optimism, and his commanding songs almost overflow with shame and confusion. “I don’t understand the game/Or who I’m meant to be/ It’s driving me insane,” he sings on “Rule The World”. Is he singing about race, a relationship, the music business or none of the above? It works on all those levels. The cornerstone of the post-Butterfly album is the idea that the personal and the political can’t be divided, that identity is a vexed and slippery thing and that how you are perceived rarely aligns with who you feel yourself to be. There’s no pat solution to that dissonance, but being honest about it propels artists to make great art. Surprisingly, the artist most expected to deliver an emphatic masterpiece has chosen instead to step sideways, to the edge of the frame. Blond, Frank Ocean’s follow-up to 2012’s universally praised Channel Orange, avoids grand statements even more diligently than it resists beats and hooks, privileging mood over meaning. It would be hypocritical to knock Ocean for confounding expectations, but Blond’s exquisite vagueness lacks the sense that much is at stake. For all its beauty, it feels like a much narrower achievement than Love & Hate or Freetown Sound – two audacious albums that aim higher and dig deeper than anybody expected. In a post-Butterfly world, it pays to be bold.

Listen out: Even Tory MPs are scrabbling for details about leaving the EU

DON’T LEAVE US THIS WAY Behind closed doors, the government’s Brexit strategy is gathering speed, so what can be guessed about the shape of things to come? STORY BY

Alex Wickham

IT is fashionable to snark at David Davis and Liam Fox. Believe their critics and the men Theresa May put in charge of Brexit are a pair of bungling ideologues who couldn’t negotiate their way through the Downing Street gates, let alone new deals with Europe and the world. Exactly what Davis and Fox have been up to is Westminster’s most guarded secret. Even Tory MPs are none the wiser. “Completely in the dark,” says one. “DD came to the 1922 Committee and basically told us ‘Brexit means Brexit.’ It pissed a lot of people of.” Initially Davis’ Department For Exiting The European Union struggled to recruit, as civil servants baulked at what the job entailed. On day one, Davis and his small team were genuinely shocked to discover David Cameron’s government had failed to carry out contingency planning for a Leave vote. The anger among senior ministers was such that they privately accused the previous administration of sabotage. Five months later, the department has over 200 staf at 9 Downing Street and another 120 in Brussels. The PM is said to be impressed at how quickly it has come on. It already has a plan to take on the EU’s negotiators. The European Commission is the problem, described by ministers as “ayatollahs of closer union”, determined to give Britain a bad deal. Davis’ department wants to “encircle” the Commission with EU heads of state, for whom giving us a better trade arrangement is in their interests. If Britain can convince the leaders of France and Germany to force the Commission to be reasonable, they can bounce the Eurocrats into agreeing a positive outcome. “Merkel will help us destroy the Commission,” says a source. Not yet, though. Even if Article 50 is triggered in March 2017, negotiations will not

properly begin until after the French Presidential election in April. And we will be playing hardball. A so-called “hard Brexit”, where no deal is reached and the UK relies on WTO rules to trade with Europe, has been discussed at the highest level of government. What happens next is Fox’s responsibility at the Department For International Trade. Despite the name, only ten per cent of its time is currently spent on trade. EU rules mean Britain could be fined if we begin trade talks with other countries while still a member. However, Fox is allowed to have “discussions” – no one is quite sure of the diference – so he has been flying around the world laying the groundwork. New offices are being set up in the US, in San Diego, Minneapolis and Raleigh, and staf numbers will swell into the thousands. “We are the most successful startup in the world,” Fox said. Most of the ministry’s work is on exports, which were found to be in a dire state. It is creating a website that will list by category all goods and services exported by UK companies, and be easily accessible and translated into all major languages. This is revolutionary; someone in the Middle East will be able to browse British goods in Arabic and buy with just a few clicks. Fox talks of a “postgeography world”, where Britain’s most important trade partners are not necessarily those closest on the map, with the US and Australia the focus. When I ask one Tory MP his view on Fox, he ofers me a £100 bet on whether he’ll have resigned by the spring. But the man himself laughs of criticism, insisting to friends, “We will be vindicated”. May’s style of government means we don’t hear much about the Brexit ministries, but behind the scenes they are quietly getting to work.

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CLASS ACT Theatre director Ivo van Hove takes on the greats, from Ibsen to Bowie The Tony-winning director known for his Arthur Miller productions was chosen by David Bowie to direct his musical, Lazarus. This month he directs Ruth Wilson in Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre

A RETURN TO FORM? The new Design Museum will need bold and ideas-driven shows to ofset John Pawson’s polite architecture STORY BY

Edwin Heathcote

retained and restored, its soaring underside looming over the new interior like the belly of the blue whale in the Natural History Museum. The project could have exposed the flaws in the old building, bringing out its scars, its texture and the ravages of time as a comment on the resilience of the city and the entropy of modernity itself. Tate Modern, for instance, draws its power from the dirty bricks which have absorbed so much soot and abuse. Instead, Pawson has made a smooth new interior encased in the kind of tasteful pale oak they put on German stainless steel kitchens to make them look less like machines. It’s too polite, a little too smooth. Its credibility will depend on its ability to put on shows that are about ideas rather than merely products. A less tasteful treatment of the building might have provoked a little more, now the onus will be on the exhibitions to stir it up. Kensington already has plenty of big museums including the V&A, arguably the world’s first and biggest design museum. It will need more than a gorgeous swooping roof to convince us of its necessity. And I hope, and think, it can. The Design Museum reopens on 24 November, designmuseum.org

hat’s the point of a design museum? Surely you can just go into a decent department store and see most of the best designs on the shelves and, even better, buy them? An iPhone, an Italian sofa, an Eames chair, a Dyson, an Aldo Rossi coffee pot. Design is everywhere. It’s a point made, in fact, by London’s new Design Museum, which is now hidden behind a barrage of super-luxury housing and, of course, a new design shop. Its new building isn’t new at all. It was built in 1962 as the Commonwealth Institute, a muddled attempt to make an exhibition/conference centre to tempt Britain’s alienated ex-colonies back into a new relationship. You might think, post-Brexit, we could have used it again. But it’s too late, the concrete strucDESIGN ture has been repurposed by minimalist architect John Pawson as the city’s new Design Museum. It replaces the old one, which was housed in a former banana warehouse which had itself been reimagined as a neo-Bauhaus building in Butler’s Wharf. The institution, under Deyan Sudjic, outgrew the old building and, after a long search, alighted on this modernist building on the edge of Holland Park. It was always a ropey building, albeit one with a great roof, a hyperbolic paraboloid (google it), and it has been Playing the angles: The museum’s interior detailing entirely rebuilt, with that seductively sculptural feature

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Do you have a phrase that you overuse in rehearsal? Yes. I don’t think I overuse it, but I use it quite a lot: “It’s only theatre, but it should be the best in the world.” Have you ever met a hero you wished you’d avoided? No, but I’ve avoided some meetings. I could have met French director Patrice Chéreau, but I always said no because I knew we weren’t going to work together. Tell us about working with David Bowie He was an idol, so it was scary. But he was such a gentleman, very open, very well-informed. He was so well prepared for our first meeting that he made me immediately calm. How did you lure Ruth Wilson to the National? I had seen The Affair on TV, so I knew her mainly from that. But I felt she was a real theatre person. When Hedda Gabler came up, I immediately thought of her. What do you say when young people ask you for career advice? Take your time to get to know what you want to be in life, otherwise you will be a very unhappy person. When you are 18, a year seems like ten years. But it’s only a year. OC Hedda Gabler is at the National from 5 December. nationaltheatre.org.uk

Photographs Luke Hayes; Rex

He swoops to conquer: John Pawson’s rebuild of the Design Museum in Kensington, London


G Partnership

The Festive Punch

SPICE UP YOUR CHRISTMAS DRINKS THIS YEAR WITH PATRÓN

Here’s how to make this year’s Christmas truly unforgettable FESTIVE PUNCH (serves four) Ingredients O70ml lemon and redcurrent juice O150ml cinnamon and lemon Oleo Saccharum O200ml Patrón Silver O250ml parts clove infused chai tea Method Pour all ingredients into a large bowl and garnish with slices of lemon, orange, redcurrants and cinnamon sticks. CHRISTMAS EGG NOG Ingredients O50ml Patrón Añejo Tequila O50ml cream O20ml cinnamon Agave syrup O10ml banana liqueur O2 dashes of chocolate bitters O2oz sugar O1 egg OFinish with a dust of nutmeg Method 1. Whisk the egg white until stiff peaks form. 2. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolk and the rest of the ingredients until pale and slightly thickened. 3. Transfer to pan and cook over a low heat until the mixture is thick and creamy. 4. Remove from the heat and fold half the egg whites until well combined. 5. Fold in the remaining egg whites. 6. Divide among heatproof glasses, dust with nutmeg and serve.

GET THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT Bring joy to the world and your Christmas gathering by really mixing things up with Patrón Tequila It may be cold outside, but as long as the craft cocktails are in hand then there’ll be plenty of reason to celebrate this Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year calls for something special, so we asked renowned London bartender Nathan Shearer how to prepare two of his favourite festive drinks. To celebrate this season, he recommends the ultra-premium Patrón Añejo for both a Christmas punch and egg nog cocktail thanks to the rich, complex flavour and sweet vanilla notes of the Tequila. For more information on Patrón visit patrontequila.com.


FOR STOCKISTS T: 01539 721032 E: sales@whitbyandco.co.uk or visit www.leatherman.co.uk

Always on hand. The ONLY gift this Christmas.


READ

NAVIGATOR

Swing Time by Zadie Smith out on 15 november (hamish hamilton)

Set your cultural compass to this month’s pole stars

Zadie Smith’s fifth novel opens with her narrator marooned in someone else’s borrowed flat, flinching at its “perfectly neutral” design “with all opposite Marion Cotillard, based on significant corners rounded, a (reported) true-life story like an iPhone”. The in which two assassins opposite could be said (he an intelligence M A K I N G S PAC E of Smith’s style, which officer, she a French Zadie Smith is a remains gloriously Resistance fighter) co-writer on director idiosyncratic and full fall for each other Claire Denis’ upcoming astronaut adventure, of unsettling edges during a mission to High Life, starring as she tracks the lives kill a German official. Robert Pattinson. of two mixed-race There were no previews children growing up in at the time of press but north London. OLIVIA COLE with Robert Zemeckis at the helm (Cast Away, Flight) HEAR and a (cough) spark between the Do Hollywood leads, expect fireworks. Possibly by The Lemon Twigs literally. STUART McGURK out now (4ad)

New York brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario look and sound like they were deep frozen in 1976 after a short, quixotic career in the same orbit as Harry Nilsson and Todd Rundgren, but their baroquepop extravaganzas, full of McCartneyesque melodies and madcap imagination, are inspiring cultish adoration. DORIAN LYNSKEY WAT C H

Allied out on 25 november

The film set that launched a thousand Brangelina split speculations, Allied is a romantic thriller that sees Brad Pitt play

SEE

Am I Rembrandt? at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London 8 november – 5 march

This is the final exhibition in a series examining the lives and techniques of four masters: Van Dyck, Dou, Rubens and Rembrandt. Through X-rays and technical analysis of two paintings by Rembrandt (“A Young Man” and “Self-Portrait, Wearing A Feathered Bonnet”), curators and conservators demonstrate how stylistically different works can be attributed to the same artist. SOPHIE HASTINGS dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

HEAR

Sport by Powell

some of the world’s oldest art objects as well as highly charged, contemporary pieces that respond to segregation and apartheid, the exhibition charts artistic thought and human development, ending with pieces that examine the post-apartheid transformation of the nation since 1990. SH britishmuseum.org

out now (xl recordings)

If you like your electronica surly and gnarly, then try London producer Powell. His visceral debut album is a trash compactor of post-punk, techno and industrial rock, shot through with a sinister sense of humour. Machine music with an anarchic edge. DL WAT C H

The Grand Tour out on 18 november

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – once of a little show called Top Gear, quite popular, you may have heard of it – are here with their all-new, Amazon millions-backed motoringlark/knockabout variety-show streaming behemoth The Grand Tour. Imagine Top Gear with its ride pimped, pimped some more, and kitted out by James Bond’s Q. SM SEE

South Africa: The Art Of A Nation at The British Museum until 26 february

The BM takes art as its prism to tell the story of South Africa, looking back over 100,000 years. Featuring

HEAR

David Holmes Late Night Tales out now

One of the most reliable compilation series welcomes one of the sharpest compilers. The DJ, producer and soundtrack composer takes the nocturnal brief seriously with a hauntingly beautiful collage of folk-rock, psychedelia, spoken word, spectral art-rock and all manner of arcane curiosities. DL READ

You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris out now (harvill Secker)

Antoine Leiris’ Facebook post about Helene, new mother of their 17-month year old son Melvil who was murdered in the Bataclan attack in Paris, went viral around the world. One year on, his beautifully written memoir will do the same – spelling out in spare detail his experience in the 12 days following his wife’s death. It’s the hardest book you can pick up this year, but also the most affecting. OL WAT C H

Arrival out on 11 november

If there’s anyone whose concerned face we could happily spend a couple Denis Villeneuve is of hours gazing at it’s directing the Blade Amy Adams: an actress Runner sequel. whose emotions seem always to be nakedly on display. That’s important, as Arrival sees a lot of it, as Adams plays a translator sent to communicate with aliens who are hovering ominously. It’s no shock it’s from Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario), the current master of slow-burn surprise. SM D O U B LE DECKARD

DON’T MISS

Photograph Landmark Media

Brace for impact: Aaron Eckhart and Tom Hanks tell the true story of US Airways Flight 1549 WAT C H

Sully out on 2 december

Tom Hanks. In a Tom Hanks film. Starring Tom Hanks. We’re in. Granted, there’s a lot that’s by the numbers about this true drama of hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who successfully crash-landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in New York after it was disabled by hitting a flock of Canadian geese, saving all 155 passengers and crew on board. But with Clint Eastwood directing and, yes, Hanks as Sully, that’s fine by us. SM

Bharti Kher: This Breathing House at Freud Museum, London until 20 november 2016

Bharti Kher has found her dream context in the former home and consulting room of the father of psychoanalysis. As she overlays, subverts and erases memories of herself, her family and the people who lived at 20 Maresfield Gardens NW3, Kher produces work that is physical, funny and intellectual. SH freud.org.uk DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 189


PERFECT BLACK C R E AT E S P E R F E C T C O L O U R OLED’s next generation pixel construction allows for unique screen architecture which is so light and thin it can be bonded to a transparent piece of glass. _mnxxyzssnslyjqj{nxntsuwtizhjxfsnshwjingqjunhyzwj|nymnsŅsnyjhtsywfxyymfy is complemented by an innovative sound bar stand that produces superb audio. A masterful television from LG’s award winning OLED TV range. lg.com/uk/discoveroled


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Illustration Nigel Raynor/Pesky

PAUL HENDERSON

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 193


Primal rage: Anger management teaches you to be more assertive but less aggressive

PROBLEM: Fearful

and angry as a result of an abusive father. COMIC-BOOK SOLUTION: After catching a blast of gamma radiation, he becomes the destructive and all-powerful Hulk. REAL-WORLD SOLUTION: Anger management, as the name suggests, might not deal with the root cause (if that’s what you think you need, psychotherapy might be more appropriate, see bacp.co.uk), but it can serve as a powerful tool for stopping anger developing into aggressive rage.

1. It will look at what triggers your anger and teach you methods for dealing with this and channelling it positively. 2. Counterintuitive though it might seem, a key part of anger management is to learn to become more assertive. Making your point forcefully (and peacefully) is key. 3. It will teach relaxation techniques while trying to improve problem-solving skills. 4. As Mike Fisher, author of Beating Anger: The Eight-Point Plan For Coping With Rage, puts it: “Not all aggression is destructive or harmful. Aggression becomes unhealthy when it is used to intimidate or control.” Key info: A survey completed by 500 patients treated by Fisher for anger issues revealed that 82 per cent still found its methods effective 18 months after finishing treatment. Practical magic: PTSD is a common consequence of road accidents

PROBLEM: Traumatised

by an injury caused in a violent accident. COMIC-BOOK SOLUTION: Gains mystical powers, rises to become Sorcerer Supreme. REAL-WORLD SOLUTION: With almost 200,000 reported road casualties annually, car accidents are one of the most common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers on the psychological impact of car accidents, Edward Hickling and Edward Blanchard, recommend the following.

1. Monitor your behaviour after the accident – if you’re anxious, finding it hard to sleep or are reluctant to drive, these are signs of PTSD. 2. Seek out a therapist specialising in cognitive behavioural therapy. This type of therapy is generally short-term, goal-oriented, practical and hands-on. In other words, it’s therapy for people who don’t believe in therapy. 3. Expect treatment to involve writing down your memory of the crash, learning relaxation techniques, help with anger management. The goal is to break the way you think about the accident and move on. Key info: Everyone recovers at different rates: there is no normal and PTSD is not the preserve of army veterans. If it doesn’t feel right, get help.

194 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Heart of the action: Cultivate healthy lifestyle habits to keep your body fighting fit


LIFE

WELLBEING

FITNESS BANDS

Fitbit: redux The next generation of activity trackers should set pulses racing... PROBLEM: Lost

his parents as a child. COMIC-BOOK SOLUTION: Becomes Gotham’s foremost tortured vigilante, Batman. REAL-WORLD SOLUTION: Witnessing both one’s parents being murdered might represent an extreme example of a scarring formative experience but, sadly, childhood trauma comes in many forms. Coping with it will be different for every survivor but common approaches do exist.

Darkness prevails: Talking about past traumas can help relieve your pain

1. Find someone you trust to talk to, whether it’s a professional or a friend. Better still, both. 2. Counsellors will help��understand the trauma, manage blame and decide strategies for the future. 3. They will aim to offer a different perspective. Witness Rebecca Abrams, author of When Parents Die:

Learning To Live With The Loss Of A Parent. “A parent’s death marks the end of a life but not the end of your relationship with that person,” she argues. Key info: The earlier one can openly talk about childhood trauma, the better one’s future mental health will be. headstogether.org.uk

Injured by a bomb that leaves him with shrapnel close to his heart. a battle suit that prevents the shrapnel reaching his heart and creates his alter ego, Iron Man. REAL-WORLD SOLUTION: Heart problems are rarely as exotic as Iron Man’s but plain, ordinary coronary heart disease is still the No1 killer in the UK. The good news is that the steps to maintaining a healthy heart don’t require the resources of Stark Industries. PROBLEM:

Photographs Marvel; Alamy; Getty Images; Jody Todd

COMIC-BOOK SOLUTION: Develops

1. Stop smoking. In truth, that should also be points two, three, four and five. 2. Also obvious, but nonetheless true: reduce alcohol intake, lose weight, exercise regularly and eat five fruit and vegetables a day. 3. Less obvious: take a vitamin B complex, eat legumes four times a week, eat cherries and small quantities of dark chocolate. 4. If you’re over 40, book a health check with your GP, where you can be tested for cholesterol, kidney function and blood

pressure. Combined with standard measurements like BMI and waist size, which should be under 37in, this can see you given a score that assesses your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Key info: “If you’re over 35 and you don’t know what your blood pressure is, you should find out,” says Dr Mark Porter. “Sixteen million adults in the UK have high blood pressure and half of them don’t know it.” John Naughton

Best all-rounder... Charge 2 by Fitbit This second generation Fitbit sets a new standard for activity trackers. It offers all the essentials (step counts, sleep schedules, move reminders), as well as multisport monitoring, interval training tips, VO2 max measurement and guided breathing sessions. The only thing stopping it from being perfect is that it’s only water-resistant, not waterproof – so you can’t wear it in the pool. £130. fitbit.com

Best for multisport... Spark 3 by TomTom More than just a standard 24/7 tracker, the entry-level Spark 3 makes brilliant use of TomTom’s mapping technology to offer a multisport GPS route exploration (you’ll always find your way home). But spring for the Cardio+Music version (£219.99) and you’ll get a built-in Bluetooth music player, plus a cardio sensor to monitor heart rate. £120. tomtom.com

Best for runners... Vivosmart HR+ By Garmin With its heart rate monitor and GPS, the Vivosmart measures your every step, the intensity level reached and calories burned. It also gives you all the smart notifications you could wish for and a gentle move reminder if you find yourself desk-bound for too long. But with the Vivosmart HR+ on your wrist, why would you keep still? PH £170. garmin.com DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 195


LIFE COACHING

Unlock your star power

“I JUST need to ask you a couple of strange questions. Because I’m going to see if we can move to the future. Mentally. And to do that I’d like to know how you think about time.” This is not my usual Monday afternoon. I’m not the type to reveal my innermost fears and desires to strangers. And besides, it’s hard to forget everything I know about time and space from an office at the back of a house in High Wycombe, but I will try. “Think about your earliest memories,” says professional coach Mike Duckett, as we sit opposite each other. “What springs to mind?” School. Four years old, crying. “I’d like you to put that memory where it belongs, in the past. Now create an image you’d like to happen ten years from now.” I do. “With the same clarity as your past memories, imagine what you’re going to look like.” Right. That’s depressing. He laughs. “Why would you create something depressing? Create something attractive!” But I’m only getting older. “Oh dear. Well, imagine ten years ahead but still looking the same. Now leave that in the future.” He asks me where I would physically place my early memories. “Behind, in front, to the side?” Behind seems to make sense. He asks me to look behind me, into the garden, at where my four-year-old self is. “Within this garden? Where those trees are?” I picture myself, age four, standing anxiously in a stranger’s garden in High Wycombe. “Now imagine the flow of future straight in front of you, through the window. I’m going to ask you to walk towards your future. Einstein says space and time are the same thing, so we’re going to take you on a journey through time. When you arrive here, allow this to be a point on your timeline when you have achieved

Illustration Jonny Wan

Looking for the meaning of life? Take a trip through time and space to find a new you...

Celestial wellbeing: Visualisation can help you achieve your goals in more ways than you think

BE YOURSELF, ONLY BETTER 1. DECIDE ON YOUR GOAL “To be your best, you need to have a very clear goal,” says Mike Duckett. “I talk to clients about what they’d like to happen. That’s not time wasted. Once you get to a crystal-clear goal, you’re more than halfway there.”

196 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

2. DEFINE THE CONTEXT “What’s the context within which you want to achieve this goal? If you want to be head chef, what’s your current head chef like? What’s the kitchen like? What’s the ethos of your restaurant? That determines how you can achieve your goal.”

3. ANALYSE YOUR BEHAVIOUR “What would you need to be doing in what context to achieve your goal? What would your ideal ‘hero version’ of yourself be doing right now, if he was doing really well? Often, people can see a set of behaviours that they’re not doing.”


4. BE CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING “You’ve got to know how to do those things, in that context. Mostly, people already know how to do what they want to do, they just don’t think they do. They don’t trust their knowledge. But you do probably have the skills and knowledge.”

70%

your goal. Are you ready? Take a walk through space. Which is the same thing as time...” Duckett has been a coach since 1996. He works with CEOs, managers, rally drivers, chefs and opera singers, with anyone who wants to improve themselves, to unlock their potential. Heston Blumenthal said Duckett helped him to unscramble his brain, and lord knows my brain needs unscrambling. Yes, I have career goals, but I also need to tackle some smaller problems. My time management is a little lacking – I once had to abandon a one-day time-management course after lunch because I couldn’t afford to spend any more time away from work. I’m also very easily distracted, like Homer Simpson when he spies a squirrel, as Duckett notices when he’s speaking to me and I see a familiar book on his shelf. “Where have you gone?” he asks. Sorry. The book is Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning, about the Holocaust survivor’s suggestion that we can find happiness by imagining and immersing ourselves in it. Next to that book sits Bradley Wiggins’ autobiography, My Time. The coupling speaks volumes about Duckett, who specialises in coaching psychology. It’s not about being taught skills or solving problems, but being a more effective version of yourself. Years ago, he was talking to Paul Weller’s drummer, Steve White, he explains. Duckett told White he’d send him an email, but White said he didn’t use email because he was too easily distracted by tech. “He said, ‘I have to ask myself, has it got anything to do with playing the perfect drum solo? If the answer is no, then I have to ask why I’m doing it.’ Email would distract [him] from the perfect drum solo. And that’s what Heston means when he mentions ‘unscrambling’ – reminding people what their priorities are.” Back in our journey through time and space, I walk across the room. I must specifically visualise the new me, ten years in the future. Moving forward helps you to get a clear vision of where you want to be, says Duckett, while looking back at how far you’ve come gives you a sense of confidence, of movement, development. Coaching, he says, is not just about getting to a certain point – it’s about staying on top, replicating success and remaining fulfilled. Blumenthal said working with Duckett over the years has been like peeling an onion – he helped him to sift through the clutter, to prioritise what mattered. It goes back to the perfect drum solo, says Duckett. “As Heston’s

People who had life coaching and claimed it improved their professional performance. A further 80 per cent said the coaching improved their self-conidence

LIFE

5. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE “A lot of people say to me when they see their idealised hero version, ‘I’d do that, if only I believe what he believes, which is that he won’t get hurt.’ This is where we get a big difference in performance. How much does it matter to you?”

got successful, he’s had lots more opportunities and temptations to do lots of things. It’s my job to say, ‘OK, where will they take you? If they take you there, are you happy with that consequence?’ People realise that although something sounded tempting, it might not be the good thing to do.” Likewise, he tells me I need to prioritise my time. I recognise that I’m a sucker for instant gratification, often at the expense of long-term goals. He suggests a “thought diary”, noting down what happens when I abandon what I’ve said I should be doing. What was the thinking that got me there? What was my emotional reaction? “Because there’s probably a pattern to the way the body reacts.” The afternoon is on its last legs, but he gives me one final scenario, by way of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books, and the boy who finds a knife that can cut through to parallel universes. “The multiverse theory,” explains Duckett. “Whenever we make a choice, the penny comes down both heads and tails – one in one universe, one in another. You make a choice, and in another universe a different choice took place. And if we watch the other you, he does things according to more structured time management. What is he doing differently to you?” Well, he’s not here in High Wycombe at 5pm, I suggest, gingerly. He’d have stayed at home, phoned you, wrapped this up in less time, and then done something else. “He’s thinking about the drum solo,” says Duckett. “He asked himself how this would help him get what he wanted. And he decided not to come... So what led you to be the way that’s different to him? And could we disentangle it?” It’s a leading question, for another time. A lot has occurred in this office today – I’ve had a three-hour introductory crash course. He’s not going to suggest anything further, he says, because it’s not his job to engineer solutions. What matters is that we’ve seeded some thoughts and have focused on them. But remember that vision of my future, he recommends. “Keep your eye on that fella in the other universe – he’s a good role model for you.” Like John McClane, old habits die hard, but I’m more aware of what I’m doing, and of how I’m getting in my own way. I haven’t yet become the fella in the other universe, but I keep thinking back to my adventures in space and time, keeping myself in check. Alex Godfrey coachingforsuccess.co.uk 6. ENVISAGE THE NEW YOU “If you see yourself as who you are now, you’re not going to do as well as someone who sees themselves doing what they want. You need to shift your sense of identity. Who is the person that you need to be to achieve your goal?” AG

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 197


Go with the territory Show your mettle with the pedal and learn the off-road skills to keep you in control AS A KID who came from a military family, I always noticed that my father and grandfather would be the only people who parked at an event by reversing their way in first. When I asked them why, they said, “We’re ready to go if we need to get out in a hurry.” That was the first time I suspected there might be more to driving than what we’re taught for the regular driving test. I learned a lot more about the military approach to driving when I joined 21 SAS, where we were trained in evasive driving. In films, it looks dramatic: loads of screeching and burning rubber. In fact, it’s a very technical skill and the best drivers are always the least dramatic ones. If you do hear the screeching of rubber, it’s inefficient driving. And if I had any doubt about that, time spent with the Stig on Top Gear was a reminder: the best laps are the least noisy, least smelly ones. (One of the Stigs was ex-SAS. No surprise there.) I’ve also learned a load from stunt drivers. One of them once told me: “Bear, you can tell a good driver because they’re not holding their steering wheel like they’re holding their cock.” He was right: one of the most common driving injuries is a dislocated thumb, because the driver is gripping the wheel with it. Better to have your hands at the ten and two position with the thumbs over the top. Make small movements and don’t slide your hands around. My own experience has taught me that – as with so many things in life – when you’re navigating tricky terrain on four wheels, it’s a lot easier getting into a difficult situation than getting out of it. As in a survival situation, you need to question and study everything in your surroundings. So when you’re driving on difficult terrain, it’s often a smart move to stack the deck in your favour by getting out of your vehicle and walking the ground ahead. If things get difficult, sometimes discretion is the better part of valour. Don’t plough on: rewind, reverse – retreating exactly back the way you came – then get out and do your recce properly. Off-road driving is all about wheel traction. As soon as those tyres start spinning or slipping on unfamiliar surfaces, you’ve lost control of the vehicle. You can increase your wheel traction in most circumstances by lowering your tyre pressure. And if you’re stuck in mud, or on ice, and your vehicle has rubber 198 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

As with life, it’s a lot easier getting into dificulty than it is getting out of it

Of-road tripping: Bear Grylls finds higher ground in difficult conditions

floor mats, place these in front of the driving wheels to give you the extra traction you need. Icy surfaces are one of the most difficult on which to drive. In general, if you start to skid, avoid using the brakes as this makes the vehicle slide more. Instead, take your foot off the accelerator and allow the speed to drop until you regain control. If you start to spin while skidding, steer in the direction of the spin. It feels counterintuitive, but it’s the best way to get the vehicle straightened up. If you find the way ahead barred by a ditch, don’t approach it straight on. Instead, approach it at an angle so that only one wheel is in the depression at a time. This gives you traction on three wheels rather than two. Descending steep, off-road hills can be very hazardous. Your natural reaction might be to hit the brakes, but if you lock your wheels with the brakes you can lose traction and start sliding down faster. Instead, keep yourself in first gear and allow the engine braking to absorb some of the acceleration. You might need to use your brake pedal a little bit, but only very gently. If there are ruts in the track caused by other drivers, try to follow them – they’ll give you the best traction. It’s always best to travel in pairs, especially when off-road driving. If you have two vehicles (and a good tow rope) you can pull each other out if you get into trouble. If you have one vehicle but two passengers, one of you should drive while the other acts as a “spotter”, guiding you across any tricky obstacles. Sometimes, though, no matter how much know-how you have, you’ve just got to improvise. I once saw a bus get stuck at the bottom of a ravine. It needed jump-starting, so they jacked the bus up, tied the tow rope around the wheel, got everyone in the bus to take the end of the rope and jump-started the engine while the vehicle was immobile. That’s true survival for you – it’s all about ingenuity and resourcefulness. beargrylls.com. Bear Grylls is an ambassador for Land Rover.

Photographs Jody Todd; Ben Riggott Grooming Chloe Botting using Kiehl’s Model Alex Nicholl @ W Model Management

BEAR GRYLLS: #19 DRIVING


LIFE

PERSONAL TRAINER: #11 BOXING

Lord of the ring TO BECOME better at any sport you must practise the skills used during that sport and boxing is no exception, with the bulk of training made up of sparring, bag work and footwork. But a good aerobic metabolism underpins boxing and it is vital to be able to recover from repeated bursts of intense work and come back fighting. Cardio conditioning should include steady runs and sprints. Strength work is crucial, as is leg training. So the key is to train the body as a whole, using explosive exercises that require multiple joints to work in sequence to develop as much force as possible. And remember: strength work does not need to be high volume, so using low reps and just three to four sets is ideal. Jonathan Goodair For more information visit: jonathangoodair.com, homehouse.co.uk

The plan Exercise 1

Plyometric push-ips In push-up position, hands just wider than shoulder-distance apart, maintain alignment. Slowly lower chest to floor, at bottom of the range push up explosively and clap hands together once. Control your landing

and go straight into the next repetition without pausing. Perform 4 sets of 6 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.

Exercise 2

Tuck jumps Stand with feet at hip-distance apart. Keeping back straight, bend knees and hips in a shallow squat, jump vertically pulling knees to chest, land and immediately jump again. Perform

4 sets of 6 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.

Exercise 3

Medicine ball Face wall with right foot and shoulder forward. Hold medicine ball at chest height with left hand behind, right hand on front. Throw at wall, catch with both hands on rebound. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps each side with 30 seconds rest between sets.

Fighters looking for lightweight strength, power, speed and agility in the ring need look no further than these Hyper KO boxing boots. Using Nike’s Flywire technology for support, a mesh upper for reduced weight and improved moisture management, if you can’t float like a butterfly in these then take a leaf out of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s book – use them to plant your feet and sting like a bee. £160. athletesps.eu

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 199


If the app fits: Opportunities for sex are being ost to games such as Candy Crush Saga and Words With Friends

SEX

Love in a time of Pokémon Instead of playing games in the bedroom, too many of us are just playing games... 200 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

WHEN it comes to sex, your smartphone giveth and your smartphone taketh away. There’s been much conversation about how mobiles have birthed instant hook-up potential via apps such as Tinder and Happn. You can order a sex partner with the same ease as a pizza. Those with more niche tastes no longer have to crawl bars, join cult meetings or find specific spots on lay-bys for dates. With a few clicks you can access all the beefy, hairy chaps you want, via gay “bear” app Growlr, or arrange that long-dreamt-of threesome in a few swipes using 3ndr. Got a beard and keen for a date? Get yourself on Bristlr. So why aren’t we all having more sex? Well, the smartphone has also facilitated constant access to games, social media and, the

current ultimate sex-life ruiner, Pokémon Go, which allows users to meander their local area while collecting, training and battling virtual creatures. Pikachu is without doubt the mascot of 2016. Since dropping in July, the gaming app has been downloaded upwards of 100 million times. The largest demographic? Not cartoon-obsessed teenage girls, but 20-something men. The app promotes itself as connecting communities, but really it’s destroying sex lives. Soon after the launch, weary Pokémon Go widows took to Twitter to mourn the loss of time with their other halves – “I lost my boyfriend to Pokémon Go,” bemoaned one. “My boyfriend was an hour late because he stopped at a park on the way over to play,” sighed


LIFE

My friend was stood up because her date found a Squirtle on the way and got distracted another. The game is part of a wider trend of men preferring to scroll than spoon. Stats show that teen-pregnancy rates are plummeting. Right now, in England and Wales, they’re at the lowest level in 70 years. Don’t credit sex education in schools – credit 4G and the iPhone. Rates have halved since the boom of social media. Teens are too busy Angry Birding, hashtagging and selfie-posting to actually find the time to get up to no good. They’re so busy connecting that they never actually, well, connect. Kids today, you may sigh sagely, but the problem is affecting grown-ups too. I surveyed female pals. One was stood up on a second date. The reason? He’d found a Squirtle while on the way and got distracted. That’s not some fabulous new sex toy by the way, it’s a Pokémon. All had stories of men who loved to chat on WhatsApp, email or text, but never actually wanted to meet up or “seal the deal”. Do we want Tamagotchis rather than lovers? A 2014 UK study found that 75 per cent of couples prefer to chat with online followers they don’t even actually know than talk to their real life partner. And, according to a study by Carter Digby for Tiger Mobiles, 40 per cent have turned down sex in favour of playing on their smartphone. So Pokémon Go or the equally facile Fruit Ninja are, to much of the nation, quite literally better than sex. Surveys also say we’re lonelier than ever, but it’s easy to let sexless months slip by without concern when you’re never really climbing into bed alone. Pyjamas on, companion in hand, a fresh game of Words With Friends or Candy Crush Saga (or if you are feeling a little frisky, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood) loading – who cares if it’s a warm battery rather than a warm body that’s heating you up? Your phone has become the third person in the bedroom – always available, always amusing, never about to talk back, apart from via the everpleasant Siri. It’s entertaining, but is it fulfilling? Either way, in bedrooms across the land , it’s becoming the most common way to occupy our hands.

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Young, adult smartphone owners in the US who use their phones during sex

SLEEP

Snooze control Master your sleeping pattern like a pro in just five simple steps THERE is a revolution going on in sleep. “It has been an aspect of our lives that we take for granted and historical patterns suggest we’ve placed less and less importance on sleep itself,” says elite sports sleep coach Nick Littlehales, who has worked with Manchester United, Team Sky and Cristiano Ronaldo. “With research linking our poor sleeping habits and an array of health and psychological issues, from Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity through to anxiety and burnout, you need to get your shuteye sorted.” Here are his five tips to get the best from your body and sleep more successfully... THINK IN TERMS OF ‘SLEEP CYCLES’ By building a new sleep-wake routine on 90-minute cycles, you can plan ahead. So rather than just trying to sleep for eight hours at night, you can now target six, five, four or even three cycles in any 24 hours. The ideal is 35 cycles per week.

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TAKE A BREAK Every 90 minutes take a break from what you’re doing. This keeps a balance between recovery and activity and helps the brain process the high levels of information we are exposed to. Remember, the quality of your sleep is all about what you have done from the point of waking up.

HAVE A ‘POSTSLEEP’ ROUTINE Start your day with an unrushed post-sleep process, from blackout to controlled daylight and a delayed tech start-up. Switch of phone notifications, hydrate and fuel up and do some simple mental and physical challenges so you’re ready for the day ahead.

DEVELOP A ‘PRE-SLEEP’ ROUTINE Adopt an unrushed pre-sleep process (ideally 90min before you want to sleep): a full tech shutdown, moving from warm to cool and light to dark and doing anything to help you and your brain move from being hyper awake to a sleep state.

SLEEP FRESH Choose lightweight, microfibre, hypo allergenic, easy-wash bed linen rather than natural-filled products. PH Sleep: The Myth Of 8 Hours, The Power Of Naps… And The New Plan To Recharge Your Body And Mind (Penguin Life, £9.99) by Nick Littlehales is out now.

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THE LIE-IN KING Simba is a hi-tech British manufacturer that is redefining the sleep experience. Each of its Hybrid mattresses are made up of five layers: a layer of “Simbatex” for support; 2,500 conical springs for comfort; memory foam to mould to your body shape; an engineered support base that suits all body types; plus a hypo allergenic air-flow cover to keep it cool. Simba is so confident in its product, it ofers a 100-night trial. So if you snooze, you can’t lose. From £399. simbasleep.com

Lou Stoppard DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 201


LIFE

HUGO RIFKIND IS...

The

KARMA

Should I tell my friend he’s not liked by his work colleagues?

t might not be important. Once, in a very early job, I met a friend of a friend who was raving about this wonderful girl he kept insisting worked at my company. They’d been at a house party, he said. She’d been wild, pirouetting through the kitchen and doing all the shots, and everything she said had been hilarious, with a twist of sexy, and half the men there had followed her around, lovelorn, while the other half had watched her, then looked at their girlfriends and sighed. For ages, I couldn’t figure out who he was on about. Then, in a startled flash, I’d realised he was talking about a very senior colleague, who screamed at people constantly when she wasn’t crying in the loo and who everybody vaguely wished would get hit by a truck. Not for everybody, is my point, is work at all like life. I’ve known right bastards at work who turn out to have a million friends at home and had the nicest friends in the world who turn out to be right bastards at work. I’ve also had colleagues who are well aware how much they can get on other people’s tits, at least in a work environment, and deliberately keep a low profile as a result. I admire that enormously, although I’d obviously never strike up a conversation to tell them that, because they’re really annoying. If my friends didn’t like me, I’d be devastated. If my colleagues didn’t, I reckon 202 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

I could cope, as long as they didn’t also think I was shit at my job. Being shit, but kept around because you’re loved? Now that’s sad. That’s like being a dog. The trouble comes when your friend thinks he’s popular, but isn’t. “You’ve got to meet them!” he says, of his office posse. “You’ve got to come to the pub!” And so you do, and it’s awful. Your friend cracks jokes and they roll their eyes. He goes to the bar and they talk about doing a runner. When he goes to the toilet they promise proper cash to the intern, not wholly jokingly, if he’ll teabag his pint. There’s a whole 20 minutes after your friend has blithely described something as “platitudinous”,

When he goes to the bar, they talk about doing a runner

during which every single one of them uses the word “platitudinous” in every single sentence they say, but say it in a voice like the one Ricky Gervais uses in Derek. And he doesn’t notice. He just chuckles along. As you both walk home he asks what you thought. “Dude,” you want to say, “those guys hate you.” Should you? Tricky. Unless the balls actually went in the beer, he might be better off not knowing. If he’s nervy already (and he sounds it), the knowledge he’s about as welcome at work as bacon at a barmitzvah might hit hard. Perhaps he has nowhere else to go. Your honesty will only make his life worse. Only, maybe that isn’t the situation at all. “You have no enemies, you say?” wrote the poet Charles Mackay. “Alas my friend, the boast is poor.” When a politician’s colleagues don’t hate them, they wonder what they’re doing wrong. As a rapper might put it, what you hate is what you rate, which you ain’t. So perhaps, when your friend realises he’s loathed, but still there, he will also finally realise just how damn good he must be at his job. And from then on, every little triumph will be all the sweeter, as he feeds on it like only a true brilliant bastard can. In which case, maybe you’ll go out with them all again, for another drink, six months down the line, by which point he’ll have soared up the hierarchy into untouchablility. “So?” he’ll say, afterwards, as you walk to his car. “They definitely still hate you,” you’ll say. “So much!” And he’ll smile, but in a way he never used to, and click the fob on the Maserati he bought with last month’s bonus, in which he’s about to speed off back to the new house none of them could ever afford, where his presence is awaited by a new girlfriend none of them of could afford, either. “Yeah,” he’ll say. “I know. Isn’t it f***ing great?” Hugo Rifkind is a writer for The Times.

Illustration Ryan McAmis

P LICEMAN


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LAST MAN STANDING

Tony PARSONS Conor McGregor can rule the world

Mixed martial arts was once just an outlier – little more than a brutish, lawless scrap, no match for the sports we grew up with. Then ‘The Notorious’ stepped into the octagon...

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trash-talking that manages to be both funny and cruel. But like Ali, the core of McGregor’s magnetic appeal begins and ends in the place where blood gets spilt and bones get broken. You don’t become the most exciting man in sport because you have a big cakehole. “Nobody will ever come close to his

greatness,” McGregor said of Ali after his death. And that’s true, because Ali gave up the golden years of his career, the second half of his twenties, when youth and experience chimed, and all for a principle – refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. No athlete alive will ever compete with Ali’s moral integrity. It’s like trying to be nicer than Jesus. But what McGregor shares with Ali is that he dares you to look away. And you can’t. Because nobody who loves the raw, human drama of sport can fail to be bewitched by McGregor’s fights. Look at McGregor before the bloody rematch with Nate Diaz, swaggering around that eightsided cage, arms swinging by his side, oozing supreme confidence even though he had lost

His magnetic appeal begins and ends where blood is spilt and bones are broken

the first fight to Diaz, the much bigger man, just five months earlier. And look at McGregor just before the first bell rang in the fight with Chad Mendes, looking as if this was the moment he was born for, even though he would be taking on the fight of his life with a knee that was still healing. And look at him doing a spot of breakdancing before destroying the Brazilian Diego Brandão in Dublin, and look at him in the 13-second demolition of Jose Aldo, the fastest knockout in UFC history. You can’t love sport and not love McGregor. The UFC – the planetstraddling big league of MMA – had always left me cold. Until McGregor. Perhaps that, above all, is what he shares most with Ali. He has the ability – and it is a skill that is worth billions – to transform a niche sport into mainstream entertainment. The one time that I was in a room with Ali – 30 years ago, when Ali was in London to promote a video with George Foreman and Joe Frazier – I was infuriated that to reach him I had to shove my way through an excited throng of middle-class journalists who looked nothing like boxing fans. And maybe they weren’t boxing fans. But they sure as hell were Muhammad Ali fans. McGregor has the same quality. He transcends his sport, in a way that only the greats ever manage. And it is nothing to do with being unbeatable. Mayweather never lost a fight.

Illustration Sam Kerr

unny enough, it was my friend David who first told me about Conor McGregor, and that’s ironic because David is exactly the kind of hard-core, old-school boxing fan who’s always been sniffy about the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), mixed martial arts (MMA) and the entire cage fighting industry. In the 30 years of our friendship, David has devoted a large chunk of his time, money and attention to boxing – competing in whitecollar bouts, flying to Vegas to watch Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, and a fitness regime that is built around time in the gym banging pads, bags and his friends. And in that half a lifetime, the number of conversations we have had about the UFC was exactly zero. So something special must be happening for a boxing man like David to have his gaze drawn to that blood-spangled octagon. So I fought against all my own prejudices against the UFC – those five-minute rounds that can feel as if they might last forever, the soundtrack of bad heavy metal and all the hammy drama of fighting in a cage – and I started watching McGregor’s fights. And I was immediately hooked for life. He is routinely compared to Muhammad Ali – all those fight predictions, all that preening arrogance and all the stream-of-consciousness

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 207


LAST MAN STANDING Ali lost five times. But would anyone claim that Mayweather is a greater boxer – or a greater man – than Ali? McGregor’s loss to Diaz was as recent as spring 2016, but watching him bounce back from everything – injury, defeat, submission from a rear-naked choke – is part of the glory. One reason that MMA never held me in the way that boxing did was because I felt it lacked deep history. Who was the Rocky Marciano of the UFC? Who was the Sonny Liston, the Joe Louis or the Jake LaMotta? Where was MMA’s Rumble In The Jungle? But the UFC billed the second fight between McGregor and Diaz as “the biggest fight in MMA history”. It did not disappoint. Watching McGregor you feel that legends are being created, myths are being made before your eyes that men will recall 100 years from now. And boxing, the sport I have loved since childhood, has done nothing but disappoint me in recent years. From the damp squib of the Mayweather vs Pacquiao washout to the squalid second cancellation of the Tyson Fury vs Wladimir Klitschko rematch, boxing – it breaks my heart to say – has seemed in terminal decline. But the third fight in the McGregor vs Diaz trilogy could be MMA’s very own Thriller In Manila.

t is not easy to fall in love with a new sport. The sports we love claim us young and are loathe to let us go, leaving no room in our hearts for new obsessions. The two sports that have held me all my life – football and boxing – were decided before I started school. I remember being taken to White Hart Lane by my father and watching Ali’s fights with my parents – experiences that held me to those sports for a lifetime. I have been in a casual relationship with baseball for years, because when my wife and daughter go off with their friends in Japan, going to the baseball is a fine way to pass the time. But I didn’t play baseball as a boy and my father never took me to watch it. So no matter how many times I watch Tokyo’s Yakult Swallows or Yomiuri Giants, baseball is not in my blood. And it is difficult to truly love a sport that did not claim you young. School forced me to play rugby and cricket but it could never make me love them. There have been moments – every Ashes, every Rugby World Cup – when I know these blind spots are my loss. But I never felt I was missing anything by not loving the UFC. I must have glimpsed the action from time

208 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

to time but it left me unmoved. And as the very first UFC was in Denver, Colorado, on 12 November 1993, it is only millennials who have grown up with mixed martial arts, a phrase first used in a review of UFC 1 by TV critic Howard Rosenberg in the Los Angeles Times. But if the term MMA is only as old as Britpop, then the dream – a fighting style that will defeat every other fighting style – is as old as mankind. The Ancient Greeks had a combat sport called pankration that combined grappling and striking. An ultimate combat style was Bruce Lee’s aspiration when he invented his jeet kune do, a martial art with no fixed forms or rules. And before Lee, four generations of the Brazilian ju jitsu (BJJ) dynasty the Gracie family had their Gracie Challenge, an open invitation to any and all martial artists to come and have a go if they thought they were hard enough in a vale tudo – “anything goes” – match. The dream of discovering the ultimate fighting style is always with us. In

But if there was the element of a freak show about UFC 1, it was also a revelation when the tournament was won by the smallest man competing – Royce Gracie, the soft-spoken ambassador of the aforementioned family. Nobody could live with Gracie’s ground skills. UFC 1 made one thing brutally clear. From now on, the complete fighter would need to be good at everything. “Fighting is not what we thought it was,” said the commentator. The UFC still had years of controversy ahead as it moved from spectacle to sport, but rules were swiftly introduced to fight off the accusations of human cockfighting – weight classes, five-minute rounds, light gloves, no fishhooking. In the end, even McCain warmed to MMA, saying that if he were a young man, he would be doing MMA rather than boxing. If you had grown up long after the golden years of boxing, then the UFC was irresistible. But if you’d grown up watching Sugar Ray Leonard or Mike Tyson, you could hold out against MMA. Until Conor McGregor.

The sports we love claim us young, leaving no room for new obsessions

ecause McGregor is principally a striker, you do not need to know anything about MMA to enjoy his fights. Because – as Brandão, Mendes and Aldo will testify – the “Notorious” one prefers to conclude his fights by punching your lights out. But with McGregor, the explosive violence is just the start. There is an animal grace about him. The highlights of the six-part documentary made about him by Irish broadcasters RTE are watching him train – in a lonely Los Angeles hotel room, in the Straight Blast Gym in Dublin under coach John Kavanagh – times when McGregor is in competition with nobody but himself. At his raucous press conferences and at his weigh-ins, he looks like a half-starved Viking who just discovered someone standing between him and the best buffet in the world. But watch him train and he has the moves of a t’ai chi master or a yoga practitioner or a ballet dancer who can rip your head off. Other UFC fighters look like musclebound hard men. McGregor can match them all the way in the hardness stakes, but still has something more, and it is a fluidity of movement that recalls Ali in his dancing days. Watch him in the moments just before a fight begins. All his opponents look wound up tight. But in those lonely moments, Conor McGregor looks free.

the modern world, it had its coming-out ball at UFC 1 in 1993. UFC 1 was light years away from the MMA of today. There were some familiar elements – the eight-sided cage inspired by the octagon in Conan The Barbarian, the lip-smacking hyperbole – “Two men enter; one man leaves!” But the eight-man tournament pitched rival fight codes against each other to discover the most effective fighting style. The very first UFC fight was concluded when the sumo wrestler Teila Tuli was kicked in the kisser by the fighter representing savate – French foot fighting – Gerard Gordeau. Commentators breathlessly reported a tooth whizzing past their heads. UFC 1 had no weight classes, no judges and only two rules – no biting and no eye gouging. Watching it today, the bloody spectacle of “reality combat” feels like a throwback. It was no coincidence that the event was held in Colorado, a state where bare-knuckle fighting was not banned. “Human cockfighting,” commented US senator John McCain, who had boxed for the navy.

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THE PEO PL E , P L A C E S A N D P R ODUCTS USHERING IN A NEW ERA OF EX CELLENCE

THE NEW CONNOISSEURS

the stuntman

Riley Harper the visionary

Stefan Sielaff the architect

Bjarke Ingels

A Quiet Revolution H OW E A SY E L E G A N C E I S OV E R TA K I N G H A R D L U X U R Y

The New Rules of Leisure: THE COTSWOLDS’ HIDDEN COOL D E S I G N NEW YORK’S HIGH-CONCEPT STORE P E R F O R M A N C E COMMUTE IN A HELICOPTER A DV E N T U R E


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YO U R M A N UA L F O R A S T Y L I S H L I F E L E S S O R D I N A RY

THE LUXURY OF LEISURE New York’s premier concept store Material Good opens its airlocked doors to GQ Story by BILL PRINCE

Retail therapy: The luxury, loft-style interior, featuring all bespoke furniture, devised by Material Good founders Rob Ronen and Michael Herman

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ranted, the double set of airlock doors that greet visitors to the first floor of 120 Wooster Street might hint at what lies within, but gain entrance to what is currently New York’s coolest store and you’d be forgiven for thinking that rather than entering a hipluxe boutique catering to the well-heeled, inquisitive classes, you’ve stumbled across a very elegantly attired private apartment. There’s the baby grand in the corner; the quality art (Basquiat, Warhol, Hirst) and the understated yet au courant furnishings crescendo-ing in the kind of centrepiece dining table that suggests “business hours” don’t stop at sundown. Welcome to Material Good, “a unique luxury shopping experience” that, for once, lives up to its billing – a fact not lost on industry watchers who confirm it’s doing things sufficiently differently to represent a new “paradigm” in the world of luxury retailing. Starting with its location. Granted, Soho is hardly Pyongyang, but it had managed without a luxury timepiece retailer until business partners Rob Ronen and Michael Herman set up shop here in the autumn of 2016. Aside from its discreet-to-the-point-of-invisible first-floor setting, the location was a key factor in the co-founders’ vision for a “counter-free retail” environment: relevant to a relaxed yet well-breeched consumer no longer fulfilled by traditional modes of commerce. The two dreamt up their next-gen concept after combining their respective expertise in watches and jewellery – and choosing to go one step further. Of course, it would carry two of haute horology’s hottest properties, Audemars Piguet (Ronen’s former employer) and Richard Mille (two anchor brands any watch retailer would love to have), but they’d leave it at that, populating the space instead with art, furniture, object d’art and an impressive array of vintage timepieces – or indeed anything they deemed attractive or interesting enough to divert a particularly picky part of the market. “This is a kind of club house,” explains Ronen of Material Good’s unorthodox set-up. “It’s as if we were children, and we wanted to build a club house for our friends. We just did it on a grander scale.” Ronen calls the effect they’ve achieved at 120 Wooster Street “unforced luxury” – “in the sense that there’s no pressure to buy. Come in, enjoy, walk around, it’s a quality game for us, not a quantity game,” – but you might also call it consumer Darwinism. After all, when you’re in the market for another Basquiat, or perhaps the latest Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked in yellow gold, you don’t want to be troubled with a less than compelling inventory. “We get brands in here all the time,” says Ronen. “And the one thing I say is that we put in the brands that we love, the brands that we wear and the brands that we have faith in. It’s the same with the art – it’s reflective of what we love. And the whole space is designed in a way that when people come, they want to hang out.” material good, 120 wooster street, new york, ny 10012. +1 212-359-9688. materialgoodny.com

‘COME IN, ENJOY, WALK AROUND. FOR US, IT’S A QUALITY GAME, NOT A QUANTITY GAME’

‘IT’S AS IF WE WERE CHILDREN AND WE BUILT A CLUB HOUSE FOR OUR FRIENDS – WE JUST DID IT ON A GRANDER SCALE’ 7

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BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME How Material Good is reimagining luxury goods retail Loft converson: Material Good’s Rob Ronen and Michael Herman (left); clients enjoy the informal luxury of their new store in Soho, New York

K N OW YO U R AU D I E N C E “It’s across the board, from all over the world, from all walks of life and all ages,” explains Material Good’s Veruska Williams-Molitor “We wanted to strike a balance between male and female. The watch world is generally very malecentric and the jewellery world is very femaleoriented, so everything from the décor to the dynamic to the display incorporates that balance.”

LO C AT I O N , LO C AT I O N , LO C AT I O N “There was no watch concept or any availability downtown,” says WilliamsMolitor on the decision to locate in Soho. “We wanted something off the [ground] floor, and we wanted a club feel, but to be open to the public.”

BE SELECTIVE. V E RY S E L E C T I V E “We are focused on two watch brands (Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille) and our entry level is our vintage collection [which includes iconic pieces by the likes of Rolex, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin]. We are also one of two retailers for Bamford Watch Department [left] in the US.”

‘ T H E T R A N S AC T I O N H A P P E N S A F T E R T H E R E L AT I O N S H I P H A S D E V E LO P E D ’ “We’re very experience-driven. This is about the product, the environment, the design and the people; the transaction will come after.”

“What’s more valuable than a very good friend saying, ‘I had an amazing experience, it was easy-going, they had great product...’? And we’ll do whatever it takes; if we don’t have something we’ll try and procure it for you.”

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. . . AND I F YO U ’V E GOT IT, FLAUNT IT ( D I S C R E E T LY ) “We’re not an event space, but we can do dinners and we have entertained. I can tell you because it’s been in the press: Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend held their baby shower here.” 8

Photographs Getty Images

E M B R AC E WO R D - O F MOUTH


DESIGN

Reach for the sky: Bjarke Ingels’ West 57, New York, and his Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Hyde Park

EXTRA LUXURY DESIGN Upgrade your life with intelligent design

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Born in Copenhagen in 1974 – to an engineer father and dentist mother – Ingels wanted to become a cartoonist, only studying architecture at the Royal Danish Academy Of Fine Arts so that he might improve his drawing skills. Although he caught the building bug, his desire to inject play and wonder into his creations still holds true, with a design philosophy that is all about blowing out perspective, light and form – or “bigness” – together with an integrated social consciousness.

Mapping the future

Ingels is astonishingly busy. Current projects include billionaire Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, the proposed 760mph rail system using magnetic pods and an airless tube; the new Googleplex (with Thomas Heatherwick), a redesign of the company’s 60-acre Californian HQ; the Big U, a sea wall protecting Lower Manhattan, which was allocated $335 million; and 2 World Trade Center, the last of the new towers scheduled to rise from Ground Zero. Our world will soon come to look like what’s inside Ingels’ mind. jonathan heaf. big.dk

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Bjarke Ingels, 42, isn’t so famous as to be recognised while walking down the street, not yet anyway. But there’s no doubt you will already know of his incredible matter- (and mind-) warping creations. Ingels is without question the most exciting, most indemand starchitect of our times, creating – together with his Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), founded in 2006 – buildings and structures that defy traditional architectural conventions, such as this year’s “unzipped” Serpentine pavilion.

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The business of playfulness

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Extraordinary stories need BIG ideas

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Sizing up the Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels

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Case by Louis Vuitton, £1,860. uk.louisvuitton.com E X T R AO R D I NA RY T I M E S

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E X T R A O R D I N A R Y A D V E N T U R E YO U R M A N UA L F O R A S T Y L I S H L I F E L E S S O R D I N A RY

ROAD WARRIOR REDUX There is no better way to escape to the country than behind the wheel of the world’s most magisterial SUV. Headed for the Cotswolds, GQ slips away with the ultimate travelling companion – the Bentley Bentayga Story by JONATHAN HEAF G E X T R AO R D I NA RY

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Fast lanes: The Bentayga glides through the Cotswolds, including a stop on the bridges of Bourton-On-TheWater (bottom)

I THE DRIVE

COACHLOADS OF TOURISTS ALMOST THROTTLE ONE ANOTHER TO GET A SNAP OF THE BENTAYGA ON THE VILLAGE’S STONE BRIDGES

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spent the entirety of my youth desperately trying to get to London. I grew up on the outskirts in Epsom, Surrey, a suburban smudge (well, for a style-conscious 14-year-old) where pub car parks were places to exchange hip-hop mixtapes, fight over girls and compare trainer treads. I longed to be elsewhere and style magazines such as i-D and The Face became my gateway drug into a way of life that, I hoped, would be bolder, sharper, richer and, yes, more urban. London was, for me, Oz; the Emerald City, the solution to my creative frustrations. I would peer at the kaleidoscopic capital through these glossily printed prisms, my nose pressed against the cultural glass wondering what all London’s dapper gents were up to, where they were going out, what they were wearing. I eventually made it, aged 18, moving first to London Bridge, where I lived in a former candle factory, and gradually heading further and further north until property prices backed me into a corner between the North Circular and the Russianowned mansions of West Hampstead. I became a Londoner, however, and I still consider this one of my greatest achievements. And then what happened? Well you turn thirtysomething, pick up a couple of children, a house and a little loose change and suddenly all your friends are talking about getting away for the weekend, getting out of London. Suddenly, Friday nights aren’t for staying up until you drop, they’re for packing the Rimowa and travelling two hours to breathe fresh air, wearing those Hunter boots previously only ever worn at Glastonbury and getting lost on the way to somewhere called Moreton In Marsh. Oh and pubs. Lots and lots of pubs. This great weekend exodus to the English countryside by a savvy London elite began around a decade ago yet, come 2016, the flood is only getting more rapid. Suddenly, anyone who is anyone worth their triple-cooked chips and astrakhan throws is heading to the Cotswolds. Today, the siren call to England’s green and pleasant land has become even louder, even more desirable. E X T R AO R D I NA RY T I M E S

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the luxury is on another level and that’s even without the optional addition of the tourbillon clock, yours for an extra £110,000. The first stop on the drive is a spot of breakfast at Daylesford Organic Farm in Kingham which has become sacred ground for this area’s regeneration. Daylesford’s palette provides the UK’s version of what the Danish call “hygge” – a warm, fuzzy smugness brought on by wearing cashmere socks by an open fire. Pulling the Bentayga into the car park, it’s clear the shop and restaurant are a popular spot; if not for their exquisite produce to take away then for their breakfast, which for me included two perfectly poached eggs, a coupled of slices of home-cured ham and a pleasing dollop of hollandaise. So here I am, like an aged hipster moth to a flame, spending 24 hours on the coolest patch of England to be seen in while wearing a box-fresh Barbour jacket. And I couldn’t wish for a better arrival, driving a Bentley Bentayga, the perfect car from which to view the countryside in deep, sumptuous comfort. Pulling off the A44 and aiming the Bentayga’s Roman nose towards Cirencester, it’s immediately clear the car doesn’t so much sweep through the gathering autumnal leaves as take a running leap – it is staggeringly nimble for two and a half tonnes – all be it disconcertingly quietly. The first thing you notice about the car is its eerie almost electricpowered-levels of non-noise. Not only that but despite its size it feels amazingly compact. Another thing: it’s not nearly as ostentatious as you might expect from a car that cost £160,000 – or as I like to calculate it, the cost of renting a garage in Kensington for a year. When you lean back into the hand-stitched, quilted seating, you can feel the quality. Inside, this car could be nothing else but a Bentley;

THERE I AM IN THE COOLEST PATCH OF ENGLAND TO BE SEEN IN A BOX-FRESH BARBOUR Replenished, I set forth to the Great Tew Estate, about 20 minutes back east, run and owned by Nicholas Johnston. I meet with a young gamekeeper called Freddie who has been working here, driving birds, tending to the land and running shoot days ever since he was old enough to reach the peddles. He takes us on a tour, showing us the pheasants which have recently been laid down – thousands of them – and are now getting plump, ready to be driven into the crosshairs of my pals from Kentish Town in a couple of weeks, no doubt. Flicking the Bentayga’s central rotary switch to match the bumpier terrain, we take the car off-road and up past one of the many beautiful lodges and into a field of sheep. Although the A little bit country, a little bit rock‘n’roll: Jonathan Heaf takes the all-wheel drive Bentley Bantayga through the Cotswolds

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car performs brilliantly – the 21-inch wheels and anti-roll system doing the heavy lifting – I can’t help but feel like I’d been caught out by the local wildlife; suspicious black eyes follow us to the shooting range. An hour after popping a few clay birds, with guns and the engine cooled, I thank Freddie for his time and set the sat nav for our lunch venue about 20 miles away – the Wild Rabbit, a pub that has been rebooted as a destination restaurant, much like Tom Kerridge’s The Hand And Flowers in Marlow or Heston’s The Hinds Head in Bray. I tuck into Wootton Estate lamb, Pertuis asparagus, white polenta and Parmesan and sprout flowers followed by roasted pineapple with spices and vanilla rum. Well why not? If I’m to get a real taste of how the Cotswolds has seduced even the most discerning of urban aesthetes, I don’t just need to dip my toe in but my fork also. The afternoon is spent trying to find a little peace and quiet. Bourton-On-The-Water is a pretty a village as any, although driving the Bentley through anywhere as picture perfect feels a little like driving a spaceship through someone’s front room. It must be noted, the coach-loads of Chinese tourists here almost throttle one another with their selfie sticks to get a snap of the Bentayga on the village’s stone bridges. Pity the 4G was so poor. Gunning towards our final destination, Barnsley House near Cirencester, with the punchy all-wheel drive keeping me as entertained as the crisp, rich Naim stereo system, I wonder whether the Cotswolds can sustain this onslaught of London expectation and ambition. Parts of Gloucestershire now look, and feel, far more like Highgate. Almost every part of the rural way of life has been manicured and massaged to take it to a standard that is luxurious, decadent, convenient. What the Cotswolds must remember – or what Londoners need ask of it – is to ensure a weekend trip into the luxe heart of this wealthy county doesn’t become like walking into an annex of some club in Mayfair. Finding the path between old and new is what a car brand such as Bentley does best; perhaps why the Bentayga felt so at home here. As I head back home, one can’t help but wonder that the fight for the soul of the Cotswolds’ will rage for some time to come.

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Silver bullet: The Bentayga goes of-road for shooting at the Great Tew Estate

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Tucked away on 100 acres of farmland this honey-pot for creative types lives up to the waiting list for their cabins. Ponies to ride, milk floats for rapid transfers from room to spa to bar, Fofa bikes, the right size wellies waiting, waving staf and all the Soho House Group trappings you’ve come to expect. soho farmhouse, 1 tracy farm cottages, great tew, chipping norton, ox7 4js. 01608 691000. sohofarmhouse.com

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DAY L E S F O R D ORGANIC

This where it all started. Although once just a farmshop, albeit it the Ferrari of farm shops, now the Daylesford Organic brand has expanded to include clothes, homeware, a cookery school and lodgings. A place of power, influence and really, really good cheese. daylesford organic farm & café, daylesford, gloucestershire, gl56 0yg. 01608 731700. daylesford.com

Where to find rural refinement in the Cotswolds

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THE WILD RABBIT

G R E AT T E W E S TAT E

BARNSLEY HOUSE

Fancy going to a cosy, idyllic countryside pub but would rather avoid tepid pies and soggy chips? The Wild Rabbit is a pub like no other. Beautiful contemporary dishes such as hay-baked celeriac or stalwart plates like their 40-day aged beef cooked over charcoal are presented in an open, modern sunlit dining room. Rooms also available. the wild rabbit, church street, kingham, oxfordshire, ox7 6ya. 01608 658389. thewildrabbit.co.uk

Where do you go for a little action once Soho Farmhouse has bought your heartrate down to zombie-like levels of relaxation? The answer? The neighbours. Gather your friends, throw on the tweeds, fill the brandy flasks and head out to the best day’s shooting this side of the Scottish border. great tew estate, new road, chipping norton, ox7 4ah. 01608 683636. greattewestate.co.uk

If you start at Soho Farmhouse in the east, this is where you want to have your final night. Elegant yet contemporary, stately yet snug, stay in one of their two-storey suites or chose the private garden retreat with an open fire. The spa with outdoor hydrotherapy pool are worth the trip alone. barnsley house, barnsley, cirencester, gloucestershire, gl7 5ee. 01285 740000. barnsleyhouse.com

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LIFE ON THE LIMIT

E X T R A O R D I N A R Y P E R F O R M A N C E YO U R M A N UA L F O R A S T Y L I S H L I F E L E S S O R D I N A RY

LAST ACTION HERO

Easy rider: The LA-based stuntman Riley Harper; (below) on set as Mad Max and Captain America

Meet Hollywood’s leading stunt double and style thrillseeker, Riley Harper Words by JONATHAN HEAF

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iley Harper is, for once, still. Speaking from his biker’s lair high up in the hills of Santa Monica, the 32-year-old stuntman seems relieved to be home with his spurs up, taking in the panoramic view that rolls all the way down past the Pacific Coast Highway and across a choppy, tangled ocean. “The life of a stuntman can mean long periods of travel and time away from my base here in LA,” he explains wistfully. “I was on a film last year that shot from July through to October. You have to prepare for it, both in your head and with your friends, loved ones. FaceTime always helps, of course.” Preparation for producing a precision performance is a way of life for Harper. And in the same breath, a lack of preparation could mean certain death. Sounds dramatic (and that’s sort of the whole point in Hollywood) but if you’re jumping a 450 Honda off a double-decker car transporter up a freeway overpass 60ft up while dressed as Batman – as Harper was for one particular stunt while working for Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight Rises – you need to know you’re going to hit every mark, every beat, with a controlled recklessness. “My father taught me pretty much everything I know,” explains Harper whose work has seen him double for the likes of Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man, and appear

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Surfing, flying drones, photography, hiking with my dogs

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Triumph for street, Honda for dirt

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My father Tom Harper and Steve McQueen for pure style

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Belstaf Ashvale jacket in racing green

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alongside Chris Evans in Marvel’s Captain America. Most recently he worked with Harry Styles on the former One Direction singer’s first big theatrical release, Dunkirk, out summer 2017. “Harry was great actually, surprisingly so. A real cool guy.” Harper does the danger work, while the leading men look on in awe and, presumably, not a small amount of little relief. “A lot of actors want to do their own stunts,” chuckles the fourth generation Californian. “But because there is so much money involved with each of these movies now they don’t get sign off from the producer. An injured stunt guy is a bad day; an injured movie star is a bad year.” One exception, famously, is Tom Cruise. “I’ve had friends who have doubled for Tom a fair bit,” says Harper. “It’s true he does put it all on the line. I guess as he is one of the producers he has more control. But the stunt guys will work for months and months making it safe, checking each and every angle, eliminating risk so when it comes to the day they know exactly how the stunt is going to go down. It’s an art form. A dangerous one, with lots of science and tech thrown in, but still an art form.” So are there any stunts Harper wouldn’t do again? “Well there are some I would wince at repeating, not for danger but purely as I know how much they hurt. But this is what I do. A way of life. It feeds my soul.”

Air support: Blade can be downloaded from an app; (below centre and right) the lounges at its New York and Miami helipads

F LY B Y W I - F I The latest luxury taxi app goes way above the competition... Blue Sky Thinking

Come, Fly With Me

New York State Of Mind

All good companies start with a problem that needs solving and apps are best for solving many of mankind’s most mundane tasks – shopping, transport, bill payments and, sure, casual hook ups. Rob Wiesenthal, formerly a COO at Warner Music in the US, wanted to eliminate time wasting, especially the endless fumefilled hours stuck in traffic while commuting in his home city of New York. He found the answer in his phone. And in the sky. In 2006 Blade was born, a commuter service that is essentially Uber for helicopters. Currently Blade lounges are peppered across Manhattan and the fleet of helis serve destinations including East Hampton, Miami and Nantucket.

Blade travellers download the app and then browse to find an existing flight, or they can choose to crowdsource a flight, picking your own time to fly and then selling on unused seats to the growing Blade community. Flyers check in to one of the several Blade lounges – small, well designed hubs that hark back to an era when air travel felt exclusive and glamourous. There are vintage-looking suitcases stacked against frosted glass, a stack of old Playboys from the late Seventies, books such as a collection of Andy Warhol photographs and, pleasingly, an anachronistic image of Frank Sinatra, drink in hand, disembarking a Blade chopper.

“Oh, I’ll just Blade home.” Such a phrase has already been overheard at a fashion pop up party on New York City’s Upper East Side. Could anything sound more Manhattan? What Wiesenthal aims to do - having raised $6million back in May with a $25m valuation for his company – is to get New Yorkers, and then presumably the rest of the world, to consider such jet set air travel as something more offthe-cuff, thus encouraging frequency. He’s got quite the task: if our experience is anything to go by, hovering over the Williamsburg Bridge as traffic swarms (or, in fact, stalls) gets a five-star rating from us every time. jh flyblade.com

EXTRA LUXURY PERFORMANCE Don’t leave home without this essential kit Trainers by Lanvin, £395. lanvin.com 17

Holdall by Bentley, £975. bentleymotors.com

Sunglasses by Bottega Veneta, £330. bottegaveneta.com E X T R AO R D I NA RY T I M E S

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FUTURE LUXURY

N E W WAV E T E C H N O L O G Y Get on board and ride with surfing’s digital revolution

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ormer world champion surfer Gabriel Medina doesn’t settle. That’s what makes him a world champion. It’s also why Samsung has just launched the most high-tech surfboard of all time: the Galaxy. Medina realised that the 100 metres separating him from his coach when preparing for competitions was leading to poor communication, misunderstood instructions and impaired training. It wasn’t conducive to him achieving his best. Therefore, Medina’s regular gear was no longer adequate. Samsung’s Galaxy Surfboard, a specially developed smart surfboard that would allow Medina to communicate with his coach while in the water, took its place. With this one-of-a-kind piece of kit, Samsung and Leo Burnett Tailor Made have taken surfing and luxury to the next level of connectivity.

Developed and designed especially for Medina with the help of his longtime surfboardmaker Johnny Cabianca, the Galaxy Surfboard is a digital platform that connects the professional surfer to the world around him, not just the ocean. While riding waves, the Brazilian world champion can now get tips from his coach and stepfather Charles, as well as messages of support from fans on Twitter. With each manoeuvre, Medina has the whole of Brazil behind him. Powered by two micro controllers, specially coded for the board, and a waterproof Samsung Galaxy smartphone slotted into a hidden drawer in its base, the sleek Galaxy also relays weather updates, wind direction and wave height, swell and frequency in the form of graphics beneath the tweets, which appear on the deck for five seconds, and are sent to the Galaxy using a predefined hashtag.

Medina, and his coach, can see this all in real time, displayed on a screen with LED lights on its unidirectional deck. No longer a solitary surfer, hearing nothing but crashing waves and the rolling tide, Medina now surfs with the whole crowd in support. The next time Medina lands that backflip (and let’s not forget he was the first person to ever land this move in a competition), he will receive a wave of tweets in real time. This April, Medina took the board out on its first trip off the coast of São Paulo, and cut through the water with more power and motivation than ever before. The internet of things doesn’t stop on dry land, and it’s certainly keeping up with Medina. eleanor halls

THE GALAXY SURFBOARD’S SCIENCE EXPLODED 1

THE BRAIN

A Samsung Galaxy smartphone, covered with an airtight lid and slotted into the base of the board, is connected to the internet via 4G or Wi-Fi. An app is installed on the smartphone. The surfer will open the app, choose their location and the predefined hashtag that will seek the messages to be displayed on the board, then slot it back into the frame.

Of the hook: The 2014 world champion Gabriel Medina surfs in Tavarua, Fiji

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THE APP

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In addition to tweets and messages, the app will be able to relay heights of waves and wind conditions, including intensity and direction, in real time.

It is made from styrofoam, covered with layers of fibreglass and is powered by microcontrollers made with firmware development.

Text and numbers relaying all Medina’s vital messages will appear on the deck through a batterypowered LED display.

Photograph Rex

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Michael Fassbender’s

COMMANDMENTS of COOL From fallow years in LA to taking acclaim from critics, directors and actors alike, this 21st-century Marlon Brando has learned a life lesson or two. And while we can’t set in stone his holy strictures, for the pages of this magazine we spoke to the star of Assassin’s Creed about avoiding the low roads, not being outshone, and why his latest ilm will rocket him to the ranks of Hollywood’s god-tier STORY BY

Jonathan Heaf

230 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

PHOTOGRAPHS BY

Matthew Brookes

STYLING BY

Julie Ragolia


MICHAEL FASSBENDER Coat, £2,045. Top, £980. Vest, £335. Trousers, £470. All by Lanvin. lanvin.com. Shoes by Made Worn, £1,130. madeworn.com

‘As I get older I’m beginning to ask myself what’s GOOD for me? WHO am I?’ DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 231


‘Tarantino was a HUGE influence on me. I LOVED his controversy’ Coat by Coach, from £1,750. uk.coach.com. T-shirt by Made Worn, £120. madeworn.com

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MICHAEL FASSBENDER

The grin walks in and it’s like a knife. It’s not your PG-rated, popcorn-scoffing, matineemovie-star smile. It’s not wry and knowing, cool-with-a-wink, like, say, Clooney’s or Cary Grant’s. It isn’t James Woods-sleazy, either. This smile isn’t ordering watered-down Mai Tais at the Wynn in Vegas, wearing a Hawaiianprint shirt and heading back to LA in a pink limo for shots and an afterparty at The Nice Guy. Not this grin. There’s nothing chummy about this smile. Neither is it bleached white like plastic furniture in a pub beer garden, the sort of smile some rookie actor with a pushy lower-tier casting agent and a cheap dentist would have, but something far more lupine. It’s as if the owner has too many teeth for his mouth or his mouth is too wide for his jaw. There’s more than a hint of malice in that grin: Jack Nicholson, just without the eyebrows that punctuate the face like caterpillars pulling yoga moves. It’s peculiar. Peculiar because Michael Fassbender, the only man whose grin it could possibly be, couldn’t be any more amiable. We sit down for a cut of seared ribeye (medium rare; extra chimichurri for him; a dollop of hot English mustard) and a glass of Shiraz at Blacks in Soho. I tell him I’m worried my near-vegan girlfriend will be able to tell I’ve eaten steak. “Why?” he asks. “Cause she’ll smell the meat on your breath?” The restaurant is the sort of dining establishment that looks like it hasn’t been refurbished since Beau Brummell learnt how to tie his first pussy bow in the gents, all oil paintings and dark corners. It’s warm today, hot even. It’s midSeptember. This will be the last day of summer and the wasps are dying. They knock against

the windowpanes, sleepy and disorientated, looking for last orders. Beyond the warped glass, pretty women below on Dean Street bustle and cling to their light summer hems as if the very memory of that week in Mykonos depended on it. Men smoke in doorways with their cuffs rolled up, thinking about not thinking about work for the rest of the afternoon. Ignoring the optimism outside, Fassbender appears to have come dressed as a guitar tech for a heavy-metal band: black T-shirt, black shorts and a cyan-blue pair of New Balance trainers with white pop socks. His beard is unruly, a mesh of copper wire. He looks older than he is, which is a few months away from 40. He is lean but strong; his forearm muscles twitch every so often as we talk. I wonder if his outfit is a throwback to his days in Killarney, Ireland, when he and a close friend formed a band called the Two Mikes and played acoustic covers of Metallica songs in their local pub. Turns out he’s just come from the gym. Actually, that’s not quite right. Directly before this meeting, Fassbender has been with a small team of filmmakers, hunkered down for a few hours in an editing suite about two blocks away. I know this because I was in the very same editing suite, in the room adjacent, watching unfinished footage from the first reel of the same film, Assassin’s Creed, due to be finished in a month. On my way out I bumped into the director, Justin Kurzel, who described Fassbender’s involvement in the project as, “fastidious”. The rings below the director’s eyes were the colour of day-old bruises. Assassin’s Creed is a big deal for the halfGerman, half-Irish actor. There is a lot on the line here, not just the cash invested. Fassbender began talking to Ubisoft – the makers of the computer game of which the film is an adaptation – back in 2012. He struck a deal that has allowed him not only to take the lead in this holiday-season, $200 millionbudget release, but also to attach himself and his company – DMC Film – as co-producers. Lara Croft? Resident Evil? World Of Warcraft? Has there ever been a decent adaptation of a computer game? “I get it,” concurs Fassbender when I reveal a little cynicism. “I think this is different. When I met the Ubisoft guys they began to explain to me the premise of DNA memory; it is why birds know when to migrate south in winter... our survival instincts. This is the science and theory that the film’s fantasy is anchored in. Add in the Templars, assassins,

‘I try NOT to take myself too seriously. I’m TELLING STORIES, not curing cancer’

the Garden Of Eden and the apple being the first sign of free will and I just thought there’s a lot to mine here cinematically.” Hit or miss, the film is a telling marker, indicative of Fassbender’s evolution from critically acclaimed screen actor, undoubtedly the best of his generation, to a player in the industry who will have the power to fund future productions, produce multiple releases and also, when he’s ready – and he’s not quite – to direct. If Assassin’s is a smash, Fassbender’s path will be greased and gilded. If it’s a dog, however, his progression may well be stymied. This isn’t the first time I’ve sat down with Fassbender. We spent some time together four years ago. The first time we talked properly was just as his work for director Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame, 12 Years A Slave) had earned him a hero’s welcome into the seemingly impenetrable back bar of Hollywood’s Alpha Male Club For Leading Bros – along with lifers Pitt, Hardy, Damon and DiCaprio – winning not only Oscar nominations but an anointment from King Silverback George Clooney live on stage at the Golden Globes: “Michael, you can play golf with your hands behind your back. Go for it, man!”

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n screen, Fassbender is an actor who excels at playing complex, conflicted, often sinister, men. Even when playing those made of metal and wire – as robot David in Prometheus – he seems able to project malice simply by doing something as routine as brushing his character’s nicotine-blond hair. There’s a reason why he was cast as the young Magneto in the X-Men franchise, the mutant who can move metal with his mind; it’s not because of his Irish lilt or skin as fair as double cream. In the flesh, Fassbender is more carefree. He’s attentive and charming. Less rigid. He diets and trains, for example, but isn’t bothered about his weight. He’s not supposed to be drinking – “I take a month off the booze from time to time; just a clean-out of the system, really, although I still like to go out and have a little boogie, who doesn’t?” – yet only two days into his regime he orders a glass of dry red to wash our meal down with. He can be serious and confident, sure, yet not overly self-aggrandising. He’s fun. A proper night out with Fassy, one imagines, would be a ball – and probably just a little bit illicit. Yet something lurks beyond those dreamboat, megawatt blue eyes. I guess that’s why so many directors clamour to work with him. With Fassbender there is a deeper level of stoicism, a wily self-possession that always seems to be whirring in the background. That and a flicker of vulnerability. Fassbender’s greatest strength is, in fact, self-doubt; he has the DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 233


confidence to know he is not infallible, that he will make mistakes. It’s why he works so hard for each role: to eliminate the risk of failure. Fassbender also charmingly refuses to believe his own hype. Despite a career trajectory many could only dream of, the actor wonders whether his best work is now behind him: “I’m nearly 40. I have different priorities from ten years ago. Perhaps I should think about nurturing my personal life a bit more. But I do believe there’s a period of time when you do your best work; there’s the journey to that point and then there’s the downhill.” Surely he doesn’t think he’s on the descent? “I mean, you hope not, don’t you?” he chuckles. “Maybe that’s what keeps me working at this frantic pace. I work as hard as I can because I don’t know how long I will keep doing this.” Fassbender knows his job is to be an invisible prism through which stories about men, women, assassins and, yes, sometimes aliens are better understood. The actor is, unsurprisingly, protective over his own personal truths – especially his private life. But nevertheless, a man can learn a great deal from talking to Fassbender. It’s not that he has rules per se, but he does have a particular way of doing things. Not a strict morality so much as a sort of jet-set conscientiousness. “I think about these things a lot,” the actor admits when I ask whether he thinks he’s changed in the past five years. “When I think about that time just after Shame had hit, around 2012, and I was at the Venice Film Festival having come back off a road trip and the press was just, ‘Whoosh!’” Before Fassbender became The Next Big Thing back then, he had managed, somehow, to take three months off to drive around South America on motorbikes with his father and best friend. “I remember people telling me, ‘Enjoy this moment, Michael.’ Maybe I should have enjoyed it a bit more.” And now? “The goal isn’t so singular nowadays. Rather than anxiety, I am more pragmatic. I don’t let worry boil inside me. As I have got older I have begun to ask myself, what's good for me? What do I live well with? Who am I?” “Who am I?” It’s at this point that I do wonder whether we should have ordered the whole bottle...

Becoming Fassbender: how to be more like Mike Thou shalt not be intimidated. (Not even by Quentin Tarantino. In LA. On the casting couch. When you realise you’ve prepped for the wrong part.)

Fassbender’s origin story begins in southwest Ireland. His parents ran the West End House restaurant on New Street in Killarney and Fassbender worked there in the kitchen as a teenager. At first he thought his creative outlet might be music: “I wanted to be a rock star; that didn’t work out so well.” Then he tried acting. Ambitiously, he decided to start his own production company. He called it Peanut Productions (“small; lots of energy”) and the first play he put on (in the local strip club; for charity) was Reservoir Dogs. “Tarantino was a huge influence on me; I loved his controversy.” Cut to early summer 2008 and Fassbender, now 31, is in LA auditioning for the role of Col Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. “The trouble is, when I walk in Quentin tells me Landa’s part has already gone to another actor.” The part had actually been offered to Christoph Waltz, who went on to win an Academy Award for his portrayal of the Austrian SS officer. “I’m thinking, ‘I’m screwed.’ But I do the audition; I’ve got nothing to lose. I leave, go back to my hotel room and make myself a very large gin and tonic. I expect never to hear from him again. Then, a call.” What got Fassbender through the audition, however, wasn’t fear. It was a matter of acknowledging the opportunity. Of ringing the bell. He had a hunger that had been churning ever since his early twenties. He knew what having your foot in the door felt like; in 2001 he was cast by Steven Spielberg in Band Of Brothers, yet little work had followed on from it. He spent the next years of his twenties in LA, waiting by a phone. When Quentin called, Fassy knew it was now or never. “I was nervous, sure, but in a healthy way. I wanted to be in that position. I don’t know if I was technically ready but I was ready to take the leap. I had done Hunger with Steve [McQueen] the year before and he’d told me, ‘Don’t be worried about falling on your ass!’”

Thou shalt not care about the popular choice. (Oscar? Shmoscar!) To call Michael Fassbender competitive is like calling Taylor Swift popular. He’s a nice guy, sure, but put him in a supercar on a test track and he’ll be there all day until he beats your 234 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

time. Though winning, for Fassy, doesn’t necessarily mean accumulating rosettes. Even when he’s discussing the little downtime he took between projects in Sydney – Ridley Scott’s forthcoming Alien: Covenant was filmed there and Fassbender and his girlfriend of nearly three years, the Gothenburg-born actress Alicia Vikander, stayed on to enjoy the sunshine – the actor’s fierce ambition to be good at pretty much everything burns through any self-deprecation he peppers the anecdote with. “I loved that location,” he tells me. “The only problem is I surf like a man who only picked up a board aged 35. But that’s fine...” He clenches his teeth and then lets out a cackle. “Well, it’s not fine really, but there you go!” When it comes to work, he’s no less motivated. “Although I take my job seriously, I try not to take myself too seriously. I’m telling stories, not curing cancer. But I try to take risks, do something I haven’t done before.” What about an Oscar? Does he want one? Some might say he deserved one for both his previous nominations: first for 12 Years A Slave, and again, when he was up against DiCaprio, for his role as Steve Jobs in the Danny Boyle film. “It was long overdue for Leo. I think people would have been mightily pissed off with me had I won instead this year; it would have had a detrimental effect on my career. Do I put a lot of weight on it? Not as much as I used to. It would be nice to have, I guess. Do I pick projects to be in the Oscar race? No.”

Thou shalt stick to the system. And then give ’em hell. Currently studying at Rada? Fancy knowing why Michael Fassbender is such a nextlevel actor? OK, there’s a silo of talent on tap there, that much is clear, and, sorry, that isn’t something you can buy crib notes on – “There is no one like Michael out there right now. And there hasn't been, for me, since Marlon Brando” proclaimed director Steve McQueen – yet there is a method by which he prepares for each and every role that, if followed, is guaranteed to have you stealing scenes next semester. “You just need to stick to the system,” Fassbender chuckles. “Which is what I have to tell myself each and every time. It’s not hard work, it’s just repetition. Well, at first. “Take the Steve Jobs role; we start with rehearsals but before this you get the script. Let’s say it’s 290 pages – it was about that – lots and lots of dialogue, f***ing long soliloquies. First up I read it as one. All the way through. Then I do it again. And again. Let’s say you get three reads done in one day of a 290-page script. That’s about eight hours’ reading for me.” Are you trying to memorise it at this point? Think about performance?


MICHAEL FASSBENDER T-shirt by Made Worn, £120. madeworn.com. Trousers by Lanvin, £765. lanvin. com. Shoes by Made Worn, £1,130. madeworn.com. Belt, Michael's own.

‘I was ready to take a LEAP and Steve McQueen told me, “Don’t be WORRIED  about falling on your ass!”’

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Fassbender EXCELS at playing conflicted, often SINISTER men – even men made of metal and wire

Cardigan by JW Anderson, £1,250. j-w-anderson.com. T-shirt by Made Worn, £120. madeworn.com. Jeans by Valentino, £308. valentino.com 236 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


MICHAEL FASSBENDER

‘The fact that people voted for more walls is SAD. It would have been RIGHT to remain in the EU’ “No. That’s the trick. No performance or trying to say it back to the air – you’re just reading it. The temptation will be there to begin to bring it to life, but you need to keep that shit in check. You wake up, you read. You have breakfast, you read. You go for lunch – go out for lunch, do something else, have a break – then back to the hotel room, read, turn off the phone and read. Read till dinner, have dinner, read until bed and sleep. Try and read in your f***ing sleep if you can. The next day? The exact same thing.” Has he ever panicked and wondered if he’d learn it in time? “Yes, certainly at the beginning of the read, with something like Jobs, and you can’t see the wood through the trees. In the end, I broke the script down into three sections, three 60-page lumps. So by the time we began filming act one I had all of act one memorised, so in the evening I could learn act two; when act two began filming I learnt act three and so on. Usually, though, I make sure I have all the script learnt on day one. You just need to read and read and read.” And then? “Then you go to work, put the apple on the teacher’s desk and give ’em hell!”

Thou shalt have your future girlfriend “piss on your shoes” during a scene and you will be absurdly attracted to her because of it. When I say “piss on your shoes” I’m being metaphorical – call off the lawyers. In fact, it was Fassbender’s expression. OK, admittedly, not to describe specifically working with Vikander – nor actually peeing on any footwear – but to describe the feeling he gets when he works opposite someone who is, for want of a better word, absolutely, undeniably, youthfully lit. “Some people call it owning a scene,” explains the actor, “which can be problematic. I remember working opposite an actor in the pub scene in Inglourious Basterds; I used to come home and say to my mum, ‘I am being killed out there! This guy is so f***ing good.’ But it just raises your game. It makes you roll up your sleeves to match them. That’s when the really good stuff starts happening. I had it with Alicia on The Light Between Oceans. I just thought, ‘Whoa!’ She came out and she was on fire. You could see the commitment; everyone could. Hungry and wise to how big these opportunities are. It’s infectious.” Vikander and Fassbender became an item during the filming of Oceans, which was shot

on a peninsula in New Zealand in 2014. The pair stayed in trailers with a very small crew. The director, Derek Cianfrance – quite the industry matchmaker, having previously paired Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes on the set of The Place Beyond The Pines – got what he was hoping for: “The movie is a classic love story, and I cast them with the idea that they would have chemistry together. Evidently they did.” Fassbender himself won’t tell you much more. I tell him the fact I know they really did fall for one another enriched the movie for me, making an otherwise tame sex scene almost too intimate. His reaction is all teeth. “Well, that’s good. Excellent. If it helps, then great.” Did he worry that his genuine feelings for his co-star could jeopardise his performance? “Derek was trying to create an environment where the actors can be as real as possible. You service the characters. You use elements of reality but also the imagination. The relationship myself and Alicia went on to have did not pollute the journeys of Tom and Isabel, the characters. Not for me, anyway.” Pressing Fassbender on his sex life feels like trying to shuck an oyster with a plastic fork. So what does it feel like to be in love? “I don’t know. You tell me.”

Thou shalt not be the next James Bond. Odds on Michael Fassbender becoming the next James Bond after Daniel Craig are 16/1 at Paddy Power. Damian Lewis has the same odds, whereas the front runners are still Tom Hiddleston, Aidan Turner and Idris Elba. Fassbender wants this cleared up once and for all. “Bond! Is this rumour still going round?” It is, very much so, I tell him. “You would have thought I was out of the bookies by now.” So come on, once and for all, would he consider playing James Bond? “To be honest, no. As an acting role, I think Daniel has done such a cracking job in this age group.” I tell him I think Craig is about ten years older than Fassbender. “Well, look at me! I look about 50! No, I think the franchise needs something new.” Such as? “What about we start the film back in Sandhurst, army training, rather than on a yacht, or he’s in the Middle East on an op and gets thrown in the brig for insubordination. He’s going to get court-martialed...” For someone who has just taken themselves out of the race he's given Bond an awful lot of thought. “Well, I have thought about it a lot. The film could start off in Sandhurst and how he became a ‘double 0’. M could walk in

and say to him, ‘Bond, there’s a 00 project but it’s going to be totally off the book, black ops, and you’ve got to go into prison undetected.’ Fassbender laughs. “I just love Bond. Doesn’t everyone? I grew up with him. It’s always a fun conversation to have. “But Bond should be someone in their early twenties.” What about Ryan Gosling? “Sure, why not? I always thought Bond should be British, but let’s get an American in. Or maybe someone like Jack O’Connell would be good? Or even better, how about Jane Bond? A woman. One thing is for sure, it won’t be anyone on the bookies’ lists. It never is.”

Thou shalt pull down walls and tear up the borders Fassbender moved to London when he was 19. “I came over very green and very naive; it’s amazing how youth can live on virtually nothing.” Part of what attracted him to London was the freedom he found here, the integration and fluidity. “I loved the diversity. The fact that we have relatively little conflict with all the religions and so on.” Waking up on 24 June, however, a little of that love had been vanquished, along with the UK’s hopes of staying in the EU. “I was absolutely gutted. I just love not having to deal with borders and the fact that many people have voted for more barriers and more walls is sad. Just to prevent future conflict in Europe it would have been right to remain. We have seen two world wars and now the backwash from it, the refugees and displaced millions; that is what happens when you go to war. It’s an embarrassment that those who campaigned to leave seemingly had no plan, either. We are living in the great unknown.” Refreshingly, the actor doesn’t mince his words when it comes to Donald Trump, either: “I think people are angry and that’s why Trump got such a huge following. They feel disenfranchised and this is their way to strike back. But is he the answer they are looking for? Feels to me like he’s someone who got us into this mess in the first place, with the bankers and so on – he’s just part of the problem.” Is Fassbender always so pessimistic about the future? “As a species we seem to be doing our damnedest to wipe ourselves out. You ask me about having children and yes, of course I would like kids, but sometimes I worry about the sort of world they’d be coming into.” Assassin’s Creed is out on 1 January.

MORE FROM GQ

For these related stories, visit GQ.co.uk/magazine

Is Benedict Cumberbatch Too Big To Fail? (Stuart McGurk, November 2016) Pamela Who? (Alex Bhattacharji, August 2016) Rock Star (Paul Henderson, July 2016) DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 237


‘I always thought Bond should be BRITISH. Maybe Jack O’Connell. Or, even better, a WOMAN’ Coat, £3.700. T-shirt, £300. Both by Berluti. berluti.com 238 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Coat, £2,280. Sweater, £1,240. Trousers, £970. By Bottega Veneta. bottegaveneta.com. Shoes by Made Worn, £1,130. madeworn.com Creative director Paul Solomons Grooming Petra Nina Sellge Photo assistants Ted Park, Callum Toy Stylist assistant Melissa Yates Digital operator Philipp Paulus Location MC Motors, Castle Gibson With thanks to CLM DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 239


e! v i lus c Ex G

Stella

WEARS the TROUSERS Few in fashion have reached so far into our cultural psyche while only designing for half the population. Now, to launch her first menswear line, STELLA McCARTNEY speaks exclusively to the artist who sparked her new ambitions PHOTOGRAPHS BY STYLING BY

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Zackery Michael

Leah Adicoff


FASHION Alex wears jacket, £830. Trousers, £270. T-shirt, £245. Trainers, £365. All by Stella McCartney. stellamccartney.com. Sunglasses by Freeway, from £80. freewayeyewear.com

‘I always feel comfortable, no matter what I’m wearing, as long as I’ve got my sunglasses on’ Alex Israel DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 241


It has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated launches in British fashion – at last, after running her own label for the past 15 years, Stella McCartney is finally launching a menswear range. And it makes perfect sense. Indeed, she started her career working under Edward Sexton, her father’s tailor, and it was from this legend of Savile Row that she learned tricks of gentlemen’s tailoring that have informed so much of her womenswear. “The starting point of the collection is the man who’s always inspired the Stella woman,” McCartney explains. “He has been standing alongside her since the start and now is the time he has his moment.” And one man proving a particular inspiration for McCartney right now is LA-based artist Alex Israel. So to celebrate the longawaited arrival of her brilliant new range we put the two together to discuss both art and the art of menswear. Stella McCartney: That little croak in your

voice – is that left over from Burning Man? Alex Israel: Yes. It was my first time and an

incredible experience. It was so great to see so many people feeling free and finding their creative outlet out there in the desert. SM: Do you think it will inspire your work? AI: Of course. It put me in a really positive

mood. It reassured me that what we do, when we are being creative, is connected to this much larger, fundamental, human impulse. Now I’m sounding pretty new age, huh? SM: Yes. I saw a photograph of you there...

Do you know the one I’m talking about? AI: Me in my King Tutankhamun sweatshirt, outer-space leggings and hiking boots. This woman just appeared, like a mirage out of the dust, out in the middle of the desert early one morning after sunrise, and by chance she had the same print on her swimsuit, so we took a picture we called “Tut in common”. SM: I’m interested not only in your work

but also in how you wear clothes. Did that look open your eyes about how you communicate through fashion? AI: Well, it was Burning Man. I wanted to dress up a little bit. I guess I always feel pretty comfortable no matter what I’m wearing, as long as I’ve got my sunglasses on. SM: You once told me that you make your

own sunglasses and now I’m making men’s sunglasses, too. So talk to me about your sunglasses. I might be setting myself up in competition to you. AI: My brand is called Freeway. I started it just before I entered graduate school. I wanted to make something that didn’t have to be art, and that lots of people could access. 242 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Do you think that fashion can be art? SM:

AI: Anything can be art – fashion, a talk show,

a dinner party conversation. But with Freeway, they’re just sunglasses. SM: How do you take your art and what

you’re creating and place it in a home? Because everything that we’re creating is coming into people lives, right? Is that your intention? And how do you live with your wardrobe? AI: Much of my art is made to be lived with. The paintings can be quite big, so in some cases they require a big wall where they can work like a movie set. As for my wardrobe, I try to keep things simple and comfortable. SM: What do you think about men

wearing fashion as a uniform? Because I’m launching menswear I suddenly find I have to look at this in more depth. Male artists have often used fashion as a gimmick – Magritte and his hat, and Hockney. AI: My sunglasses and my scruffiness help me maintain a certain identifiable look. Having a uniform not only takes some of the guesswork out of the morning routine, it can also reinforce an image of consistency and dependability. In my case, putting all of that responsibility on the bridge of my nose frees me up to wear whatever I’d like on the rest of my body, even though it usually comes down to a pair of jeans, grey hoodie and trainers. I’m all for comfort and stressfree dressing. SM: You could get trapped into having to

wear those sunglasses for the rest of your life and end up like Jack Nicholson...

AI: Well, Jack Nicholson is pretty cool, and

in LA, there really is a need for them. SM: You have to remember I live in London.

It’s a slightly different reality here when it comes to sunglasses.

OK, now I want to ask you a question: Why menswear and why now? AI:

SM: Over the years guys kept asking me when I was going to do menswear and it planted the seed of “Would I do menswear, could I do menswear, and should I do menswear?” It was the right time. My first time designing menswear was when I did the uniforms for the 2012 Olympic Games. That helped me feel more comfortable, more confident. I guess I ask myself what the relationship is for the Stella McCartney woman with the man that I’m creating. AI: Women wear uniforms too. So maybe that is where the relationship is stemming from. SM: Yeah, in a way they do. AI: I’m going to start shooting a second series

of my talk show soon. I’ll need to find a new look, something to wear in every episode. I wore a suit and tie last time. For series two I’ve toyed with the idea of just wearing athleisure. SM: Yeah, comfort. Athleisure is a really

great word. AI: I love it, too. And I wear it often. When I’m

not in jeans, I’m in sweatpants or gym shorts. SM: What I find so interesting is that it’s

a language, and you see that emphasis on comfort in every man’s wardrobe. AI: Stella, I have a shelf in my closet and it’s full of grey hoodies. SM: How far would you go outside of that

comfort zone? Because we all have our limitations, we all have the box that we’ve placed ourselves in with our wardrobes. AI: Just because I wear the same kind of thing a lot, doesn’t mean I’m not in tune with the variations and detailing that make one T-shirt more comfortable or wearable than another. SM: What I find with men is that when you

find that pair of jeans, you stick to them. Is it almost like a level of allegiance? AI: To a certain extent, yes. Those moments of allegiance can be quite prolonged. But if, say, I wear the same jeans, sneakers and hoodies all the time for six months or a year, I’ll probably try out different T-shirts or jackets. Something’s always up for re-evaluation. SM: The attention to detail is extraordinary

in men. And it’s really interesting to challenge myself to try and have a better understanding of that. But what I find


FASHION

‘My first time designing menswear was when I did the uniforms for the 2012 Olympic Games’

interesting is what you said before about wanting people to live with your work. So what, for you, is the difference between having your work bought by a gallery and having it in a home? AI: The best possible outcome for my work is to end up in a public institution so that a broader audience can experience it. But I make things that are accessible in other ways, too – I make sunglasses and I’m now making sunscreen. I make videos, like my talk show, As It Lays, for the internet, so that anyone can watch them. SM: Who has had the most influence

throughout your career so far? AI: Lately, my collaborator Bret Easton Ellis;

the cast and crew and producers of my movie SPF 18; surfers [the subject of the film]; Willow and Jaden Smith. There’s always a pop star that taps into the zeitgeist perfectly – and that inspires me – sometimes I get lucky and get to know them a little. They are these incredible unicorn-like people. And then of course there are countless other artists, filmmakers, designers, writers and other creatives whose work inspires me. My parents and teachers, and the artists I worked for all helped me understand how to get things started. SM: When I think about the Stella McCartney man, of course I reflect on the men in my life. I look to my husband, my father, to my friends, to people that have inspired me; artists, musicians, filmmakers... And now I know you need to run off to your SoulCycle class or Rise Nation or whatever you LA people are into these days.

PORTRAIT BY

Mary McCartney DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 243


Jumper, £755. Trousers, £335. Shoes, £315. All by Stella McCartney. stellamccartney.com. Sunglasses by Freeway, from £80. freewayeyewear.com 244 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


FASHION

‘When I think about the Stella McCartney man, I reflect on the men in my life’ Coat, £1,420. Jumper, £630. Trousers, £325. All by Stella McCartney. stellamccartney.com. Sunglasses by Freeway, from £80. freewayeyewear.com

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 245


L  

os Angeles born and bred, Alex Israel produces work that has been described as an intimate portrait of his home city. The 34-year-old artist employs a kaleidoscope of techniques and media, including painting, sculpture, installation and video, and his work is often on a monumental scale – taking advantage of a studio at Warner Brothers to create huge pieces. His often pastel-coloured paintings are described by his friends as looking like “Eighties porn flicks” and have been acclaimed on both coasts, as well as in London, Paris and Berlin. Israel started his career as an assistant to the late LA artist Jason Rhoades and worked the door at the notorious Black Pussy Soirée Cabaret Macramé events. Rhoades would stage Warhol-esque happenings, such as one event that saw participators playing “homeless teens” wrestling in a 50 x 50ft inflatable sculpture. You can see echoes of Andy Warhol in Israel’s work, particularly in his chat show-cum-artwork As It Lays, in which Israel interviews a series of celebrities, from Christina Ricci to Kato Kaelin, asking them random questions from a set of index cards. His latest exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in LA was in conjunction with the novelist Bret Easton Ellis and was inspired by their shared love of shopping malls. Israel sourced and bought stock images of palm trees, beach scenes and buildings that depict LA in all its glamour, which were accompanied by a series of texts by Ellis about Californians’ obsessions with how they are perceived by others. Part of the exhibition was a billboard on Sunset Boulevard stating, “If you don’t like me unfollow me.” Robert Johnston

246 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Photographs Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; Kevin Tondra; Jef McLane; Zarko Vijatovic; Joshua White

LA story (clockwise from top): Alex Israel’s Self-Portrait, 2013; Self- Portrait (Wetsuit), 2015; If You Don’t Like Me Unfollow Me. 2016; Lens (Pink), 2013; Hotel California, with Bret Easton Ellis, 2016


FASHION

‘Anything can be art – fashion, talk show, a dinner party conversation’ Alex Israel

Jacket, £970. T-shirt, £235. Trousers, £380. Trainers, £365. All by Stella McCartney. stellamccartney.com. Sunglasses by Freeway, from £80. freewayeyeware.com Grooming David Burgoyne Production Paul Preiss at nowcreative.co

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 247


Why aren’t you following...

Elsa Hosk

E  

PHOTOGRAPHS BY

Jimmy Backius

lsa Hosk isn’t your typical Victoria’s Secret Angel. For a start, the 27-year-old Swedish model didn’t grow up with a passion for clothes and catwalks. She spent her teenage years wearing her brother’s hand-me-downs (which she wore in the photographs her father sent to modelling agencies) and playing basketball. Her father put a hoop on their street for her to practise and, after finishing school, Hosk went from playground to professional. Abandoning the modelling jobs she’d been juggling on the side from the age of 14, she became a full-time basketball player on Sweden’s national women’s team. Two years later, the amount of modelling offers proved too tempting and Hosk swapped the court for the catwalk. Considering she was used to training eight times a week for her sport, the transition was easy. Basketball’s loss proved Instagram’s gain and Hosk has gained more

248 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

STYLING BY

Lisa Lindqwister

than 2.7 million followers since she began working for Victoria’s Secret in 2011. She replaced Karlie Kloss as an official Angel last year. She also made headlines in 2014 after almost accidentally knocking a performing Ariana Grande off the runway with her giant angel wings. Despite her relatively new-found fame, Hosk has already worked with Dior and Dolce & Gabbana, and counts celebrity photographer Guy Aroch among her close friends. Scroll through her profile and you’ll find Hosk dressed as a giant colourful pinwheel or a furry icicle for last year’s Victoria’s Secret show, lounging by various pools in swimsuits or stretched naked upon a pebbled beach. Hosk’s eye-watering quota of followers, which peaked sharply after covering the Victoria’s Secret swimsuit catalogue, comes as no surprise. Here’s hoping Hosk keeps her wings to herself this year. Eleanor Halls

Photographs Cameralink Hair Karolina Liedberg Make-up Anne Staunsager

Swapping court for catwalk, the former Swedish basketball star earned her wings – and a multimillion-strong following – as a Victoria’s Secret Angel


FASHION Hoop dreams: The Instagram feed of Victoria’s Secret Angel Elsa Hosk attracts more than 2.7 million followers

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 249


‘He turned the quest for otherness into his life’s work. Everybody else’s code has been cracked, their mystique penetrated. Not his’ 250 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


BOB DYLAN

He changed music. He changed politics. He changed The Beatles. But GQ argues that even his Nobel Prize For Literature misrepresents America’s poet laureate, whose greatest creation was himself: the consummate self-made pop star

STORY BY

David Hepworth

PHOTOGRAPH BY

Jerry Schatzberg

R The man in me: Bob Dylan as he saw himself on New Year’s Day 1966

OBERT ALLEN ZIMMERMAN, the oldest son of a small trader from Hibbing, Minnesota, in the frosty reaches of the northern United States, has been known to the world as the legendary Bob Dylan for over 50 years now. The mark of legendary status is that people who are not very familiar with you or your work can reel off a list of clichés at the mention of your name. In Dylan’s case these are likely to include: spokesman for a generation; rock poet; king of protest singers; spirit of the Sixties; originator of “that thin, that wild mercury sound” that indie bands still pursue; there may also be something about a motorcycle, something else about God and possibly a reference to his having introduced The Beatles to pot. The problem with such a laundry list of characteristics of the legendary Bob Dylan is they often obscure the more obvious characteristics of the real Bob Dylan. Where rock stars are concerned, we build up the bits that we’re comfortable with and play down the bits we’re not. Dylan was the first rock star to appeal to people who’d been to university and therefore they’ve always liked to feel that he’s a subject worthy of their long-windedness. The result is that Bob Dylan, much like The Beatles and Elvis Presley, is venerated for many things he isn’t all that good at and underrated for a lot of things he really shouldn’t be underrated for. DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 251


BOB DYLAN

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ylan is overrated as a radical. In fact, he seems temperamentally conservative. The gospel songs that he sang in the late Seventies came naturally to him because they were disapproving of the very things his long-haired admirers held most dear. If he’s an alternative to anything it’s the notion of being alternative. It must be strange and vexing for a man like him, who in his youth wanted to go to military college and still says he identifies more with the Fifties than the Sixties, to see himself painted as the pied piper of hippy hedonism. He never was a spokesman for anything, let alone a generation. He is the living embodiment of the Groucho principle – not wishing to be a part of any club that would have him as a member. He proved that in front of the world’s largest TV audience in 1985 when he anticlimaxed Live Aid with a shambolic live performance during which he heretically suggested that some of the money being raised ought to go to over-mortgaged American farmers. The motives of rock stars are never unmixed and this particular act of cussedness was also an assertion of ego on the part of someone who believed he was above a charity fête, no matter how big. It seemed to have finished his career. At the time, that career was a mere 23 years old. How little we knew in 1985. How little we suspected rock was about to get a second wind more powerful than its first, a wind that would carry the stars of the Sixties to new levels of fame and undreamt-of wealth. Thirty-one years 252 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

later, Dylan is still around, trundling round the county fairs of the Midwest and the municipal rock festivals of western Europe, picking up awards from starstruck heads of state, getting paid for lending his myth to the promotion of cars and underwear, from time to time putting out records which seem to have made their way here from a different dimension, and maintaining a reputation for unpredictability quite unmatched in show business. For the generation who were paying attention when he first came along, Bob Dylan is a figure as familiar, enduring and delightfully inscrutable as the Queen. Helen Mirren said the key to playing the latter was that she’s “way back inside herself” and “looking out [at the world] as if through a porthole”. Dylan’s like that. The last time I went to see him, at the Albert Hall in October 2015, I was close enough to observe him at work for two hours and came away much as I might have done if granted similar proximity to the sovereign – mindful that there was no secret behind what was being done, but newly respectful of the craft with which it was performed. In Dylan’s case we’re often too busy watching for the card up his sleeve to notice the one he’s put on the table. In our efforts to justify our simple, child-like responses to the music we inevitably overthink it. For all the posters on the bedsit walls, for all the groaning shelves of hagiographies, for all the arty films in which Cate Blanchett dresses up and pretends to be

It must be strange for him to be painted as the pied piper of hippy hedonism

him, for all the decades of thoughtless deification, there are some simple but profound qualities for which Bob Dylan is still underrated. You know the legendary Bob Dylan, the freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, the man Jack Nicholson introduced at Live Aid as the transcendent Bob Dylan, but how well do you appreciate the real Bob Dylan?

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hat guy can’t sing.” That’s what Bruce Springsteen’s mother said when she heard her son listening to “Like A Rolling Stone” in 1965. Anyone who was 15 that year had to deal with the same accusation. Parents didn’t bother saying John Lennon or Mick Jagger couldn’t sing but there was something about the boldness of the way Bob Dylan sang which they took as an affront to their whole idea of what singing ought to be. It’s the same to this day. People who can’t begin to put into words what great singing is agree on one thing – it isn’t Bob Dylan. They are oceanically mistaken. Springsteen knew different. “I was listening to the toughest voice that I had ever heard. It was lean and it sounded simultaneously young and adult. Somehow Bob’s voice thrilled and scared me. It reached down and touched what little worldliness a 15-year-old kid in New Jersey had within him at the time.” I first heard Bob Dylan in the autumn of 1964, in a classroom overlooking the playing fields of my school. It was a meeting of the school folk club, organised so that a sixth former could play his Dylan records for us. We’d never actually heard him sing. We’d heard about him, read about him, looked at his pictures but there hadn’t been any opportunity to be exposed to the actual sound of him. When they lowered the tone arm to the iridescent surface of the first album and the sound of a talking blues called “Talkin’ New York” came from the speaker it was one of those rare occasions in life when an experience that had promised so much for so long turned out to be every bit as fulfilling as you could have wished. Obviously we’d never heard anything like it, nor “Girl From The North Country”, nor “Only A Pawn In Their Game”, nor any of the other tunes that they played for us in that short hour. I suppose the more advanced of us would have recognised it as coming from the same soil as traditional blues and country music, but none of us had ever heard enough of that stuff to be able to say. And it sounded now rather than then. For all the arcane locutions, the mislaid consonants and talk of boots of Spanish leather, this music belonged in the same now. If singing has any point it’s as a way of saying, “I too have felt like this” – and nobody does that better than Bob Dylan. He did it when he was singing about his love affairs

Photographs Everett Collection Historical/Alamy; Getty Images; Ken Regan/Camera 5 via Contour for Getty Images; Trunk Archive

He’s overrated as a poet for a start (not withstanding last month’s Nobel Prize For Literature). It’s not useful to think about him as a poet at all. If you read the average Dylan song on the page you’ll find half the words are either doggerel or lifted from some ancient country song, which probably lifted them in turn. These may be further supplemented by a paragraph poached from the memoirs of a Japanese gangster and put there because they lend themselves to whatever tum-ti-tum rhythm he’s looking to introduce into the song. An actual poem is calculated to produce an interior effect when narrated by an interior voice. Bob Dylan writes songs in order to produce sounds, which he intends to make himself. If you’re looking for a musical poet Leonard Cohen’s more your man. When Dylan asked Cohen how long it took him to write “Hallelujah”, he said, “Four months.” Feeling this called for reciprocation, Cohen then asked Dylan how long it had taken him to write “Make You Feel My Love”, at the time hogging the world’s charts in Adele’s version. “About 20 minutes,” said Dylan. This wasn’t false modesty. Poems are quarried. Any songwriter will tell you that the best songs just show up.


Life on the tracks (clockwise from top left): Dylan in rehearsal for The Ed Sullivan Show, 12 May 1963; Dylan at the Savoy in London, 1 May 1966; at the Grammys, with Mumford & Sons, 13 February 2011; on stage at Wembley Stadium, 1984; at Madison Square Garden during 1986’s True Confessions tour; at The Boston Garden with The Band, 14 January 1974; rehearsing Highway 61 Revisited, 1965; recording Bob Dylan in New York, November 1961; with Keith Richards, at Live Aid, 13 July 1985; on stage performing at the Hop Farm Festival, 30 June 2012; (opposite) an advert for Dylan’s first big New York show, 4 November 1961

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e call Bob Dylan’s kind of singing authentic largely because we can’t really think of anything else to call it. That’s the measure of how brilliant his artifice is. As Carrie Fisher said, “You can’t find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.” Robert Zimmerman’s transformation of himself into the pop star called Bob Dylan is more complete than Stefani Germanotta’s transformation of herself into Lady Gaga.

Bob and Gibson: Dylan in New York, 1963

He said, ‘I need another Bob Dylan’. So he got another version of himself and put it to work This, let’s not forget, is a man whose greatest invention is his own act. This is the son of a Jewish storekeeper from the Iron Range, who turned up in New York in the winter of 1961 presenting himself as a box car-riding hobo who’d run away with the circus, doing everything in his power to conceal the fact that he came from a secure, loving, nondescript American home. Looking back years later he said that he never felt he belonged, something any adolescent with a shred of self-respect says. He turned that quest for otherness into his act and his act has been his life’s work. Everybody else’s code has been cracked, their mystique penetrated. Not his. Joni Mitchell, a contemporary from the far north who’s, if anything, more talented, says she envies the way that Dylan has invented “this hillbilly” to sing his songs for him. He peeled off serviceable versions of himself. At the end of the 1967 film Don’t Look Back he stands exhausted in his dressing room and says, “I need another Bob Dylan.” So he got another version of himself and put it to work. He made up another Bob Dylan for the next phase of his life. Everything about him is made up, just as made up as Pet Shop Boys or One Direction.

The way he looks, the way he walks and carries himself are every bit as much a part of Dylan’s act as the words of his latest song. For the Albert Hall show he and his band were dressed in the matching suits traditionally worn by touring country music bands. At the very end of the show, when the encores were finished, they put down their instruments and mustered together centre stage. They remained in place, poised with their arms at their sides and slightly away from their bodies, like a bunch of western lawmen about to go for their pistols, neither smiling nor frowning, slowly looking left and right and up and down as the entire Albert Hall stood there applauding them. This stand-off continued for so long that you felt the moment was bound to be broken by a gesture, the acceptance of a bouquet, or maybe a few words from Dylan himself. But the temptation was resisted. Instead, at a signal which was invisible even at close quarters, these six shiny-suited men in their sixties and seventies turned and slowly walked off. And then the house lights came up. Somebody once said pop music is about two things: one is the beat, which isn’t all that interesting, and the other is the gestural art, which is. On the way home it struck me that this pose taken up by Bob Dylan and his band at the end of that show may just be the single most calculated demonstration of the gestural arts that I’ve ever seen on a stage. It was a gesture befitting a man who has forgotten more about being a pop star than most pop stars will ever know.

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interviewed Bob Dylan in 1986. It was the longest 40 minutes of my life. Alone among rock stars Bob Dylan doesn’t seem remotely bothered whether you like or admire him. He had a large dog at his feet. I asked him if the dog had a name. “No,” he said. Then I started asking him something else and he cut across me. “Late for dinner,” he said. “He’s called late for dinner.” I failed to detect that he was telling me a joke. Call me anything you want but don’t ever call me late for dinner.

DYLAN’S AWARDS Adding a Nobel Prize to his trophy cabinet may require some rearrangements... Bringing it all back home (from left): Dylan received the French Order Of Légion d’Honneur in 2013; with George Harrison for his 1988 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame; at 2001’s Golden Globes he won Best Original Song; awarded the US Presidential Medal Of Freedom in 2012 254 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Photographs EPA; Getty Images; Rex

in “Ballad In Plain D” in 1964 just as he did when he was singing about life from the other side of the limo glass on “Positively 4th Street”. He did it when he sung about married bliss on Nashville Skyline in 1969, just as he did in 1976 when he sung about the break up of his home life on “Desire”. He was no less convincing in 1979 when he sang about a vengeful God in “Gotta Serve Somebody”; he was just as serious and persuasive as he was when singing Hank Williams’ blithe two-step “I Can’t Get You Off My Mind”. Even when he did his loopy Christmas album in 2009 he never sounded anything less than utterly sold on the idea. In 2013 his record company released The Bootleg Series Vol 10: Another Self Portrait, a compilation of oddments from the years 196971. It’s a sketch pad of an album. The songs, most of which are old folk and country tunes, just pour from him. “Let’s just take this one. You ready?” he says to the engineer. “You remember Bob Gibson?” he asks a fellow musician. This is clearly a man who lives to sing. Obviously his voice has suffered over the years. On stage these days he tends to narrate his songs rather than sing them. But on studio albums such as 2012’s Tempest he still manages to demonstrate that the words and the chords are mere instructions. Great singers flood the zone between those words and chords with something else – in Dylan’s case that’s not just his personality, it’s the deep broad river of American vernacular music, from Lead Belly to Tom Waits via Bing Crosby, from the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol. There’s nobody else who does that.


BOB DYLAN During one of those press conferences he would put himself through during the Sixties, Dylan was gamely trying to throw off the labels that the press wished to put on him. Was he a protest singer? “No,” he said. Well in that case what are you? “I’m a song and dance man,” he said. The song and dance man line is classic Dylan. It’s a half-truth plucked out of the air to get himself out of a tight spot. A song and dance man is a man who plies his trade with the wind of his throat and the movements of his body. A song and dance man is always prepared. A song and dance man could perform on any street corner, to whatever mix of children and adults, natives and foreigners, fans and passers-by who might happen to assemble. One night in the cold winter of 1962, Martin Carthy was playing in the upstairs room at the King & Queen pub in London’s Fitzrovia. Between songs he looked up and saw that he was being watched by Bob Dylan. At the time Dylan would only be known by a handful of people in Britain and most of them would have been in that room. Dylan did a couple of songs. What impressed Carthy was not the songs. It was the fact that he had “fabulous presence and a great sense of comedy”. Carthy understood that what Dylan was doing he was doing in the air in front of him. It was a performance. It was show business. He also twigged early on that Dylan has always been a bit of a comedian. He sometimes tells jokes on stage. “My wife left me for a tennis umpire. Love means nothing to her.” Having delivered such a joke he doesn’t retreat into the embarrassed self deprecation of the rock musician. He just fixes the audience with the same sort of defiant look Max Wall might have done. My interview was taking place in his dressing room at Madison Square Garden. During a break the woman from the record company asked him how it was going. He said, “I don’t know. He keeps asking me all these questions.” At the time I wrote that off as one of those flip things that he’s known for saying. I now realise he was serious. Ever since he was 21 people have been coming to him with

questions, expecting him to explain the world and, more absurdly, his own trade. If we had Beethoven or Louis Armstrong back among us now is there really anything they could tell us about what they did or why they did it that would add one iota to our enjoyment or appreciation or understanding of what they did? I have no further questions for Bob Dylan. Nor do you. He doesn’t owe any of us much in the way of additional information. It’s all been there in his performances down the years and there have been no shortage of those. And some of his best performances haven’t been musical. At another mid-Sixties press conference he was asked, “How many other protest singers would you say there are?” He answered, “136.”

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lot of water has gone under the bridge in the 50-plus years since I heard him in that classroom in 1964. I’m not one of those people who’s accompanied him on every step of the journey. I’ve been to shows which were so shabby I’ve decided to retire from seeing him. From time to time I’ve lost interest, for which I make no apology. Tethering your peace of mind to the ups and downs of a showman’s life is something you should grow out of. He’s floated in and out of my life. I’ve gone through periods where I’ve let whole phases go by. A couple of years later I’ve doubled back on them and been delighted that they sound better for being left a little while. There’s never a rush to hear music. It finds you when you’re ready to hear it. When Dylan did his Theme Time Radio Hour for NPR a few years ago, the bulk of the music came from the years before he broke through and seemed to support the belief that there’s little that’s new in music, just old things you haven’t heard before.

He likes the money and the attention. He’s addicted to the rhythm of his life

I don’t depend on Bob Dylan. I wouldn’t want to be his buddy. Of course he might be interesting to tag along with, not least because he’s forever going somewhere. He’s an inveterate tourist. Unlike most superstars he doesn’t expect the mountain to come to Muhammad. Woody Guthrie in hospital, The Beatles at the Delmonico Hotel, Elvis Presley in Vegas; he turned up to visit them all. When asked why he was playing the Isle Of Wight Festival he said it was because he wanted to see the home of Alfred Lord Tennyson. In recent years he’s turned up outside the childhood homes of John Lennon in Liverpool and Neil Young in Toronto. In 2014, he showed up to watch Manny Pacquiao train. He tours all the time because he likes the money and the attention and he’s addicted to the rhythm of the life. He’s not impressed with his own status and warms to people who aren’t either. A lot of his partners over the years, such as Carolyn Dennis, who he secretly married in 1986, have been African American, and it’s been suggested these women aren’t particularly impressed with his celebrity. The recent Coen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis was set in Greenwich Village in 1961, in a world we know about because of Bob Dylan. Its titular hero is a moderately talented wouldbe folk star held back by his complete lack of personal charm. At the end of the film he staggers out into the alley to meet his eternal fate. We don’t clearly see the man who follows him onto the club’s stage but we do hear him sing an adaptation of an old folk song about leaving Liverpool. The singer is Bob Dylan from a recording made in 1962 that’s never been properly released until now. It’s more vivid, more powerful, more present than any of the well-practised performances that we’ve heard in the film to that point. It eclipses everything. Without that song, which he didn’t even write, without the richness and heft of its performance and the hovering, smokey presence of the singer we can’t even see, there’s no film. What makes the film is not the legendary Bob Dylan. It’s the other Bob Dylan, the real Bob Dylan, the one we still underrate.

Song and dance man (from left): In 2000, Dylan was awarded the Polar Music Prize by Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf; in 1998, he won Album Of The Year at the Grammys; in 1991, he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award, presented to him by Jack Nicholson DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 255


STORY BY

Flash point: Officer Ray Hailey joined the Dallas force 26 years ago, after a career in the military. He says soldiers need to be more heavily retrained before joining the police 256 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Alex Hannaford

PHOTOGRAPHS BY

James Breeden


TEXAS POLICE

This year’s attack on oficers in Dallas was the worst on US soil since 9/11. Now, as the high-proile police killings of African-Americans pushes race relations to the brink, GQ rode along with a black city cop to uncover the truth about public fear, the culture of brutality and the search for answers to America’s civil unrest

The body count rose: three oicers dead. Four. By Friday morning, five of Hailey’s colleagues had lost their lives DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 257


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fficer Ray Hailey had only been home a few hours on Thursday 7 July, after his day shift patrolling several square miles on the south side of Dallas. A 26-year veteran of the Texas city’s police department, Hailey had folded his uniform for the morning, eaten dinner and was watching local news station CBS Channel 11 with his fiancée, Kathy, when, sometime after 9pm, the anchor interrupted the schedule with a breaking news report: a shooting in progress downtown. Hailey began channel hopping. All the local stations carried the same bulletin, but now there were reports of police deaths. At 9.54pm, another station, KDFW, cited sources saying three officers were down. In the age of smartphones and social media, the footage of the events playing out that night was visceral and frightening. In one clip, against the backdrop of high-rise office buildings turned blue and red by flashing police lights and the cacophony of sirens, scores of police could be seen, weapons drawn, taking cover behind squad cars. Hailey sat up straight, eyes fixed on the TV. “I can’t believe this,” he said. The gunman was apparently hiding behind buildings at El Centro Community College, where Kathy worked. She handed Hailey his police radio and he switched it to channel one. As his phone beeped with incoming text messages (“friends and family as far afield as Virginia asking if I was OK”) Hailey stayed up through the night, listening to the police radio, making phone calls, keeping one eye on the TV flickering in the corner of the room. The body count rose: three officers dead. Four. By Friday morning, five of Hailey’s colleagues had lost their lives in a hail of bullets and nine others were wounded, including two civilians. The sun rose on the deadliest incident for police in the United States since 9/11. This was America’s 7/7. The day of the shooting, the temperature soared to 102 Fahrenheit – hotter than average for July in Dallas. Most officers assigned to the downtown area had been tasked to monitor a large protest that was gathering pace that afternoon. Organised by a local chapter of Black Lives Matter, the movement that emerged swiftly in the wake of the 2012 shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, the Dallas rally was in response to more recent shootings of unarmed black men by police. Just the day before, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot after his car was pulled over. Before he was killed, Castile told the officer he had a licensed handgun. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, filmed the aftermath inside their car, streaming footage on her phone of her dying

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boyfriend live on Facebook while she explained, calmly, to the officer that Castile was legally allowed to carry his handgun and had only been reaching for his wallet. In the days that followed, Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, asked the US Justice Department to investigate. Twenty-four hours before Castile’s death, another black man, Alton Sterling, was shot and killed by a police officer called to a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to investigate reports of someone brandishing a gun. Mobile phone footage taken by bystanders shows Sterling, 37, who had been selling CDs outside the store, being Tasered and two policemen wrestling him to the ground. One of the officers kneels on his chest while the other stands by his feet. There is some shouting. One of the officers is heard saying Sterling has a gun. Several shots ring out and the shaky camera captures Sterling lying on his back, his chest covered in blood. His hands appear to be empty. One of the officers then walks over to the dying man and retrieves something – possibly a gun – from his pocket. As in Minnesota, Baton Rouge authorities asked the US Department of Justice to conduct a civil rights investigation.

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hese shootings, and other incidents like them, sparked protests across the US. In many, police donned riot gear, held shields and carried military-style weapons to confront the protestors. One particularly striking image taken by a photographer in Baton Rouge was of an African-American woman wearing a dress, standing stoically in front of a line of police who look like extras from RoboCop. But in Dallas, on 7/7, most of the officers of the city’s police department had swapped tactical gear for shorts and short-sleeved high-visibility shirts. It was peaceful. Some posed for selfies with demonstrators. Then the gunfire started. The attacker, Micah Johnson, was a 25year-old army veteran who had been discharged from the military following accusations of sexual harassment and was upset by police shootings of black men in America. He parked his SUV next to El Centro College, just a block from the intersection of Elm and Houston Streets, where JFK was assassinated in 1963, and began firing indiscriminately with a rifle. Johnson used the stone columns next to the college for cover as he picked off his victims: Sergeant Michael Smith; Officers Michael Krol and Patrick Zamarripa; Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens; and rapid transit officer Brent Thompson. Ray Hailey’s colleague Martin Rodriguez was one of the officers who rushed to the scene that night. Rodriguez usually rode a mountain bike, policing the city’s Santa Fe hiking trail. He was just coming off shift, about to head back to the station when reports came over the radio.

Street crime: Officer Hailey responds to a high-priority call about a man seen walking along I-30, 27 September


TEXAS POLICE

England and Wales had 55 fatal police shootings in 24 years. The US had 59 in the first 24 days of 2015 DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 259


Power struggle: A protest against police brutality in New York took place on the same day as the attack in Dallas, 7 July 260 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

‘Historically, law enforcement has this tradition of being a repressive force to blacks’ SHAUN GABBIDON


TEXAS POLICE Rodriguez had been on the force 31 years and had never heard anything like it. “Rapidfire information coming over the radio: ‘Shots fired, officer down. Send some ambulances,’” he says. “Then it was two officers down. Possibly multiple casualties.” Rodriguez and his partner were tasked with keeping cars and pedestrians at least two blocks away from the college. Police needed to contain the gunman. “I knew it was getting bad when they began putting victims in squad cars so they could get them to hospital quicker,” Rodriguez says.

to capture escaped slaves. Historically, law enforcement has this tradition of being a repressive force to blacks. Today, obviously, it’s changed but each time an incident occurs it reminds us not only of the last incident but also of the historical nature of policing the black community in America.” The fact that police in America are killing citizens in these sorts of numbers is incomprehensible to most Brits. To put it into perspective, the Guardian US offered the following comparison: England and Wales (population 56.9 million) have had 55 fatal police shootings in the last 24 years. The US (population 316.1m) had 59 fatal police shootings in the first 24 days of 2015. Gabbidon acknowledges that strides have been made: police forces around the country have encouraged minorities to join; there are black police chiefs (including David Brown); and the Supreme Court ruled in 1985 that when a police officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, they cannot use deadly force to prevent their escape unless they believe he poses a significant threat of death or serious injury. “But even though these things have been put in place, it still occurs. And part of it has to do with the fact that people are far quicker to react to minorities.”

Photograph Reuters

Since the July shooting, a lot of Hailey’s fellow officers have eschewed procedure and bought AR-15 semi-automatic rifles on their own dime Eventually, five hours after the attacks began, and after negotiations with the gunman broke down, Dallas police chief David Brown, who would retire in October, ordered officers to send in a remote-controlled vehicle carrying a pound of C-4 explosive. Johnson died instantly. The day after the shootings, Black Lives Matter issued a statement. “This is a tragedy,” it said. “There are some who would use these events to stifle a movement for change... [but] yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.” Black Lives Matter hinged on some terrifying statistics. According to the Washington Post, nearly 1,000 people were fatally shot by police in America last year – 90 of them unarmed. According to reports, black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely to be shot and killed by police officers than white Americans. FBI director James Comey called the lack of official government data on police shootings “embarrassing”, lamenting the fact it was left to newspapers such as the Post to publicise reliable statistics and pointing out that it was easier to find reliable data on the number of tickets sold to a particular movie. Shaun Gabbidon, a professor of criminal justice at Pennsylvania State University, says the killing of unarmed black people by the authorities is not a new phenomenon. “During the slave era you had ‘plantation justice’, where white slave masters were the police, judge and punisher. Go forward in time and you had the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850, which required law enforcement

t’s two months since the shootings of the five Dallas police officers and I’ve been given permission to spend a week accompanying Ray Hailey on patrol. I want to know what it’s like being a police officer in America today, in this atmosphere of public fear and mistrust. I also want to know what it’s like being an African-American officer on the beat in this same climate. I’d recently listened to an interview conducted in 1971 with a man called Renault Robinson, who at the time was one of Chicago’s few black police officers. Back then he said that “black folks’ tolerance of police brutality has grown very short. They won’t accept that dehumanising, degrading treatment. That’s why more young kids are being killed by the police than ever before.” Robinson established the African American Patrolmen’s League, which launched civil rights discrimination suits against the Chicago police department. Almost 50 years on, Robinson told a radio interviewer that the same culture exists today. “Whether it’s Chicago, Baltimore, or Detroit... it just feels like déjà vu,” he said. It’s 8am at Dallas Central Patrol Division. On the wall of the main briefing room are cards and messages of support from local schoolchildren. Accompanied by a crayon drawing of a police car, one simply reads, “Thank you.

Sorry for your loss.” Another, “May the fallen officers rest in peace.” The division head flashes up crime statistics on a white board at the front of the room. Overall, violent and property crime are down for the year. An intelligence officer follows his briefing with pictures of men and women wanted for sexual assault, robbery, a double murder. In the corner of the room are a bank of green lights – a charging station for police radios. Next to that is a mailbox and a box of electronics that Hailey tells me is where officers download footage from their body cameras – small devices that clip onto an officer’s uniform and capture their interactions with the public. In 2013, Chief David Brown called these devices the future of law enforcement. That same year Brown fired one of his officers for shooting a mentally ill man who he claimed had lunged at him with a knife. A neighbour’s CCTV footage of the incident proved otherwise. Then, two months on, another Dallas police officer was fired for shooting an unarmed teenager suspected of stealing a car. Body cameras were rolled out to officers in some areas of the city but they’re still not used department-wide and Ray Hailey does not wear one. There are 12 police officers in the meeting this morning. Hailey, a large man with black-rimmed glasses and a neatly trimmed grey moustache, sits at the back, in the middle. He wears a pressed dark blue uniform and his shoes are polished to a sheen. Hailey was born in Chicago in 1956, during the Civil Rights era, a year after Rosa Parks refused the driver’s order to give up her seat to a white passenger in the “colored section” of the bus. When he was six, Ray’s family (dad worked as a janitor and mum was a housekeeper) moved to Martinsville, Virginia.

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fter school, Hailey studied for a degree in business administration at Virginia State University then joined the military, serving overseas in Germany and at bases throughout the US. In December 1990, he joined the DPD at the age of 34. This year, twoand-a-half decades on, he was named officer of the year, “given a plaque, a nice breakfast and a cheque for $500”. Hailey loves his job; he feels immense pride each time he puts on his uniform. Outside, in the compound, we climb into his Dodge Charger patrol car and drive a couple blocks to a disused parking lot under Interstate 30, which carves the city in two, east-to-west. Hailey stops here each morning after filling up with petrol to check his radio and make sure his dash cam – which records through the front windscreen whenever the police lights are on – is working. “I’m a creature of habit,” he says. I sit in the back of the car, reconfigured with uncomfortable plastic seats and a sliding acrylic window that separates me from Hailey. Just DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 261


for this week he is leaving the window open so we can talk. Next to Hailey is a Panasonic Toughbook laptop that’s permanently fixed to the car, on which he can see 911 calls as they come in and communicate with the dispatcher. As soon as we leave the parking lot a report flashes up of a man brandishing a knife at a 7-Eleven gas station three miles away. When we arrive, two officers are already in attendance. The suspect, a black man with matted hair and a dirty hooded top, is standing with his hands on the bonnet of another police car while one of the officers empties his pockets. There is no weapon and Hailey finds he has no outstanding warrants so he’s allowed to go on his way. Hailey explains that the calls that come in and appear on the laptop are numbered: one

African-American community is being raised by single women: let’s give it to the cops to solve as well. That’s too much to ask.” In a cruel twist of fate, Brown’s son, also called David, was killed by police in 2010. It was Father’s Day, just a few weeks after Brown had sworn his oath of office with the DPD, when David, who was 27 and suffered from mental health problems, shot and killed a man sitting in his car with his wife and children. He then shot dead the first police officer on scene before being felled by other officers. Hailey is responsible for policing the Jubilee Park neighbourhood, an economically depressed area of dilapidated apartments, rundown liquor stores, discount furniture, pawn shops and around 5,500 people in southeast Dallas. To the west are the skyscrapers that dominate the skyline and represent Dallas money – more famous in the UK as the backdrop to the iconic Eighties TV show. In the Nineties, Jubilee Park was a no-go area, blighted by prostitution, drugs, gangs and robberies. In the past decade, things have got better. There’s new, affordable housing, a busy community centre, a park with a soccer field and basketball hoops, an after-school programme for kids (Hailey volunteers as a Cub Scout leader) and a police substation where Hailey and four other officers have desks. Since 2007 there’s been a 64 per cent crime reduction. Hailey’s cubicle is small but he’s rarely there. His sergeant prefers her officers out on patrol, talking to residents. On his desk there’s a photo of Kathy and a framed Bible verse he was given after the July shootings: “John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for another.” In 26 years, Hailey has only been called to two shootings – one of them just a fortnight ago. He was first on the scene. The 911 call said a man had been messing with an electrical box outside a pawn shop and one of the employees, who was legally armed, had gone out to confront him. “Evidently the man said to the employee, ‘You’re carrying a gun; you’re just going to have to go and shoot me,’” Hailey says. “So the guy takes the gun out of his pocket and – boom – shoots him right in the chest with a 40-calibre and lays him out. When I got there, someone was pumping his chest and witnesses were saying it was pure murder.” Hailey called homicide detectives to assist and arrested the employee for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The charges were upgraded to murder after the man died on the operating table two days later, but by that time the employee, bailed to appear at a later date, had disappeared. Hailey thinks he fled to Mexico.

‘If they want to take us to court, we have a saying: we’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by six’ OFFICER RAY HAILEY and two are high priority. Three and four are lower. “The highest priority would be a shooting, an assist-officer, or a robbery in progress,” he says. “Lights and sirens are only for serious incidents.” An “all units” is extremely rare. That’s what happened on 7 July. That night every police officer on duty in the city was called to assist.

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allas was once notorious for police violence. Since 2003, when records began, of the 215 incidents in which officers used their guns, almost half involved black suspects. Yet black people account for just 25 per cent of the city’s population. Between 2010 and 2014 Dallas ranked above Los Angeles, Chicago and New York for fatal police shootings per capita, and Chief Brown was determined to reverse that trend. He established a new model of community policing and implemented a policy of “de-escalation” in an attempt to limit incidents involving physical force. It seems to have paid off. In the last few years the number of policeinvolved shootings in the city has fallen by 50 per cent. In cases involving a black suspect that drop is even steeper – 64 per cent. That’s why the events of 7/7 hit home especially hard for Brown. In a press conference a week after, he said police were tasked with solving all of society’s failures. “Not enough mental health funding: let the cops handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding: let’s give it to the cops... Seventy per cent of the

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Hailey has been called out to numerous “27s” though. This is Dallas police radio code for a dead person and Hailey has seen more than he can remember – whether from suicide or natural causes. “I don’t have any problem with it,” he says. “When I first came on the department I was working weekends and there used to be a Holiday Inn Express off Jupiter and 635. A young lady called 911 to say she was very depressed, didn’t have anything to live for. Then she took a double-barrelled shotgun, put it between her legs, took her big toe and pulled the trigger. When we walked into that room, everything was dripping off the ceiling.” Hailey has never had a gun pulled on him. Despite the horror of 7/7, so-called “felonious shootings of police officers” are rare. According to the FBI, 41 law enforcement officers were deliberately killed (ie, not by traffic or other accidents) in the line of duty in 2015. The year before that it was 51. In 2013 it was 27. On Hailey’s right hip is a 9mm Sig Sauer P226, a police-issue semi-automatic handgun also used by US Navy Seals and the British SAS. On his left hip is his Taser. He has never fired either. In fact, the only time he’s drawn his pistol was when he first joined the department and had to perform what are known as “felony stops” – pulling over cars containing known criminals who have warrants out for their arrest. Hailey turned 60 this year. He plans to retire in a few years and prays he won’t have to draw his weapon before then. He used to be “rifle qualified” but let his accreditation lapse as it required mandatory monthly practice at the range and keeping detailed records in a logbook. Since the July shooting, though, he says a lot of his fellow officers have eschewed the formal procedure – a 40-hour course – for carrying a rifle with the DPD and bought AR-15 semi-automatic rifles on their own dime. “Our body armour won’t stop these rounds [that the gunman fired on 7/7],” Hailey tells me. “We feel we’re being outgunned.” He recently purchased a new flak jacket capable of absorbing high-velocity rifle rounds. He wants to buy an AR too, but they’re expensive, at around $800. Hailey says officers in Dallas want to be ready if there is ever a next time, and he says nobody is too worried what the department will say. “If they want to take us to court, we have a saying: we’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by six,” he says.

t’ll come as no surprise that Black Lives Matter challenges the notion that higher calibre weapons for police are the answer. Benjamin Ndugga-Kabuye, a member of BLM and a research and policy associate with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, tells me that the debate in the movement at the moment is whether there is even a


TEXAS POLICE Line of duty: Dallas officers monitor the perimeter around Micah Johnson’s attack, 7 July; (below) tributes to the five murdered policemen outside downtown headquarters, 11 July

‘You get a lot of kids coming from the war. They were trained to kill and we’re bringing them on the police force’ OFFICER RAY HAILEY

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need for police at all. “We’re working on a campaign called Safety Beyond Policing,” he says, “making safety a community initiative that is not an extension of the criminal justice system.” Shifting taxes and resources to housing, healthcare, education and community teams tasked with intervening to help prevent violence is a far more effective way to create safe neighbourhoods, he says. Hailey takes a sudden sharp left turn into a side road, switches on his lights and pulls up to the kerb. He has clocked an expired registration sticker on the Ford Mustang in front. I’d asked him earlier that morning to show me a “textbook” traffic stop if he got the chance and evidently now’s the time. He punches the licence plate into his computer, which automatically informs the dispatcher of his position and the identity of the car in front should anything happen. “When I pull up I don’t immediately get out of the car,” he tells me. “I sit there for a few minutes, observe to see how many people are in the vehicle and if they’re moving around. They could be trying to hide something – a gun, the dope, whatever. When I get out I take my time going up to the car.” Hailey says the thought that the person in the car could have a weapon goes through his mind every time he performs a traffic stop. He attaches an audio recorder to his shirt, climbs out of the Dodge and starts to walk slowly towards the car. I notice he rests his right hand on the grip of his pistol. Back in the car he enters the details from the driver’s identity card (she doesn’t have a driving licence) and a code flashes in red across the top of his screen. “Red is never good when it comes up on this computer here,” he says, shaking his head. Hailey discovers the driver, an AfricanAmerican woman who he says was polite and apologetic, has an unpaid ticket from the DPD. For that, the expired registration and the fact she doesn’t have a driving licence, he could cart her off to jail and impound the car. But Hailey says she has young kids in the back that she’s just collected from school. “I’m going to give her a break. She’ll have 21 days to pay the original fine, otherwise she’ll have two outstanding tickets and she’ll go straight to jail, no questions asked.”

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s we drive off, Hailey says he likes to conduct himself as if someone is watching all the time – as if he’s being recorded. I mention that many of the incidents around the country of black men being shot by police seem to happen during traffic stops, that these feel like flash points. 264 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

One answer could be mandatory body cameras. Each time somebody is shot by a police officer there are renewed calls for body cameras to be rolled out to officers across the US. The biggest supplier of police body cameras in America is Axon, a division of Taser, the Arizona company that makes the electric weapons beloved of police forces around the world. According to a report in Fortune magazine, in the last year alone Axon’s sales rose 50 per cent, from $6.4m to $9.7m. But according to a survey conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum in 2013, only 25 per cent of police departments in America currently require their officers to wear body cameras, but around 80 per cent are evaluating them. Officials opposed to their widespread use often cite concerns about privacy, and question the cost involved and data storage that would be needed, as well as the time and cost involved in blurring images that identify victims or witnesses.

Driving force: Ray Hailey on the scene when a 911 call takes him to a 7-Eleven on his Jubilee Park beat, 26 September

Even the notoriously anti-surveillance American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is willing to compromise on something it believes has the potential to serve as a check against abuse of power. “We’re against pervasive government surveillance, but when cameras primarily serve the function of allowing public monitoring of the government instead of the other way around, we generally support their use,” it said. If body cameras were rolled out nationwide, not everyone would be satisfied. After Alton Sterling was killed in Baton Rouge, it was revealed that the officers involved were both wearing cameras, but that the devices had apparently fallen off during the incident. Elsewhere, there is concern that footage can be edited before being released to the public. Just a week before I came to Dallas, a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma named Betty Shelby fatally shot Terence Crutcher, a 40year-old unarmed African-American man.

Video footage from the dash cam of a police vehicle and film from a police helicopter overhead showed Crutcher with his hands up, standing by his car, when Shelby fired the fatal shots. “This is my opinion,” Hailey says, “but the video tape shows she got caught up in the emotion and that’s easy to do out here... but if we really and truly learn how to talk to people as human beings, regardless of whether they’ve done something bad, committed a crime... It goes back to communication. If you have good communication skills you can get a person to do whatever you want them to do... Don’t let them pull you into their world... Calm the situation down, knowing in yourself you haven’t violated anyone’s civil rights.” Hailey wonders whether the younger generation of officers find those communication skills more difficult to master. Police officers have emotions, like everyone else, he says, “but we need to learn to put our emotions in check. It’s only when we allow our emotions to get involved that we do something stupid. There are officers under investigation now because they did something stupid. “We also have a lot of officers coming into the police straight from the military,” he says. “I’m grateful to the military and I had a wonderful career, but I did not go to war. Yet you have a lot of these young kids coming from the war and they were trained to kill and we’re bringing them on the police force. So there needs to be additional training to get them out of that mind-set. “Just like in any profession, you’re going to have some rotten apples,” Hailey says. “You may not know it when you start the job, but that person will raise their hand eventually.” The Department Of Justice has an initiative – Community Oriented Policing Services (Cops) – that offers incentive grants to encourage police departments to hire military veterans, saying they make ideal candidates for police work. However, police officers have to undergo psychological evaluation to make sure they’re mentally fit, and questioning the suitability of combat veterans to serve as police officers domestically has proved controversial. During the rioting in Baltimore in 2015 that followed the death of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who had been arrested for possession of a switchblade and who fell into a coma while in police custody, a CNN anchor made a comment on air about military veterans-turned-police officers contributing to the violence.


TEXAS POLICE “Some of them are coming back from war and they are ready to do battle,” Brooke Baldwin said, but she was swiftly forced to retract her comments. “I absolutely misspoke,” she said later. Some former service members themselves, though, resent being typecast. According to military.com, the largest military and veteran membership organisation, some feel that the police department “is the least suitable career choice for veterans who are still working out emotional issues from deployments”. According to one study into the occurrence of emotional instability among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, published in the American Journal Of Psychiatry in 2010, data showed the presence of mental health problems in the soldiers studied, including posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse and head injuries – each of which “has been shown to be associated with an elevated risk of anger, hostility, and even aggression”. In a particularly shocking incident in 2012, following a police chase Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo stood on a police car and fired 49 shots through the windshield of a Chevy Malibu containing two unarmed, homeless African-American people. Last year, Brelo, an Iraq War veteran, was acquitted of manslaughter (although he subsequently lost his job) but he had told investigators that when he opened fire his Marine Corps infantry training “taught him to take an elevated position to avoid crossfire”. He also told a colleague in his department that the incident had been “like being back in the war”. Arthur Rizer, a former police officer who earned a Purple Heart serving with the US Army in Iraq, commented, “We train our troops to kill, equip them with the world’s most effective weapons and send them to war. Yet in many instances, our leaders then ask these trained warriors to serve as peace officers, a job that involves entirely different expectations and holds them to a different standard.”

got out of jail and needs money for food. There are no outstanding warrants and Hailey sends him away with a warning. Antonio smiles as he walks off the forecourt. On our way back to Jubilee Park, I point out the difference in Hailey’s methods with, say, those employed by New York City police in the summer of 2014, when they approached Eric Garner outside a convenience store. The entire incident was caught on camera phone. Garner, an African-American who had been selling untaxed cigarettes, initially asked the officers to stop harassing him. As the police moved in to arrest him, Garner pulled his hands away and was tackled to the ground and placed in a chokehold. Garner can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe” eleven times before he falls silent. He was pronounced dead an hour later. Each time Hailey sees these incidents on the news he asks himself whether he would have handled the situation differently. A couple of weeks ago, he says, he was parking his squad car back at the station, about to head home

differently, says Hailey. “Had the man died, there would have been a lot of officers under investigation.”

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n the last day I spent with Hailey, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, 1,000 miles away, imposed a curfew after hundreds of people took to the streets for the third day of protests at the fatal shooting by police of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old black man. The officers involved insist Scott had a gun; his family say he didn’t, that he was shot as he walked slowly backwards towards officers with his hands by his side. Hailey acknowledges there are problems. He was in the police academy when Rodney King was beaten by officers in Los Angeles in 1991. The sickening incident, captured on video camera by an eyewitness, was sent to a local TV station and eventually broadcast around the world, triggering the LA riots in which 55 people died the following year. At the time, a local Dallas TV channel interviewed Hailey and other recruits, asking how they felt. “I said that looking at the tapes it was clear it didn’t take all of that to get King to do what they needed him to do,” Hailey says. “You don’t need to beat somebody upside the head to get them to do what you want. And you had sergeants out there looking like they were really enjoying what they were doing.” He recognises the judicial system in America is unfair. “I’ve seen it,” he says. “A person gets caught with dope and gets 20 years for a first-time offence. Another gets a week. We’ve come a long way but African Americans are still fighting to get equality. He also knows some see him as part of the problem. “But sometimes you just have to collude with the system, even if you don’t agree with it. Change has to come from within. If we get out here and start protesting and complaining, eventually somebody’s going to put us outside the system too. On the other hand, if we take our time and figure out a strategy, maybe things will get better. “People are afraid of change,” Hailey says, “but change is inevitable. When I was growing up we respected police officers. Nowadays, even little kids are scared of us. I’m constantly trying to change that, but you can only chip away at it a little at a time.”

‘Sometimes you have to collude with the system, even if you don’t agree with it. Change has to come from within’

t’s a cool evening, one of the first of the Texas summer, and we head down a residential street in Jubilee Park, slowing to pass a woman sitting on her porch. Hailey rolls his window down to say hello and asks after her mother; he knows every resident on this road, every person grateful to him for the decline in crime, every serial expired-registration offender who curses him whenever his patrol car stops by their front lawn. Thirty minutes later we’re off to investigate reports of a man begging for money outside a 7-Eleven gas station. He’s still there when we arrive. The man, Antonio, tells Hailey he just

OFFICER RAY HAILEY when an “officer-assist” call came over the radio. He went to a nearby convenience store, where he says a fellow officer was attempting to issue a criminal trespass warrant to an African-African man. “There were 20 police cars and they had this guy handcuffed, laying on the concrete on his stomach.” Hailey, who once taught defensive tactics at the police academy, says officers are told not to leave anyone laying prone on their stomach for long with their hands cuffed behind their back. “Nine times out of ten they can’t breathe,” he says, “so I told them to sit the guy up, spin him around, that he wasn’t going anywhere because he was handcuffed. I asked if they’d ever heard of positional asphyxiation and they looked at me like I was crazy.” The suspect, Hailey recalls, refused to give his name so he went over to him, told him he’d done something wrong and that he had to pay for it. “I said we needed to know his name and he said he’d tell me but not the other officers. The side of his head was scarred. I wasn’t there when they tackled him, so I don’t know how it happened... but some police officers get caught up in the moment and don’t think rationally.” The incident could very easily have ended

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FASHION Coat, £2,280. Trousers, £970. Both by Bottega Veneta. bottegaveneta.com. Shoes by Berluti, £1,310. berluti.com

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‘They can’t take Erdogan down. He is like a miracle’ 274 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


TURKEY

Erdogan’s Warriors

Photograph Getty Images

People power foiled July’s coup attempt  in Turkey, but the real winner was President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. GQ asks if the mixture of loyalty, adoration and fear he instils makes him a champion of freedom or a dictator who has ‘hooliganised’ the population

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Stand-of: Turkish soldiers look on in Taksim Square while civilians protest against the military coup, Istanbul, 16 July 2016 DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 275


On the evening of 15 July, HALIL SALTIK was sitting in his first-floor barbershop drinking black tea, a cigarette wedged between his fingers, when he noticed that traffic was blocked at the junction a few hundred metres away. Istanbul’s Cengelkoy neighbourhood is usually busy, but something felt wrong. Then he heard the pop of gunshots.

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altik stormed downstairs. At the end of the street, he saw gun-wielding soldiers straddling military trucks. Istanbul was still reeling from an Isis attack on the airport two weeks earlier, in which 48 people were killed. He wondered if there had been another bombing. But this time, the soldiers were not here to protect. They were the attackers, and they had opened fire on residents who poured into the street to block them. At least one civilian had been killed. There were now rumours that tanks had blocked the Bosphorus Bridge, severing Istanbul’s Asian and European sides. Saltik ran up a nearby hill overlooking the bridge with its blue-lit pillars. Usually, it would be swarming with cars. Now, there was no movement. Hurrying home, he heard the prime minister on TV uttering the words Turks assumed were a thing of the past: military coup. There was still no sign of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Saltik, who is 38, has shoulder-long jet-black hair and a beard. He wears a leather wristband several inches wide, a big silver ring with the star and crescent from the Turkish flag and a red felt fez. That’s right, a fez. He is a man beset by blazing, patriotic feelings, and he wants you to know it. “This can’t be happening! Come outside,” he yelled to his neighbours. He said a quick prayer. By the time he got to the bridge, the group he was marching with had grown to 300 people. Across Istanbul, civilians were trying to stop the coup. In Taksim, the central square, men threw themselves at tanks. On the streets, drivers tried to cut off the tanks, only to see their cars crunched like ping-pong balls. In the capital, Ankara, jets fired at the parliament. For two hours, there was no word from President Erdogan, who was vacationing in the resort town of Marmaris. But Erdogan has spent over a decade building a dedicated personal following, and his cohort didn’t need a cue. Around Saltik, people shouted, “We are ready to die for the nation.”

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For a while, though, he didn’t fully comprehend the severity of the situation. “We didn’t believe the soldiers would shoot at us. In Turkey, every man is born a soldier,” Saltik recalls a week later. I arrived in Istanbul two days after the coup attempt and am here to find out more about the people who rallied around the president. “But when we saw those men crouch and take aim at us, I thought, ‘They are not our soldiers.’” Soon, bullets were flying. One of them hit a man in front of Saltik in the head and he went down. Tanks began firing shells but the crowd didn’t yield. When Erdogan appeared on national TV two hours after the coup started and urged more people to flood the streets, they did. Eventually, the plotters backed down. Then came the revenge. As dawn broke, mobs descended on soldiers, even after they had surrendered. There were scenes of civilians, Turkish flags hanging from their necks like giant aprons, whipping soldiers with belts. A burly, bearded man kicked troops who were huddling and crying in a pile of bodies. One soldier cowered in a foetal position as a crowd stomped on his bloodied face.

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he way the coup was thwarted illustrates how Erdogan has transformed Turkish politics. He has chipped away at the Turkish state’s century-old secularist roots and instead nurtured a potent mix of political Islam and militarism. On top of this he has built a strong cult of personality that, on the night of the coup, allowed him to assume the role of a conductor, leading the defence of the republic as if he were guiding an orchestra. Erdogan set the tone when he beamed up on CNN Turk, via FaceTime, appearing like some doyen of the digital era, as opposed to the ageing generals who were trying to unseat him (ironically, lest we forget, Erdogan is himself a frequent censor of social media). Then, to cinematic effect, he ordered all mosques across the country to call for prayer, rendering any

pretext of a division between state and religion completely hypothetical. “My hair stood up,” says Abdullah Aksoy, an Erdogan loyalist. As majestic prayer calls wafted over Istanbul, Erdogan’s private plane sliced through the night sky, dodging rebel jets, to bring him back to Istanbul. On the ground, his followers hurled themselves at tanks and pounded their boots in the bloody faces of enemies of the state. Had Erdogan been asked to direct a film about foiling a coup, this is what it would have looked like. At least 265 people were killed in the attempted putsch. After the violence, Erdogan embarked on a purge of people deemed linked to Fethullah Gulen, a septuagenarian exiled cleric whom Erdogan immediately accused of being the mastermind. Since then, at least 23,000 have been arrested and 80,000 fired or suspended. Warrants went out for high-profile human rights activists, academics and, peculiarly, former football star Hakan Sukur. Some of the arrested were tortured, beaten and raped, according to Amnesty International. More than 1,000 schools, dormitories and universities were shut, as were over 130 media outlets. The army was cleansed of thousands of members. While Turkish and foreign critics worry that Erdogan is turning Turkey, once a democratic vanguard in the Muslim world, into an Islamic autocracy, his supporters have called for the death penalty to be reinstated. And they are tired of European arrogance. “If we had been France, Europe would have called this the Second Revolution,” says Huseyin Gamsiz, a pro-Erdogan protester I meet in Taksim Square. “We have acted very Western. We have shown that we value democracy. We laid down in front of tanks,” he says. “The EU thinks they have us on a leash like a dog.” All this made me wonder about these stalwarts of Erdogan, who entrust the welfare of their nation to one man and who during anti-coup protests hung huge banners


TURKEY A man is shot in his car during clashes between Turkish soldiers and police near Taksim Square, 16 July 2016; (below) an Erdogan supporter attacks soldiers supporting the military coup, 16 July 2016

Photographs Getty Images

People shouted: ‘We are ready to fight for the nation. In Turkey every man is a soldier’

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from buildings addressing Gulen: “We’ll hang you and your dogs with your own leashes.” Who are these people?

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ecep Tayyip Erdogan was himself a victim of state repression. In 1997, when he was mayor of Istanbul, Erdogan publicly recited a poem from the early 20thcentury nationalist writer Ziya Gokalp: “The mosques are our barracks / The domes our helmets / The minarets our bayonets / And the faithful our soldiers.” In proudly secularist Turkey, such a blend of militarism and religion was dangerously unorthodox. The state convicted Erdogan for inciting religious hatred, sentencing him to ten months in prison – of which he served four – and banned him from political office. This was a seminal experience for Erdogan. As late as 2011 he proclaimed, “We are the voice of the voiceless!” to a crowd of supporters in Istanbul. “They sent me to prison in this city.” Erdogan might know how to fire up a crowd, but irony seems lost on him. Earlier this year a German satirist called Jan Böhmermann used a poem to insult not only the president’s intellect and his alleged sexual preferences (ranging from animals to children) but also the size and smell of his, well, durum (a Turkish wrap). Böhmermann wanted to expose how German profanity laws limit freedom of expression and Erdogan, never one to let a personal insult slide, took the bait. He demanded that Germany prosecute the comedian, which the law allows for. Chancellor Angela Merkel acquiesced. England, meanwhile, does not have German laws, and Erdogan could not stop the Spectator from announcing its own President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition in the weeks before the EU referendum. The winner? The new foreign secretary Boris Johnson: “There was a young fellow from Ankara / Who was a terrific wankerer / Till he sowed his wild oats / With the help of a goat / But he didn’t even stop to thankera.” From Western media, you might get the sense that the current struggle for Turkey is between Islamism and secularism, between democracy and tyranny. That is part of the battlefield, but not all of it. Erdogan has sought to empower a long-oppressed Islamic underclass, but he has also lifted millions of Turks out of poverty. His supporters see him as a man of the people, who rose from modest means to the country’s highest office, where he has given opportunities to the disenfranchised and lower classes and helped turn Turkey into a world power. That is one reason he is worshipped. As mayor, he wore his ideology lightly and was an efficient technocrat who modernised Istanbul’s infrastructure and fought pollution and traffic. After AKP (Justice & Development

278 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

Party, founded by Erdogan in 2001) swept to power in 2002, it continued a series of IMF-led economic reforms, turning Turkey into a fast-emerging market. In recent years, growth has stalled, inflation jumped and an absence of structural reforms has made Turkey heavily dependent on foreign investment and vulnerable to economic crises. But Erdogan’s supporters don’t blame him. “There are mountains of difference between the old and the new Turkey,” says Morat Toprak, a school teacher who has a cast on one hand after fighting with a coup soldier. When he tried to grab the soldier’s gun, his finger got caught and broke. “Turkey has grown like the Himalayas,” he says. To Erdogan’s loyalists, the president is also a champion of democracy. Erdogan and AKP have won resounding victories in a string of multiparty elections. And the larger space he has carved out for Islam in Turkish society is, for many, not a step towards Islamisation but towards religious freedom. For instance, in a country where 97.8 per cent identify as Muslim, he lifted a long-standing ban on Islamic headscarves in public institutions, including most universities. That is a second reason a majority of Turks vote for him. “Turks have not become more Islamic. We just have a leader who protects Islam,” says a protester, Yahya Baris, 21. His friend, a sociology student named Esra, agrees. “He has given us more freedom,” she says.

‘We’re not more Islamic. We just have a leader who protects Islam’

Come together: People in Besyol Square in Van join hands to rally behind a poster of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 10 August 2016

Few Erdogan supporters I speak to seem to care much for AKP. They back Erdogan. He is the party. It’s as if he has cast a legion of devotees in the mould of his notorious poetry recital. As 26-year-old Ibrahim puts it, “We are the real soldiers.” One late afternoon, I meet Hakan Sivri, 36, outside his carwash. On coup night, he paid a greater sacrifice than most. He saw a man get shot in the chest and held him as he died. Minutes later, a friend called to tell Sivri that his brother had also been shot. He raced with the ambulance to the hospital, but in the early morning hours, he lost his brother. Sivri tells his story as the sun sets over the Bosphorus Bridge, enveloping one side of his face in an amber light. He holds it together pretty well. “My brother was a strong nationalist,” he says. For his whole family, Erdogan is a paragon of progress. “Our country is going to be a big, powerful country, be sure of that,” Sivri says. He thinks the coup was a conspiracy between “Gulen, CIA, FBI, Mossad. There are many that have an eye on our country. If Erdogan had been killed, the US would have invaded the country in the name of peace.” Erdogan is also a link to a golden age, a time sepia-tinted by nationalist nostalgia, when Turks ran an entire empire. As we say our goodbyes, Sivri gives me his phone number. He waited to get that number for months because he wanted one that ended in “1453”: the year the Ottoman army conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) from the Byzantine Empire.

n the days after they thwarted the coup, pro-Erdogan protesters are like football fans whose team have thrashed an arch rival. They gloat aggressively. Turkish flags are everywhere, fluttering on the façades of high rises and in the hands of thousands of people in squares, where entertainers and pop stars are whipping the crowd into a frenzy. In Istiklal, the main shopping street, hordes of young men and women carry banners the size of the ferries that sail up and down the Golden Horn, brandishing the president’s face and shouting: “Ya Allah, Bismillah, Allahu Akbar!” (“Oh God, in God’s name, God is great.”) It is midnight and down an alley, in an outdoor teahouse, a group of friends are eating grilled cheese sandwiches. They are not Erdogan fans. “This is not a victory party,” says one of them, Ismail Kaya. More than 200 of their fellow countrymen have been killed and we all should be mourning, he says. All the friends were fiercely against any coup attempt, but they don’t want to partake in a celebration alongside Erdogan’s supporters. Bilal Seckin, a journalist, agrees with the football analogy, and has coined a term for how Turkish politics has changed: “The population has been hooliganised,” he says.


TURKEY

Photographs Getty Images

A week later, I attend another rally, in front of Erdogan’s house in a neighbourhood called Kisikli. Here are thousands of people, wearing red Erdogan football jerseys and scarves with Erdogan’s face on them, Erdogan flags and women in black full-body carsafs (the Turkish niqab) sporting Erdogan headbands. The crowd is a sea of flags, the ground a torrent of strollers. It’s a family event. On stage, an orchestra called the Ottoman Military Band is playing a song called “Attack March”. Another song goes: “God is great, God is great, God is great, Turks are coming.” It has now been 12 days since the coup attempt and the party is unrelenting. A big screen shows fighting from the bridge on coup night, complete with piercing bursts of gunfire that startle people. Maybe not the best thing in a city already jarred by monthly terrorist attacks. In the queue for free food I meet two young men who were on the bridge that night. Ali looks like he was athletic once. Nihat, portly and bearded, never was. “Beating the soldiers on the bridge was the right thing to do,” Ali says. As for the claims that detainees have been abused in prisons? “If you don’t beat them and torture them, they won’t talk. They have been brainwashed by Gulen,” he says. Whether Gulen masterminded the coup or not, his ability to do so is not entirely a figment of Erdogan’s imagination. Gulen, who was Erdogan’s ally until they fell out in 2013, heads an Islamic order so big it is second only to the Muslim Brotherhood in global reach. It runs schools in more than 130 countries, and he is thought to have between two and three million followers in Turkey, including parliamentarians and members of the security forces. He has been in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied any involvement in the coup and the US has so far not found the evidence persuasive enough to extradite him, but that doesn’t assuage people here. “If he wants to fight against us, he should have the balls to come home and face a woman like me,” yells 30-something Huriye Demirel, before she plunges into the crowd with a lit Roman candle in each hand.

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hile the post-coup crackdown has been extraordinary in scope, Erdogan’s totalitarian bent is not new. From 2007 to 2012, the government arrested more than 700 people, including army officers, parliamentarians, journalists, NGOworkers and university officials. Before the coup attempt, about 15 per cent of admirals and generals in the armed forces were on trial for colluding to overthrow the government. The post-coup purge seems so in line with Erdogan’s previous policies that some, including Gulen, have speculated that the president

Tinder box: Pro-Erdogan supporters burn an effigy of the man blamed for the coup, Fethullah Gulen, at Taksim Square, Istanbul, 18 July 2016

‘The European Union thinks they have us on a leash like a dog’ staged it himself. Why didn’t the plotters shoot down Erdogan’s plane when they had the chance? Why were they an hour late when raiding his beachside hotel earlier that evening? Why did the coup attempt begin in the evening when plenty of people were in the street and not later when it might have succeeded? Add to that Erdogan’s own statement after the coup: “This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.” However, no proof has emerged of such a conspiracy. None of the military officers arrested after the coup were Erdogan allies. Quite the contrary. What seems more likely is that some military officers seized a last-ditch chance to save their own skin. In August, the Turkish military was due to go through its annual shake-up, where many Gulen supporters were expected to be replaced. Indeed, the poor execution of the coup might be a sign of the loss of competent people that has already taken place in the army. Meanwhile, even though Erdogan began his clampdown on the opposition at least ten years ago, the bar for what can get you into trouble seems to be lowering. Until recently, Istar Gozaydin headed the department of sociology at Gediz University. When I meet her, she has sheltered herself in her apartment for a week, with piles of books, metres of classical music and her husband and cats. Days after the coup, she was suspended. The reason, she says, was not something she

said, but merely something she retweeted: photos of violence in the coup aftermath and condemnations of capital punishment. She has no connection to Gulen, she says, with a scoff, but in the post-coup witch-hunt, institutions were trying to get rid of anyone that might turn them into a target. By suspending her, “the university was trying to protect itself”, Gozaydin says. Nevertheless, days later, the government closed the university, along with more than a dozen others. “I am who I am. I defend whatever I think is right,” she says. She is senior enough not to worry about her future, she claims, but for younger professors and students affected by school closures, difficult times are ahead. “I’m really anxious about the young ones,” she says. The crackdown has fractured an already divided Turkish society in a way experts worry could cause long-term damage. Lisel Hintz, assistant visiting professor at Barnard College in New York, says Erdogan uses “rhetorical vilification” of opponents, to “switch on” and mobilise his supporters. “Not unlike Donald Trump,” she adds. “What’s really scary to me is that there’s nothing inherently violent in Islam, but [Erdogan] uses Islam in a polarising way... He says, ‘We are the pure, and they are trying to destroy what we have and impede our progress. You need to go out and take the country back from them.’”

T  

o locate the source of the gushing spring that is Erdogan devotion, I go to Kasimpasa, a poor neighbourhood spread out over steep hills. This is where the Erdogan family moved from the Black Sea town of Rize and where the young Tayyip grew up, peddling bread rolls in the street. Banners here greet the president in the informal way you address a neighbourhood son: “Tayyip Abi” or “Brother Tayyip”. Erdogan grew up in a modest six-storey building, where residents on the top floors get their groceries from the local corner store in a basket tied to a rope. On the third floor, Umnuhan Engin, 54, invites me in. She has bleached hair, no headscarf and wears custardcoloured nail polish on her toes. Every time she removes a slim Winner cigarette from her lips to put it out, it is promptly replaced by a new one. On the wall is a mid-Nineties photo of her ageing mother – who listens in from her seat on the other couch – hugging Erdogan. At that time, he had abandoned a career as a scrappy footballer to become Istanbul’s mayor and still sported the moustache that got him fired in the early Eighties from Istanbul’s transport authority because he refused to shave it off. In Kasimpasa, Erdogan is the stuff of lore. He brought the neighbourhood drinking water and good roads, stopped crime and DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 279


All the president’s men: Crowds gather in front of Erdogan’s residence in the Kisikli neighbourhood of Istanbul, 17 July 2016; (below) Ekrem Dumanli, editor of Zaman – a newspaper critical of the government – is arrested by counterterror police at the newspaper’s HQ, 14 December 2014

280 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


TURKEY

‘What are elections without a free press? They say democracy won, but all democrats are worried’ stood up to arrogant foreign powers and often visited his mother when she was still alive. When he did, he made sure to knock on the old ladies’ doors every time he went to the store to check on them. Those who tried to unseat him should be punished by death, Umnuhan says, even if the EU has threatened that reinstating capital punishment would jeopardise Turkish membership. Umnuhan grows more agitated with every question, with every cigarette inhaled violently. “We don’t care about the EU or the United States,” she says. “The American police are killing people in the street. Do we say anything to them? The US has the electric chair, what kind of democracy is that?” “They cannot take Erdogan down,” she says. “He is like a miracle.”

lmost every Erdogan loyalist I speak to says the government should arrest more dissidents than it already has. One of those swept up in the purge is Orhan Kemal Cengiz, a prominent journalist and human rights lawyer. Days after the coup attempt, he was on his way to a conference abroad when immigration officers at the airport detained him. Cengiz represented Zaman, a large newspaper financed by Gulen, when it was seized in March as part of a crackdown on the press. Cengiz denies being a Gulenist. Over the years, he says, he has represented Kurdish PKK militants, religious minorities and Islamic institutions. “This is the first time I have ever been associated with the people I represent,” he says. Cengiz also wrote a column for Zaman, but he says he chose the outlet not because of its political leanings, but because “Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t leave us many other options”. Cengiz was released after a week, but is banned from travelling. “I don’t know if it’s the end of the story,” he says. For Cengiz, the clampdown on media is a serious stain on Turkey’s self-portrayal as a modern democracy. He concedes that the government is elected by the people. “But what are elections without a free press? I respect the nation’s will but the nation’s will should be formed in a free manner,” he says. “[After the failed coup] they said democracy won, but all democrats are worried,” he says. A case in point is that people from one of the most potent pro-democracy movements in recent Turkish history have been conspicuously absent from the anti-coup rallies. Akif Burak Atlar was part of the core in the Gezi demonstrations in 2013. The movement

Photographs Getty Images

A

began as a protest against an urban development plan, but evolved into Turkey’s version of Occupy Wall Street. As the movement was suppressed with violence, it became a symbol of pro-democracy and secularism. Atlar, who is also secretary of Istanbul’s Chamber Of Urban Planners, was charged with being a member of a terrorist organisation. It took him two years of trial to get cleared. I ask him why I haven’t found any Gezi protesters opposing the coup, which most of them agree was an affront to Turkey’s democracy. “I don’t know,” he says. “But personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a protest that has religious origins and giving support to the political side of the president,” he says. It is not as if Atlar supported the coup. He is so antimilitary that in the past he took a $10,000 loan to buy his way out of military service. But the pro-Erdogan demonstrations are aggressively biased and, he says, have taken a chunk out of the symbolic turf the Gezi movement managed to claim. Until 15 July, it had been illegal to gather even in small groups at Taksim Square, which became synonymous with the Gezi protests. That ban has been ignored for Erdogan’s supporters, effectively giving them a symbolic, if temporary, ownership of the square. Speaking to Atlar, I get the sense that Erdogan has won. At least when it comes to suppressing dissent from young, liberal secularists like him. “People are afraid now that in this state of emergency, there will be a criminalisation of people who have nothing to do with this attempt, but who just criticise the government.” The protest movement is, if not dead, still licking its wounds. “People have had enough of tear gas and police violence,” Atlar says.

 A

fter the coup attempt, Erdogan called for a three-month state of emergency. That period, which could extend in case of another terrorist attack, may provide an opportunity for Erdogan to pursue his ambition to create a system that concentrates more power in the hands of the president. He has already issued decrees giving the president and prime minister authority to make direct orders to military commanders, closed military schools and put the health ministry in charge of military hospitals. While the failed coup allowed Erdogan to tighten his grip on the country, it also showed that perhaps he wasn’t as strong as he imagined. Turkey is under tremendous pressure

from the war in neighbouring Syria and a wave of deadly Isis attacks. Erdogan has been welcoming to Syrian refugees but, with at least 2.5 million of them, the stagnant Turkish economy is groaning. The refugees have not just transformed Turkey but also its relationship with the EU, which finds itself severely dependent on Turkey to solve the challenge of the many Syrians seeking new lives in Europe. The EU has criticised Erdogan’s post-coup crackdown, with its foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, saying that, “We need to have Turkey respect democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms.” For his part, Erdogan has lashed out at the EU for not condemning the coup harshly enough and for failing to pay him a visit afterwards. Ultimately, the mutual dependency is probably too great for the process of Turkish EU membership to implode completely, but at the moment, the relationship is in a tailspin. To many Turks, the EU’s criticism is just another example of patronising double standards. Turkey has been promised a path to EU membership since 1963, but the EU has, in the eyes of many Turks, reneged on its promises, even though Turkey is a dramatically reformed country. “They have been keeping Turkey waiting at their door for 53 years,” Erdogan said in June, echoing a common sentiment among his voters. “EU is always meddling,” says Gamsiz, the teacher at Taksim. “EU is a big liar. EU doesn’t want Turkey.” For now, a considerable part of the Turkish population seems happy to leave Erdogan to assume greater powers in his defence of the state. They continue to rally behind him. On my last night in Istanbul, I visit a mosque in central Uskudar, a block from where tanks rumbled through the streets two weeks earlier. Before the prayer, the imam implores believers to resist those who want to “seize” and “destroy the country”. Below the golden-lit arches, as midnight approaches, the young faithful are preparing to sit the night watch outside the mosque. If anyone tries another coup, they will be prepared, and practised.

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FASHION

PRADA’S NEXT ACT PHOTOGRAPHS BY

Christian Oita

STORY AND STYLING BY

Jessica Punter

To showcase its latest collection and brand-new fragrance, Prada has turned to two of Hollywood’s hottest talents, ANSEL ELGORT and DANE DeHAAN

From left: Ansel wears shirt, £620. Trousers, £1,650 (as part of suit). Shoes, £820. Socks, £70. Key ring, £140. Keys, from £165 each. Dane wears jacket, £1,940. Shirt, £330. Trousers, £860. Shoes, £870. Socks, £70. All by Prada. prada.com. Glasses by Prada, £218. At  David Clulow. davidclulow.com DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 283


Coat, £2,170. Jumper, £2,440. Both by Prada. prada.com

Elgort is bouncy, hyperactive... DeHaan, eight years older, is quieter, more thoughtful 284 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


FASHION

 Y

ou know, I’m not a model. I don’t really know how to model,” says 30-year-old actor Dane DeHaan at the GQ photo shoot in Paris. But posing in the latest collections is an occupational hazard for every Hollywood star these days, with the worlds of fashion and film now so intertwined. “I’ve never asked why they chose me,” says DeHaan, suddenly mystified about Prada’s decision to cast him, alongside actor, DJ and producer Ansel Elgort, at the fore of its L’Homme fragrance campaign. Cast your eye over Elgort’s and DeHaan’s CVs, however, and it’s easy to see what the talent spotters at Prada were drawn to. DeHaan is already known for his versatility, from critically acclaimed performances in Kill Your Darlings, Life and The Place Beyond The Pines to mainstream success in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and an upcoming lead role in Luc Besson’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, out next year. Polymath Elgort is more the typical teen heartthrob, best known as cancer-stricken Augustus Waters in the weepy The Fault In Our Stars and as Caleb Prior from the Divergent series. He’s also from starrier stock – his mother is stage director Grethe Barrett Holby and his father is storied Vogue photographer Arthur Elgort – and he calls New York’s arty – and monied – Upper West Side home. “When you’re a kid a photo set is a blast,” he says, reminiscing about the times he got to play dress-up with supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Carmen Kass. Both L’Homme ambassadors bring different, but complementary, vibes to the shoot. Elgort – bouncy, hyperactive – arrives with his longterm girlfriend, Violetta Komyshan. DeHaan, eight years older than Elgort, is quieter, more thoughtful. He’s with his mother, Cynthia, who explains that travelling with DeHaan is the only chance she gets to spend time with him. DeHaan’s background is more conventional. He was raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania and his parents work in tech. His father would vet all music before he’d let him listen to it: “I mean, ultimately, I don’t think I’m any worse because of it, but you’ve got to let people learn how to express themselves,” he says. An early ban on Metallica didn’t dint his acting progress or stop him being “voted best-dressed in high school”. Unlike Elgort, DeHaan may not have grown up in the heart of the Big Apple, but Allentown was still close enough for a day trip to Manhattan to watch a play or go and stare wistfully at “this one pair of red driving shoes” in the Prada store that he couldn’t afford. Ironic, then, that he’s come to view his work with the fashion house (he’s notched up more campaigns for Prada than any other actor) as a “yearbook photo” – just one that happens to be taken by Steven Meisel. And has Elgort inherited his father’s photography skills? He smiles, “Yeah, I can take a really good photo.” You can say that again...

Jacket, £3,160. Shirt, £330. Trousers, £1,650 (as part of suit). Belt, £420. Key ring, £140. Keys, from £165 each. All by Prada. prada.com

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 285


Coat, £2,530. Shirt, £330. Trousers, £1,650 (as part of suit). Boots, £995. All by Prada. prada.com

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DeHaan has come to see his work with Prada as his ‘yearbook photo’ Shirt by Prada, £620. prada.com

DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 287


Coat, £2,530. Shirt, £330. Both by Prada. prada.com

‘When you’re young,a photo set is a blast’ 288 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016


FASHION

Shirt, £330. Trousers, £1,650 (as part of suit). Belt, £420. Key ring, £140. Keys, from £165 each. All by Prada. prada.com Photographic assistant Frederic Barlet Style assistant Angelo Mitakos Grooming Davide Barbieri at Caren using Tom Ford and Bumble And Bumble Grooming assistant Methta Gonthier Digital operator Louis Cusy DECEMBER 2016 GQ.CO.UK 289


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Victorinox victorinox.com @victorinox

G-Star Raw g-star.com @gstarraw

Sand sandcopenhagen.com @sandcopehagen

illiam & Son williamandson.com @williamandson

Gucci gucci.com @gucci

Selfridges selfridges.com @theofficialselfridges

Woolrich woolrich.eu @woolrichpeople

H

Skechers skechers.com @skechers

adig & Voltaire zadig-et-voltaire.com @zadigetvoltaire

@ghbass

Charles Tyrwhitt ctshirts.com @charlestyrwhitt

&M hm.com @hm 306 GQ.CO.UK DECEMBER 2016

W

Z


The winner of

60

major awards

GQ is the only magazine in Britain dedicated to bringing you the very best in style, investigative journalism, comment, men’s fashion, lifestyle and entertainment. British GQ is the magazine to beat NEW!

2016

Lovie Long Form Or Series Video First Place

NEW!

2016

Lovie Long Form Or Series Video People’s Choice

2015

DMA Men’s Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year

2015

FMJA Stylist Of The Year (GQ Style)

2014

BSME Digital Art Director Of The Year

2014

DMA Designer Of The Year

2014

TCADP Media Award

2014

FPA Feature Of The Year

2014 2014 2014 2014 2013 2013 2013 2013

FPA Journalist Of The Year Amnesty International Media Award PPA Editor Of The Year FMJA Online Fashion Journalist Of The Year EICA Media Commentator Of The Year DMA Men’s Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year BSME Editor Of The Year FMJA Outstanding Contribution To London Collections Men PPA Magazine Writer Of The Year Mark Boxer Award BSME Editor Of The Year DMA Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year Help For Heroes Outstanding Contribution Px3 Prix De La Photographie Paris Gold Medal Foreign Press Association Media Awards, Sports Amnesty International Media Award Amnesty International Media Award One World Media Press Award The Maggies Magazine Cover Of The Year P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style) PPA Writer Of The Year BSME Editor Of The Year BSME Magazine Of The Year

2013 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2011 2011 2010 2010 2010 2010 2009 2008 2007

2007 2007 2007 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2005 2005 2004 2004 2003 2002 2002 2001 2001 2001 2000 2000 1999 1999 1999 1995 1995 1995 1994 1991

BSME Brand Building Initiative Of The Year MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Best Cover P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style) P&G Awards Best Grooming Editor (GQ Style) P&G Awards Best Styling (GQ Style) MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Interviewer Of The Year MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Best Designed Consumer Magazine MDA/MJA Press Gazette Awards Subbing Team Of The Year PPA Writer Of The Year PPA Writer Of The Year Magazine Design Awards Best Cover Association Of Online Publishers Awards Best Website BSME Magazine Of The Year PPA Writer Of The Year BSME Magazine Of The Year PPA Writer Of The Year BSME Magazine Of The Year PPA Designer Of The Year Printing World Award Total Design Award Jasmine Award Winner Printing World Award Jasmine Award Winner PPA Designer Of The Year Ace Press Award Circulation Ace Press Award Promotion PPA Columnist Of The Year PPA Publisher Of The Year British Press Circulation Award Best Promotion Of A Consumer Magazine


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An impressive waterfront address

Luxury 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments and penthouses. PHASE I NOW COMPLETE There’s no location quite like this. The ocean sits at your feet, the sky sweeps from wall to wall, and that’s only the beginning at Brighton Marina. Promenades offer bars, restaurants and shops aplenty, ensuring that your lifestyle is befitting of your exquisite apartment. A new life or a second home, an apartment in this tastefully designed collection is the perfect investment.

85% NOW SOLD Secure your viewing:

01273 921 167 or visit: www.brighton-marina.com

• • • • • • •

New marina view apartments now released 24 hour security Available now for sales and lettings Shops, restaurants and bars in close proximity Europe’s largest marina London Victoria just 51 minutes away by train Gatwick Airport 30 minutes away by train


ADVERTISING FEATURE

A SPECTACULAR RESIDENCE READY TO MOVE INTO

W

ith apartments in Goldhurst House ready to move into this year, Fulham Reach by St George ofers the ultimate lifestyle at this thriving new waterfront development.

The regeneration of a former distillery, Fulham Reach capitalises on an exceptional riverside location overlooking Hammersmith Bridge and the famous Harrods Furniture Depository. Set in beautifully landscaped gardens with a selection of on-site shops, cafés and restaurants, Fulham Reach also offers residents a host of leisure and entertainment facilities at the Tamesis Club, a luxury lifestyle club featuring a 16 metre swimming pool and spa, fully equipped gymnasium and a virtual golf simulator giving residents the opportunity to play on some of the finest courses in the world. If you prefer to sit back and relax with friends there is also a 12 seater private screening room to watch everything from Hollywood releases to major sporting events and a wine cellar to host your own private wine tasting evenings or store your personal collection. Set on the riverfront at Fulham Reach is Goldhurst House, a stunning glass building with floor to ceiling windows and wraparound balconies

For further information or to book your personal appointment contact:

+44 (0) 20 3773 6851 enquiries@fulhamreach.co.uk Fulham Reach Show Apartment and Marketing Suite Parr’s Way, Distillery Wharf, London W6 9GD www.fulhamreach.co.uk

offering panoramic views towards the River Thames and the landscaped gardens of Fulham Reach.

Apartments available from £1,999,950* Computer generated images are indicative only. *Price correct at time of going to press.

Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies


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condenastjohansens.com Grandes Alpes Private Hotel & Spa, France


PICTURE YOUR HOME P I C T U R E

M A R Y L E B O N E

If you can picture living in a luxurious, beautifully appointed apartment at The Chilterns, on Chiltern Street in the heart of Marylebone Village, you’ll understand why there are only three apartments remaining. After all, you’re only moments from boutiques, galleries and world-class dining; in addition, you’re minutes from Mayfair and the Regent’s Park - and within The Chilterns itself, you have your own private art gallery, five-star concierge, spa, gym and cinema. So discover The Chilterns – and picture yourself living the perfect luxury life in Marylebone.

thechilternsw1.com

For more information about The Chilterns or to arrange a private appointment, please contact Oksana d’Offay on +44 (0)20 3770 2100 or email oksana@thechilternsw1.com


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Stunning new Show Home open daily London Square Chigwell Village is a stunning gated development of individually designed four and five bedroom family homes. Set back from the road around a beautifully landscaped central park, each house benefits from a spacious driveway. Open plan kitchen, living / dining areas, with bi-fold doors to private terraces and gardens, create the ideal space for entertaining. Further reception rooms are complemented by large double bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms and sumptuous master bedroom suites. Every house enjoys the highest specification; Siematic kitchens with granite worktops and integrated appliances to underfloor heating as standard. Five bedroom houses from ÂŁ1,075,000

To arrange an appointment please call 0333 666 0103 The Sales Suite and Show Home, Chigwell Grange, High Road, Chigwell, Essex IG7 6BF, open daily.

0333 666 0103

www.londonsquare.co.uk

External computer generated image depicts London Square Chigwell Village and is indicative only. Details and prices are correct at time of going to press, September 2016.


#OTL JONATHAN HEAF IS...

...with NAOMI CAMPBELL Despite being two hours late, the supermodel is well worth the wait at Claridge’s aomi Campbell was always going to be late. The first 22 minutes fly by. Frankly I’ve waited longer for my hygienist. Thirty minutes in and I finish emails, stretch my legs, check I’ve got the right venue (I have, Claridge’s) and yawn loudly. Forty minutes, still no sign. I decide to make a lengthy call to my architect about the impending loft conversion – our cement cladding is proving hard to source, having only ever been used on museums previously. Fifty minutes down and I pay the gas bill via the fiddly HSBC app on my iPhone. One hour. One whole hour! Now this is fantastically brazen. It takes guts to be an hour late. I wouldn’t dare be an hour late, not for anything, ever. Maybe she’s been hit by a bus? Or arrested? One hour and ten and I check the social feeds although I’m prone to what I call “Insta-eyes”, a symptom indicative of too much time alone with ones’s vanity device. One hour and 15 minutes, I order a Bloody Mary. “Be generous,” I plead. One hour and 23 and I find myself consoling the hand-wringing PR assistant that, really, no, really, it’s fine, and I have nothing better to do on a frantic Thursday afternoon. Honestly. One hour and 35. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Everything is a blur. Send help. Or tequila. Is that Amal Clooney in The Fumoir? One hour and 45 and OH JESUS CHRIST SHE REALLY IS THIS LATE. Should I just leave? This far in how can I? This is what Field Marshal Douglas Haig must have felt like on the fourth month of the Somme. The later Campbell is, in fact, the more I seem to enjoy basking in her tardy mythology. Campbell being on time would be like having lunch with Keith Richards and the Stones guitarist ordering a San Pellegrino on the rocks, or finding out Theresa May isn’t a psychopathic cyborg sent from the year 2029 to kill John Connor after all. You have to admire the zero f***s given here; in general we could all do with a little less subservience to the pounding schedule of our frayed lives. I wonder if she was this late for Putin? Maybe this is why Campbell was such good friend’s with Nelson Mandela? Now there’s a man who knew how to wait.

N  

I’ve waited in worst dives: I’m in Claridge’s private dining room tucked away behind where they cut the crusts off the cucumber sandwiches. It’s as plush and as pristine as David Furnish’s backside, one imagines. The Bloody Mary is about the best I’ve tasted and that goes for up in the air with BA First Class: just sharp enough and no chunks of grated horseradish, nor that acrylic aftertaste that comes with the barman being too sloppy with the angostura bitters. Campbell eventually arrives with a sonic boom. In gym gear. Sipping on an enormous green juice. This is lunch, it turns out. “I make it daily. Mango, papaya, green stuff, balance powder, acai berry and protein – because I’m trying to give up smoking. Do you smoke? I went to see someone called the Mad Russian or was he called the Fat Russian? Anyway some guy in Boston who talked to me for 32 minutes and hey presto. It’s hard to give up anything on your own but smoking is worse than drink and I should know. I got a massage last night, look at this bruise on my arm! What’s your star sign? I’m going to see if my astrologer Dev is here...” It turns out that Campbell is brilliant fun. You know when thespy types talk about someone having “energy”, I guess this is what they mean. Campbell is an energy silo, a human Fukushima. Radiation spills out from her indiscriminately, affecting all life in her path – around two hours later than scheduled, admittedly. It must also be said the supermodel is absurdly good looking still; a terrible poster girl for nonsmoking charities. The next 40 minutes are less of a conversation and more like reading someone’s Twitter feed aloud. On men who are too into style: “There’s a line. Did you see the Rick Owens show last year? Models with their balls out? That’s my line right there.” Racism in the industry: “Even to this day I hear stuff. I heard that a black woman can’t model a skincare line as it won’t sell. So, what, only white women buy beauty products, is that it?” On working as a black model in the Nineties: “I got paid a lot less than my counterparts and had to go three times more round the world to make the same money. I have always felt like the underdog.” On models who get booked on the back of their social media followings: “It doesn’t feel like they have worked very hard for it.” On being single: “Single? Let’s say I am in lust!” On her perfect man: “When it comes to men I don’t discriminate!” Like I said, bonkers. If you get the chance, take it and to hell with the afternoon. Oh, she was late? I honestly hadn’t noticed. Claridge’s, Brook Street, London, W1. 0207 629 8860. claridges.co.uk

VERDICT

Basic-bitchiness ,,,,,

Temper ,,,,,

Cheekbones +++++  Food ,,,,,  Timekeeping ,,,,,  Overall +++++

Illustrations Anton Emdin; Zohar Lazar

‘When it comes to men I don’t discriminate’


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Lucerne



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